I had the winning tweet! Car trouble update. Plus, holiday submissions.
Hello situation normies! I’m thrilled to tell you about my winning tweet and less than thrilled about moving toward a resolution on my catalytic (or is it cataclysmic?) convertor. But first, I need to acknowledge a HUGE debt.
Some astute readers have noticed that there’s now a paid option for Situation Normal. The paid option works just like the free option, except that money changes hands. Kinda like how public radio works, only I haven’t figured out pledge drives and tote bags—yet. Who would pay for something they get for free, you might ask? Awesome people, that’s who!
Cheryl F., Bill C., Deb M., and Fran P. stepped up to awesomeness by becoming monthly subscribers to Situation Normal! The benefits of the monthly subscription include:
My eternal gratitude
Kathy C., Mark S., Sara R., Anne K, and Craig G. stepped up to awesomeness by becoming annual subscribers! They’ll receive the same benefits as monthly subscribers, but at a 17 percent discount! That’s some serious ROI, IMHO.
Finally, Jennie Y. and Tom H. stepped up to awesomeness by becoming founding members of Situation Normal! Founding members receive everything annual subscribers receive, minus the discount. By the shortsighted standards of capitalism, that may seem like a raw deal. But there’s a special bonus for founding members: on their deathbed, they will receive total consciousness, so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.
Situation Normal will continue to be free, but if you value the laughter this newsletter brings to your week, or want to show your appreciation for the hard work that goes into writing Situation Normal, a paid subscription is a really awesome way to go.
I had the winning tweet! This is my story.
Last week, I had the winning tweet! I’m still basking in the glow of the unearned joy that comes from a winning tweet. Here’s what happened.
The story began when perennial Twitter villain Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced her decision to leave the Democratic party, register as an independent, and continue to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate.
A number of serious journalists who cover Congress, including Lisa Desjardins of PBS and the Department of Twitter Awards, pointed out that Sinema’s decision wouldn’t change anything in terms of Senate math (the only kind of math that matters in a democracy). But then a much larger and LOUDER group of people who cosplay as journalists on Twitter, tweeted all kinds of wild shit, and within minutes everyone on Twitter was big mad at Sinema, whose preferred life fuel is unadulterated outrage.
In an effort to give that outrage legs so that it could run into the next news cycle, some political hack emailed reporters who cover Congress. Lisa Desjardins of PBS and the Department of Twitter Awards shared the gist of that email with her followers on Twitter.
The tweet from Lisa Desjardins didn’t call for a response, but the thing about Twitter is that it exists so that random chuckleheads (me, in this case) can share their “thoughts” with serious people doing serious work. So I replied to Lisa Desjardins.
A few minutes later, Lisa Desjardins of PBS and the Department of Twitter Awards declared my tweet to be the winner.
Naturally, this was very exciting news because a winning tweet comes with attention, which is the only real currency we have in this bankrupt online world. But in my case, the winning tweet also came with marital hiccups.
“Lisa Desjardins said I had the winning tweet,” I told Christina.
“She better step back, if she knows what’s good for her,” Christina said, before threatening to “cut” a member of the fourth estate.
At this point, I should note that Christina supports freedom of the press and that when she threatens to “cut” someone it’s always in jest. In this instance, Christina was cosplaying as a jealous wife because Lisa Desjardins is one of my celebrity crushes.
“It’s just a silly thing I wrote on the internet,” I told Christina. “It’s not like Lisa Desjardins, who covers Congress better than anyone in the game, is going to call a random dude just because he made a joke on the internet.”
“Bullshit, honey bear,” Christina said. “Your online dating profile had a lot of great jokes. That’s why I agreed to go out with you.”
“Wait. So you’re saying I have a chance with Lisa Desjardins?”
“Not if you fuck things up, honey bear. Did you write a clever response? Slide into her DMs? Retweet her with a funny quote?”
“No, nothing like that. I don’t want to bother her. She’s got work to do. Counting votes ain’t easy, but it’s necessary.”
“You blew it, honey bear. But I’ll tell you this, if I get my chance with Matt Smith, I won’t make the same mistake.”
“Matt Smith? He isn’t a celebrity! Is he? He’s a waiter at our local Outback Steakhouse, right? Is that why you always want to go there?”
“No. We go to Outback for the blooming onion—you know this. Matt Smith plays Daemon Targaryen on House of the Dragon.”
“He’s your celebrity crush? I thought your celebrity crush was Seth Rogen.”
“He’s on the list too, along with Kit Harington, the Hemsworth brothers, and Chris Hayes.”
“Wait. How long is your list?”
“Long. I’ll share the Google Doc with you. But just a heads up, I’m not giving you editing privileges, honey bear.”
Situation Normal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and contribute to the blooming onion fund, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Car trouble update
I wouldn’t call it a resolution, but it looks like I’ve made some decisions about my car troubles. If the ongoing saga of my twice-stolen catalytic convertor is new to you, this post, followed by this post, followed by this post should bring you up to speed. Or, I can just bottom-line it for you.
Here’s the bottom-line: I’m going to have to wait eight months for a new catalytic convertor, which means that whatever I do with my Prius (sell it, boobytrap it, or use it as bait in my ongoing attempt to foil the caper) will have to wait.
In the meantime, lots of situation normies shared their sympathies and great advice. I’m truly grateful for those comments and emails, thank you!
One of the most promising suggestions came from Kristen Alexander, the thinker, connecter, fixer-upper, creator, mother, and lover behind the Community Over Capitalism newsletter. Kristen’s suggestion was to contact local junkyard to see about finding an old catalytic convertor. It was a great suggestion, and I thought it might even make for a good story. But when I called around to local junkyards, they confirmed that Kristen’s idea was top-notch by telling me that they’d already been “picked clean” by other Prius owners / victims.
“This is gonna sound crazy,” Christina began, “but do you think the insurance company will just total your car?”
I thought it sounded crazy because the car isn’t a total loss. But I also think it’s crazy that we buy our auto insurance from a lizard, so I called Geico. To my surprise, our adjuster, a lizard named Troy, didn’t laugh at my question.
“Yeah, we can’t do that,” Troy explained. “But I feel your pain. If it helps, you’re not alone. I’ve got more than a dozen claims for stolen catalytic convertors. An eight-month wait for a replacement is pretty typical.”
That didn’t make me feel better, but I filed Troy’s words under Nice to Hear, nonetheless.
“This is the second time this has happened this year,” I told Troy. “It’s a total bummer. I won’t be able to use my car until July. And the way things are going, the thieves will be back in August, and I’ll be done for the year.”
“I hear you. I worked on a claim for a customer who had his catalytic convertor stolen three times. He actually had his mechanic install barbed wire around the catalytic convertor.”
Barbed wire? That sounded like Mad Max shit to me, but if that’s what it takes to be a Road Warrior in Los Angeles, then that’s what it takes.
In the meantime, Christina and I will share one electric car. That’ll be a win for the environment and a good test for our one-car household dream. I’ll supplement my transportation needs with Lyft, and although that won’t help the environment, Lyft rides will help Situation Normal in the story department, so that’s a win for my readers!
Contribute to the Situation Normal ride-for-story fund by becoming a paid subscriber.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it: the Wednesday edition of Situation Normal doesn’t write itself, which is why I encourage everyone to submit funny things they overhear in the wild, hilarious pictures, and serious questions that call for silly answers. Since it’s the holiday season, I’ve selected two holiday-themed submissions.
For Hanukkah, Tab sent in a photo of the future of Hanukkah gelt.
For Christmas, my sister, Allison, sent in a photo of the NYPD getting into the holiday spirit. Like I told Allison, I always knew Santa was a narc, and I’m pretty sure his elves are unindicted co-conspirators.
I wrote about my wins for 2022 and why I think it’s important to recognize the link between humor and optimism. You can read that post here. The best part, IMHO, are the wins situation normies shared in the comments. My readers are seriously the best!
The decision to offer a paid option for Situation Normal was a long time in the making. Several Substack writers inspired that decision by paving the way, explaining how they went paid, and creating community for writers like me to turn to with my questions, concerns, irrational fears, and wildest dreams. Thank you for leading the way, the Fictionistas community, and everyone who makes time to contribute to Office Hours.
Stick around and chat!
OK, now for the interactive part. I’ve got questions, maybe you’ve got answers.
Have you ever had the winning tweet? How did you do it, and did you get a prize?
Who’s your celebrity crush? Feel free to share a link to a Google doc, if it’s a long list.
Are you a paid subscriber to any other Substacks? If so, which ones?
Have you shared your 2022 wins with the Situation Normal community, or are you waiting for an engraved invitation?
Lyft or Uber? Or, taxi? Or, do you bum rides like you’re Ferris Bueller?
I'll probably steal your new cat converter...
Hi, I like the way you’re handling you’re Substack--sharing your writing for free and also opening it up so that people can support you with paid subscriptions. For me it takes awhile before I will pay for something, but then I’m pretty loyal. I don’t have a lot of disposable income, but during times I’ve had more money, I tended to pay what I could for people who were creating more beauty in the world. We need more humor and optimism, so I hope to contribute to your newsletter soon!
Also, I don’t know if I committed and substack faux pas--I shared a bit about your writing in my newsletter. Should I have reached out to you ahead of time? I hope it was okay that I didn’t!