Monday, October 20, 2008

Rachel Maddow Hoards Lawn Mowers

"Should I clean your garage when I'm done with the lawn?"

The New York Times Magazine recently visited Rachel Maddow at home in Massachusetts and asked her a whole bunch of questions about her house, her favorite things and how she spends her free time. Since my sister idolizes Rachel Maddow, I'd like to direct her attention to the first photograph at the link. Her eyes will immediately go to Rachel's jeans and T-shirt, because she's toyed with the idea of starting a "Free Rachel" campaign that would urge MSNBC to let their new "liberal queen of US news" dress however she wants on her show.* Once she's done admiring her casual attire, I urge her to look at what's behind Rachel.

That's right, there are books. Lots of them. That's because smart people read books. So would you please, sister whose name I won't mention here, leave me alone about the size of my library from now on? You can continue to mock everything else you mock about me (though I wish you'd stop laughing maniacally at the thought of me getting lost in the grocery store, you know that never happened), but the books deserve a rest. Also, take a look at how Rachel answers the question of what's by her bed: "I read comics sometimes and graphic novels. I appreciate that genre." You see that? Comics and graphic novels! So you can also shut up about my Buffy comics and graphic novels while you're at it. If you meet me halfway on this, it's possible I might -- I stress the word "might" here, because it will be exceptionally difficult -- stop making fun of your encyclopedic knowledge of Tegan and Sara's tattoos.

Now, if we can awkwardly segue back to the Times piece, here are some other things we learned about Rachel Maddow: She's a mustard person. She loses sleep worrying about loose nukes. To put her own mark on a house that mostly reflects her partner's style, she placed a squirrel sculpture near the kitchen table. Writing makes her "want to blow [her] head off." She has clown shoes, a Ford pickup and a Massachusetts fishing license. Most intriguingly, she says, "I have a little stockpile of lawn mowers, some of which it has been years since they worked. But it seems wrong to get rid of lawn mowers, so I keep them."

Sadly, interviewer Edward Lewine wasn't intrepid enough to ask the hard-hitting follow-up questions: Are they all walk-behinds or are there a few riding lawn mowers mixed in there as well? Are we talking about old-school reel mowers or more newfangled equipment? Has she tried a robotic lawn mower yet? Robotic lawn mowers are pretty cool, except they don't look robotic enough for my tastes; I want a lawn mower that's modeled on Rosie from The Jetsons. Looking out your window to see an actual robot-looking robot cutting the lawn would go a long way in lessening the sting of the $1,500 price tag on most Robomowers. Or what if there was a Short Circuit-inspired lawn mower? Throw in an extra $1,000 and you could probably get Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy to show up with a leaf blower and hedge trimmers and finish your landscaping themselves.

UPDATE (7:22 PM): More good news about Rachel's ratings can be found here. Also, my sister responds to the NYT Magazine piece: "Awww, that's such a cute picture." A few minutes later: "OMG! I always wanted a Ford Ranger when I was a kid!" Still no word on whether she'll back off my library, but I'm choosing to be optimistic.

*After giving more consideration to how MSNBC promotes The Rachel Maddow Show, I've decided they should just use the tagline "Rachel Talks You Down." She doesn't really talk you down, mostly she just reassures you that you're right to panic, but that's why people like her and it's why they like Keith Olbermann. Viewers find it comforting to know they're not the only ones who are angered and appalled by what's going on in our country. So it's either something encouraging like "Rachel Talks You Down" or something completely honest like "Fox News is for Fucktards. MSNBC Isn't." (Then there could be a disclaimer that says, "Except for Morning Joe, David Gregory and Pat Buchanan.")

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