Jeremy Eaton
True story: When I was younger I used to attend summer camp--not for fat kids, okay?! It was called "Our Blessed Virgin's Summer Camp for Wayward Christian Teens." The camp chef (named "Cookie") was in his early '60s and well known for having a wee heart problem. I, on the other hand, was well known for banging booty and scaring the shit out of people. And on one fateful summer evening, Cookie's heart problem and my penchant for making campers crap their drawers intersected.

It was around 8:00 p.m., and darkness had settled in over the camp. And while most of the wayward teens were studying the bible or some shit, I had plans of my own. Every Wednesday, Cookie went shopping for supplies at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Upon returning, he would park behind the darkened cafeteria and lug the grocery bags from his trunk, two at a time. What he didn't know is that when he returned for the next two bags, I would be inside the trunk--waiting.

My costume? Standard summer camp serial-killer attire: coveralls, hockey mask, sharpened pruning shears. Tucked in among the bags, I listened as Cookie came back to the car, whistling some ridiculous tune like, "O, the Sanctimonious Bleeding Palms of Christ." Cookie reached inside the darkened trunk and was confused when he grabbed my leg. He was similarly confused when I leapt out of the trunk, flashed the pruning shears, and screamed, "DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!!!"

Though Cookie did not die that night, he did scream like a little girl, flail considerably, and tumble backwards into a garbage can. And while I was sentenced to a week of solitary bible study for my very funny crime, Cookie had unfortunately spewed a litany of loud, un-Christian-like obscenities in front of the preacher's wife--and was quickly retired. He now runs a porn website.

The moral of this story? FUNNY TRUMPS CRUEL. For another example of this moral imperative, we need only watch a new show on the WB entitled Superstar USA (premiering Monday, May 17, at 9 pm). At first glance, this show may seem like a rip-off of American Idol--until you realize it's a cruel, heartless, and very funny parody of American Idol. The premise is thus: The producers set up an American Idol-style audition, judged by three American Idol-style judges (pop singer Vitamin C, rapper Tone-Loc, and British candy-ass Chris Briggs). But instead of sending the talented singers to Hollywood and the crappy singers to the garbage heap, the judges flip the script: advancing the terrible talent, and junking the Clay Aikens!

In this topsy-turvy show, the well-trained opera singers get humiliated and a well-deserved ego deflation, while the mediocre karaoke warblers get the Idol treatment: makeovers, dance lessons, and even a shot at a record deal (Hey, if William Hung can do it... why not these losers?). Of course, the untalented singers may have their feelings hurt when they eventually learn it's all a gag--but c'mon. It's not like they're being scared into a heart attack by a crazy teen with pruning shears, screaming "DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!!!" (Waitasecond... I think I just came up with the perfect twist for Superstar USA II....)