The Shrubbery -- humor, satire, comedy
Shrub Mail   Archives   About Us   Subscribe

Adventures In Maturity

by Gordon R. Dymowski

The apocalypse is immanent. I know this, for I saw something which is an undeniable sign - the National Enquirer has its own television show. An obvious joke, but one that leads to this month's topic...gossip.

Outside of SPAM and professional wrestlers, gossip has become our single greatest natural resource. Once upon a time, it was hidden in poorly written magazines and in the back of newspapers created solely for wrapping fish; now, you can hardly turn around and avoid it. There are even whole cable channels devoted to gossip. We live in a time when a cure for cancer will be dwarfed by the latest shenanigans of some Hollywood pretty boy and/or that Stone Temple Pilot guy's return to rehab. This is the world we live in, folks, and it is not pretty.

Gossip is a lot like intestinal gas - the further away you are from it, the better; the closer it is to you, the stinkier it is. Let's face it, nobody reading this has ever not been the target of a particularly nasty rumor. It's no fun, kids, because you're stuck in the Spaniard's dilemma, and I don't mean bathing with soap and water or kerosene. You can't dig yourself out of it - your friends can barely believe it, and no matter what, you can't quash the rumor if it's untrue. Context doesn't travel as well as gossip - if I say, "Angry Dan likes teenage girls when they're heavily sedated and 100 miles away from him," people ain't going to remember the qualifiers, folks. News travels fast, but gossip is instantaneous. (Sorry about that, Dan. Just don't want you angry at me, of all people).

On a related note, another big Gordo no-no is bad mouthing people behind their back (it's not gossip, but runs a close second). I'm not talking about honest criticism; I'm talking about saying things that are untrue and/or just smearing somebody for the sake of it. Nobody's perfect, but if you don't like somebody and/or the way they act, be a decent person and either confront them about it, or let 'em be. The worst thing that happens is that they act like Robert Conrad in that battery commercial where he dares people to knock batteries off of his shoulder.

(A Note for Our Younger Readers: Robert Conrad was a stuntman-turned-actor whose primary claim to fame was appearing in the old Wild Wild West television show and who deserves an apology from Will Smith. Think of Jean-Claude Van Damme, except without the cocaine & steroids, and with 150 IQ points and charisma. That should help a lot.)

Granted, nowaways, everyone gets to air their dirty laundry. However, that's their choice. Maturity's about letting people do what they will, not spreading lies and/or nasty words about them. The moral of the story this month is this: they who have skid marks on their shorts shouldn't make public complaints about the laundry hampers of others. Thanks for letting me rant again.

If you have any questions, or comments, or would like to know more about the work of Robert Conrad, please feel free to e-mail me at, and I will answer them. Honest.

More Columns
Copyright 2000 The Shrubbery
In Association With