Lisa Whelchel singing “How High, How Deep, How Wide!” (Listen to it all. Take it all, dammit!)
Jenny Lawson is a ‘mommy blogger‘ for the Houston Chronicle, but don’t be fooled by that label. She’s wickedly funny and includes among her writing duties a sex column and, in her words, “a horrible advice column.”
Lawson recently received one of those publicist offers many bloggers get on a daily basis. If you’re a long-time blogger, you know the ones: “your readers might be interested,” or, “your readers will love…” These are often sent out for authors and/or Z-list celebs looking to move up to the Q-list. The publicist is essentially seeking what amounts to a free promo in your Web space but trying to make it look like it’s all about you, baby!
In this case, it was clear that the publicist really didn’t have a clue as to who she was contacting and that Lawson found the idea of interviewing Lisa Whelchel, AKA Blair from The Facts of Life, irresistible. Jenny Lawson is bawdy and snarky and Whelchel has made her name in the years since she was on the 80s sitcom as a kind of avatar of Heartland-style, Jesus-approved motherhood, as well as a wannabe Christian pop star (hence the video above). It would have been an interview for the ages. The following are some of the questions Lawson sent to Lisa Whelchel’s eager publicist, known only as Holly:
1. Lisa, I adore you and you were my favorite girl on the Facts of Life (except when Molly Ringwald was on there that first season) because you always seemed more aware of your personal flaws even when they were most flagrant. So my question is, do you have Molly’s number and can I have it?
2. My four year old has a special name for her “private area” and somehow she decided it was called a “Tootie”. Being an avid watcher of Facts of Life, this disturbs me. Should I just let it go or insist she rename it? I want her to call it “vagina” because I think kids should use the proper terms for their body parts but my friend says it’s technically a “vulva’ and that by calling it a “vagina” I am perpetrating a common misnomer. I just have a problem with a four-year-old saying “vulva”. Who’s right?
3. My sister is an avid homeschooler and I know you are a strong proponent of homeschooling but just between you and me, my sister is not really that bright. I mean, she’s street-smart, but I don’t think her kids really need to know the best way to buy dope and also my sister hasn’t done dope in years and so she probably wouldn’t even know the best way to buy dope now anyway. I don’t even think it’s *called* dope anymore. This is how little we now know about dope. My question is, don’t you have to be super smart to homeschool, and also what’s the new word for dope?
4. What’s the square root of 81? Just checking to make sure you’re qualified to answer question 3. If you have to look it up please note that in your answer.
5. What would you say is your biggest attribute besides your hair?
6. Your song, “Cover Me, Lord“, is very pretty but I think it would be more mainstream if it was something about getting shot at by radical non-Christians and you’re all “Cover me, Lord!” and he picks up a bazooka but in the end all the people he killed would be up in heaven with him because it’s a “Bazooka Of Salvation”. And then they’d all be like “Ah! You got me, Lord!” and point at him like those Mentos commercials. That would be awesome. This is less of a question than a suggestion, I guess.
A week after the Bloggess sent those questions along, she received a disappointing answer from Holly:
I would like to thank you for your interest in Lisa Whelchel –
Unfortunately, after reviewing the questions, we regret that we will not be able to provide responses from her. We had offered an email interview with her on the subjects of how moms can down-size in this tight economy and her involvement in “Women of Faith” inspiring women across the country with her story. I hope you can appreciate that as the questions don’t focus on either of these topics, we will not be able to provide responses.
Jenny Lawson’s response was priceless:
From: jenny @thebloggess.com
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 7:15 PM
Is this because I wouldn’t let her smoke dope in my house? Because I’m flexible on that.
She has to bring her own dope though.
If you ever get sick and tired of clueless PR types spamming your e-mail or blog contact form with stuff that clearly indicates they’ve never read a single post you’ve published, I suggest you use Jenny Lawson’s template for handling the situation. Then, please, God, publish the result and send us the link: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[The Bloggess: “The Time I Scared Blair From the Facts of Life.“]