See Grumpy Talk! Hear Grumpy Speak! The Truth About Gardening!

September 18, 2009 | By | Comments (10)

Feeling guilty about killing a plant? Play this video and feel better right away!

Yep, it’s me! That’s actually the way I look and sound. Now you know why my wife puts in her ear plugs and watches Netflix on her computer as soon as I walk in the door.

This video was actually shot as part of a bigger video to introduce Southern Living’s new look that begins with the October issue. I’ll post a link to that at the end of this. For that video, I talked for about an hour and they cut me to about 5 seconds. I guess that’s all of me America can take.

You’ll see a number of our other editors all dolled up and talking about the new look and content for their particular sections of Southern Living. Actually, getting made up for this was the most fun part. I mean, I’d almost forgotten how to put on mascara (those Alice Cooper concerts from high school still haunt me).



To prepare for my big moment, I go downstairs to the studio where they’ll be filming us and get immediately introduced to this pretty, young makeup artist who’s going to make me look presentable. She takes one look at me and asks, “Would you like some bangs?”

I think: “Like with a paddle? OK. I have been rather naughty lately.”

But she’s talking about my hair. So she puts some goop on it, fiddles around, and all of a sudden, I have bangs. Cool.

Next, she has to work on my face. That’s like taming Andy Rooney’s eyebrows. “I just need to even out your skin tones,” she says.

“I have more than one skin tone?” I think. “It doesn’t say that on my driver’s license.”

So she smears all this flesh-colored slush on my face that I suppose is actually made from real flesh (is that safe?). Then she brushes powder all over my forehead, nose, and cheeks to create the illusion that I’m either alive or dead. Don’t know which.

Finally, she turns to my gorgeous blue eyes that take on this strange reddish cast every morning. She carefully traces eyeliner on the edges of my eyelids. “Whatever you do, don’t look down,” she says as she works. A tarantula must be crawling up my leg. She then  foofs this black stuff up and down on my eyelashes. Satisfied, she announces, “Now your eyes actually show up.”

No wonder they called me “Squinty” as a kid.

Now I’m ready for my debut on camera. I sit down on a wooden stool, gaze at the camera, and try not to let on that the lights are searing my retinas. But the director quickly spots this. “Can you take off your glasses?” he asks. “They’re reflecting into the camera.”

I obsequiously obey.

Ever hear the expression “working blind?” Well, from that moment on, that was me. The camera, the director, and even the set were just a blur. I bet this is how Britney Spears sees the world every day.

So play the video, watch me blinking wildly as I try to focus on not only what I’m talking about, but where-the-hell-I-am. Then click on this link and see how many seconds they gave me on the official Southern Living video: Our New Look.


  1. Grumpy Gardener aka His Excellency

    As Transporter Chief on the Enterprise, I’ve already accounted for that in my regular maintenance of the Hisenberg compensators.

    September 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm
  2. Dick George

    True, but you need to factor in Von Hisenberg’s Fifth Theorem: Unwanted plant attrition is in direct proportion to the cost of the plants.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm
  3. Grumpy Gardener aka His Excellency

    Actually, Cameron, I have been to Cannes already. I went for the nude beach.
    Vivien, maybe the magic formula for happiness is to combine gardening with yoga and high-fiber cereal. I’ll try it out and see how it works.

    September 7, 2009 at 7:31 am
  4. Vivien

    I was listening to a panel discussion last week on how to get non-gardeners to try out gardening. There was much talk about telling people how “good for you” it is in so many ways – it relieves stress, exercises your body, gives you good things to eat, puts your spirit in touch with the earth, it’s organic, etc. Well, all that may be true, but can putting gardening in the same category as hi-fiber cereal and yoga possibly be effective? Can people really be guilted into gardening? The discussion left me totally cold. I garden because I like to. It’s fun, as Steve says.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:50 pm
  5. Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

    So now you know what millions of women go through every morning before they go out into the real world! At least someone put on the makeup for you. Imagine putting all that stuff on your face and even with a 5x magnifying mirror, you’re working in a blur… because you can’t wear glasses while you put on makeup. It’s a fact. That’s why God invented contact lenses. So women can see how to put on their makeup in the mornings.
    PS I’m going to Cannes Film Festival next May. Do you want me to sneak your film into the auditorium? Go watch Mr. Bean’s Holiday. Like that. Only you.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm
  6. Grumpy Gardener aka His Excellency

    I am crotchety. I do not like to crochet. That’s a hobby for people with 16 cats who are snowed in for 8 months a year.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:40 am
  7. Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence

    Actually, I thought the sign of a blinking was a sign of lying. So do you really like to crotchet? H.

    September 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm
  8. Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence

    Laugh out loud. Very funny! H.

    September 5, 2009 at 11:36 pm
  9. Pam/Digging

    Good advice, Steve. Gardening IS fun. I wonder why, then, you’re such a grump? 😉

    September 5, 2009 at 10:33 pm
  10. Jean

    Very good good in fact my monitor went totally black! Scared the poor thing I expect!
    Now you know what we girls go thru each day just so we wont scare anybody!

    September 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s