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The Fine Art of Testifying

By January 2, 2006December 13th, 2022No Comments

With the rising popularity of social networking sites, it seems like everyone has something to say about their friends. Usually, it goes a little something like this:

“ *** is my boy! Get in line, ladeez! You gotsa get this one before he’s snapped up! *** ROCKS! Boyzzz 4 life!”

When I read such testimonials, I find myself compelled to do two things:

1) Offer the testifier a thesaurus, a spelling lesson, and my editing services.
2) Message the well-meaning friend and ask why the subject of his glowing review remains so patently single, despite it being years after he received such evocative words of praise.

I resist these urges, however.

I find you can tell a lot about a person not by what has been written about them, but rather, by the testimonials they leave for others. For example, my testimonials suggest I’m a nice, outgoing, and fun girl. The testimonials I draft for my friends, however, suggest I’m a bit… quirky. Which may be closer to the truth.

To test my theory, I’ve compiled a few I wrote recently:

*** likes to help old ladies cross the street. Preferably when they have no need to be crossing said street. For example, he’s known to frequent nursing homes in rural areas for the sole purpose of dragging elderly women away from their captivating rounds of bingo, driving them several miles down dirt paths to the nearest paved road bearing any semblance of traffic, walking them across it (at gunpoint, when necessary), and leaving them there.

Now that, my friends, is dedication to a cause.


*** and I have a checkered history together. And when I say history, I mean HISTORY. We go back to when he was Napoleon’s right-hand man, and I served as mistress to Charlemagne (stop with the anal nitpicking, already. So what if they were totally different epochs? The point is, we were both French and had access to power). During many long Parisian nights spent chatting over French wine, French bread, and French fries, we hatched a sinister plan: why not usurp some of this aforementioned power for ourselves? And that, my friends and fellow history aficionados, is the true story behind the French Revolution. In the words of my “liberte, egalite, fraternite, cafe” demanding ***, “Let them eat cake.” Or maybe that was someone else. Who cares, it was still French.


Don’t hate *** because he’s not the capital of Uzbekistan. It’s not like Tashkent is doing a much better job anyway.


This man is a veritable jack of all trades: knitter of fine (if lumpy) pet couture, connoisseur of gourmet gummi worms, avid literature aficionado (the backs of cereal boxes count as literature, yes?), patron of the stick figure arts, and a bona fide manicure artiste (with an e). *** is the bestest breakfast buddy I ever had. Till he deserted me to pursue his love for kangaroo-breeding in Saskatchewan.


And these are the few kind words I wrote for a good friend on her wedding web site:

Writing about *** proves to be quite the challenge. After all, *** is so many things to so many people. Which is why it might be easier to begin by pointing out a few things that *** is not:

– a champion platypus racer
– a respected Finnish meteorologist
– a renowned designer of pet couture
– an archipelago
– a one-hit wonder
– an overeager member of the paparazzi
– a dangerous criminal
– Queen of the World (that would be me)

But *** has never once let these (myriad) shortcomings hold her back. So what if she can’t construct intricate origami villages out of papaya leaves? She’s still a remarkably average human being in her own right. In the past decade I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing *** blossom from a scrawny, gangsta-wannabe, west-coast lovin’ sergeant general to a less-scrawny, less-gangsta-wannabe, Midwest-moving sergeant general.

Wow, the transformation has truly been the stuff of legend.

I’ve counted *** among my best friends for a very long time now, for one simple reason: she doesn’t know about it yet. From the Desdechada-induced possessions to heralding in the Golden Age of the Beanalonian Empire, from the founding of Ohio Day to the creation of Muslim holidays like Measter and Muslim icons like Mubarak Moonie, and from the hilarious escapades of D-Dawg & Co. at the Wellesley shows and beyond, every second of knowing *** has been a total trip. I’m blessed to have her in my life.

Even if she isn’t a gifted one-eyed Belarusian yodeler.


So the next time you want to look someone up, don’t be a slacker stalker and just go by what other people have said about them. Be a trooper – go the extra mile and scope out what they’ve had to say about everyone else.

And yes, I would love to speak at your wedding.