Friday, August 31, 2007

Face-off : The Senator from Idaho vs. the Runner-up from Raleigh

Ask a dozen mats what they like most about Clay and you'll get a dozen different answers.

For one it's the "cinnamon fur." For another it's the rivet on the front of his jeans. For yet another, it's the "second freckle from the eyebrow on the lower left quadrant of his forehead, as demonstrated in this rare piece of clack that was taken at the ninth concert I attended during the Jukebox Tour."

Yes, they all have somewhat different interests, but if there's one thing that unites all Claymates, it's their love of competition. It started with the Clay-Ruben final on AI and somehow spiraled into spamming thousands of inane polls, multi-buying his albums, and even going to the local Walmart to count the number of CDs in Clay's slot. It's very, very important to them that Faiken wins every contest, poll, or competition.

Clay reminds us of disgraced Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) not just because neither can keep their feet to themselves and both ended up getting in trouble with airport authorities for it, but also because the two have dealt with similar sex scandals. So let's compare and contrast the two scandals -- Larry Crag's "johngate" and Clay' "Johngate."

Who will emerge the winner?

1. The rumors!
a) Craig : dogged by gay rumors for many years.
b) Clay : dogged by gay rumors for many years.

In this head-to-head comparison, Senator Craig is clearly the winner. His sexuality has been in question for a couple decades, whereas Clay has only had to deal with similar rumors since the first moment he opened his mouth on AI five years ago. So, for sheer longetivity, Crag wins.

2. The location!
a) Craig : trolled for sex in a public restroom.
b) Clay : trolled for sex on

Once again, Craig emerges as the winner. Clay met men from the comfort of his bedroom or hotel room, but Craig was right out there in the thick of things. He gets points for his iniative and willingness to get out there and pitch in.

3. Pick up line!
a) Crag : "Tap tap tap."
b) Clay : "I have a VERY recognizable face."

Craig's tapping seems almost mundane when compared to the promise of celebrity implied in Clay's words. This time Clay comes out

4. The pseudonym!
a) Craig : Anonymous.
b) Clay : Valleyprettyboy; Skipper Magee.

Clay's creativity in making up names makes him the winner in this round.

5. The evidence!
a) Craig : tape of police interrogation.
b) Clay : cloobie photos on webcam.

Clay wins because a picture is worth a thousand words.

6. The denials!
a) Craig : "I am not gay."
b) Clay : "That would not make any sense for me to do that. I've gotten to a point now where I feel like it's kind of invasive. You know what? Forget it. What I do, in my private life, is nobody's business anymore. Period."

Truthful or not, Craig's adamant statement has a forcefulness lacking in Clay's waffling. Craig wins this one hands down. Note : Clayton's "screw the lies" lyric at his summer concerts is not considered a complete denial, as it was only understood by Claymates with secret decoder rings.

7. The hypocrisy!
a) Craig : as a conservative Republican, he voted against every gay rights issue
b) Clay : presented himself as "neither gay nor a womanizer."

Craig wins again. His hypocrisy affected many citizens of the United States, while Clay's hypocrisy mainly affected the FTC complainants.

8. The publicity!
a) Craig : his scandal is covered in every newspaper and on every cable station.
b) Clay : scandal limited to National Enquirer.

Craig wins because his scandal got much more coverage, while Clay's media coverage merely reinforced his B-list status.

9. The career implications!
a) Craig : likely to resign from Senate.
b) Clay : continues touring the U.S. performing Sexyback and TV themes.

Based on a) and b) they both seem to be losers.

10. The public opinion!
a) Craig : constituents demand he resign.
b) Clay : Claymats insist scandal is merely "tabloid trash" and that he just hasn't found the right girl yet.

Clay wins this one, due to insane fan base.

...So, who's the big winner and who's the big loser? Is it the guy at the glory hole or the guy with the glory notes? The one who taps his foot or the guy who uses his fist? Who's the nerviest? Who's the perviest? Vote today!

This is one poll the Claymats will undoubtedly NOT spam.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Clay and Ruben : The Rematch?

Earlier today, Zyban said:

I was talking to a friend of mine (who "lurks" here, HI Friend!!!) and she told me that "Gallant" announced he will have a CD out in January and soon after Cloofus, who has been saying it will be a long wait for his next, has (all of a sudden) started talking about releasing a CD in January too? Coincidence? Jealousy? I would bet for the latter.

Dramamine added:

Hmmm .... very interesting, Zyban. You're right. In the early M&G's, Clay was telling the Claymates that it might take quite a while for his next CD to come out, then suddenly, the projected release date was "early 2008"? Could be that Sony/BMG may want to ramp up the competitive fires again for the benefit of both Ruben and Clay, huh?

This is interesting news! What else happens every January? American Idol returns for a new season. After the somewhat disappointing ratings this past year, what better way for AI to begin their new season with a bang than to revisit one the most successful AI events from yesteryear? With both Ruben and Clay coming out (you've never seen those last three words together before, have you?) with new CDs in January, maybe AI will invite them back for a rematch.

Imagine it:

RYAN SEACREST: Welcome to our new season of American Idol! We're going to start our series somewhat differently this year -- with a rematch between Season Two finalists Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. Tonight, each will be performing three songs from their new CDs and you'll have an opportunity to vote for who you think is best. Will Ruben retain his title as American Idol? Will Clay finally make up for his previous second-place and no longer be known as "America's runner-up?" You'll decide, ladies and gentleman, but first let's say hello to our judges. Randy Jackson!

RANDY: Yo, what's up, Dawg!

RYAN: Paula Abduhl!

PAULA: Giggle.

RYAN: And Simon Cowell!

(Cowell gives a pained smile then sips from his Coke glass, making sure the product insignia is prominently facing the camera.)

RYAN: And now let's chat for a minute with our contestants, Clay and Ruben.

(Ruben's fans in the audience politely applaud. The Claymates scream and thud. Oklahoman holds up a corncob and makes a dirty gesture.)

RYAN: Has it really been five years? You two have really changed. I see a difference of about a hundred pounds.

RUBEN: Yes, I did lose a hundred pounds, Ryan.

RYAN: I know, but I was actually talking about the hundred that Clay gained. (The corncob flies out of the audience and hits Ryan on the side of his head.) Let's talk a bit about your new albums.

RUBEN: My CD is called "In a Blues Mood" and incorporates elements of pop, rock, soul, jazz and the blues. I wrote most of the songs and my producers include Quincy Jones and Don Was.

CLAY: Mine's called "Let's Get Under the Covers." (The mats in the audience have a collective screaming orgasm.) It's a collection of cover recordings. My mother selected all the songs and Jaymes Foster produced them.

RYAN: Very interesting. Is there anything you'd like to say to each other?

RUBEN: Good luck, Clay.

CLAY: I'm going to kick your butt on the charts, and if I don't, my Claymates will kick your butt in the parking lot.

RYAN: Okay, we flipped a coin to see who goes first. Ruben won. Whatcha gonna sing for us first, Rube?

RUBEN: I wrote this song myself. It's called "Come Back, I Need Ya."

(Ruben sings his song and receives great applause, except from the mats, who ostentiously put on earplugs and listen to Measure of a Man when Ruben sings.)

RYAN: Great job, Ruben. What do you think, panel?

RANDY: You left here an idol, dawg, but you returned a superstar!

PAULA: Giggle. Like Randy said, you left your idol's dog and returned a snooper's car. What? What?

SIMON: Simply brilliant, Ruben.

RYAN: And now Clay's first song.

CLAY: I'm going to sing one of my mother's favorites, Smoky Robinson's 'I Second That Meotion.'"

RYAN: Don't you mean E-motion?

CLAY: No, I'm singing in secret code for my Mates. (Oklahoman thuds and must be carried out on a stretcher.)

(Clay sings an uninspired version of the song which impresses no one, including the mats, but they pretend to like it.)

RYAN: What did you think of Clay's song, Randy?

RANDY: I've worked with Smoky, dawg, and you don't got it going on like Smoky.

PAULA: Giggle. I think...well, like Randy said: you can work a smoky dog but don't go on smoking. What? What? What did I say?

SIMON: Amazing. ...Amazingly BAD.

(As the show goes to commercial, Clay whores for votes by winking at the camera, holding up two fingers, rubbing his crotch and moaning, and pointing to individual mats in the audience. When the show returns from commercial, Ruben sings his latest single, "The Longest Night" which Randy calls "outstanding," which Paula calls "giggle, outstanding, what?" and Simon calls "A number one hit.")

RYAN: What are you going to sing, Clay?

CLAY: A tribute to one of my mother's favorite singers, Patti Page. (He begins to sing "How Much is That Doggie in the Window." The response is weak.)

RYAN: Let's see what our judges think. Mr. Jackson?

RANDY: I don't know, man, that was kind of weird. I don't know.

PAULA: What Randy said...I agree...what?

SIMON: I nev-ah thought someone could squeeze a glory note out of "How Much is That Doggie in the Window." Dreadful, Clay. Simply dreadful.

(Clay whores for votes, pretending to be the canine he just sang about by "sitting up" like a dog and panting, then shaking his behind like he's wagging his tail. The Claymates will later agree that IF Clay had a tail, it would be longer and thicker and more manly than any other singer's tail. Someone on the CB starts a movement to call his nonexistent tail a "waldon't, because he don't really have one...isn't that cute?...dancing bananas, dancing bananas!!!" but the thread only gets three responses and mysteriously "disappears" in the middle of the night.)

RYAN: Finally, Ruben will perform his last song.

(Ruben sings an original piece, "I Was Your Sin, You Were My Salvation" which Randy calls, "Your best song EVER, dawg!" and which Paula calls "Your song ever dawg best...what? Why are you laughing?" Simon calls it, "A classic.")

RYAN: And now Clay's final song.

CLAY: Last summer, I did a TV theme song medley during my SYMPHONY CONCERT tour. Later, my mother told me that she was disappointed I didn't include her favorite TV theme I included it on this album...just for her.

(Clay begins skipping around the stage singing:)

Diamonds, daisies, snowflakes...THAT GIRL (points to his mother in the audience)
Chestnuts, rainbows, springtime...THAT GIRL (points to Oklahomon on her stretcher)
Sable, popcorn, white wine...THAT GIRL (points to Corabeth)
Gingham, bluebirds, Broadway...THAT GIRL (points to a whole row of Claymates, who scream simultaneously)

(By the time he's finished singing, Randy is laughing too hard to comment, Paula is too confused to comment, and Simon has walked off the show. As Ryan gives the call-in numbers, Ruben smiles and waves at the audience. Clay keeps pointing at all his "that girl" Claymates, thrusts out his waldo, wiggles his waldon't, and pretends to pray.)

That night the mats organize phone-in parties and OleMass starts a prayer chain so that Clay will win.

The next night, the winner is revealed to be....

Does it matter?

If Clay won, it would only be because the mats spammed the voting.

If he lost, the mats would just say the entire thing was a big crooked rip-off and send letters to the FCC.

Whatever the outcome, this much is probably clear: Ruben's CD will go platinum and win three Grammys. Clay's will win no awards, but will sell 500,000 copies.

So what if it only sold that many because one thousand Claymate each bought 500 a piece?

Highlights for Hatehs

Gallant thanks a fan for buying his album. Cloofus demands the fan buy seven more copies.

Gallant performs for the NAACP. Cloofus gets questioned by the FBI.

Gallant is kind to animals. Cloofus still has some 'splaining to do about that dead cat and dead goat.

Gallant is played on the radio. Cloofus makes sarcastic comments about payola.

Gallant sings "Superstar" and is nominated for a Grammy -- a sign of respect from the music industry. Cloofus sings the theme from "Laverne and Shirley" -- and wonders why he gets no respect from the music industry.

Gallant's mother respectfully sits on the sidelines and lets her son enjoy the limelight. Cloofus's mother appears on "Dancing Like the Stars."

Gallant is affectionately known as the Velvet Teddy Bear. Cloofus is not-so-affectionately known as Faiken.

Gallant's name is synonymous with "Quality in Music." Cloofus's name is synonymous with "Quality Inn."

Gallant won American Idol. Cloofus was, is, and will always be known as the runner-up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ebay Mystery Solved : It Wasn't a BOARDING Pass

LEARNING TO SING becomes inspirational Lifetime Network Movie


A Lifetime Original Movie

Based on the memoir “Learning to Sing” by Clay Aiken and Alison Glock

Starring Dakota Fanning as Young Clay Grissom

kd lang as Clay Aiken, beginning at age 20

Dee Wallace Stone as Faye Parker

Christopher Walken as Ray Parker

and Miss Michael Learned as Elizabeth Campbell

Directed by Alan Smithee

[Wide angle evening shot of the Hollywood Bowl. Searchlights scan the skies and thousands of people move, like tiny ants, toward the arena. The camera swoops in on a lighted sign that says “CLAY AIKEN -- AMERICAN IDOL RUNNER-UP -- ONE NIGHT ONLY.” A fabric banner is looped across this sign saying, “SOLD OUT!” Note: the banner should cover the words “runner-up,” as per Mr. Aiken’s contract with the Lifetime Network.]

MALE VOICEOVER: Five minutes, Mr. Aiken.

CLAY: Thanks, Dave.

[We are in the dressing room of superstar Clay Aiken. He is sitting in an easy chair looking through an old scrapbook. He smiles down at a picture of himself and Ruben Studdard at the American Idol finale. Note: the picture in question should in no way indicate that Clay actually lost this contest, as per Mr. Aiken’s contract with the Lifetime Network. Clay turns the page and smiles with embarrassment at a picture of himself with a curly permanent, on stage with a country group. He turns the page again and sees an old, sepia picture of himself as a seven-year-old child. He has a black eye and a bloody nose. The photograph begins to waver and dissolve, fading into a flashback scene:}

BULLY #1: No, you can’t play with us. You’re skinny like a scarecrow!

BULLIES #2 and #3: Scarecrow, scarecrow!

BULLY #1: And you got big ears.

CLAY: But Mama says the bigger your ears are, the better you can hear the angels sing.

BULLY #1: And your mama ain’t got no husband!

BULLIES #2 and #3: No husband, no husband.

BULLY #1: And you don’t got no daddy either!

CLAY: Do too! I got a sperm donor daddy in Nashville, plus Daddy Jesus and Grandpa God in Heaven above!

[Clay begins to flail against the bullies, who immediately blacken his eye, bloody his nose, throw him on the ground, jump up and down on his chest, smash his legs with a baseball bat, and then mess up his red hair by giving him a dutch rub. An older woman, wearing an apron comes running out of a nearby house.]


[The bullies all run away. Elizabeth helps Clay get up and dusts off his clothing.]

ELIZABETH: Clayton Grissom! What is going on here?

CLAY (crying): They said...I had...big ears...and looked like a scarecrow...and don’t have a daddy..... Mrs. Campbell, why are boys such mean bullies?

ELIZABETH: Well, in all my years as a music teacher over at the high school, I learned that, with a lot understanding and kindness, a bully can sometimes turn into a friend.

(Interior shot, as Elizabeth cleans Clay’s wounds with iodine.)

ELIZABETH: There -- good as new! Why, aren’t you a handsome little charmer. Someday all the girls will be chasing you.

CLAY: Girls are icky.

ELIZABETH: You may change your mind about that someday! (She appraises him.) Or maybe not. Now come into the kitchen and let’s make some cookies.

CLAY: Can I wear your apron? And use your electric mixer? And roll out the dough?

[Elizabeth freezes, then turns around slowly.]

ELIZABETH: Say that again.

CLAY: Can I wear your apron?

ELIZABETH: No, the last word.

CLAY: Dough.


CLAY: Dough.

[Elizabeth goes to the piano and plays the scales and Clay sings along: “Do re mi fa so la ti do.”]

ELIZABETH (blotting her eyes with the hem of her apron): Son, you have an extraordinary gift!

VOICEOVER FROM CLAY: That was how it all began. In the living room of an elderly music teacher in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’ll never forget the hours we spent together that autumn, as Mrs. Campbell helped me perfect my talent.

[There follows a montage of scenes, in which young Clay performs a variety of songs while Elizabeth accompanies him on the piano. First he is shown singing the scales, then tentatively trilling, “We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay. You could hear the voices ringing, they seemed to say....”

In the next shot he seems more confident, strutting around the piano with his thumbs tucked in his pants' pockets as he sings, “When that midnight choo-choo leaves for Alabam!” (ELIZABETH: Alabam, Alabam!) CLAY: I’ll be right there! (ELIZABETH: Where’ll you be, where’ll you be?) CLAY: I’ve got my fare!

The mood changes and now we see a much more serious Clay standing on a stool singing, “...the truth is, I never left you! All through my wild days, my mad existence. I kept my promise; don’t keep your distance....” The montage ends and we see CLAY and ELIZABETH sitting beside each other on the piano bench.]

ELIZABETH: Clayton, I think you are ready to ‘wow’ even your biggest bullies at the school talent show.

CLAY: You think so?

ELIZABETH: I know you can do it! And I am going to buy a ticket to see it!

CLAY (eagerly): Can you buy eight tickets?

[An exterior shot shows CLAY, dressed as Uncle Sam, running down the street on his way to the talent show. He stops in front of Elizabeth’s house, where an ambulance is taking out a body on a stretcher. He stops to listen to two neighbor women.]

NEIGHBOR #1: It was her heart, poor thing.

NEIGHBOR #2: The only thing keeping her alive these last few months were the music lessons she was giving that Grissom boy. She said he was the most talented youngster she’d ever encounter.

[Close-up of Clay’s tear-stained face. Then we hear the voice of ELIZABETH: “Son, you have an extraordinary gift” ... “I know you can do it!” Clay smiles and runs toward the school with renewed confidence. The focus now shifts to the stage of the school auditorium where Clay is in the middle of his “Uncle Sam” number.]

CLAY: --got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart, she’s my Yankee Doodle joy! Yankee Doodle went to London just to ride the ponies! I am that Yankee Doodle, I am that Yankee Doodle, I am that Yankee Doodle Boy!”

[He dances off stage and the crowd erupts with applause -- especially the three young bullies who are now sitting in the front row, cheering and occasionally wiping away tears.]

[Medium shot of Clay outside his dressing room holding the large trophy he won in the contest and a bouquet of roses. The three bullies approach him.]

BULLY #1: We’re sorry we picked on you before. Can we be friends with you now?

[Clay looks at them and begins to shake his head no, then hears the words of ELIZABETH in a voiceover: “With a lot understanding and kindness, a bully can sometimes turn into a friend.” He then nods.]

BULLY #2: Can you teach us to sing like you?

CLAY: It’s not that hard. You just have to use your voice for good things instead of using your fists for bad things!

BULLY #3: And will you teach us to dance?

CLAY: It’s easy...just shuffle like this...good, good. Now quarter turn, quarter turn. Now you’ve got it!

[The camera pulls back on Clay and the three bullies dancing, as CLAY speaks in voice-over: I had learned my first lessons. Using my voice had opened new doors for me. Old women would do anything for me. And sometimes bullies do become friends....)

To be continued.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flat Clay : An I-Can-Read Book

My grandma is a Claymate.
She watches “clack” all day.
If I bug her while she’s watching it
She pushes me away.

One day as I played paper dolls
Gram said, “Holy shit!
If I make a doll that looks like Clay
Then I can play with it!”

So she got a big old poster board
And sketched and cut all day.
And when it was completed
She named the doll “Flat Clay.”

She’d pick up her big paper doll
And make him dance and prance!
Then they’d travel to Clay’s concerts
In Grandma’s clambulance.

(Flat Clay couldn’t sit inside.
Why? No bendable butt.
So Gram chained him to the roof
Like Mitt Romney’s mutt.)

Flat C went with Grandma
To each of Clay’s productions.
When other mats begged for a doll of their own
Gram gave them the instructions.

Soon there were Flat Clays at every concert
What an amazing feat!
Finally the mats could say in truth
That Clay filled every seat.

And there are definite advantages
To owning a “Clay” that’s flat.
His lack of voice prevents demands
They buy eight of this and that.

…And forget about those scandals
Which had always been so damning.
Flat Clay has no Waldo.
Thus no chance of him webcamming.

When the concerts were all over
Gram put her doll away.
She keeps him in the closet.
(See, he is like Clay.)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Grissom

From the desk of Mrs. Margeret Bering, Principal

June 10, 2008

Dear Parents of Pretty Valley Grade School,

As the close of another school year approaches, we find ourselves looking back at the high and low points of this past term...and looking ahead to future semesters marked by sustained academic excellence.

And, since rumors abound, I would like to take this opportunity to explain why Mr. Clayton Grissom has not had his contract renewed for next year.

How well I remember his delightful first interview for the position. He “jokingly” told me that he hoped to have my job as principal in five years. Little did I know that he was not joking. Imagine my shock when he began giving his class assignments to write essays on “Why Mr. Grissom would make a better principal than Mrs. Bering” and have them send petitions to the school board asking me to step down! I hope I never learn which student cut the brake lines on my car.

However, please know that my decision not to renew Mr. Grissom's contract is not personal. In truth, we found Mr. Grissom to be a substandard teacher. Let me provide a few examples of his problematic teaching methods:

1) It was brought to my attention that Mr. Aiken’s did a poor job marking spelling tests. For example, on a recent spelling test, several of his students mispelled the word “hot” as “hawt” and Mr. Grissom marked this as correct!

2) At the beginning of the semester, Mr. Grissom assigned an art project in which students should use their imagination by placing their teacher in odd situations, such as dancing with three-legged gorilla or being abducted by turnips. This assignment was NEVER given a due date. It has now been over ten months and when students ask when they should turn this assignment in, Mr. Grissom ignores them!

3) Mr. Grissom frequently overslept, showing up for class an hour late, unwashed, unshaven, and wearing the same sweater and cargo shorts he’d worn the previous day.

4) Though we appreciated the fact that Mr. Grissom wrote this year’s Christmas pageant, we were disappointed that he gave himself the lead role and charged his costume, an expensive white suit, to the school’s petty cash fund. He also violated an important safety rule the evening he wore a sweatshirt under the suit, hurried through the pageant, and then rushed out of the school for a late night “appointment,” leaving several third graders to clean the auditorium with no adult supervision until well after midnight in the middle of a blizzard. Further, many parents, teachers, and even myself, found the inclusion of the “Sleigh Ride” number in this Christmas program to be the most disturbing thing we’d ever seen. It’s been six months since the pageant and some parents report that their children are still having nightmares about watching that musical number.

5) Mr. Grissom did not seem to relate well to his students, with classsroom discussions usually limited to conversations such as “Do you kids think I look fat in this?” or “Did anyone watch Jericho last night?” Unfortunately, Mr. Grissom seemed to relate much, much better to the mothers of his students, many of whom seemed smitten with the third grade teacher, calling themselves, variously, “The Teacher’s Pets,” “Grissom’s Girls” or “Supersexystudlymanlyteacher’s Bad Widdle Students.” This behavior culminated with one of our PTA mothers, who was in her early forties, five-foot-seven, and 265 pounds, blacking out her two front teeth, placing her hair in pigtails, and coming to school in a pair of Oshkosh ‘Bygosh overalls, claiming to be a new third grade transfer student.

6) These women also spammed the school's “Favorite Teacher Contest,” which Mr. Grissom won by receiving 189,431 votes as opposed to the second place finisher, Ms. Rumball, who received 19 votes.

7) Finally, at the beginning of the semester, Mr. Grissom told me that he knew many celebrities and even received a phone call each year on his birthday from former president Jimmy Carter. At that time, he promised to have Cher visit his classroom. Little did I know that Mr. Grissom himself was going to show up dressed as Cher, complete with boots, fish-net stockings, and a micro-mini skirt.

These are just a few of the reasons Mr. Grissom is not being asked to return to Pretty Valley Grade School next year. We wish him much success in whatever career he pursues. We’d also like him to know that we appreciate many of the ideas that he brought to our school, including adding a Hot Pocket and Krispy Kreme station in the cafeteria and introducing the “Stop Talking! Focus! Understand?” hand signal to the classrooms of Pretty Valley Grade School. In fact, we plan to engrave this saying over the front door, so when students return next fall they will see it every day as they approach the building:


Saturday, August 25, 2007

If American Idol Had Never Happened

From the Desk of Mrs. Margaret Bering, Principal

August 24, 2007

Dear Third Graders:

Welcome back for another year of learning and fun at Pretty Valley Grade School! I am delighted to introduce your new teacher, Mr. Clayton Grissom. Mr. Grissom is a graduate of the University of North Carolina.

When he came for his interview, I asked him what he thought he’d be doing in five years’ time and he jokingly said he hoped he would have MY job as principal in five years. Isn’t he a card? I really enjoyed his amusing “banter.”

Let me tell you a bit more about your new teacher. Mr. Grissom grew up right here in Raleigh. He sings in his church choir and enjoys performing karaoke on weekends. His hobbies include spending time with his mother, watching TV, and cruising through cyberspace on his computer. He likes traveling overseas because of the wonderful photography opportunities it provides. He lives in a townhouse with his roommate, Mr. Evan Toobly, whom some of your older brothers and sisters may know as the typing and shorthand teacher over at the high school.

I asked Mr. Grissom if he had any special messages for you third-graders and this is what he told me.

Mr. Grissom would like every student to come to school prepared with the right supplies. He suggests:

8 notebooks
8 pens
8 pencils
8 rulers
8 compasses and protractors
8 boxes of reinforecments

Mr. Grissom is an expert at American Sign Language. He will soon teach you a special hand signal to remind you when to quiet down and focus your attention on classroom activities. He calls it his “STFU” signal, which stands for “Stop Talking! Focus! Understand?” When Mr. Grissom gives you this signal, I hope you will kindly and courteously STFU!

Your new teacher describes himself as “strict, but fair.” Mr. Grissom told me, “I have certain unbendable rules. Students should come to school looking as though they take education seriously. Make sure to bathe and comb your hair everyday. Dress appropriately: no shorts, no sandals, no flip-flops. Keep your teeth white and shiny, especially if you are a minority. It’s also important to keep your body parts to yourself. Do not touch your classmates -- especially during cold and flu season. And keep your feet off other students’ desk. If you see anyone misbehaving, please tell me privately. This is not ‘tattling,’ it’s helping me to keep the classroom running smoothly. Students who report other students will be rewarded. Finally, for those of you taking the bus home, please line up and get on the bus in a speedy and orderly fashion. I have neither the time nor the interest in loitering around that bus at the end of the day. If students cannot follow these basic classroom rules, I will have to call your mother and sperm donor in for a parent-teacher conference.”

When I asked Mr. Grissom to describe some of his forthcoming lesson plans he offered this sneak preview:

VOCABULARY: Mr. Grissom will begin each morning with a new “word of the day” for students to learn.

MATHEMATICS: Do the following problems without using a calculator:

1) If Billy brings Teacher two Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Teacher says he expects Billy to buy a total of eight, how many more doughnuts will Billy have to buy?

2) If Susie attends a concert at a 5000 seat stadium and only 1200 seats are filled, how many empty seats are there?

3) If you and five friends each voted five times in a “favorite singer” poll for three days in a row, how many votes would your favorite singer receive? This assignment is due on September 2.

ART: Use your imagination and create a drawing of Teacher dancing with a three-legged gorilla or being abducted by turnips. The due date for this assignment remains undetermined.

SCIENCE: For our animal studies unit, I’d like you to make a list of all the body parts of a cat. Feel free to experiment on your pet cat at home. Make sure to include internal organs on your list.

MUSIC: Each week we will learn a new song in class. It’s important to memorize all the lyrics. If you forget the words, or have to write them down on your desk to remember them, you will be punished. Also, sing the lyrics as if you understand them and feel them. No showboating or “glory-noting” -- these are the hallmarks of an amateurish attention-grabber and not a true singer.

READING: Students are encouraged to check out books from the school library. Some of Mr. Grissom’s favorite children’s books include:

Where’s Waldo?
Flat Stanley
Honk the Moose
Daniel Boone: Man, Hunter, Adventurer
The Moves Make the Man

DRAMA: Mr. Grissom has agreed to write the script for our Christmas pageant this year!

Now that you know a bit more about Mr. Grissom, I’m sure you are looking forward to spending the coming months in his classroom. He has informed me that IF you are a very good class, you might even get a visit this semester from the famous singer “Cher.”

I’m sure you agree that Mr. Grissom certainly stands for “Quality In

Thursday, August 23, 2007

To Clay, with Love : The Tribute Album

Distraught at the prospect of waiting months, or even years, for the next Clay Aiken CD, the mats held a meeting and came up with an idea. “Clay always says we can do anything,” bellowed Oklahoman. “Why don’t we take the bull by the horns and produce this album ourselves! All we have to do is raise some cash, rent a studio, and hire an orchestra.”

So the mats sold their houses, cashed in their retirement funds, liquidated all their savings and rented a studio. Then Oklahoman called Clay and bellowed for him to come over to the studio right away “’cause us Claymates gots a biiiig surprise for you!”

Clay thought about it for thirty seconds. He didn’t think he could face all that estrogen...all those heaving bazooms...all those stretch pants...even if they were fan club members. So he told Mary to write a blog telling the mats he was busy and spent the rest of the evening on Some “members” are better than others.

Faced with non-refundable studio and orchestra fees, Oklahoman did some quick thinking, then bellowed: “I know what we can do! We’ve got a studio. We’ve got an orchestra. We’ve got no place to go because we sold our homes and we’ve living under the viaduct. So why don’t we record an album ourselves? It can be a tribute album for Clay!”

So the mats selected some songs, called some of Clay’s friends to help out, and began their recording session.

To Clay, with Love : A Tribute Album

Track #1: “Oklahoman,” sung by Oklahoman to the tune of “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Oklahoman, I’m a fan who bellows out her name!
I’d like Clay’s two feet on my plane seat
And I’m sure that you all feel the same!
Oklahoman, every night my fellow mats and I
Sit and watch some clack (wishing Clay was in my sack
And I was getting cornholed by that guy!)
You know we belong to Clay Aiken
If you don’t, then you’re sadly mistaken.
So when I sa-aa-ay (yow!)
I know that Clay’s not gay (ee-yow!)
I’m only saying
I’m getting cornholed by Aiken
Oklahoman’s okay!

Track #2: “Fayme,” sung by Faye Parker to the tune of Irene Cara’s “Fame.”

Baby look at me
And tell me what you see.
You ain’t seen all of Clay’s mama yet
Let me dance and I’ll make you forget!

Just let me on that stage
And I’ll do my hoochie-hooch
I’ll wear a dress that’s cut down to here
I’ll wear a skirt that’s slit up to my cooch.

I’m gonna dance forever
Grab attention from my son
You’ll be saying, “Clay who?”
By the time my dancing is done.


Track #3: “Glowstick,” sung by a chorus of mats to the tune of “Glow Worm” by the Mills Brothers.

Shine little glowstick, glimmer, glimmer
Hey, in this dim light, Clay looks slimmer.
Light up the audience, stop them from snoring
Then let’s leave before he starts encoring.
This night could use a bit of brightnin’
That TV Medley was downright frightnin’
We’ve gotta go, we gotta go
We’ve had enough of this show.

Track #4: “Clesus Loves Me,” sung by a “special friend of Clay’s” who prefers to remain nameless. To the tune of “Jesus Loves Me.”

Clesus loves me, this I know
Anonymous e-mails tell me so
I offered up my Quality End
Thinking he would be my friend.
Yes, Clesus loves me
Yes, he MUST love me.
Yes, Clesus loves me
My blog will tell you so.

Track #5: “Lock Three Times” sung by ScooterOKC to the tune of “Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Hey, girl, what kind of posting is this?
Bashing our Clay when I moderate every word you write?
I can see the thoughts you're writin’
I can feel my blood pressure heighten
This is the Clayboard, we don’t allow allow discord.
We hate you.
Oh you hat-eh, I’ll lock three times if you criticize Clay’s singing!
Twice if you type that you think he’s a ‘mo.
Lock! Lock! Lock! means we’ve banned you here forever
Take my advice: it’s time for you to go!

Track #6: “Ben” sung by OCRegmom and dedicated to her son the music critic, to the music of Michael Jackson’s “Ben.”

Ben, the two of us need speak no more
You are not the son I'd once hoped for.
With a friend to call my own
I’ll never be alone.
And Clay’s that friend for me
He’s like a son, you see
Now he’s got a mom in me.

Ben, you’re always criticizing Clay
I don’t listen to a word you say.
You don’t see him as I do
I wish that he were you!
I love him, yes I do.
Now I’ve got a new son, Ben.

Track #7: “Clayton Loving” sung by Jaymes Foster Levi to the tune of “Summer Loving” from the musical Grease.

Clayton loving,
I went from city to city
That means a lot
‘Cause those concerts were shitty

Tell us more, tell us more
Did you touch Clayton’s vest?
Tell us more, tell us more,
Did he nurse at your breast?

Clayton loving,
I sat on the stage.
And so what
If he's half my age?
He protects me, keeps from harm
And he once let me
Shave his right arm!

Tell us more, tell us more
Is there a girl on that bus?
Tell us more, tell us more
If there is, why can’t she be us?

He’s not gay
...He just acts that way
When he’s meeting new men
...on Manhunt!

Bonus Holiday Track #1: “All You’ll See This Christmas” by Angela and Quiana, sung to the tune of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”

All you’ll see this Christmas is our white front teeth
Our white front teeth, our white front teeth
All you’ll see this Christmas is our white front teeth
When we sing black-up for Clay.

Bonus Holiday Track #2: “Gay Ride” by Miss Beverly, John Dahlstrom, and other members of the Christmas Tour, to the tune of “Sleigh Ride”

Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle all day
Come on it’s lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with Clay.

Dressed all in white and flick-flick-flicking his wrists
When this shows up on Youtube, you know he’s gonna be pissed.

Giddy-up giddy-up, giddy-up, let’s go. Let’s finish this show.
This dancing is the lamest thing we’ve done.
Giddy-up giddy-up giddy-up, it’s grand,
The way he uses his hands
If they still think this guy is straight...they’ll never understaaaand!

Clay enunciates each word as if the fans can’t hear
(Considering their ages, that’s a reasonable fear.)
He’s singing the songs he loves to sing and they won’t hear him yell
When he gets to the glory note of awful “All is Well.”
Well, well, well!

There’s a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
When the show is over and we can finally say goodbye.
But there’s one just one problem
That we know just isn’t right
We’ll be seeing this SAME AUDIENCE
Once again tomorrow night.


When the mats’ tribute CD was recorded and the “drop date” (how they loved that word!) was announced, Oklahoman called Clay and told him she expected him to buy eight copies of it, since she’d bought eight copies of all his records.

Two weeks later all eight copies still sat untouched in the CD section at the Raleigh Walmart.

...But at least they weren’t in the deep discount bin like all those copies of ATDW.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Will Clay try to take another seat....

...this time not at the Quality Inn, but in Congress?

Check out last night's blog.

"08/21/07 : Sen. Aiken
Should I run for senate?!? HA HA

from my local paper, The [Raleigh] News & Observer:

"Dems reaching for Dole rival

ADemocratic pollster says his firm decided to see how the state DemocraticParty chairman would fare in a race for U.S. Senate because the firm wasout of ideas.

Justin Guillory, who works for Public Policy Polling,said the firm ran Jerry Meek's name against U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole becausethere weren't any other people left.

"We tried all the candidates who have been mentioned," he said.

Still, Guillory said that people at the firm had heard Meek's name floated as a pos
sible candidate for higher office some day.

Onhis blog, Guillory says he hopes to try some real names soon: "Hopefullysome Democrat will step up to the plate soon and we can end this exercise.Otherwise, we may have to resort, as one person suggested, to testing Clay Aiken against Elizabeth Dole."

Current Mood:

Currently Listening to:

Oh great, just what we need: another liar and fraud in Congress. Aren't there enough? Besides, can you imagine how obnoxious Faiken would be as a candidate? You thought it was bad when he was begging for votes on AI. Can you imagine seeing him on Fox News and CNN every night, batting his eyes and soliciting the public to vote for him? Can you imagine how many bodyguards Elizabeth Dole would have to hire so the mats wouldn't try to "kick her butt"?

And imagine the interviews:

Reporter: Mr. Aiken, can you tell us how you feel about certain key issues facing the American public today?
Aiken: Certainly.

Reporter: What are we going to do about terrorism?
Aiken: Well, I think big-time terrorism, like what we witnessed on September 11, is just terrible. I still say that if you want to catch Osama bin Laden, just sic my Claymates on him. As far as domestic terrorism goes, I must say I have NO PROBLEM with individuals spying on each other or using the internet to look up home addresses and credit reports. Even cutting other people's brake lines and eavesdropping on their phone calls doesn't seem that big of a deal, as long as it's done for the right reasons.

Reporter: How do you feel about the the cost of long-term health care for the aged?
Aiken: Something must be done to help the elderly. They are among my biggest fans. I mean constituents.

Reporter: Would you like to tell us how you feel about gays in the military?
Aiken: That would not make any sense for me to do that. I mean I don’t — it doesn’t make any sense. I’ve gotten to a point now where I — I feel it’s kind of invasive, you know. I will not answer such a question ever again.

Reporter: What about the role of education in society?
Aiken: I was a teacher for so long...for so many I know the importance of education. If I'm elected, you will be seeing a lot of "Teacher Clay." Every time I take the floor of the Senate, I'll ask someone to define the "word of the day." And if the Senate hearings ever get boring, I'm always up for having my "students" tape me to the wall of the Capitol Building.

Reporter: What about race relations in the twentieth century?
Aiken: Well, my black-up singers support me. See those white teeth over there? That's Angela. Or Quiana. Can't tell those two apart in the dark.

Reporter: How do you address the issue of voter fraud?
Aiken: I'm glad you asked. I brought along my campaign manager to discuss the issue. Mom?
Faye Parker: Yes, I have a message I want to get out to every voter in North Carolina. Voter fraud is a serious issue! If you have a neighbor who is elderly and unable to get to the polls, it would be wrong to dress up as an old man or woman and come vote in their place. If your neighbors are out of town, do not disguise yourself and vote in their place either. Do not request extra absentee voter ballots and submit them using a fake name in order to help Clay win. These things are all wrong. If you want to know how not to do these things, please contact me and I will tell you all about these methods, and others, which you should not use in the coming election.

Reporter: And where can our viewers go to learn more about you?
Aiken: Just look up "Skipper Magee" at Man... I mean go to "Aiken for Congress" and please, please, please vote for me. I can't be a runner-up yet another time!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Can you hear it?

The wailing? The sobbing? The gnashing of teeth?

It's the sound of a couple thousand Claymats lamenting the end of Clay Aiken's summer symphony series -- or, as some like to call it, the "Shlemiel, Shlimazel, Sexyback Annihilated Tour."

In between the heaving sighs and noisy sinus clearing, we hear an occasional mat say, "Clay deserves this well-earned rest. He works so hard!" To which the rest of us, working jobs that keep us busy forty hours a week (or, if you're a Claymate, working two jobs in order to pay for all that concert-hopping) should respond: WTF???

He works so hard? Has he worked more than twenty days in 2007? And even those days are severely truncated, performing for little more than two hours a night. (Okay, we'll add in the M&Gs and bus line and call it three hours a night.) Before a mat feels the need to write in and comment on how much preparation Aiken went through before this tour began, let's just quash that theory right now by saying that if he'd rehearsed even a few times, he would have learned the lyrics to these songs. What about all the media and interviews he did promoting this tour? Hmm...seems like the same interview (the "I embrace my inner dork/turkey baster" piece) was just republished over and over in different newspapers. Well, what about the all the prep time before he goes on stage? Please. He admits he doesn't do any vocal exercises. He doesn't even bother to shave or take a shower....

So what will Clay Aiken do now that his tour has ended? His usual leisure-time activities seem to be sleeping all day, eating Hot Pockets and Krispy Kremes, watching TV reruns, and crusing

Boredom definitely seems to be an issue. Remember, he couldn't bring himself to sing "A Thousand Days" anymore because it was putting him to sleep; he's so bored by his own concerts that he has to relieve his malaise by throwing shoes; he got his teeth bonded because "I was bored." One trustworthy and irrefutable source (me) even alleges that he saw a quote on the CB in which Faiken called his work on the president's commission "boring." (That quote is now either lost between all the dancing bananas or was edited out by a CB mod, as I can no longer find it.)

Because Faiken has a significant amount of free time on his hands (there's at least a couple months between now and his date to lip-sync "Solitaire" at the Neil Sedaka tribute) and since he seems to be SOOOOOO bored, here are ten useful activities he could do in the coming weeks:

1) Go do something charitable. For real. Plant a few trees (instead of just showing up to plant one tree as a photo op.) Go overseas on your own dime and help out underprivileged children. This time don't dress like You-Know-Who. Don't teach the kids to sing or ride a camel. Do something PRODUCTIVE. And don't stay at a hotel while you're doing it.

2) Trying writing a song. It took you seven months to write -- what? -- one or two words of Lover All Alone? This time try to write an entire song.

3) Didn't you promise to write a weekly blog for fan club members? Get to it!

4) Give Ruben a call. Apologize for the sweating jokes.

5) Step away from the Krispy Kremes.

6) Refrain from writing a script for your Christmas show. Please. We beg you.

7) Avoid any more surgeries or medical procedures that change your appearance. Boredom is not an excuse.

8) Fire Jaymes Foster. The last thing you need is another yes-woman in your life.

9) Contemplate your future. Think about how you got yourself in this mess. FREE THE MATS!

10) Stay the heck off of!!!

Again, try to do something productive with your time.

"Idol" hands are the devil's workshop.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Bitch, bitch, bitch...

No, we’re not counting Claymates. We’re discussing Clay Aiken’s attitude about the Relly Award Nominations, given out annually -- and in the spirit of fun! -- by the Regis and Kelly show.

Though Clay embarrassed himself royally on the program (whoring for attention, rudely making fun of Kelly’s singing ability, and disrespectfully putting his hand over her mouth while she was interviewing a guest) the mats felt he was entitled to win Rellys in several categories this year, including Best Guest Host and even Funniest Moment -- “a moment” that Kelly clearly did not find humorous.

Clay also shares that sense of entitlement. A previous winner, he seems to be expecting another great big old Spam sandwich from his mats, telling them at the Tampa meet-and-greet last Friday that he “really wants to win” -- even though the nominations had already been announced and he was clearly not on the list.

Perhaps he’s expecting the mats to start another Jericho-styled “nut” campaign to get him that Relly. There certainly are enough nuts among the mats to accomplish this. Listen to this nut:

“Our darling Clay is still such an innocent. He really thought the Relly was on the up-and-up and that his Claymates could vote him another statue. So sad that the world is such that Clay has to keep getting lessons on the rotting insides of some Hollywood people.”

Another Claynut chimes in:

“I do believe that there is God and HE will never let these b*d people win...”

Since the chances of Clay winning a real Relly are slim-to-none, we thought we’d instead present him with a few “Celly Awards.” Named after Clay’s much beloved Cellcerts, these awards celebrate the high points of his current concert tour which is ending tonight.

Here are the nominations:

THE “WE LIE EVEN MORE THAN CLAY DOES” AWARD, given to the biggest told by concert-going mats

a) “There are a lot of men here tonight!”
b) “Every seat is full!”
c) “I saw beside a man who was clearly dragged to the concert by his wife and had no interest in being there. By the end of the show he was on his feet cheering, with tears running down his cheeks.”
d) “Clay’s never sounded better!”
e) “Clay came to my side of the stage and sang to me for twenty seconds.”
f) "Best. Concert. Ever."


a) When Clay couldn’t climb back on the stage and had to lay there struggling for several seconds, as if he were waiting for Jerome to come out and flip him over like a partially-cooked burger.
b) The after-show visit to the hospital where Clay had to get a shot after eating a butter pecan cookie. (This event DID happen, but was downplayed on the Clayboards. I wonder why....)
c) The time Clay’s shirt rode up and exposed some...SKIN (thud...thud...dancing bananas...thud.)
d) The cancellation of the Cary bus line
e) Toegate

THE “YOU’RE INVITED ON THE BUS, ETHEL, AS LONG AS YOU SIT IN BACK” AWARD, for the most racist moment of the tour

a) Clay referring to Angela and Quiana as his “black-up” singers
b) Clay’s “George Jefferson dance” while singing “Movin’ on Up”
c) Clay throwing shoes at Angela during her solo
d) Clay’s comments about his back-up singers not being seen unless they smiled


a) Clay burping, then making it worse by discussing flatulence
b) Clay forgetting the words to most songs
c) Back-up singers having to hit the high notes when Clay couldn’t do it
d) TV theme medley
e) Flat Clay dancing in a hotel room window
f) Sexyback hitting the internet

THE “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL AWARD” for how many ways can he tell them he’s gay without actually fornicating live on stage with a man

a) Clay’s dramatic, clearly tongue-in-cheek “big announcement” that “I am...not cool.”
b) His performance of “Like a Virgin”
c) The way he caressed that microphone like it was something he met on
d) Everything but intermission

THE “SMACK ME UPSIDE THE HEAD IF I EVER CHANGE” AWARD, for the most dramatic physical transformation on this tour:

a) Shaved arms and legs
b) Increased girth
c) Bound cloobies
d) Spray tan
e) Bonded teeth


a) Throwing shoes at back-up singers
b) Unrelenting, never-ending and exhaustive complaining about the “fat” letter that was sent to his back-up singer
c) Forgetting the lyrics to even his signature songs
d) Making fun of Ruben for sweating
e) Getting whipped on stage


a) Back-ups having to hit the high notes
b) Having audience sing along for most of the songs
c) Increased ratio of bad “banter” to bad singing
d) The horrified expressions on the faces of symphony members when he went for the glory notes

The Celly Awards are still accepting more nominations. Feel free to add your own.

The Celly Awards...honoring the good, the b*d, and the fugly......

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hey Clay, Want to Play 20 Questions?

1) When was the last time you spoke to your "good friend" Ruben?

2) What was the real reason you were thrown out of your grandmother's funeral?

3) What did you actually ingest before passing out at McDonald's in Slovenia?

4) How much of "Lover All Alone" did you write?

5) What ever happened to that contest you blogged about...? Something about three-legged gorillas and getting abducted by turnips...?

6) Since you promised never to change or "go Hollywood," how do you explain the ear-pinning, teeth-bonding, arm-waxing, and breast reduction procedures?

7) Tell the truth: did you only dress as Cher that one time, or have you continued doing it...maybe late at night...when you've had one too many Paxils...and no one's watching....?

8) Did you ever personally make amends with John Paulus?

9) Whose idea was that covers CD anyway -- yours or Clive's?

10) You graduated from college at age 26. Were you just a little slow or are there some "missing years" in the life of Clayton Holmes Grissom that even your most devoted mats don't know about?

11) The goat. The cat. Those weren't accidents, were they?

12) When was the last time you logged on to

13) When you claim that you were a teacher "for so long" or "for so many years," are you just trying to perpetuate a myth or do you now actually believe it?

14) Are you still friends with Nick?

15) How many meetings of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities have you actually attended?

16) Why did you tell Diane Bubel that you wrote the Josh Groban song "To Where You Are" when nothing could be further from the truth?

17) Do you ever read and find yourself nodding in agreement at some of our comments?

18) What do you regard as the biggest embarrassment of your generally embarraassing concert career: "Sleigh Ride," "Sexyback," or the "TV themes medley"?

19) Have you ever donated any money (say over $5000) to the BAF or any other charitable organization?

20) Do you believe that you will someday be held accountable for all your lies and manipulations, either in this life or the next?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Tired of looking at pictures of sweaty Clay on the CB or reading the exact same blog over and over and over at a certain someone's blogspot? If so, maybe you'll enjoy puzzling over this crostic quiz instead.

Here's how it works. Answer as many of the thirteen questions as you can. Each letter in your answer is represented by a number. Then take each letter from your answers and fill in the appropriate numbered spaces at the bottom of the screen. (For example, the first letter of the first answer is H. Now go down to 65 at the bottom of the page and write H over that number.) These letters will form a relevant quote -- and, as more of the quote appears, you may recognize words and be able to transfer those letters above to figure out more of the thirteen answers. Sounds complicated, but it really isn't. Good luck.

1) John gave one to Clay at the Quality Inn, then rode in one to Cary.


2) Clay blames him, so mats disdain him.


3) The mats' favorite book.


55--61--4--45--38 ?

4) At least America's children were saved from having to deal with this horror!



5) A hand signal from Clay that the mats must obey!


6) The FBI wishes that Clay would refrain from putting his stanky feet here.


7) The Clayboard Dance Company.


8) Clay's singing evokes many 33--6--42--10--78-17--2--23 ;

one of them is 5--49--18--66--56--26

9) They follow Clay from concert to concert like flies following a garbage truck.


10) What Clay does when an interviewer questions his sexuality.


11) How many words did Clay likely add to the lyrics of "Lover All Alone"?


12) JP offered his. Clay utilized it.



13) Clay's singing career doesn't seem to have one.


Now fill in the spaces below with the appropriate numbers and get the thought for the day:

















Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Collected Poetry of the Claynation

Here a few excerpts from the forthcoming book, The Collected Poetry of the Claynation.

The Claymate Song

Our feelings for Clay are almost devotional,
Just speaking his name makes us meotional.
Just seeing his face makes us orgasmic
Tongue-tied and knock-kneed and almost asthmatic.
We dream of the day he’ll call each of us “honey.”
Till then we’ll support him with bushels of money.
We’ll buy multiple albums and spam every poll
Making him famous will be our one goal.
So what if our marriages go straight to hell?
So what if our children are neglected as well?
We’ll cheer for Clay Aiken throughout this great land
Till we shut the fuck up with one wave of his hand.

Spurned and Quarter-turned

I know what it’s like to get a Clay Aiken kiss
(It’s somewhat less painful than getting his fist.)
I remember the romance of those quarter turns
(‘Cause they left me with chafing and bruises and burns.)
Who could forget his climactic screaming and growls?
(But did he have to yell at me for forgetting the towels?)
Then it was over, the last quarter turned
(And I did a porno while Aiken got Sterned.)
The Claymates hated me and called me perverted.
(But, look, now they love me! ‘Cause I’ve been Clayverted!)

Passenger 112-A

Imagine spoiled milk
And limburger cheese
Imagine a festering
Rotting disease.
That was the stench
As his cruddy feet
Smeared dripping toejam
On the side of my seat.
Why bother asking
What you would do?
If only you’d smelled it,
You’d hit him too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

To Be a Claymate, One Must Learn to Walk on Shifting Sands....

August 1, 2007

Aiken’sGirl: What do you love most about Clay?

Clackle-doodle-doo: His high moral standards!

Clayby’sWetNurse: Yes, you can always depend on our Clayby to put on a wholesome, family-friendly show. You can take your ninety-year-old grandma or your two-year-old son and no one will be offended.

Clayismydouche: He’s so pure! It’s almost like he’s a saint.

IWuvClay’sToenail: It sickens me to see what other performers do on stage. Clay is really one of a kind. He’s brought back G-rated entertainment and I love him for it!

August 13, 2007

Aiken’sGirl: Did you see Angela whip Clay last night?

Clackle-doodle-doo: Oh, Mr. Sex-ay Man.

Aiken’sGirl: I thought it was a little much, frankly.

Clayby’sWetNurse: No, it was cuuuuuuute!

Aiken’sGirl: I thought his shows were for the entire family -- and that bit was a little raunchy.

Clayismydouche: It was fun. Clay has always had a slightly bawdy sense of humor.

Aiken’sGirl: I think I liked him better when he was family friendly.

Clayismydouche: You’re being ridiculous. It’s not as if he did anything blatantly SEXUAL. You need to grow up.

IWuvClay’sToenail: I think Aiken’sGirl is beginning to sound like a hat-eh.

August 15, 2007

Aiken’sGirl: What did you think of the clack from last night’s show? Personally, I was a little disappointed when someone threw that cucumber on the stage and Clay stuck it through the fly of his pants and chased Angela and Quiana around the stage.

Clackle-doodle-doo: Oh I thought that was adorable!!!!

Clayby’sWetNurse: Thud!

Clayismydouche: I wish I was that cucumber!

IWuvClay’sToenail: I wish I was Angela or Quiana!!!!

Aiken’sGirl: Don’t you think it was...just...a little bit tacky? For a G-rated show?

Clayby’sWetNurse: Well, maybe it was PG, or PG-13 at the worst, but I can’t imagine anyone being offended.

Clayismydouche: Most modern performers are MUCH worse!

IWuvClay’sToenail: Let Clay be Clay! If you don’t like him, why don’t you go join the Fraud Squad, Aiken’sGirl!

August 17, 2007

Aiken’sGirl: I just got done watching last night’s clack and I’m in a state of shock! Halfway through “Back for More” Clay tore off Angela’s shirt and she was standing there topless wearing a pair of nipple rings! Then Clay tears off his five shirts and HE’S got a pair of nipple rings too! Then Quianna hooks this big chain between Angela’s rings and Clay’s rings and they start dragging each other around the floor of the stage!

Clackle-doodle-doo: That’s so charming! I love how playful they are together!

Clayby’sWetNurse: I’d be ‘back for more’ of that! Thud!!!

Aiken’sGirl: But...but there were kids in the audience. One man was a preacher from South Carolina, there with his wife and three children under ten years old!

IWuvClay’sToenail: So what? Clay and Angela were just playing tug of war! Kids love tug of war! Sometimes I wonder about you, Aiken’sGirl!

Clackle-doodle-doo: She’s a hat-eh. Are you sure your name isn’t...........Percocet?????????

August 20, 2007

Aiken’sGirl: Okay, this is the last straw. I just watched the clack from last night’s performance! Clay didn’t sing a note! He just came out, engaged in some juvenile banter, and then ripped all of Angela’s clothes off. Then he pulled all his clothes off and actually had SEXUAL INTERCOURSE with her right there on the stage. To the accompaniment of the symphony! For two hours!

Clackle-doodle-doo: Me likee a man with staying power!!!

IWuvClay'sToenail: Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Call the clambulance! I’ve thudded and I can’t get up!

Aiken’sGirl: It was totally inappropriate! There were CHILDREN in that audience!

Clay’sWetNurse: Oh calm down. “Teacher Clay” was just giving a little biology lesson, right girls?

IWuvClay’sToenail: Right. OMC is a VERY SMART man and VERY TASTEFUL too! He’d never do anything wrong. Ever. I trust you with my life, Clay!!!!

Aiken’sGirl: It was like a scene from an X-rated movie!

Clayismydouche: And if it was, I’m sure it was done very tastefully! Besides, having sex with Angela for two hours will stop all those nay-sayers from saying he’s gay.

Aiken’sGirl: Hey....yeah. ...Maybe you’re right. ...Maybe I was being a little too critical and mean-spirited.

Clayismydouche: Right. Just relax, honey. Have a glass or Kool-Aid and let’s all watch more of this wonderful family-friendly clack!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Morning After....

August 11, 2007

Dear Diary:

Well, I’m glad that’s over with.

I have to admit I was a little nervous about JP attending last night’s show. What if he started yelling at me from the audience? Or started waving around that damn DNA-crusted rag he’s been threatening me with for months?

What’s wrong with people nowadays? It used to be you could arrange a hook-up at the local no-tell motel, spend an hour doin’ the nasty, and then both parties would head home with their anonyonmity intack [Editor’s note: in the interest of accuracy, we are publishing “Teacher Clay’s” diary with the misspellings and grammatical errors “intact.”] Nowadays just because a guy performs a few quarter turns and lets ya give him a colonoscopy without any medical instruments, he thinks he owns ya for life!

Anyway, I have to thank Mama for coming up with a plan. She’s got that listserve of extra-special Claymates (those that has given over $10,000 to BAF...or has boughten over 100 copies of ATDW...or has written threatening letters to music critics) and she sent out an e-mail telling them that if they seen JP in the audience, they should not scream at him or hit him with their glow sticks or walking sticks or nothing like that, but just ignore-ignore-ignore him. Mama called it “Operation Dandelion” because she said that if you ignore a bright yeller dandelion on the lawn, pretty soon it will go to seed and just FLOAT AWAY. Mama gives such good advice and the only thing she wanted in exchange was the oportunity to come up on stage and dance by herself in front of that big old audience. Later on, Quianna and Angela said she looked like a hoochie up there. Because of that remark, they will not be touring with me next year. Now I will have to find someone else to hit the high notes for me and remember the lyriks to songs I forget.

My favorite moment of the night was when I teased the audience about making a big announsment. I acted like I was going to say I was “you-know-what,” but ended up saying I was...not cool! The Claymates did not get the joke. They never do.

Later on I had to skip the bus line because I had somethin’ else very important to do, but I had Mary write a blog hinting it was all the fault of JP! Ha-ha-ha-ha. Watch my mates “kick his butt” now! In the meantime, skipping the bus line gave me an extra hour to spend on M**h**t (Mama, I hope you are not reading this diary! It is PRIVATE!) where Sk*pp*r M*g** met a new guy online. We met in person at the Q**l*ty I** and I made sure he did not keep any of them t*wels.

Well, I been up all night, so I’m going to have a few Krispy Kremes and then hit the sack (for sleeping this time!) I figure I can sleep till ‘bout fifteen minutes before the next concert since I do not need to shower, shave, or even change clothes before going on stage.


* * *

August 11, 2007

Dear Diary:

Clay ignored me.

The audience ignored me.

Everyone ignored me.

Even with the stretch limo, everyone ignored me!


Could it be that Clay’s tearful late-night phone calls and recent e-mails and IMs were just a ruse to keep me quiet?

I need to talk to him about this or I’ll be going to the National Enquirer with a few more details I just “remembered” about our encounter at the Quality Inn!

Mom hardly talked the whole way home from Cary. She seems distracted...distant. When I said goodnight to her, she replied, “Goodnight, Clay.” I wonder what that’s all about?


* * *

August 11, 2007

Dear Diary,

I have to admit I felt somewhat “used” when my son said he was taking me to see a Clay Aiken concert as a gift. I would have been far happier if he’d agree to pay my cable bill...or pay the electric bill...or even clean his room. But instead he planned to take me to a concert featuring an American Idol RUNNER UP! (Couldn’t he at least have gotten me tickets for a winner like Ruben...or Kelly Clarkson...even Taylor Hicks?) I really had no interest in seeing Clay Aiken. That young man had inflicted quite enough grief on the lives of the Paulus family, even causing my son the Green Beret to lose his realtor job and become a porno star!

But even after all that trouble, I’m still a mother, and my greatest wish is to see my children happy. So when Johnny invited me to this concert, rented a stretch limo, and sent me off to have my hair and make-up done, I went along with it for his sake.

We arrived late for the concert and Johnny made quite an entrance into the audience, yet all the other people there studiously kept their backs turned to him and didn’t acknowledge him in any way. My heart began to ache for him.

Then MR. CLAY AIKEN took the stage and I no longer thought about Johnny....

I looked around at the audience -- all women my age and older -- swooning and screaming. I thought, “What do they see in this kid that I don't see?” Then I began to compare Clay to my own spawn. There was Clay, looking so tall and my son looking so short. Clay holding an audience of several thousand in the palm of his hand, my son being ignored by several thousand. Random thoughts flew wildly through my mind: gnats versus songbirds! gherkins versus waldos! the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name versus what that manly, macho stud on stage was doing to my quivering ovaries! Oh, was I glad I was wearing fresh make-up! If I’d been wearing a thong, I guarantee, it would now be laying at Clay’s feet on that stage.

Laws’ of Mercy and Good Golly Molly -- I’D BEEN CLAYVERTED!!!!!

Where else can you find a kid who sings the slow ballads of my generation? Recalls the TV shows I grew up with in his “television medley”? And even lets his mama up on stage to dance?

Well, I’d better put my diary away and get to work. So much to do today. I’m so eager to become a full-fledged member of the Claynation. First I have to find an itinerary of Clayby’s concert tour. I’ll be off to Ashville soon. But first I need to turn my car into a clambulance, make a Flat Clay to ride along with me, create a screen name for the Clayboard (Green Beret Mom? Clay’s Hook-up-in-Law? Quality Inn Ma? Fistler’s Mother?) Plus I need to run out to Walmart and pick up a few dozen copies of ATDW. Yes, I’ll be spending my children’s inheritance -- but I’ll be spending it all on Clay, Clay, Wonderful, Beautiful, Superlative Clay!

S. Paulus

Friday, August 10, 2007

This is the Night

Romeo and Juliet. Sampson and Delilah. Scarlett and Rhett.

Clay and John Paulus?

Okay, it was never destined to be one of the great romances of all time.

If it was a movie, it probably wouldn't be An Affair to Remember. More like Fatal Attraction without the bunny rabbit.

But it did make a good soap opera. The Clays of Our Lives. As the World Quarter Turns.

And tonight we get a new episode!

More than eighteen months after their ill-fated hook-up at the Quality Inn (an eighteen months filled with public allegations by Paulus, shifty non-denial denials by Aiken, as well as retractions, rapprochements, and retaliations), the two will meet again at tonight's concert in Cary.

JP is showing up in a stretch limo with his mother. Will he be turned away at the gates by Jerome? Welcomed by an army of Claymats ready to scratch his eyes out? Or given a backstage pass to visit Clay after the show?

Will Clay cancel his show at the last minute, claiming he's stuck in New York or stuck on the road with a flat tire (only Morgan Rowan will know where he is for sure. C'mon, that ring she gave him has GOT to have a global positioning device secretly built into it!) Will he speed through the concert with a lot less "banter" just to get the whole thing done and over with? Or will he give a shout out to JP from the stage and even dedicate a number to him -- possibly The Shoop-shoop Song (It's in His Fist)?

We'll find out tonight. It's a cellcert that shouldn't be missed.

(Thanks to an anonymous blogger for this entry.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Clay Makes a Boob of Himself in Magazine Interview

The Magazine for Men Who Have Something to Get Off Their Chests

September 2007

COVER STORY: An Uplifting Interview with Clay Aiken

Meet Clay Aiken. Raleigh native. Former teacher. American Idol runner-up. And no stranger to gynecomastia. "I spent my life being embarrassed," the singer sadly admits. "Often I'd wear two, three, even four shirts at a time. People wondered if I had something to hide. I did."

Ever since high school, Aiken had been ashamed of his oversized chest. "It wasn't too bad during all those long, long years I was a teacher" (Aiken refuses to say exactly how many years he actually spent teaching) "but when I became famous as a result of American Idol, things got really out of hand. My fans began analyzing every photo of me. I cringed each time I saw a picture of my chest on the message boards and was furious when my fans, the Claymates, began referring to my ‘cloobies.’" Though disgusted and angry by the terminology, Aiken admits that he did go ahead and trademark the term "cloobies."

A recent weight gain didn't help. "My spirits were really sagging," says Aiken, "and so were my...cloobies."

The top-heavy Aiken began to experiment with chest-binding, but a disastrous performance of "All is Well" at a Christmas concert put an end to that. "I couldn't hit the glory note at the end," he says. "I started to sing the word 'well' and felt the duct tape I’d wrapped around my chest start to rip loose. That last note ended up sounding like a Tarzan yell." Faced with the prospect of more "Tarzan yells" in his summer concert series, Aiken admits, "I was flat-out scared. Well, maybe 'flat' is the wrong word. But I knew I couldn't keep singing with my chest wrapped in thirty yards of tape. My entertainment career would go bust."

That's what Aiken decided to take matters into his own hands. "Rather than be ashamed of this issue, I decided to come out of the closet...I mean, in terms of my appearance.” Over the break between concert tours, Aiken designed a number of form-fitting undergarments that keep his "cloobies" securely in place and prevent them from interfering with his glory notes. "Now I'm proud to take off my jacket during my TV medley and do the George Jefferson dance," says Aiken, who refuses to call his new undergarments "brassieres" or "bras" because "those things are for women and I'm not into women. Their clothes, I mean." Aiken admits that each of his undergarments is a little different, with some covering his "cloobies" while others emphasis his pigeon chest with if-you’ve-got-it-why-not-flaunt-it abandon. "I get a kick out of reading the fan boards," he titters. "One night they’ll post pictures of me and it looks like I'm wearing a Double D and the next night it looks like I'm flat as a board. My chest has been going up and down like the stock market all summer. I like to keep my mates guessing."

But now Aiken has decided to market his undergarments to other men with cloobies. "Although, technically other men can't HAVE cloobies," said Aiken, "since I trademarked the word for myself. I'M the only one with cloobies!" But he does have words of advice for other top-heavy guys: "Sometimes you’ve just got to make the ‘breast’ of a bad situation!" What about men who will knock him for reveling in his large chest? “Those are knockers I choose to ignore,” he states with determination.

In the above pictorial, Aiken models some of his latest creations "for men only."

Photo one is the Mezghan Model Undergarment that provides real support for real men. Aiken used his own hands and shaved arms as the model for this ultra-strong item. Comes in bronze, silver, and stainless steel and should not be worn through airport security lines.

Photo two is a "soft and lacy undergarment" with extra cushiony support. "When I wore the Mezghan Model while doing the When Doves Cry dance with my back-up singer, she came away with bruises on her back." This extra comfortable model is scented like "fresh laundry" and comes in a variety of colors including Manhunter Mauve, Paulus Peach, and VSG Violet.

Photo three shows the sexy and slimming full-body corset which provides needed support above and hides midriff bulge below on those days when one Krispy Kreme just isn't enough.

All of Clay Aiken's undergarments can be purchased at his concert souvenier booth and the Clederick's of Hollywood catalog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Claymates Attack Reviewer of a Clay Aiken Concert

Clay exhorts his Claymates to "kick butt" and they obey. One of the only legitimate media reviews of a Clay Aiken concert was recently written by Ben Wener, a music critic for the Orange County Register. This review was a detailed, thorough account and critique of Clay’s recent concert at the Greek Theater. Here is the review:

” Sunday, August 5, 2007
Clay Aiken not quite a Manilow in the making
Review: The natural entertainer's Greek debut suggests he is on the right road to Vegas, however.
The Orange County Register

I've been telling my mother for years now that Clay Aiken is Vegas-bound.

You remember my mother, don't you? Name's Candy. She's a sweetheart. Ask anyone.

Start with any of the 150 people who got one of the glow sticks she handed out Saturday night at Clay's Greek Theatre debut.

You read that right: 150. That's the count my sister Jennifer gave me, anyway, and she helped pass 'em around. I imagine my mother's gal pals in Clay's Clackhouse were in on the plan, but whoever was chiefly responsible, I did see at least 150 glow sticks shoot up and wave all around me when Clay went into "Because You Loved Me," that evil Celine Dion song, to close his show.

That's a Vegas finish if there ever was one, though not all of Clay's selections this night were so insufferable. Well, "Right Here Waiting" was, but I've always liked Dolly Parton's "Here You Come Again" and Hall & Oates' (and Paul Young's) "Every Time You Go Away," while Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and Harry Nilsson's (not Celine's) "Without You" are classics in my book. (Hate how Clay sings those last two, however.)

Also part of his show: two odd, hackneyed medleys. The first was devoted to more than a dozen TV themes, from "Full House" and "Charles in Charge" to "The Jeffersons" and "WKRP in Cincinnati." The second was even sillier. After a painfully drawn-out lead-in about how uncool he is, Clay set about proving it by tackling tunes he facetiously figures might make one cool: "Baby Got Back" and "O.P.P.," for example, and "Yeah!" and "SexyBack," and from the country world "Achy Breaky Heart" and "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy."

It was all a bit befuddling. I know he's doing what he has to for an album (the widely panned "A Thousand Different Ways") he didn't want to make in the first place, and I appreciate the cheekiness of calling this trek The Soft Rock in Hard Place Tour. (Though really, Clay … "Rock"?) But am I mistaken, or wasn't he hoping to avoid such just-a-cute-entertainer pigeonholing?

Not that he's ever succeeded at that. I've always insisted he's Vegas-bound, much to my mother's dismay, not only because his voice is made for Sin City's revue distractions but because he performs like he wants to headline a destination show there before he's 40. Yes, he sought to make this last record an original goopy-glossy production, and instead got a "mandate" (his word for it Saturday night) to cut a remakes-heavy homage to the last quarter-century's most blah ballads. But what was his covers-crazy Jukebox Tour of 2005 all about, then? And what of his three Christmas jaunts since 2004?

Presumably Clay has much more control over his live output than he currently does with recordings, and still he has presented himself as an old-fashioned entertainer, the sort who might regularly put out discs like "A Thousand Different Ways" and then embark on a slow-songs-with-orchestra outing like this one. Only during "Measure of a Man" (which got me to clap when his covers didn't) and his co-written but shakily executed song "Lover All Alone" did Clay seize the opportunity to veer into something different – something to suggest he really wants to be contemporary.

Otherwise, he behaves like Barry Manilow, the soft-pop icon who has undertaken similar tours in the past – and whose routine now plays best in Vegas.

Clay invoked Manilow's name twice Saturday to top off self-effacing quips: "Only me and Barry," that's who gives you nights like this. At times, though, it seemed as if he'd been studying Manilow's playbook, incorporating some old tricks into his shtick.

His talented, naturally engaging supporting vocalists, for instance – Quiana Parler and Angela Fisher – are not unlike Ladyflash, Manilow's toned-down version of Bette Midler's Harlettes. Just as 30 years ago Manilow would detour into his "Very Strange Medley" (a hodgepodge of jingles you'd never have guessed he wrote), so does Clay indulge his TV tribute and "uncool" roundup. He even repeats the master's stock lines, placating husbands who got dragged to his show by reminding them they might get lucky later that night.

That's straight out of Manilow 101 – as is decrying radio with these-kids-today disdain, which Clay did more than once to hearty applause from a largely older and female crowd (a devoted fan base that nonetheless fell far short of filling the Greek). But, see, Manilow can get away with bagging on the new because he once dominated – and still co-rules his domain. He remains a soft-pop maestro, a gifted pianist of considerable variety, and a strong, distinctive vocalist. Clay is just Clay – a nice charmer with an undeniably powerful (albeit hardly to all tastes) voice that is already showing signs of strain and aimlessness when he goes for glory notes these days.

Clay will never be but a fraction as talented as Manilow, something he surely realizes, but you can't deny he's on the right track. He's got a witty way about himself, and banters off-the-cuff exceptionally well. Mind you, he almost talked here as much as he sang – not entirely a bad thing – and his habit of tumbling into and out of songs while chuckling isn't cute so much as unprofessional. But I found his asides more appealing than his songs, just as I enjoy his interviews with Jimmy Kimmel more than his performances whenever he's on.

If he'd just settle into this as a career path – and maybe he is – he still has a very promising future as a new sort of Wayne Newton. That said, Mom, if you don't mind, I think I'll stay in the casino while you catch whatever he puts together next. Let me know if things ever start tightening up.”

On posting this review, the Claymates immediately went into attack mode, posting the most vicious and excessively-unfair personal attacks in responses to this review. Not only did they flood this site with vile comments, but they systematically removed responses that were posted in support of Mr. Wener’s review, and on reposting by the website, repeatedly removed them again and again.
In response to these attacks, Mr. Wener posted this rebuttal, pointing out aspects of his review that were clear to anyone who was not a Claymate.

”Clay Aiken update: Just for the record …
August 7th, 2007 · Post a Comment · posted by bwener

I had my say about Clay Aiken. Thousands of you had your say. Now, despite the risk of further fanning hateful flames, I’d like to respond.

1) I love my mother very, very much, and she knows it. How dare you suggest otherwise – or contend that, simply because I choose to occasionally write about her Clay Aiken obsession (and VERY briefly this time, I might add), I must have some crazy mommy issues to work out. (Who are you people?) Terming it an obsession, by the way, isn’t mocking her – she’s joked about it as such in the past, though she’d prefer to call it a “passion.” But I freely admit I have teased and even given my mom a hard time about her Clay adoration in the past – and in print, when she sometimes would rather I kept her out of the Register’s pages altogether.

To do so, however – to act like her intense devotion doesn’t exist – would be some kind of lie, a betrayal of everything I’ve honestly written about Aiken, with regard to my mom’s superfan loyalty to him. From the second he caught on via “American Idol” four years ago, the ups and downs of his career have been a regular topic between us. That constancy cannot help but get intertwined with my appreciation (or lack thereof) of his career – which is why I’ve openly made it a part of my Clay-related writing all along.

Mind you, I evaluate Clay each time out in the same fashion, just as I would anyone else. I start with as open a mind as possible. (Given that I’ve already heard his albums and seen previous shows, yes, I do have some preconceived notions, as anyone would - critic or not.) I do my best to tune out others’ opinions, lest they influence my own – then I form an argument for or against, or neither, while trying to take into account the audience response I’ve witnessed, particularly if it’s markedly different from my own.

To ignore my mother’s presence at a Clay show – particularly when she’s involved in passing out glow sticks, thus making her presence known – well, that goes beyond mere opinion writing and crosses over into colorful background, details to help people who weren’t there (and who very likely aren’t devoted Clay fans) a sense of what it was like to be at the Greek and see a wave of glow sticks suddenly go up all around you. (My sister would like me to report that there were some thousand or so on site - many more than they handed out.) Either way, were it something someone else sitting near me had instigated, wouldn’t I write about it? Why would it be any different just because my mom had a hand in it? In fact, that’s even more reason to include such a detail – it’s my mom.

But where and how exactly did I ridicule her? I said she’s a sweetheart – “ask anyone.” That was not meant sarcastically. She’s one of those warm and caring spirits whose mere presence tends to instantly put people at ease. In my three decades or so of introducing friends to her, every one of them has at some point come away saying, “Your mom is just the nicest person!” If she’s Debbie Reynolds, all sunshine and smiles, then I’m her Carrie Fisher. Yet nothing comes between us – least of all Clay. I wouldn’t know how to mock her kindness, and I think it’s clear I wasn’t trying to. I was only acknowledging, for the sake of those who have read other chapters of this saga, that my mother was in attendance, handing out glow sticks to friends and strangers, and having a blast.

Read it back again: Do I say anything more about her? I spot only two other mentions (which hardly adds up to “half the review,” as so many contend). One comment reiterates my opening statement, referencing my mother’s dismay that I would consider Clay Vegas-bound, for she, like so many of his staunchest fans, often takes grave offense at that suggestion because they want bigger things for him. (Although what, I wonder, is so horrible about being big in Vegas? I like Wayne Newton just fine, Barry Manilow even more, I love Elton John and have at least respect for Celine Dion’s international appeal. There’s hardly any failure in becoming a Vegas star – Elvis and Sinatra were ones. Clay should be so lucky.)

The only other comment involving my mom is the only one actually directed to her – my parting line, where I tell her that next time I’ll take a pass when it comes to Clay’s show. “Let me know if things ever start tightening up,” I added, for I’m not now nor have I ever been out-and-out anti-Clay. I don’t see the miraculous gifts so many of his fans do, but I have always taken notice of his affable charm and vocal prowess. I don’t put it past him to pull together a better show someday – something I trust my mother to notify me about when the time comes.

How it is that all of this was misconstrued – that for whatever reason I was somehow out to get my mother with this review – is positively beyond me. I can’t help but think that the people who have been saying loathsome personal things about me (”fantastically unwarranted,” as my wife Roxanne put it) are still carrying baggage from the column I wrote last year, which was unquestionably more personal and mom-centric. I can’t help but think they were looking for a way to harangue me, simply for not liking their hero. But that’s all I did – criticized Clay the way I would anyone else I feel isn’t up to snuff. (I doubt any of these readers would have nearly so many problems with, say, my recent slam of Fergie.)

“Writing reviews just to trash your mother is a very sad thing,” one commenter wrote. I agree. Really glad I didn’t do that to her.

2) “I hope your superiors call you on this drivel that does not pass for a review,” one ranter wrote. “”If you’re getting paid to write reviews, you are not doing your job, at least in this case.” Then she adds: “I haven’t seen any of your other attempts.” Thanks for keeping up. But to put your mind at ease, my “superiors” haven’t the slightest problem with my review. One editor even praised it, and thought the details about my mother were sweet. It’s incredible, I know, but critics typically aren’t fired because they don’t like something everyone else does.

Also, regarding this business of comments at the end of the review disappearing and reappearing and disappearing again – I have nothing to do with this, and have been doing everything I can to restore any and all comments when they get deleted for no good reason, whether they’re for or against me. Everyone has the right to sound off – to fiddle with that forum would be to condone censorship. It is, however, a self-policing tool - two strikes and the comment is removed. Our web editors are trying to restore comments whenever they are unnecessarily deleted.

However, I so far cannot explain how the vote count (something else I have no part in) went from being 400-plus for and 400-plus against to now being, at last check, 82-29 in favor of the ayes. I wonder if that counter rolls over at 500.

3) The two charges of inaccuracy or gross unfairness that have been lobbed my way involve Barry Manilow and dry SoCal air. About the first: Many felt I should have known that Manilow (apparently on “Oprah” or in some other interview) has said that he thinks Clay has a much better voice than his own. To which I say: Good for Barry, though I wonder if he was just being modest, as he often is. Regardless, just because Barry thinks Clay sings better than him doesn’t mean I do. (Differ all you like.)

As for the dry SoCal air concern, some readers felt I should have been kinder about the evident strain in Clay’s upper register because he was having difficulty combating the outdoor air (most of his other shows had been indoors). If he mentioned something about it at the show, I didn’t catch it – I’m human. Still, such conditions are what singers face from time to time. The best overcome such occasional adversity. That such a young performer with routinely had wobbliness on his higher notes tells me something. It’s worth singling out.

4) “If you don’t like him, why bother writing about him?” Again, I don’t hate him. And to let hundreds of his angriest fans browbeat me into never considering him again lets them win. I will continue to judge his work when it seems necessary. I’ll stop bothering when and if it seems everyone else has, too.

… Ben
StumbleUpon Clay Aiken update: Just for the record … Stumble it!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 1:10 am and is filed under Sounding Off: News & Musings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.”

This is a prime example of how the Claymates operate and why they are unlike any other celebrity’s fanbase. In fact, they more closely resemble a cult, and their obsessive, rabid defense of a pop singer who has perpetrated a fraudulent image has reached a level of sickness and viciousness unprecedented in the history of the music industry. Mr. Wener is to be applauded for his honesty, fairness and integrity in writing both his review and his rebuttle, and for his staunch defense of his opinions in the face of such harassment. Sadly, it's not just critics who draw the wrath of the Claymates, it's anyone who they perceive to be negative about Clay, whether real or not. Worse, Clay boasts about the Claymates' bullying in public.

Clay, stop encouraging your Claymates to "kick butt" in your defense before someone really gets hurt. You are on record as promoting this behavior and will be held liable if any harm comes to anyone.