I have the very funny @HeSlimedMeRay in the Beyond the Bio HoT seat today. She’s hilarious! If you’re not following her, you should be. Check her out!
The last trick I had up my sleeve turned out to be a dryer sheet.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) June 28, 2014
Things to know about @HeSlimedMeRay
Name: Jennifer, and my maiden name was Italian. Now my surname is very English.
Living in: In Missouri, in the general Kansas City area.
Number of followers: According to Twitter today, 2939…which is about 2900 more people than I ever anticipated would follow my goofy butt.
Year graduated high school: 1988. Best year ever, of course, as it means I saw Sixteen Candles at exactly the right time.
Joined Twitter: Nearly five years ago now.
It's "aisle" not "isle." If someone's on the "alcohol isle" that means they're in Jamaica, not at the grocery store.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) August 3, 2014
On to the interview!
Tell us about your family.
Married. One son, who is nearly 12, and one step-daughter who is 23.
What do you do when you’re not on Twitter?
I am a project manager for a language service provider. (Yeah, it’s a real conversation stopper.) For hobbies, I read and watch movies and we like to travel. Nothing too melodramatic. I keep thinking I should take a watercolor class or something but then it occurs to me I’d actually have to show people my work. Horror.
Why did you join Twitter?
I think it was a combination of boredom and what is this thing with kind of a stupid name that I can do on my phone?
What’s your Twitter philosophy? Why do you tweet?
I have come to appreciate the sense of community on Twitter. I live out in the boonies, basically, and none of my friends live nearby, so I use Twitter to socialize, and to get news, and to have a laugh. I tweet because I’m starting to fear that if I weren’t tweeting I’d find myself standing in the corner muttering to myself and frightening people. My brain doesn’t actually shut down very often.
Haha! How did you share your humor before Twitter? Have people always thought you were funny?
Not to get too deep or anything, but I’ve always found that if you can laugh with someone, or make someone laugh, that’s a pretty great feeling and it has a tendency to bring you closer together. So it’s always been a thing for me, to make people laugh. I don’t know if the people around me have always thought I was funny, however. “Weird” is likely a better descriptor.
Haha! I totally agree with it bringing people together. It seems to break down some invisible wall.
So, how do you decide whom to follow?
If I think they’re funny. If they use decent grammar. If they don’t retweet a bunch of inspirational stuff or use the term “soul mate” a lot. If they’re kind to other people. If they don’t have emojis in their Twitter handle.
What’s the oddest place you’ve tweeted from?
Oh, I don’t know. The top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis? A restaurant called The Chicken or the Egg on LBI? The bathroom at Target? What’s “odd” when you’re talking about Twitter?
My son just complained about how far the guy in his video game has to walk.
We take our lazy seriously around here.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) August 22, 2015
How do you decide what to retweet and/or star?
I’m afraid lately I’ve been RTing a lot of political, anti-Trump stuff. I’m even getting sick of it all. (Sorry, everyone!) Usually, though, if it makes me laugh out loud, I’ll send it along. If it makes a point I agree with strongly, I’ll send it along.
It’s now possible to RT your own tweets. What are your thoughts on this? Have you done it? Will you do it?
No, I will not do it. I think it’s a little too self-conscious and navel-gazey. I don’t have anything to promote, so it’s not a feature that interests me. I sometimes dig around in the past and pin a tweet I liked but that had no traction when I first tweeted it, but that’s as close as I’ll get to RTing myself.
Have you met anyone in person that you knew only from Twitter?
I know you met Justin Guarini, but you actually know him. Can you tell us about meeting him? Were you starstruck? What was it like? What were the circumstances?
The first time we met was last September in Dallas; I convinced my husband to go with me to see Justin perform in “Moonshine” as my birthday present, and to also meet BossyBritches and her husband (who are terrific). The biggest piece of information I’d like to pass along about Justin is that he gives the BEST HUGS EVER. He really does. He like….really, really hugs you. I wasn’t starstruck because…well, I never watched American Idol, and when I first followed Justin on Twitter I had no idea who he was, he just had a WebMD tweet that made me laugh out loud.
We met up again this year; he was in St. Louis this summer in “Mamma Mia” at the Muny, and my husband and son and I hung out with Justin after the show for a little while. He’s really just a super nice, genuine, talented guy and I’ve honestly come to think of him as a friend. (He gets mad when I say he’s “nice,” btw. Maybe we should say something here about how he’s actually very broody and emo…I don’t know.)
— Justin Guarini (@JustinGuarini) July 24, 2016
We should just start referring to Justin as Emo-Justin. Wait, which Justin are you talking about? You know, Emo-Justin.
You’ve been on Twitter for five years now, have your tweets changed or has your attitude about Twitter changed much over that time?
When I first started out I was very tentative. I knew my stupid little tweets weren’t reaching very many people and I was getting little to no feedback. I just kept at it, though, and then one evening Alec Baldwin kindly responded to one of my dumb @s to him. I woke up to about a hundred notifications and got about that many new followers from it, and then I realized that having a Ghostbusters-themed handle and a goofy attitude was going to take me farther on Twitter than I’d anticipated. For the most part, I try to be funny, and honest, and kind to people…and I’ve learned that just that is enough to make friends and have a good time on Twitter.
Oh wow, Alec Baldwin responded. Do you have a link for that tweet?
Can’t track it down, it was his old account that he disabled. I had asked him if he could have had the chance to work with any of the old “classic” movie stars who would he have picked. He replied “William Holden.” Not a big deal at all…but I got a weirdly big amount of new followers just from that.
I also interacted with Minnie Driver on Twitter for a while, she even followed me back…and then she blocked me!! Truly no clue why, I’m a fan of hers but I wasn’t DMing her or @ing her or anything…just blocked out of the blue. I think it’s hilarious.
Hahaha! That’s totally weird.
Okay, speaking of celebrities, who’s your celebrity crush?
HAHAHAHA…celebrity crush, me?!? Yeah, it’s Jeremy Renner. There haven’t been any restraining orders, though. Not yet.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Raiders of the Lost Ark…followed closely by [insert name of Cary Grant movie here].
When your resume has the word "prooferading" on it.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) July 24, 2015
Who are some comedians (or comedy shows/sitcoms) who have influenced you?
Oh, god, I’ve been listening to comedians and comedy my whole life. My mom used to play this album of old radio bloopers that we would just howl over (“Overdead Whore Company” instead of “Overhead Door” is comedy GOLD!) She also gave me Steve Martin’s album “Let’s Get Small” when I was ten, and then I was given Eddie Murphy’s self-titled album a year or two after that. We also listened to Carlin. And Newhart. Watched The Carol Burnett Show religiously. And watched Peter Sellers and Mel Brooks movies. Brooks is probably my biggest overall influence…if the fact that I still sing “The Inquisition” from History of the World: Part I in the shower is any indication.
What advice do you have for someone who’s trying to get better at joke writing on Twitter?
STOP WITH THE PUNS. Seriously. Just be honest and observational. My best stuff is usually based on something my kid said to me while he was walking around in his tighty-whities.
"Vegan BLT" sounds like the kind of elaborate practical joke that would get you killed at my house.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) April 24, 2016
Tell us something about yourself people on Twitter may not know.
This is completely true: When I was a kid I wanted to be a truck driver for a while because I thought you got a chimp with the truck. (Thanks for nothing, Greg Evigan.)
HAHAHAHA! That is hilarious! Man, I remember watching BJ and the Bear. Good times.
Is there anything else you’d like to say/share?
Yeah…is it just me or does anyone else occasionally become aware of their tongue…and then suddenly it feels like it doesn’t fit in their mouth anymore?
Not until now, Jennifer! Thanks.
Name five tweeters whose tweets consistently make you laugh.
Annie Hatfield (@HatfieldAnne) ALWAYS makes me laugh. She’s brilliant. Simon Holland (@simoncholland) has great family/parenting tweets, very relatable. Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) is about my favorite comedian these days so I follow his stuff pretty closely. And I’m going to throw in David Hughes (@david8hughes) for his Last Supper tweet alone.
I just heard my husband whisper to our son that I'm not the boss of him.
— Jennifer (@HeSlimedMeRay) November 27, 2015
Thanks for the interview, Jennifer! Really enjoyed getting to know you better!
Up next on Beyond the Bio: @RamblinMa.
In case you missed it, last time on Beyond the Bio: @lanceburson.
A butt-load of the funniest parenting tweets all packed into one place! – The Bigger Book of Parenting Tweets, available on Amazon. Or try the original, The Big Book of Parenting Tweets. They make great gifts!