Firsts and Lasts with The Good Greatsby

Have you ever wondered who invented dessert? Or who was Brad Pitt’s body double in Thelma and Louise? Or pondered why Paul McCartney decided to abandon all sense of musical taste and write the song Wonderful Christmastime“?

Well, all these answers and more can be found by visiting the hilarious blog,
The Good Greatsby.


If you’ve been searching for a blogger who’s always witty and entertaining, then Paul is your man. If you’ve been searching for someone to give all your extra cash to — Paul is definitely your man. (He’ll also accept gift cards but please, no personal checks.)

He’s been Freshly Pressed numerous times, he’s a WordPress Recommended Humor blogger and he’s a humor blogger for The Huffington Post.

I know. I’ll have what he’s having. My guess is that’s not really tobacco in his pipe.

67d4fbb9393c077fa9d40657ff176cafHe tackles political satire with ease, Obama Reels in Big, Bigger, Biggest Fish, explains why you should never invite him to your party, Thank You for Inviting Me to the Party. I Apologize for My Behavior at the Party, and occasionally waxes poetic while writing about his favorite celebrity obsession, Vin Diesel, When I Become Famous: The First 24 Hours, although his heart really belongs to Zooey Deschanel, Friday Love Letters.

So what makes Greatsby tick? Who is the man behind that snazzy smoking jacket? Will I be able to sufficiently poke fun at him with my crafty PowerPoint slides? Let’s find out!


Blog Post:

Tough Childhood


I’m not definite I’ve ever been in love. I used to think I fell in love a lot but I once described love to a doctor and he said what I was experiencing was remarkably similar to the symptoms of car sickness. He suggested I stop taking first dates on high-speed drives through winding canyons, and after following his advice I never fell in love again. I also used to think women fell in love with me a lot, but it turns out they were just frightened to death at my driving, and that their trembling hands, wide eyes, pale faces and shrieks were more likely symptoms of terror and not love. Love is complicated.

Childhood Memory:

For some reason I don’t remember the exact moment of being born, but I do remember my parents arguing with the hospital staff about the bill and thinking, Uh-oh, Mom and Dad are cheap. Looks like I’ll be going to a state college.

Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?
Why, Mommy and Daddy? WHYYYYY?

Moment I met my significant other:

I was sitting on a bus with a bag of groceries on my lap. The bag broke and an avocado rolled down the aisle until finally resting against a woman’s black high heel. Prada. Spring collection. The woman reached down to pick up the avocado and when she turned back to look at me I found myself locking eyes with the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. I stood and slowly made my way across the bus, never breaking eye contact. I put out my hand. “I believe you have my avocado.” She smiled, raised the avocado up to her face, gave it a squeeze and said, “You’ve picked a ripe one.” As if on cue the bus jerked to the side, and in one smooth motion she fell into my arms, my lips brushed her ear, and I whispered, “I always pick the ripest produce.” She shivered. And then she shivered again. And then I realized it was actually my cell phone vibrating. Embarrassed, I turned my back as I took the call, which was my brother asking if he could set me up with his wife’s cousin. That wife’s cousin turned out to be my future wife and I first met her the following Friday after I pulled up in my car and she came out the front door of her grandparents’ house.

Possession I would take my house were on fire:

The vortex invasion pod in my basement, because the aliens were very clear that the vortex invasion pod should never catch on fire or the universe would implode. Also that it shouldn’t get wet. Also that I should stop hanging laundry on it.

Job I had:

Loose change collector. Every day, starting when I was about five, I would search under couch cushions or in the pockets of coats hanging in the closet or under the seat of my dad’s car. The pay wasn’t great, the benefits were non-existent, but the hours were flexible.

Time I got pulled over by a cop:

I’ve only been pulled over once. The police officer said I’d entered the turning lane too early, but my very reasonable explanation fell on deaf ears. I grew suspicious of his motives when he saw my driver’s license and failed to compliment my photo. And that’s when I realized what I was up against: handsomeness discrimination. Sometimes cops see a handsome man passing and think, That looks like a guy who needs to be taken down a notch. This is why I gave up driving, because I wasn’t willing to give up being handsome.

A still-handsome Greatsby's  new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.
A still-handsome Greatsby’s new mode of ultra-groovy transportation.

Thing I think God will say to me at the pearly gates:

“Don’t tell me who won the Super Bowl. I’ve got it on DVR but I’ve been absolutely swamped. Also, why is Kim Kardashian famous?”


Blog Post: When I Was a Kid, Things Were Tough

Thing I cooked:

Pad Thai. I make this pretty regularly and it’s usually good, but I tried something new and the result was too spicy. As we sat down for dinner and our eyes watered and throats burned, I told my sons if they learn one lesson from this meal it’s that you should never, ever try anything new in life. Find a bunch of comfortable behaviors, ideas, and habits at a young age and spend the rest of your life angrily refusing to see life from any other perspective.

Movie I saw:

Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. You should see this. But not with anyone who hates Keira Knightley. Why do so many women dislike Keira Knightley?

(editor's note: I think it's her hat. No...on second thought, it's everything else about her.)
(editor’s note: I think it’s her hat. No…on second thought, it’s everything else about her.)

Song I listened to:

We Are the People by Empire of the Sun. I’ve heard this song hundreds of times just this year. You could walk up to me at any moment and ask what was the last song I listened to and there’s a good chance the last song was We Are the People.

Book I read:

Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

untitled (14)

Reality TV show I watched:

We don’t get American TV here in China so I don’t have regular access to reality shows. But a friend’s laptop was stolen from his apartment and he asked me to translate as he spoke to the security guards, and when we viewed the CCTV footage of the previous 24 hours and all the comings and goings of his apartment complex, and watched most of it in fast forward, it was the most compelling reality show I’d ever seen. Seriously. I’d watch that show again.

Person I kissed:

This answer has changed so many times in the last couple weeks. I kept putting off finishing this interview until the last person I kissed was really impressive. Unfortunately the only celebrity I met in the past few weeks was Joe Montana, and although he was definitely giving me signals, the timing never felt quite right.


Time I cried:

At the end of Doctor Zhivago—the 2002 British edition with Keira Knightley. If you didn’t cry, what’s wrong with you?

Time I laughed hysterically:

Yesterday. I was doing a voice recording for a hospitality training manual. The script made multiple references to “duties” and “the duties of a duty manager” and that “the duty manager has to be attentive to his employees’ duties.” I know it’s juvenile but I giggled like a schoolgirl. I never giggle. I hate to even write the word giggle. But I giggled every single time.

Time I told a little white lie:

Once I gave away the children’s puppy. I was taking him for a walk and a man stopped his bike and said, “I like your puppy.” And I said, “Take him. He’s yours,” and placed Mr. Lunch in the bike basket. When I returned home I told my sons that Mr. Lunch was on vacation. Almost nine years later and they still look out the window and ask when Mr. Lunch will be back from vacation. Hilarious.

Time I swore like a sailor:

A couple days ago when I argued with my cell phone provider. International coverage in my plan had somehow expired without my knowledge and I was charged about $200 for 3 calls to the US at a rate of about $1.75 a minute. The conversation was in Chinese but the swear words were in English. (Note: Initially I misread the question as “Time I swore at a sailor”. That would be a great question. A lot of my favorite comedy ideas come from misreading things.)


Good deed I did:

I flirt with a lot of married women right in front of their husbands. This might not seem like charity in the biblical sense, but when your husband sees me write my number on your hand, his jealousy is going to make him treat you right for at least two weeks. You’re welcome. (And don’t worry, I didn’t write my real number. It’s the number of a marriage counselor. I get a small referral commission.)


I bought myself really expensive skinny jeans, so skinny they couldn’t even be seen with the naked eye.


Thanks for playing along, Greatsby! The 50 cent coupon for a single serving size of Totino’s Party Pizza is in the mail. (unless it gets “lost” on the way to China)

83 thoughts on “Firsts and Lasts with The Good Greatsby

  1. Roller skates really are an underrated mode of transportation. Paul is wise to being them back, along with fluorescent shorts and Paul McCartney.

    Best blogger of the month ever – and that’s saying something since I was featured already. 😉

  2. Nice try on the “first love” bit. I saw that very same plot thread in a European “art house” film. She ended up taking that black Prada heel and…oh…never mind.

    I was in a Thai restaurant with Oswaldo, my Latino friend, and when I ordered Pad Thai he said, “You know, that’s what white people always order.” I thought the waitress was going to wet herself laughing because, apparently, that’s true.

    Well done on the Woodhouse book. No clever bon mot this time. An elitist prig, but one of my absolute favorite authors. Wrote the same book over and over. Dozens of times. He’s like the Rolling Stones, who found success by recording that one song of theirs over and over and over.

      1. Well, it certainly plays into the whole silk-smoking-jacket-pipe persona in your avatar. That’s really going the extra mile. My avatar is wholly unrelated. I don’t have a pair of eyeballs on a plate. Nor am I sainted.

  3. You’ve outdone yourself once again, Darla!! That roller skating powerpointed Paul is genius. Just so very genius. Bravo.

    Oh, and yeah, I guess Paul’s pretty funny, too. I mean, if you like that kind of humor. Whatever.

    1. What? that’s not a powerpoint slide. I unearthed that gem after I hacked into his home computer.

      And you’re right, I guess he’s pretty funny. Much funnier than I am, and I kinda sorta hate him for that. But I’ll just keep swallowing my seething jealousy until it forms a giant pit of bile in my gut, eventually leading to stomach cancer and I’ll die a bitter old blogger. Whatever.

      1. You have no idea how much your jealousy means to me. If I had to choose just one person to make jealous, and I could never make anyone else jealous for the rest of my life, well, that would be pretty depressing.

  4. Jeezum Crow! Where’d he get those sizzling pepto shorts? Once again you have cranked out an Informative, creative, and down right hysterical post.
    Q. First time I spit coffee onto my keyboard? A. Reading your blog.
    Q. Last time I spit coffee onto my keyboard? A. See previous A.
    Good god, I am in serious test mode. Thanks for the laugh, Darla. Gotta go ace my second final now.

    1. I was very lucky in that that was the very first photo that came up when I googled “Paul Johnson aka The Good Greatsby Sporting Pepto Shorts and Loving It A Little Too Much”.

      Good luck with your final! I am crying right now. I’m deep in my finals despair this week because I have four of them in three days. Plus a paper. I think in general, professors are evil sadistic bastards, don’t you?

      1. Except YOU of course, Katy! Why, you would never ever be evil or sadistic in any way! Really, I wish you were my professor. I have the same professor for three of my classes. He’s a doctor and happens to think he knows everything. It’s so annoying.

        How the hell are you anyway? Big hugs to you. And here’s an apple for your desk. Don’t flunk me, please.

          1. OH yeah!!! That’s right! I have to go check the comments…(ahem)

            Do you know how much I miss you? Really? Truly? seeing you sporadically on Facebook ain’t cutting it, chica. You need to drop everything important in your life and start wasting more time blogging.

            I had two finals today. Three more later this week. One exam I got an A. The other? I think I stroked out from the pressure halfway through and just answered C for every question.

            How the heck are you?

  5. Now I know why I haven’t worn my rollerblades in over 10 years. I just didn’t have the right leg warmers!

    P.P.S. – Why am I suddenly craving guacamole?

    P.S. – Oh for %^&%^ sake – a strand of lights just went out on the tree. Sorry, unrelated, but another life lesson for the boys: Let your wife handle all of the Christmas decorations, even the ones clearly intended for a man. She won’t resent you at all. You don’t even need to hold the ladder; she’ll be fine.

    1. Yeah, he really does need to post more. I was thinking of having him take over my blog forever so I wouldn’t have to write another post.

      And your poem for me was really the highlight of my blogging career. Love your accent, much better than mine.

  6. Darla – you’ve outdone yourself on the photoshop cropping! Paul as the roller derby queen is maybe the best yet.

    GG – The last book I read was a PG Wodehouse too! I think Carry On Jeeves is one of my favorites.

  7. they remade Dr. Zhivago? staring that annoying woman with all the extra teeth? What were they thinking?

    I’m glad Paul came out of semi-retirement for this post. It’s been a while since he’s been in my inbox!

      1. Are you sure she doesn’t need more publicity? If she were more famous, maybe they’d finally make that sequel to Doctor Zhivago. Of course she died at the end, but Hollywood can find a way to bring her back.

      1. Whenever I think of him, I think of an interview I once saw with Peter O’Toole who became great friends with Omar during the making of Lawrence of Arabia.

        “I was introduced to this handsome man” said Peter, “and told his name was ‘Omar’. ‘Nobody’s name is Omar,’ I said to him. ‘I’m going to call you Fred.’ And I do.” said Peter O’Toole. Close friend of Fred Shariff!

          1. I had a horrible crush on Peter O’Toole in my days of planning to be an actress. He is an amazing actor, and I swallowed any interview with him available.

            If I didn’t have a brother Fred, I would call you Fred, Darla.

          2. You just made me spit my water all over the computer screen.

            Please do, call me Fred.

            Ah yes, I also had many horrible crushes on many great actors in my days of planning to be a horrible actress. I really liked Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant.

          3. Weren’t they both dead by the time you were planning to be a horrible actress.

            True story. We were at Best Buy today, getting John a new phone. A Geek squad guy came up to our guy and asked for some technical help. A woman had spilled Orange juice on her iPad. To clean it off, she had run it through the washing machine.

            Sometimes, Fred, I just don’t know how the world continues to spin.

          4. That’s right, you’re Peter. Sorry. Guess I still have Omar on the brain. Now when I see Dr. Zhivago again, all I’ll think is, Damn, that Fred was a fine actor!

            and yes, I was thinking of Weebs, she unearths some of the hottest dead guys on her posts.

        1. I’ll take it!

          Unless you’re really telling me you’re stalking G and not me? Fine. I get that a lot, I can take it.

          But we’ll always have facebook for stalking purposes!

          Unless you un-friend me. And then I would be crushed.

          But don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.

          1. I can see you are still full of self-confidence! 🙂 Don’t worry I won’t un-friend you and I’ll pop in here occasionally. You know, I’ll probably, eventually start a new blog but I haven’t come up with the million dollar idea yet. But when I figure that out I want to be sure I still have 5 or 6 people I can invite to subscribe! 🙂

  8. ermigal

    Thanks to both Darla and GG for giving me a good laugh, and boy, did I need it. Love the breezy,”are you with me?” style (whatever that means, I just liked how that sounded. Did Wodehouse write a lot of books? Now I have to go look it up. Keep up the terrific, entertaining writing! :-))

  9. It’s great to see Paul’s slightly-condescendingly-smiling face here. The tale of his first love involving an avocado, a vibrator and a bus should be turned into a made-for-TV movie…it’s just that good.

    p.s. The Montana/Zhivago picture made me giggle like a schoolgirl. You still got the mad Powerpoint skillz, Fredarla.

  10. Pingback: Scientists Prove What’s the Matter with Kids Today | The Good Greatsby

  11. Do you think I could buy that hot skating outfit for Danny and get it before Christmas???
    I like Kiera Knightly, but don’t see her in A Dangerous Method. She did a terrible job and I didn’t need to see her boobs…
    Wow! Two Paul posts in one day! I’m feeling so lucky, I should play the lottery!

    1. You’re not the only one. I’m a Paul fan (I’m referring to McCartney here, though I can say the same of Greatsby), hardcore enough to get into the line to buy concert tickets before sunrise – yet I have to change the station whenever the song comes on the radio.

  12. I always wondered how Paul met his wife….I figured it was probably very exotic and “movie like”…..especially the Grandparent’s house part! Oh if only I could have such an exciting story to tell about “my” significant other!

  13. Fred- do you think you could ask your friend GG to post a little less infrequently? Jeezum, crow, I’m a trifle upset at his neglect. I’m glad he’s visiting, but I come here for here for your funny shiz.

    And for the record, I LOVE Keira Knightley. So there!

    1. Y’know, I had to read that first sentence a few times: so you’re telling me to tell him to post more? I’ve tried, Samara. I’ve tried. He refuses. (the bastard) Oh, hey, G! Didn’t see you there!

      1. “less infrequently” – right? crazy shiz! I sent you an email – let me know what you think.
        It’s positively balmy here – not Christmas-y at all. Doing my cookie thing to do in Florida weather. Weird.

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