Sporknotes: The Insult

First of all, I don’t get to say this often, but thank you so much to those of you who have been insulting me this past week. It’s been a true joy logging into Facebook, getting excited about notifications, and then finding out that they are all about me being a vegan twig that never bathes (that was a popular one, and you really couldn’t be more spot on).

Before the contest closes on Saturday, I wanted to reflect on the history of the insult. Did someone invent the insult? Who perfected the insult? I did some Googling, and here’s what I found out:

The Bible invented insulting. I’m just kidding. It was cave men.

But really, there are some truly epic insults of Biblical proportion, and you can find some with this fantastic generator.
My favorite so far has been: “Hear this, O thou son of a Philistine, for you will be as welcome as a fart in the queen’s bedchamber!” I mean, if someone yelled that at you on the street, would your day not be 100% more exciting?

There are records of insult contests being held as early as the 13th century. This involved two gentlemen publicly insulting each other while their friends and neighbors cheered and jeered.  I’m assuming it was something quite similar to a rap battle. By the 15th century, the contests got an official name and were called “flytings.”

According to the encyclopedia, those who participated in these shouting matches were considered skillful poets. I’m sure this is true, but I can’t help wondering if “skilled” is another word for “wimpy” and “poet” is another word for “opposite of someone who can sword fight.”  Only allowing poets to compete was also probably the reason why women couldn’t participate because women in the 15th century were too busy dying horrifically during childbirth to get to spin any mad rhymes.

By the early 17th century, Shakespeare was basically the Lady Gaga of England and he was using his favorite insults in his plays. Of course, some of his characters weren’t ninnies and used swords, but before silver could clang, there needed to be some sharp words exchanged. I want to go on and on, but instead, I will share this Shakespeare Insult Kit, which is completely relevant and you should use it on a daily basis.

No one insulted another person until 2004, when Anchorman came out. I’m just kidding. During those three hundred years, there were loads of insults, but they were all mumbled and underhanded and about how many servants your family had. Not stuff you can really use these days.

Now, everything is open. It’s hard to even take insulting seriously now that I’ve seen every episode of South Park.

Okay, whew, that’s enough Wikipedia for one day. I hope you learned something. I did (that the Bible used the word “fart”).  Flyte away, my little ducklings. You are all equally my least favorite.

Please take a moment and press “Recommend” to vote for my short story, The Appointment, in Medium’s Fiction Contest, found HERE. Tell your friends.

Check out the other stories, too; they are fabulous. Yay writers.


How To: Insult

Hey, you scurvy knicker-bockers. I am slightly disheartened at how few responses I have been getting for my insult contest. Some people have told me that it is hard to insult me without feeling guilty. Thank you. But that is the opposite of an insult, so you are disqualified.

I have formulated a few little chart things that, when used correctly, will help you make a fairly crappy insult. You can play around with them and customize and then, even if you think it is offensive, you can leave your results in a comment below.

FIRST, Choose a verb using your birthday month. Or the queen’s birthday month. Your life.

SECOND, Choose two adjectives using your initials. Or your two favorite letters. I don’t want to stifle your creativity!
THIRD, Choose a noun based on your favorite state.

Then, string them together. For instance, mine is:
You prance like a rabid, terrifying twig.

See how easy that was? Especially after you got over how crappy my graphics are? Now, go forth! Insult away!!

A Contest

People have been so kind to me this week. I sincerely, truly, deeply, whole-heartedly appreciate your support. I joke around a lot, but I’m serious when I say that even little things like your ‘likes’ on Facebook keep me motivated. I can’t even talk about the comments and texts. Or I will cry. Happy tears, so many.


I don’t want all of this positivity to go to my head. So I am holding a contest.


During the first week of December, you can leave a comment on here, on my Facebook, or my Twitter with your best insult. On Saturday, December 8th, I will choose my top three favorite insults! The awards are as follows:

3rd Place: A Paper Towel with a funny compliment on it (because I have run out of computer paper).
2nd Place: A Fairy Tale Written About You (on this blog) AND also A Paper Towel with a funny compliment on it (did I mention that I am a student?).
The Grand Prize: Your very own personal cartoon of yourself. I will even use a stamp and send it to your house in a fancy envelope (okay, it might be a used envelope that I steal from work).

Insult Prize
I will NOT accept any insults that contain:
– Cursing. I’m talking four letter words, hexes and jinxes and stuff like that are fine.
– Racism. Although, I feel like I have no idea how you could insult me racially, let’s just … not, okay? Thanks.
– An actual jab at my personal self. Say whatever you want of my appearance or writing, but if you have real problem with me, I would love to get in a bar fight with you sometime.
– Your Mom insults. I am sorry that I even have to mention this.
– Blonde jokes. Just don’t.

Yay! I am so excited for the onslaught of negativity. In case you are still wondering, this IS serious.

So best of luck to you, you off-balanced, slightly green, smelly bunch of scallywags!!


So, my esteemed writing colleague and I were having a rather hilarious conversation earlier about … death. Obviously. Everything you’ve heard about writers is true. We are awful. And we talk about death and we will drink all of your free coffee.*

*This blogger takes no responsibility for what could be an outright lie. All statements are made from the author’s personal experiences and guilt of drinking other people’s coffee.

Wow. Death. Hmm. It dawned on me later as I was drinking my third cup of free work-provided coffee that there is a legitimately high chance that someday, I am going to die. Maybe like, a 99% chance. Sometimes when this occurs to me, like when I’m making toast or changing lightbulbs, I get scared. Today, I found it amusing. I mean, all the greats have done it, some of them on purpose (oi!). So being scared is probably a waste of time.

Anyway, if (okay, when) I die, there is the possibility that I could stay on Earth as a ghost. In preparation, I have compiled a list of ways that I would like to haunt people.

– Tap dance rehearsal in the middle of the night.
– Opera rehearsal first thing in the morning.
– Possessing cats and rubbing against people’s feet all day long, relentlessly.
– Drawing on the refrigerator. With washable marker, of course. I’m not a ghoul.
– Leaving threatening haikus. For example: Snore once more and I/Shall hold your nose or even/Tickle your armpits. Spooky, right?
– Putting their fingertips in warm water while they sleep. Just because I’ve always wanted to do that and there is no one I could do that to now who wouldn’t get me back ten times worse. My stress levels are high enough without having to worry that someone is going to cause me to poo myself, thankyouverymuch.
– Haunted burritos.
– Prank calls.
– Reorganized bookshelves.
– Playing Mean Girls on the living room television over and over again, whether or not they own it.
– Cher karaoke!
– Possessing cats … oh wait, I said that already.

Obviously, it’s a work in progress. Hopefully I have a while to think it over. (Should I knock on wood after saying that?)

How would you like to haunt people if YOU were a ghost?


How To: Pregnancy Tests

I have an announcement to make! I, Christina Marie Wolfgram III have been published. By an online art magazine that isn’t even run by my mom! My excitement is immeasurable, and I can imagine that I must look pretty rabid since the girl who was sitting next to me in the library put down all of her things, looked me in the eye, and then immediately packed up her crap and moved to a different computer a few feet away.

I’ll give you a little snippity-snippet of the essay called Testing, and then you should go check it out  at Marco Polo Arts Mag!

            “If you want to have a laugh (or, in my case, a panic attack) follow this link (http://www.thepregnancytester.com/). Let me walk you through this. You type in your name (I typed in Latifa, like Queen Latifa, just in case any of my ex-boyfriends can somehow access my Internet History) and the site takes you to a scanning page, which can apparently sense your hormone levels. You roll your eyes now, but when you think maybe you skipped a pill and now your boob hurts and every Yahoo! board says you are most definitely with child, this website might as well be Peter Jennings on ABC News (cold hard facts).
            Anyway. The website told me that not only am I having a baby, it is a boy fathered by none other than Jesse Jackson. I don’t recall ever meeting, much less you-know-what-ing Mr. Jackson, but at this point, I was beside myself. I decided it was time for a real test with real urine …”

That’s right! I wrote about urine! And I’m over the moon about it! If you missed it last time, here is the link again. Can you tell I’m excited?

Thank you, Darin Beasley (editor-in-chief of Marco Polo), for all your support and this sassy picture!

Facebook Policy Change

There has been an awful lot of confusion about the new Facebook policy changes, and I want to set the record straight. I’ve seen quite a few statuses claiming copyright of a Facebook page, bladdy bladdy blah. Here is a real statement that I really posted on my Facebook for protection. Feel free to share, and I wish all of you luck in this troubling and confusing time.

In response to the nude Fartbook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyfright is attached to all of my personal cat-tails, illusions, hair follicles, partings, professional song and dance numbers, etc. (as a result of the Bernstein Bears Convention). For commercial use of the above, my written consent is needed at all times!

(Anyone reading this is literate and can copy this hex and paste it on their Grandma. This will place them under protection of the Great and Powerful Spaghetti Monster. By the douche spelling of communiqué, I notify Facefook that it is strictly forbidden to dishevel, canopy, dismember, disseminate (ew), or flake any other attraction against me on the bagels of this profile and/or its continents. The afornicateded prohibited actions also apply to elephants, street performers, argyle sweaters and/or any staff under Facebook’s one direction or mind control. The content of this profile is meaningless and convectional inflammation. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity just like in The Hunger Games.  ALL MEMBERS ARE RECOMMENDED TO PUBLISH A NOTICE LIKE THIS, OR IF YOU PREFER, YOU MAY COPY AND PASTE THIS VERSION. If you publish a statement at least once a day, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your awesome, beautiful cruise photos as well as the absolutely useless information contained in your profile status updates. Thank you, and be well.

Open Letters from the Counting Crows Concert

Dear Couple Next to Me,
I am not so good at concerts, probably because I grew up going to the Kennedy Center every few months to see the National Symphony Orchestra, and in the Kennedy Center there are throat lozenges available for people who think they might cough during performances, and coughing is frowned upon. Loud breathing isn’t good, either. When I am at a normal, non-grandma-funded concert, I try to remember to sway or wrap my arms around myself or yell when it is that time during a concert where you are supposed to yell. I keep track of my hands because sometimes they want to hold onto each other in a way they do when it’s time to walk the aisle in church to get communion. Not concert cool.

I am telling you this so you know that I know how difficult it can be to decide what to do with yourself at a concert. I noticed that most people leaned on each other, literally, or did a weird slow dance, or drank beer after over-priced beer. But did you have to make out the whole time? Did it ever occur to you that the pink-haired person awkwardly swaying next to you may be actively trying to forget she’s been dumped at least 22 hours a day? I’m going to take your constant smacking noises as a “no.”

Mostly, this letter is my cowardly yet peaceful way of telling you that you suck.  And I don’t just mean each others’ faces. I mean in general. I’m sure you are both very nice people and that you really do love each other text on a regular basis, but I’ve never wished a fight and/or whiskey [sick] on anyone else more in my entire life in the last 24 hours.

Good Luck with the Impending Heartbreak,

Dear Dancing Man,
You are an inspiration to me. For one, you are very very tall and you have a very very tall girlfriend, but I saw that you tried to move out of people’s way so everyone could enjoy the concert as much as you were. Except that would be impossible.

I love that you knew every single word to every single song. I love that you just mouthed the words instead of singing them, because then I would have been forced to hate you. I love that you had choreography ready. To Counting Crows.

As you bobbed and you weaved and you used your hands to make strange little pictures out in front of you, your girlfriend looked so incredibly uncomfortable. She tried to calm you down by rubbing your back or by making small talk, but gosh darn it — you were unstoppable! You outmaneuvered her by bringing her into the choreography, by touching her face, by mouthing the lyrics to her. I’m pretty sure at one point, you used her butt as a way to keep rhythm. That’s kind of when I lost track of you, but I commend you for the use of your surroundings!

But I just wanted to let you know, I respect the hell out of you. Thank you for automatically feeling like no matter what I did, I could never be as awkward as you.

Trophies and One Stalker Photo,
A Fan

Yeah, it’s a selfie — What are you going to do about it? I’m not famous enough to be captured by paparazzi yet, so this is how it goes. The important part of this is my backstage pass sticker!

Dear Backstage Refrigerator,
You are just what I dreamed a Backstage Refrigerator would look like! So full of magic and talent and beer. I wasn’t sure that I would ever get to meet you in person, especially since ten minutes ago I didn’t even have a backstage pass and someone had to personally come tell the scary bouncer man that I am indeed cool enough to stand around awkwardly while my friends hug members of the band and reminisce about their days living in New Orleans together. What a trip!

Now that I have my very official-looking backstage sticker (that won’t quite stick to any of my clothes because someone actually took it off their own shirt to pass back to me, kind of like how we used to pass back fake ID’s at those stupid college bars in DC), I feel like it should be okay to approach you. I mean, I am wearing all black and the guitarist did hug me and I’ve told at least three people that I’m with the band even though really I am just a pipsqueak whose big break was playing Evita in a community theater production like five years ago. Okay, like three years ago.

If someone saw us talking, would you be embarrassed? Probably not. I guess I should be embarrassed, getting caught talking to inanimate objects again, so I will just keep my distance. I watch people open and close you like it is nothing. But I know the truth! You are special. You got through the fridge auditions and the callbacks and now you are on tour with Counting Crows. I can’t imagine all the famous hand prints that have graced your glass door.

Someone says we have ten minutes before everyone has to leave. I could drink a beer in ten minutes. I think there was a point my senior year of college where I could drink one in ten seconds. And, besides, I want to touch you. Who knows when I will see you again, if ever?

I don’t draw attention to myself. I walk over to you, as if we are already acquainted. I open you like you are my own, like we have done this dance a thousand times, like you let me belong here.

I gulp down the Corona. Your gift to me. Best beer I’ve had in a while.

Yours in Gratitude,
An LA Pipsqueak

Sporknotes: Willy Wonka Fashion

It’s Black Friday (no offense), and I wanted to write something about fashion in order to help you out in your quest for the perfect purchase. The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory provided a most scrumdiddlydumptious source of inspiration. I mean, check out Mike Teevee’s mom’s eye make-up! Delectable.

Fashion Week, 1971

The “Golden Ticket”

Charlie Bucket, Get the Look: Charlie is all model with his starving, tousled look. Nothing says “demure” like a vintage navy blue turtle neck and brushed out at-home perm. Keep yourself skinny, but conscious, by allowing yourself a bite of chocolate once a year on your birthday. Never get braces.

The “Cheer Up Charlie”

Grandpa Joe, Get the Look: Keep that emaciated sheen by laying in bed for over twenty years and staying on the cabbage soup diet (worked for Oprah!).  When you do get up, go for the classic suit and a ‘stache that says, “my muscles may have deteriorated 14 years ago, but, girl, I’m full of Fizzy Lifting Drink.” Wink.

The “Bad Egg”

Veruca Salt, Get the Look: Nothing says, “I want it now,” like a daring red dress.  Tune into your inner brat child and go for a sweet pair of Mary Janes that match the weird, off center belt that came with your outfit.  Make sure to at least clip on a white Peter Pan collar — it says, “I’m an adult. I’m in charge. Be my sugar daddy.

The “Chocolate River”

Augustus Gloop, Get the Look: You have to be a stud to pull off this look. So if you’re not a stud, I guess go for the poor kid in a turtle neck look. If you wake up every morning, look in the mirror and are completely dazzled by your own charm, then get yourself some lederhosen and hot rollers. After that, it’s truly your winning personality that will pull this look together.

The “Blueberries and Cream”

Violet Beauregarde, Get the Look: If you are planning on gaining a significant amount of weight in very little time (see How to Gain Weight for tips and tricks), remember to wear a bright colored belt so your juiciness can literally pop that [bit]. For a dewy, innocent vibe, try some straight four-year-old girl bangs and/or blue foundation. People will either think you are very cold or an extra in the highly anticipated sequel to Avatar. So fetch.

The “Wonka Vision”

Mike Teevee, Get the Look: Carry a plastic gun with you everywhere. Brandish it at anyone who tries to be friendly. You are a fashionista. You don’t need friendly. Wear a bandana and a scowl at all times, and be sure to find a form-fitting cowboy hat to show off the curves … of your head.

The “Pure Imagination”

Willy Wonka: Get the Look: Purple is the color of royalty. Velvet is the material of divas. So what could possibly be more powerful than a purple velvet coat? A top hat, you fool. A top hat. An unnecessary cane makes a great accessory for any season, especially if you have short friends that you can hit over the head. And don’t even get me started on the bow tie.

The “Doopa Dee Doo”

Oompa Loompas, Get the Look: GTL. GTL. GTL.

Well, now you’re ready to go conquer J. Crew or K-Mart or wherever it is you stampede over your friends and neighbors to save two dollars on something you probably already have. Remember, be true to yourself. That is the real Golden Ticket (gag).

Also, I know you are wondering, so here is a picture of the cast 30 years after the movie:

Fun Fact: Charlie Bucket is now a veterinarian. Gee golly, Mr. Wonka! Dreams do come true!

It’s Okay To Hide

It’s Okay To Hide Under …

Or at least, I think so. What do you hide under?

(Also acceptable: forts, forts made out of blankets, forts made out of pasta, wine, mustaches, tattoos, bad haircuts, a gypsy lifestyle, lots of animals, one really big animal,stuffed animals, trees, poetry, plane tickets, fake tans, musicals, popular televisions shows, shows that no one else has seen or cared about ever, cooking, baking, exercising, watching other people do any of these things, night dreams, childhood memories, shellfish, other people’s problems … You know what, I’m sure whatever you are hiding under is just fine.)