Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Low Self-Esteem Olympics

Three contestants stand on a stage, moping and looking pathetic: ARIEL, a Goth-looking girl with Black hair; NIXON, a nerdish teenager; and BELINDA, a slightly overweight woman. BOB COSTAS stands to the side, broadcasting the event. Near the contestants stands JANEANE GARAFOLO, mic in hand.

Good evening and welcome to the final round of the Low Self-Esteem Olympics here on NBC. I’m Bob Costas. It’s been an exciting competition, and we’re just three events away from finding out which one of these contestants has the self-revulsion they need to win the gold.

I’m joined by our guest sideline reporter, a person who has turned her own raging fire of inner hatred into comedy gold, Janeane Garafolo. Janeane, can you hear me?

JANEANE (sarcastic)
Yes, Bob, while I may be fat and undesirable by most men, my hearing is excellent.

Janeane, what’s the mood of our three finalists?

Bob, why don’t we get the word straight from the dead horses’ mouths.

She moves toward Belinda.

We have Belinda Moose, from Helena, South Dakota. Belinda, why do you think you’ve made it this far in such an incredibly competitive field?

BELINDA (whimpering)
I don’t know! Everybody else was so much better than me, and now I’m in the finals, and, oh God, I just hope I don’t screw it up!

Over here, looking at his shoes, is Nixon Dix from Seattle, Washington. Nixon, you beat out four-time champion Herbert "Man Tits" Heffer to get to the finals. How do you feel?

NIXON (bitter)
I am in hell every day of my miserable life! Maybe I’d feel better if turned my inner pain into cute little nuggets of comedy pablum the masses could easily digest!

JANEANE (fake laughter)
Oh, how precious, someone uses their word-a-day calendar. (Pauses) Last, and possibly least, is Ariel Vanderhoffen from Daytona, Florida. How do you motivate yourself, Ariel?

ARIEL (in a tired, wispy voice)
Please kill me.

Back to you, Bob.

Thank you, Janeane. Our first event is "Look into the Mirror." Each contestant will look into the mirror and describe the thing they dislike about themselves the most. First up, Belinda Moose.

Belinda steps up to the mirror.

Christ, I am such a cow! Could I be any fatter? What would Joey want with these gargantuan, fat-stuffed ass cheeks!

She bawls as she steps away.

JANEANE (low voice)
Bob, that "could I be any fatter" gambit was so unoriginal, I should have received royalties for it.

Nixon steps up next. He unzips his zipper and pulls it open.

NIXON (screaming at the sky)
You call this a penis, God? Who’s going to have sex with this, this, this toadstool? I’m going to die a virgin, right?

Nixon steps away.

JANEANE (pained and in a low voice)
Oooh, a serious mistake by Nixon there. That’s more divine accusation than pure self-loathing, and I'm sure he's going to get penalized by the Israeli judge for that.

Yes, that’s certainly going to cost him points. Although, being the size of a lawn gnome myself, I feel his pain. Here comes Ariel Vanderhoffen.

Ariel looks into the mirror.

ARIEL (screaming)
I hate you!!!!

Oh, what a brilliant move by young Ariel. It was as short and brutal as my time on Saturday Night Live.

Here come the scores...yes, it's unanimous, Ariel Vanderhoffen wins. She’s two away from the gold.

Belinda weeps. Nixon is defiant.

This thing is rigged!

Next up, the poetry competition. Janeane, what will our judges be looking for here?

The judges measure originality, self-deprecation, and overall pathetic content. Nixon will go first.

My love is like a brown, brown pile of shit
Smelly and revolting, like me
I should just give up on trying to have sex
And stick with pornography

Bob, a solid rebound from his mirror fiasco. The French judge in particular looks impressed. Here is Ariel.

Blackness all around
my funeral shroud covers me
while I still breathe.
There is no ringing
in my Bell Jar.

COSTAS (waits for a beat)
Janeane, any idea what the hell that was about?

No, it made about as much sense as my role in Mystery Men.

Let’s see if Belinda can make her revulsion rhyme.

BELINDA (very timid)
Joey, why won’t you look at me?
Am I not pretty?

She abandons any semblance of poetry and starts yelling.

It’s because I’m not as skinny as she is, right?
Or because when I went up to talk to you, I had that piece of ham stuck in my teeth...

She can’t continue.

Easily Belinda's best effort, but will it be! The gold goes to Nixon Dicks. He and Ariel are dead even entering the last event.

Bob, let’s get this miserable thing over with. This is more depressing than my box office receipts.

The last event is our group competition, "The Cry for Help."

The contestants are lined up before three phones. After a gunshot, Belinda and Nixon race to their phones and start dialing. Ariel simply stays in place, letting her black hair hang over her face. Belinda dials in first.

Yes, can you help me? I really like this guy but I’m morbidly obese. I work out and try to diet but it’s always the Ho Hos or the Super Value Meal or some other thing that keeps me from being thin.

NIXON (in mid conversation)
...I mean, it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean, right? Hello? Hello? (becoming angry) Hang up on me? Well I’ll show you.

Nixon throws the phone down and stomps on it. A whistle is blown.

That signals the end of the competition. Who will win this event and walk away without their’s Ariel Vanderhoffen! What a fantastic finish. Janeane, any word on why Ariel won?

Well, while Belinda and Nixon were truly pathetic, the judges were impressed that Ariel didn’t even try to call for help. Ariel, what do you have to say?

ARIEL (brushing her hair aside and smiling)
I won? Really. Wow, I’ve never won anything. That’s so cool. OhmiGod!

There you have it folks. Another loser blossoming into a winner here at the Low-Self Esteem Olympics.

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