Bring Back the ABCs

Bring Back the ABCs

By Mark Aldrich
Oh, sweet honey and the rock, that’s awful, but most of the solutions to the “X Challenge” are awful …

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About twenty years ago, some friends and I started to exchange by email these twenty-six-word-long alphabetical prose-poems which one of us started to call “abecedarians,” because—as it turns out—this is what writers have always called them.

In Merriam-Webster, an abecedarian (noun) is a novice who has not yet mastered the rudiments, the beginning steps, of something. (Just think: How does one learn the alphabet from scratch?) As an adjective, it means, “of or related to the alphabet.” My friends and I had turned an adjective into a noun: an “abecedarian sequence” is a set of things arranged alphabetically; we were writing abecedarians, twenty-six-word alphabetical paragraphs that sometimes almost meant something. It was our own invention. Or so we thought.

It was not. Many writers taken a turn or two at the abecedarian form. Robert Pinsky, the former poet laureate, wrote an ABC poem that he rather appropriately titled “ABC”:

Any body can die, evidently. Few
Go happily, irradiating joy,

 
Knowledge, love. Many
Need oblivion, painkillers,
Quickest respite.

 
Sweet time unafflicted,
Various world:
X=your zenith.

And he found a terrible solution to the “X Challenge,” which confronts each and every pursuer of the perfect abecedarian. “X=your zenith.” Oh, sweet honey and the rock, that’s awful, but most of the solutions to the “X Challenge” are. See mine, below.
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TTDWS Merch Available NOW

TTDWS Merch Available NOW

By Mark Aldrich
(Visit our store today: The The Ding Wrong Show Bonfire Storefront.)

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With the success of Meghan Jenkins’ weekly comedy/improv/talk-show/singalong YouTube show, The The Ding Wrong Show, came the demand for swag, for merch, for articles of clothing and items that fans could purchase and wear to display their devotion.

A couple months ago, TTDWS opened an online store to meet this need as it grows: THE THE DING WRONG SHOW STORE. Meghan and Panda have regularly added designs and new products ever since. New this week is a face mask that features the iconic “Silence Please” sign one can see on the set of TTDWS:

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‘Hot Tub Time Machine,’ My Review by Panda

‘Hot Tub Time Machine,’ My Review by Panda

By Panda

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HOT TUB TIME MACHINE
[Editor’s Note: Meghan’s friend Panda, whom viewers of their live improv comedy show The The Ding Wrong Show (available on YouTube) met long ago and who introduced herself to readers of this website a while back, was pleased with the feedback she received for her first-ever movie review for the website you are now reading that–

“Ever. Don’t forget to put ‘ever,’ Mark.”

“Panda, I wrote that. Your ‘first-ever’ review for MeghaZine appeared last month. People read what you had to say. I can even show you how many times people read it, if you want to see.”
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Ask Pizza Alien … November 2020

Ask Pizza Alien … November 2020

Dear Pizza Alien,

I just got a new roommate and he is clean and everything, friendly guy, that’s not the issue. The problem is, he does sit-ups all the time and tries to make me watch. But they’re like weird sit-ups. He will hold his body in a V position, legs up, and he will be like, “Ugh! Yes! My core!” and “Time me, please.” And then I have to count how many seconds he can hold it. I don’t want to be doing this any more. He cooks great and keeps all the doors locked and has otherwise been the best roommate I’ve ever had. He seems sensitive though, and I’m not sure how to bring this up.

Thank you, Ryan F., California

Dear Ryan,

When he asks you to count for him, screw up the numbers on purpose. Instead of 1, 2, 3 … go 1, 6, 20, 7, 8 … and so on. If he hands you a Shark watch or some other kind of timer, just keep dropping it and say, “Ooops! Butterfingers!” or pretend you can’t read the screen. But definitely apologize and be nice as though you really want to help but to have you involved with counting probably isn’t the best idea. I think this should work. Good luck!!

Love, Pizza Alien
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‘Hangin’ in the Hammock’ with Panda

‘Hangin’ in the Hammock’ with Panda

By Mark Aldrich
Meghan Jenkins’ BPF (Best Panda Friend), Panda scores a solo interview with the actor and stand-up comedian Ethan Herschenfeld.

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This fall, your website host Meghan Jenkins started to appear as a panelist on comedy shows and as a guest on online talk shows as well as host her own weekly improv show that it was only a matter of time that her sidekick Panda would decide that Meghan needs some help to meet this ever-growing list of obligations.

Ms. Jenkins herself has expressed nothing but gratitude at the many opportunities to bring her perspective to online audiences and participate in impromptu improv, but Panda insisted to this reporter that Meghan “looks like she needs help, doesn’t she, Mark?” She ended the call before a reply was offered.

And so, on October 21, Panda made her debut as a guest on an online talk show, Hangin’in the Hammock hosted by actor, singer, and stand-up comedian Ethan Herschenfeld.
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