THE CHRONICLES OF VARNEYA

Hello.  I thought it would be a nice idea to have a drink of coffee at 8:12 in the evening on a worknight so now here I am all hopped up on hot bean sediment sluice with no place to go.  Not a lot is going on.  That isn’t true – every day a lot goes on, I either just don’t feel like putting it into words or I’m concerned that you won’t find any of it interesting or funny.  Someone got fired at work today, that’s something that happened.  Sadly, it was not me.  There’s no story to it.  The person just kept not coming to work, and it resulted in firing.  A pretty direct cause and effect situation.  I’ve been laboriously grunting a whole lot of boiling dungmilk into the toilet lately, and my diet is not markedly different from usual, so that’s another development.  None of these are very nice things that are happening.  My dad died.  Not really, but he is struggling with an ingrown toenail, and probably wants death to some degree, eternal slumber being preferable to hardship of any kind.

Oh, I own an Xbox now.  This is a machine that allows you to murder cartoons all night long.  It is 100% about killing people.  It is bad dirty fun.  I am not good at playing Xbox games but I am having fun repeatedly perishing and occasionally managing to haphazardly bludgeon a foe to an ignoble death through no real fault or skill of my own, just repeatedly pushing a button until someone is dead, usually me but sometimes another guy who just walked up to me and started hitting me for no reason.  Xbox is a lot like middle school.  I probably shouldn’t have bought it.  I wonder what serial killers think of first person shooters.  I bet they disdain them.  I still like the Wii better – I just think it has a better attitude – but the Xbox does appeal to that part of me that likes to fantasize about being hired by God (after being blessed with the power of invincibility) to kill the entire human race in whatever manner I see fit, kind of a Noah’s Ark situation but instead of a flood you got me walking around eradicating people with improvised weapons, then raiding their pantry and going through their personal belongings.  I hope this happens someday.  I think I’ve earned this right.

Recently I also went to Walmart and purchased myself a collection of Ernest films/commercials for five dollars.  Only the absence of chaw prevents this action from being the most redneck thing I could possibly have thought of to do that day.  The two movies included in the set are “Ernest Goes to Africa” and “Ernest in the Army”.  Somehow I haven’t actually watched those yet, and I cannot be called upon to provide a suitable response as to why.  I mean, jeez, I want to see both of those movies really bad, and I’ve never seen either of them.  Why don’t I just watch them?  I must really hate myself.  I did watch the commercials, however, and they were a delight.  I like Jim Varney.  I had a poster of him in my childhood bedroom for many years.  I bought it at Ames.  Here, watch this Ernest commercial.  If you don’t like it, then I am sorry to have to inform you that you stink.

I don’t know why I have to live in a world where “Hey Vern, It’s Ernest” is not on DVD.  That is really the only thing that I find bad about this planet.  Otherwise, everything is great!  Have you ever had corned beef hash?  That stuff is delicious!  And walking downtown on a nice day with your best girl?  Tops in my book!  But then you come home to watch something from your otherwise impressive DVD library, and what’s this?  No “Hey Vern, It’s Ernest”?  You might as well drop kick your best girl off a cliff and go petition Congress to outlaw corned beef hash, and the hell with that nice day; what does “nice day” even mean?  I couldn’t even find anything from the show on YouTube, which makes absolutely no sense.  I couldn’t have been the only one taping every episode, meticulously editing out the commercials.

That’s one thing I miss about the VHS age: taping stuff off TV and the exciting tension inherent in “taking out the commercials”.  Finger on the pause button, ready for the telltale fade to black.  Could you perform a seamless edit, or would a fleeting but jarring second or two of a “Kibbles N Bits N Bits N Bits” commercial muscle its way onto your tape? And when the show or movie comes back from commercials, would you catch it just in time or would you lose a line or two to either poor reflexes or a slow-to-reawaken VCR?  Ah, why can’t we return to the olden days, when nothing worked and nobody got what they wanted?

Oh well, the $5 Ernest set I got from Walmart is a decent substitute in lieu of “Hey Vern”.  I’m sure Ernest finds a lot of humorous hijinks to get into in the army, to say nothing of Africa.  It’s a shame Varney died before being able to star in “Ernest Goes to Papua New Guinea”.  I think we all would have enjoyed that.  “Vern!  The neighboring tribe accepted my offer of taro in exchange for one of their leaner pigs, but now they’re makin’ me mutilate my penis in a ritualistic trial to prove my manhood!  This vacation sure isn’t workin’ out like I planned, knowhutimean?”

As proof positive of Varney’s invaluable contribution to society, look at what happens when someone else tries to be Ernest.  It just shouldn’t be done.

I don’t want to say too much bad stuff about this guy.  He’s trying his best.  I actually find him a little frightening, though.  It’s like when they try to get new voices for Bugs Bunny or Kermit the Frog.  Such good intentions, but no one likes it.  It would not be markedly less disturbing for me if they devised a cyborg type of situation out of Jim Varney’s corpse and simulated his voice via computer.  In fact, that’s a good idea.  I’m going to do that tomorrow.  I don’t really feel like filming commercials, though.  Maybe I’ll just come over to each of your houses and annoy you with it.  “Hey Vern!  Doin’ the dishes?”  “Hey Vern!  Tryin’ to sleep?”  “Hey Vern!  This your mom?”  “Hey Vern!  What else is on?”  Clearly there are no sentences so airtight they cannot be somehow improved by preceding them with “Hey Vern!”, and I’m grateful that Jim Varney realized this.

This is a pretty typical Ernest clip that I like simply for the idea that some people at a TV channel were sitting around trying to think of how best to advertise their local news program and eventually all agreed that Ernest P. Worrell was the ideal spokesperson.  If only “Meet the Press” had been as open-minded as that.

Couldn’t you just watch these all night?  Don’t you wish you could jam a laptop into your brain so you didn’t have to look at trees and cars all day and instead could just watch nothing but Ernest clips for the rest of your natural days?  Wouldn’t that be better than lousy conversations with morons about crap you don’t care about?  I really do like Jim Varney, and I’m very sorry that he passed away.  I read in some magazine (I believe it may have been a recent issue of “Misinformed Dipshit”)  that Larry the Cable Guy is the Ernest for the modern age.  That’s like calling Hitler the Jesus for the modern age.  It’s just not accurate.  In a Funny Showdown, Ernest would destroy Larry the Cable Guy, and it would be an event for the ages.  Ernest would be carried out on an ornate throne by an adoring crowd, like C3PO and the Ewoks in “Jedi”, and Larry the Cable Guy, in tears, would strip down to his briefs onstage and slap himself in the face until he died, his bloated face an unrecognizable purple blob, mewling indistinct vocalizations that may or may not be the word “mommy”.  This fallen world would be repaired.  Ernest would get a new prime time show.  People would get along better in general.  The health care thing would work itself out.  No probs for anyone.  Adios, probs!

As you age and get into different types of televised or musical entertainment, you encounter new famous personalities who strike some sort of chord in you, and you seek out their work and champion them in enthusiastic conversations with peers at parties, and it’s all well and good.  But the people who entertained you when you were little, they’re the only famous folks who stay with you to any real degree, I think.  They caught you at a time when wonder was unquashable, when you really felt like people on TV were actually aware of you, and maybe you could meet them and be friends and they’d act just like they do on TV.  Mr. Rogers, “Weird” Al, the Muppets, Chunk from the Goonies, Pee-Wee Herman, Bo and Luke Duke…there are many people in real life to whom I haven’t connected nearly as well to as some of these.  Maybe that just means I need to work on my social skills.  I dunno.  I guess I just miss buying into it.  Knowhutimean?

To a lot of people, he’s a back-pocket reference to have on hand whenever the subject of dumb movies or second-rate comedians happens to come up, and honestly you wouldn’t have to watch a lot of his material to see why that might be the case.  Be that as it may, I would have liked to have met him, shake his hand and say thanks, I always liked you.

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3 Responses to “THE CHRONICLES OF VARNEYA”

  1. I don’t know that there’s ever been a sorrowful time in my life since the release of “Ernest Goes to Camp” when I’m Glad it’s Rainin’ hasn’t popped into my head at some point. That is my permanent mental default for “sad.” I’d owe Jim Varney for that even without the many Oakhurst dairy commercials in which he appeared or, yes, Hey Vern, It’s Ernest.

    And whoever compared Ernest to Larry the Cable Guy deserves to be beaten soundly about the head and neck with their own recently and violently detached leg.

  2. There’s a scene in “No Holds Barred” in which Hulk Hogan is going through a tough time in his career and life, and I always thought it would have been extremely appropriate for him to break out in a gruff yet tender chorus of “Gee I’m Glad It’s Rainin’ “. I also think Tom Wilkinson could have crooned it to good effect in “In the Bedroom”. Really, it should be used in any form of entertainment containing a sad scene. I love it to pieces.

  3. What am is suppose to do with the phrase, “boiling dungmilk?” how do I go on now?

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