THIS IS JUST TO SAY
January 8, 2015 2:21 PM   Subscribe

I have taken / the poem / that was your / favourite
and which / you were probably / not expecting / in an FPP
Forgive me / it was fantastic / from Toast / and Ortberg
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (46 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
 
Beautiful. Clicking through seems redundant.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:24 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Her own previously made me even happier.
posted by Mchelly at 2:25 PM on January 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


I might be in the minority here, but I literally laugh out loud at pretty much every bent on "this is just to say" published here. It's one of my favorite Mefi memes.
posted by nevercalm at 2:25 PM on January 8, 2015 [39 favorites]


Sigh.
I would prefer a meaningless grunt to angrily inferring that I was accusing you of being satisfied with the cleanliness of our house. And then telling me I'm not allowed to hire a house cleaner because you're "going" to do it.

i have intentionally lowered my standard of living
so that when you say things like
“this place is a mess”
rather than acknowledge your implicit request
for acknowledgement
and respect
and help
i can simply grunt
half-heartedly
neither agreeing
nor disagreeing
and not having
to do anything
knowing that you will do the work necessary to make yourself happy
-wcw

posted by bleep at 2:26 PM on January 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why are you looking at me? I'm not like that. Stop. Stop it!
posted by Splunge at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the comments:

OH MY GOD MALLORY he ate the plums like ONE TIME
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2015 [74 favorites]


(Mostly off-topic, but Mallory Ortberg has been on a Walk Hard tear lately, causing me to actually watch the movie and it is indeed pretty damn good. And the songs are good songs!)
posted by kmz at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2015


I personally rarely meet a parody of William Carlos Williams that I don't like. Which is odd because I like William Carlos Williams just fine, and I actually like that plums poem. Although I did not like it when my housemates ate all my special vegan lemon gingersnaps.
posted by Frowner at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


yeah but were you saving them for breakfast
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:33 PM on January 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't know if "saving" was the right word, but I probably would have eaten them for breakfast if there had been any left. But no, there was just a sad empty bag on the counter with a few crumbs rattling around within. Rather as if WCM had left the plum pits sitting there on the table for someone else to clean up.
posted by Frowner at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Aren't lemons vegan anyway though?
posted by angerbot at 2:41 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most importantly, clicking through led me to this: "Ayn Rand’s Sweet Valley High"
posted by moink at 2:42 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Altogether too many of us recognize that guy.
posted by immlass at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


just. so. fabulous.

sad to say I can't think of anyone I could send it to without an explanation. :-(
posted by harrietthespy at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2015


These enjoyably capture the dickishness which, for me, is one element of a good TIJTS parody, though I have admit that I also appreciate them more the closer they adhere to the word number and line layout of the original.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh god, the strips of paper towel over the toilet paper roll. I once had a roommate who would do exactly this, and after going on vacation for a couple of weeks I came back to find only paper towels in the bathroom, followed by a nightmarish poopy kitchen flood two days later.

She was also a master of constructing a precarious tower of balanced trash coming out of the top of the can so that she could technically claim the trash was not "full," and therefore didn't need emptying yet. And she would have her groceries delivered on weekend mornings when she knew I would be at the house sleeping because it was so much more convenient to have me woken up to open the door to greet the delivery man and put her cold things away than to have to do this herself.

Since she had all her groceries delivered anyway, why didn't she just have some toilet paper delivered while I was gone? Is it because grocery delivery was just not manageable when I wasn't around to be woken up by the delivery guy? She was such a helpless mystery and I honestly just hope she is doing OK.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


this way
when you get home
it will sound like they have just finished drying
and you will be the one to fold them


THE CALL IS COMING FROM MALLORY ORTBERG. FROM INSIDE OUR HOUSE.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Deepspace follows this advice on loading a dishwasher.

Dammit, Deepspace, did you spouse me while I wasn't looking? Is this comment COMING FROM INSIDE MY HOUSE?
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, I am compelled to post this:

If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
('Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor
Maybe they won't let you
Dry the dishes anymore

― Shel Silverstein, "A Light in the Attic"
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


(Mostly off-topic, but Mallory Ortberg has been on a Walk Hard tear lately, causing me to actually watch the movie and it is indeed pretty damn good. And the songs are good songs!)

That's because they were mostly written by Robbie Fulks.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:16 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


this way
when you get home
it will sound like they have just finished drying
and you will be the one to fold them

i...may have done this. that one time
it's The Pairing Of The Socks oh god will it ever end
posted by billiebee at 3:53 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have gotten to the point where I am afraid to click on toast/ortberg links for fear of being disappointed, or for discovering that I have finally reached my limit with her style. I love her so much, but she is terrifyingly prolific. She can't go on at this rate, can she? CAN SHE?
posted by apparently at 3:53 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Reporting from the other side, I personally have met my limit with Ortberg. It doesn't make me feel disappointed with or think less of her work itself, but I can read her stuff without my eyes turning into cartoon hearts now. So it's a lot less painful.
posted by bleep at 3:57 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


wcw's wife, Florence, actually did write the following (which wcw re-arranged with line breaks), which points out just how much of a fail she knew him to be (honestly, who needs detailed directions as to how to make tea?):

REPLY

Dear Bill: I've made a
Couple of sandwiches for you.
In the ice-box you'll find
Blue-berries--a cup of grapefruit
A glass of cold coffee.

On the stove is the tea-pot
With enough tea leaves
For you to make tea if you
Prefer--Just light the gas--
Boil the water and put it in the tea

Plenty of bread in the bread-box
And butter and eggs--
I didn't know just what to
Make for you. Several people
Called up about office hours--

See you later. Love. Floss.

Please switch off the telephone.


source
posted by PandaMomentum at 4:13 PM on January 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


A big young bareheaded man
in an apron

His hair slicked back standing
on the street

One dish-pan hand toeing
the sidewalk

Cascade in his hand. Looking
intently into it

He pulls out the paper insole
to find no tube

That has been worrying him
posted by clavdivs at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2015


Man, Mallory sounds like an awful housemate.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:49 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is just to say

there are 7100 Google results
for the words
'this is just to say'
on this website


I wanted to know
how many times
we
had made this joke

Forgive me
I was just so curious
and the computer
was right there
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:53 PM on January 8, 2015 [35 favorites]


Now I hate wcw because I think I might have been married to him. Nah, my ex-husband was worse because he would lie and say he didn't know how to work the washer so he had to wait for me to turn it on after he stripped the bed because he felt a little feverish and he didn't know where we kept the sheets so he couldn't re-make the bed. LIES I TELL YOU.
posted by janey47 at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2015


A couple of years ago, I started to favourite all parodies of "This Is Just to Say" on Metafilter. This thread is handy! I can just favourite the post, very efficient.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:13 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Please allow me to take this opportunity to plug my project of rewriting "This Is Just to Say" in the mold of various other poems. E.g.:

I met a friend while going out to drink
who said, “Two small and fruitless pits of plum
Lie in the compost … Near them, by the sink,
A crinkled slip of paper sits, with some
Excuses sketched, whose spareness, and whose bold
Enjambment, show its author’s deft command
Of image and effect can still take hold
And guide the pen he takes up in his hand.
And on the page words measured and controlled:
‘I ate the plums that you had saved. Forgive
me; they were delicious, so sweet and cold’.
Behold the narcissist with whom I live!
No offer to replace the food he steals,
As if his verse made up for missing meals.”
posted by kenko at 6:27 PM on January 8, 2015 [45 favorites]


Please allow me to take this opportunity to plug my project of rewriting "This Is Just to Say" in the mold of various other poems.

This is just to say

I read your poems
gently mocking
William Carlos Williams
by way of homage

and written
with elegance
and
humor

Forgiveness
is unnecessary
for praise
and compliments
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:43 PM on January 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm

not
sure
how
to

copy
the
prose
but

Mallory's
previously
is inside her book Texts from Jane Eyre. The more dead authors you read, as well as one living one, the more you might enjoy it.
and so cold
posted by halifix at 6:48 PM on January 8, 2015


and so cold
is the new
OF ALL TIME!
posted by moonmilk at 6:54 PM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


insoluble uncertainty: "She was also a master of constructing a precarious tower of balanced trash coming out of the top of the can so that she could technically claim the trash was not "full," and therefore didn't need emptying yet. And she would have her groceries delivered on weekend mornings when she knew I would be at the house sleeping because it was so much more convenient to have me woken up to open the door to greet the delivery man and put her cold things away than to have to do this herself."

Apparently, William Carlos Williams is insoluble uncertainty's former roommate, and I am married to him.
posted by Bugbread at 6:55 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Flagged as metafantastic, HTWRT.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:03 PM on January 8, 2015


Our panel would also have accepted:

- Leaving one splash of milk/juice in the carton
- Furtively burying badly polluted cat litter with a thin layer of fresh litter
- Stuffing the washing machine beyond maximum density
- Laying down an array of towels on the bathroom floor to sop up shower water, and leaving them there
- Trash stomping
- Vacuuming around furniture
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:05 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Kenneth Koch may have been the first person to reimagine WCW as some sort of mischevious asshole fifty years ago when he published these circa 1962:

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!

-- Kenneth Koch

I certainly enjoyed Mallory Ortberg's take as well as the linked texts -- thank you! Surely someone has created a fake WCW Twitter account by now that metes out daily doses of this? No?
posted by onlyconnect at 8:10 PM on January 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


She can't go on at this rate, can she? CAN SHE?
posted by apparently at 9:53 on January 9


Eponysterical!

And I couldn't resist my own wcw tribute, inspired by a recent experience with my nephew and Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane's comment. (The "I" is my nephew, not me.)

This is just to say
I have eaten
all the Triscuits
except one

and left the box
on the table
surrounded by crumbs.

Forgive me
or not
I don't care.
posted by Athanassiel at 8:36 PM on January 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


I didn't eat the damn plums already!
posted by BlueHorse at 10:01 PM on January 8, 2015


I was asked to create an introductory communications and literature class for my college's new BA programs, and one of my great pleasures within the wealth of great forms I get to teach is the segment on poetry as a living form that inspires response and callback (such as "Dover Beach" vs. "The Dover Bitch"). Really, though, it's just an excuse for me to briefly touch on parodies of "This is Just to Say" (including Florence's and Koch's) and to let the students think about their own versions, because I love parodying that poem THAT MUCH.
posted by ilana at 11:17 PM on January 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ha ha, oh I loved introducing students to Koch's versions when I did "This is Just to Say"! And yeah, like ilana, I pretty much chose to teach the WCW so I could teach the parodies....
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:50 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]




and so cold
is the new
OF ALL TIME!
posted by moonmilk at 9:54 PM on January 8


Kanye West Tries to Apologize

1.
I got onstage with you
when you were
accepting
your Moonman

and told everyone
it should really have
gone
to Beyonce.

Nah not sorry.
I let you finish!
Awkward,
But not wrong.

2.
That one time
I went
on national
TV

and said that
you don’t
care
about black people?

Still not wrong.
And really, you’ve got
lower
low points.

3.
Yeah I told
you to
stand up
at my concert

which
you were actually
attending
in a wheelchair.

I forgive you.
You waived your fake leg at me
so regretfully
and to the beat.

4.
If I told you
I didn’t like
Your hair
Or your outfit

Even though
You were probably
Hoping
I’d get you

Forgive me.
I was an asshole.
I never thought you
would leave me.
posted by onlyconnect at 9:32 AM on January 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Our panel would also have accepted:
- Leaving one splash of milk/juice in the carton


This is just to say

that, in Canada, the issue with the carton is but a minor offense compared to the indictable crime of a splash of milk left in a milk bag. The unfortunate target of this crime is forced to endure the following procedure: pull the empty milk bag from milk bag holder and toss in the garbage; pull a new milk bag from the milk bag overbag; jam the new milk bag into milk bag holder; slam the milk bag holder onto the kitchen counter several times; find scissors or a knife or specifically-designed milk-bag-cutter to snip off the tip of the milk bag; toss out the tip of the milk bag; replace milk bag holder top (optional); spill milk because hole is too big or too small or off-center, or milk bag is not all the way in to the milk bag holder (not optional).

so cold.
posted by Kabanos at 10:43 AM on January 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Just so you know, little spider,
I don't have anything
Against you, thank me.

Instead of the tub
You now reside
In a geranium I keep
On a windowsill.

Know in the spring
You can join the real world again,
Instead of drowning
Squashed in the drain,
Which was my first thought
While watching you hunt,
From the pot.

Not WCW see?
posted by Oyéah at 12:22 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yay, I'm not the only one who thought, "it's Mallory who does this."

Also, wow,
it's hard to
not
adhere to a
certain form
posted by Pronoiac at 8:12 PM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older Jihadi Uncool   |   recite to us some new story... to while away the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments