Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Haircut Notes

Posted on October 6, 2011


If you’re receiving this note, it means that you are my new barber and/or hairdresser. First off, congratulations. You may not realize this, but you have passed a rigorous screening and background check. That’s something to feel very proud about.

Second, I hope you’re looking forward to this process as much as I am. I’m very excited to work together with you on creating the best haircut possible for me. I think, together, we can really do something special here.

Instead, of rushing through a discussion of what I’d like done with my hair just before the haircut, itself, I figured I’d write down some thoughts for you to fully digest before our appointment later this week.

Here are some feelings I’d like this haircut to convey:

- Hope

- Bold self-awareness

- Nobility

- Attention to the past paired an enlightened optimism re: the future

- Humility

- Empathy

- Strength

I understand that these are simply words at this point. None of this will take final shape until we see the fully-realized haircut in action. I mean, neither of us can guess exactly what people will think when they look at this haircut. If we could control that, we’d rule the world. But, we can encourage. We can prod. We can guide.

I guess what I want this haircut to ultimately do is inspire others to be the best selves they can be. That’ll require both an eye on detail and attentiveness to the greater overall vision. Some would say your focus should be the minutiae and implementation, while I should handle big picture goals. Well, that might be okay for standard, everyday trims. But, I’m not looking for an employee; I want a partner. Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s spitball ideas. Really dig into the greater issues surrounding this haircut.

For instance, we both know that a haircut is not a static artifact. From the moment any single hair is snipped, it becomes an ever-changing dynamic aesthetic element, both in its kinetic movement and in its literal growth. A breeze, a jaunty step, the ticking of the clock---a haircut is literally different from one second to the next. And, planning can only account for so much of the ultimate form and function of a hairstyle. That’s why we need to be light on our feet.

Included in this envelope, you’ll find some additional materials to look over. It’s a few rough charcoal sketches and some magazine clippings. Don’t worry; none of these reference other, existing haircuts. I wouldn’t insult you as like that.

It’s more a style guide or a mood chart---photos of the Acropolis, gouaches of limestone sea caves, an interesting essay on fractals and their relationship to contemporary origami. Don’t worry about memorizing any of it; just be familiar with some of the concepts before our pre-haircut phone call.

Speaking of, can you send me your availability for a quick Skype conference about this? I want to bring in a couple of other creative types I know for a brainstorming session. There’s a Google document where you can sign up for any of the three-hour blocks. I mean, ideally, I’d like you involved with all of the sessions, but I understand that you’ll need time to sharpen you scissors and test your combs and such.

Again, I’m really excited about this, and I hope you are as well. If you need to reach me for any reason, there’s a list of my various phone and fax numbers in Section C of the attached documents. Don’t hesitate to call or email any time, day or night.

All the best,
Andrew "Andy" Ross


Man of 1,000 Slightly Different Voices

Posted on July 26, 2011

Thousand Voices

Thank you for booking Andy Ross, the Man of 1,000 Slightly Different Voices, for your next party or business conference. You have made the correct choice for your entertainment needs. Or, as we like to say, you’ve made the correct 1,000 slightly different choices.

This confirmation email will cover a few basics and expectations for your event with Andy. If you have any further questions after reading through this, please feel free to respond to this address.

First off, many people ask, “What kind of slightly different voices can we expect?” Excellent question. This is a very good question. Good job.

The answer is that you should expect the unexpected. Andy has spent decades as a dialogologist, carefully mastering slightly different voices from around the globe. For instance, during any given performance, Andy might do any or all of the following voices:

- Cockney scamp

- Cockney scamp with a head cold

- Cockney scamp with a stammer

- Drunk cockney scamp

- Cockney scamp who burnt his tongue on hot pizza

- Cockney scamp experiencing a minor stroke

- Cockney scamp who spent the summers of his youth with an uncle in Louisiana

- Cockney scamp doing a poor impression of a Canadian

- A Canadian doing a spot-on impression of a Cockney scamp

- Cockney flower girl

- Cockney flower woman

- Cockney scamp who got hit on the head and now thinks he’s Jack Nicholson, even though he’s never really seen a Jack Nicholson movie

- Overly-tired Cockney scamp

- Cockney scamp who took broadcast journalism classes to try to lose his accent

- Cockney scamp playing up his accent to impress an American tourist girl

- Cockney non-scamp

And, that’s just the first 15 of 1,000 unique, exciting, and slightly different voices you might hear from this master of mimicry.

Some of you might also ask, “Does the Man of 1,000 Slightly Different Voices actually use all 1,000 slightly different voices over the course of one show?” The answer is yes. Yes he does. However, the differences between the voices are incredibly subtle, and Andy may switch between as many as seven voices per sentence. Keep your ears and your minds open, or you might miss one.

“Does Andy ever repeat a slightly different voice?” others of you might be asking. Well, we don’t want to ruin it for you, so just picture us shrugging right now with an impish grin, as if we are saying, “Wouldn't you like to know?”

Still others of you might ask, “Does Andy ever do more than 1,000 slightly different voices?” No. Never. That's not what we do here.

“So, is this like a monologue or a conversation type thing? I mean, what? Is this guy just cycling through a bunch of voices, or is this part of some greater performance piece?”

Wow, that's a good question. We hadn't really thought about that one before. We guess he simply cycles through 1,000 slightly different voices. Just based on previous performances, it's mostly nonsense talk.

That said, please don’t try to engage Andy in conversation, or he might get thrown off and have to start over.

“What if, after the first 200 or so slightly different voices, we decide our party has had enough, and we don't want to hear the remaining 800 slightly different voices?”

Okay, well, you paid for 1,000 slightly different voices, so that’s what you’re getting. Once Andy starts a performance, he doesn't stop until it's over. Don't try talking over him or moving to another room, because that will hurt his feelings, and he’ll just dejectedly mumble the rest of the performance to himself. Possible in his car with the windows rolled up.

“Have we made a mistake in booking this guy for our event?” No no no no no no. This is going to be great. We’re not sure how this FAQ got so downbeat and judgmental. It's a great show. Super fun and silly. 1,000 slightly different voices---how cool is that?

So, yeah, this is going to be great. Your party or business event is in for a real treat. Don’t worry about it. Um… yeah, it’ll be great.

Again, if you have any questions, simply reply to this email address. Or call, I guess. Whatever works. We’re around.

1,000 (Slightly Different) Voice Productions, LLC


Turtle Whisperer

Posted on June 3, 2011


Dear Turtle Whisperer,

I have a pet tortoise that I think might have emotional problems. It was a rescue tortoise, and while it's really bonded with my children and husband, it has terrible separation anxiety.

Every time I leave the house, I can hear it slowly rustling, which I know is a sign of bad things to come.

I've tried crate training my tortoise, but I keep coming home to messes in the kitchen and partly chewed-up shoes. (It can’t really do much damage in only eight hours. We left for Orlando for a week, and we came back to a fully-shredded slipper.)

I’m at my wit’s end. I can’t imagine another sixty-to-eighty years of this. Can you help me?

Shell-Shocked in Shreveport


Dear Shell-Shocked in Shreveport,

How many times do I have to explain this to you assholes? It's right there in my goddamn name. Turtle Whisperer. Turtle. T-U-R-T-L-E. Do you see the word “tortoise” anywhere? Can you even read? I whisper turtles. I don't whisper fucking tortoises!

Every week with you people! Jesus Christ, you'd think someone would read my column at least once before writing in. Once. But, no---always with the tortoise questions.

"Oh my stars, my tortoise is eating my houseplants! My tortoise won’t stay off the couch! My tortoise has a urinary tract infection!" What the fuck do you want me to do about it? I don't know anything about weirdo tortoises. I'm a turtle whisperer.

Would you people ask a porpoise whisperer about dolphins? Would you ask a crocodile whisperer about alligators? You know, scratch that. You probably would, you monsters.

Who even owns a pet tortoise? What are you, some kind of serial killer?

You want my advice? Go fuck yourself. Fuck you, and fuck your fucking tortoise and your fucking house and your fucking two-car garage. I’ve never seen your face, but I bet it’s smug and shitty, and I’m pretty sure you’re wearing pearls and a sweater set. Fuck your sweater set.

I’m sick of this bullshit. If anybody out there has any questions about FUCKING TURTLES GODDAMNIT, you know where to reach me. But, until then, take your fucking tortoises and shove them up your assholes, you assholes.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have dozens of terrariums to go clean.

Fuck you very much,
The Turtle Whisperer


Madame Tussauds

Posted on May 2, 2011


Dear Madame Tussauds,

Good afternoon, or possibly good morning. I’m not sure when you’ll be reading this. I recently toured your world-famous wax museum in Times Squares, and I am writing to lodge a complaint.

For the most part, your wax museum is amazing, and its lifelike depictions of celebrities are unmatched. Your Justin Bieber, your Jennifer Lopez, your Robert Pattinson---they all look just exactly as primped and vacant as their real-life counterparts. I mean, my goodness, you can almost smell the desperate, ever-diminishing creativity coming off the Lady Gaga statue.

Historical figures, too. I have never personally met President Roosevelt, but if his sculpture is anywhere near as accurate as the booty on your Kim Kardashian … well, bravo.

That said, I must take umbrage [word of the day!] with your wax sculpture of supermodel/television hostess/national treasure Tyra Banks.

First off, where is the smizing? I don’t see any smizing. Do you even know what smizing is? Apparently not, because you failed to include Tyra Banks’ patented smize. It means “to smile with one’s eyes.” It’s her signature look, yet somehow you fell short of capturing it.

Also, the pose? Standard red carpet hand-on-hip? You clearly have never seen Tyra demonstrating her innovative “broken doll” poses to the contestants on her reality television show America’s Next Top Model. If you had, there is no possible way you would have chosen such a bland posture.

Not to say Tyra looks any less amazing on the red carpet than in a fashion shoot. Her hand-on-hip pose is still very impressive.

But, aside from these problems with the outward appearance of your Tyra wax figure, I feel you’ve failed to capture her true essence, her je ne sais quoi.

Where is the life? The charisma? Where are the millions of fans Tyra has helped with her daily talk show? You couldn’t have sculpted a few adoring women sitting at her feet, gazing up in admiration? The least you could have shown was a mound of fan mail thanking Tyra for her cellulite tips or her bravery in taking out her weave that one time.

What about Harvard paraphernalia? Tyra is attending Harvard Business School classes, which you would have known if you had watched the CBS Sunday Morning interview with her. Yet, I don’t see any mention of Harvard Business School in your sculpture. I’m sure Harvard Business School would be happy to mail you a Harvard branded t-shirt or tote bag, especially because this is certainly the real deal and not at all some sort of promotional stunt on the part of Harvard University. Why, I’ve never heard of them courting celebrity students before.

In summation, please create a new Tyra Banks statue from scratch. This time, with more attention to the true star power of its subject. Give it the kind of careful detail you’d give a head of state or an OT Level 3 scientologist. Thank you.

Tyra Banks™


The Ultimate?

Posted on November 30, 2010

A quick note to email spammers:

How can every college fuck fest be the ultimate college fuck fest? The ultimate? Are you sure that’s the word you’re looking for? C'mon, spam email, they can't all be the ultimate college fuck fest.

Sure, one of them is indeed the ultimate college fuck fest. I admit it's out there somewhere. But, technically, the next one down the line would be the penultimate college fuck fest. You see? Penultimate means the thing just below ultimate. There’s only one ultimate college fuck fest. That’s why it’s called the ultimate one.

There’s an order to the world. You can’t just go around jumbling every fuck fest together into one single level of fuck fest.

It goes the ultimate college fuck fest, the penultimate college fuck fest, and so on and so on. Until, finally, you reach the least ultimate college fuck fest. That’s the one with the least collegiate, least festive fucking--a fuck fest that reaches just a bare minimum requirements to still be considered a college fuck fest. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, it’s an absent-minded hand job at the Kansas City ITT Technical Institute.

Under your rubric, even this half-hearted HJ would count as the ultimate college fuck fest. Do you see how that demeans the quality and vigor of the actual ultimate college fuck fest? Those kids are working hard for that title. They deserve your respect. Don’t belittle their accomplishment.

I know, spammers, that you’ve got a job to do. I understand that it involves a certain amount of hyperbole. But, some sort of standard has to be kept.

If every college fuck fest becomes the ultimate college fuck fest, then no college fuck fest is the ultimate college fuck fest. Think about it.


MacArthur Genius Grant

Posted on November 8, 2010

Dear MacArthur Genius Grant Committee,

I hope this note finds you well. I realize you're busy handing out millions of dollars in no-strings-attached grants to those talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.

I just wanted to follow up on a note I sent you earlier that had my new Brooklyn address. I've had some hiccups with mail service lately, and I wanted to make sure you could reach me should you ever need to. You know, for whatever.

Did you get the links to my blog I sent you? No pressure to read it right away. Whenever you get a break in your schedule is fine. I just thought you'd enjoy a few of the pieces.

Specifically, this list of saints or this erotic cake contest monologue. I'm getting a lot of key word searches for this one about eating a bad peach, so that must have struck a chord.

It's hard to choose favorites, since I'm so proud of all my posts. I'm sure you feel the same way about choosing between so many genius scientists and artists. Giving away all that money each year must be kind of a burden. I bet you wish you could just give it all to one super genius. One super-funny super genius.

Did you happen to see this Montessori Silent Auction List, by the way? I don't know, I think it's pretty great. Not to toot my own horn.

So, yeah anyway, I moved to Brooklyn from the Upper West Side--classic yuppie migration. But, we love our new space, and you're invited over for movie night whenever you're in town. If you like Vietnamese sandwiches, we can order in.

Hope you are doing well. Good luck choosing genius grant recipients this year. Let me know if you have any questions or anything. I’m still at the same cell number.



Favorite Parts of Dinner

Posted on September 9, 2010


Dear Darcy,

Thank you so much for having us over for the delicious dinner last night. I think my favorite part was the conversation, which was wonderful. My second favorite part was the food. Not that the food wasn’t great—it was. I just liked the conversation slightly more.

My third favorite part of the evening was the napkins. I loved that you went full out with linen. Real classy. I almost enjoyed the fancy napkins even more than the food. Again, not that the food was bad; it was delicious. I just really liked those napkins.

My fourth favorite part was the appetizers. Do those count as the food? If so, include them as a subsection of my second favorite part about last night. If not, then they were my fourth favorite part.

My fifth (or fourth depending on how things fell in the last paragraph) was the temperature. Really good job on the temperature, Darcy. A lot of people get that wrong.

My sixth favorite part was when I made that joke about lemons, and wine came out your cousin’s nose from laughing. That might sound like I’m bragging about how funny my joke was, but I’m not. Everybody knows how funny I am at dinner parties. That’s a given. I just really liked how everybody rushed to help clean wine off of your cousin. I liked it sixth best of all the things about last night.

My seventh favorite part was not having to help do dishes.

My eighth favorite part was when the smoke detector went off because of the oven, and Sean scrambled to get it down from the ceiling. The evening felt truly alive at that moment. I shall cherish that memory forever.

My ninth favorite part was the anticipation as we first walked up to your door. What would you serve for dinner? Turned out it was lentils. Which were delicious. (Not amazingly delicious, though. Just regular, really delicious. Just a touch more salt, and they would have shot past conversation in my order of favorites.)

I feel like maybe I’m implying that some parts of last night’s dinner were not as good as others. No no no. Everything was splendid. The margin of difference between all these favorites is very narrow. I would say the conversation just barely eked out first place in the end.

I could go on listing all my favorite parts of the meal (there are seven additional favorite parts), but I won’t. Everything was excellent. Some things slightly more excellent than others.

Can’t wait to have you over to our new place, where you can judge which aspects you like from best to least.

Thanks again for thinking of us,
Andy (& Colleen)


My Deepest Sympathies

Posted on July 9, 2010

Dear Barry,

I wanted let me know that I am deeply saddened over your recent news. When I heard, I was heartbroken about what had happened. Marie told me about it before you sent out an email confirming, but I simply couldn’t believe that you got a six-figure book deal. Now, I see it’s true. It just goes to show that life is random and unfair.

It’s hard to imagine someone so young (younger than me even) going through something like this—a bidding war over his first book. It doesn’t make any sense. I can remember just last year seeing your book when you sent it to me for notes. It seemed so young and innocent—undeveloped and naïve, if you will. It’s hard to imagine a book like that ending up where it did. It makes me very sad.

And to add insult to injury, I hear it’s been optioned as a movie, with you slated to adapt the screenplay. With Ryan Gosling slated to play you, even though he looks exactly like me. Fate can be a cruel thing.

If it puts things into perspective for you, the world is a fucked up place sometimes. Please send my deepest sympathies along to you family for having to deal with this tragedy and your huge ego, which I can only assume will get worse as you fully process these events.

It’s hard to believe in a God, when things like this happen. But, please take solace in the fact that you are a conniving prick. I know that knowledge helps me.

With regret,


Dear Hotel Maid

Posted on June 10, 2010

Dear Hotel Maid,

First off, if you prefer to be called a housekeeper, I apologize. The DO NOT DISTURB sign said “maid,” so that’s what I went with.

Secondly, and this is the big one, I’m sorry for the condition of the room. It’s just that my wife and I haven’t had a vacation in awhile. So, we kinda did it up. That’s not blood in the corner, by the way; it’s margarita mix.

In the bathroom, though, that’s blood. Shaving accident.

As for all the burn holes in the chair, it may seem like we were smoking cigarettes in this non-smoking room. But, I promise we weren’t. We were simply holding lit cigarettes during some film noir sexual role-playing. Again, I swear we weren’t actually smoking.

(Honey, if you’re reading this before the maid/housekeeper, don’t be upset. There’s nothing to be ashamed of in our beautiful, imaginative lovemaking. It’s how we’ll eventually make a baby.)

Also, Ms. Room Cleaner, thank you for bringing so many fresh towels. I know it was more than we could have possibly used, but they were so nice and warm from the dryer. And, whenever we tried to re-warm them in the microwave, they kept catching on fire.

Sorry we broke the microwave.

As far as the ice bucket goes, that was broken when we got here. It’s understandable that no one noticed before. We only discovered it when the massage oil leaked out.

Finally--the furry thing in the air duct. Don’t worry; it’s not an animal. It’s a wig that makes me feel pretty. We tried to get it out with a coat hanger, but we lost the coat hanger. If you can get the wig free and mail it back to me, that’d be a big help.

Yeah, anyway, we like to party. So, I’m including a $500 tip for your help and discretion. There’s also some money for a new mattress.

Thank you so much.


Mr. & Mrs. Ross


The Imperfect Pushup

Posted on March 27, 2010

Dear Perfect Pushup Manufacturer,

I am writing to complain that you have sold a defective product, and I demand my money back.

Seven months ago, walking past a GNC store, I saw your exercise device—The Perfect Pushup—and I purchased said device. This morning, when I finally opened the box and attempted one of these so-called “perfect pushups,” I found it incredibly difficult impossible. How, in good conscience, can you sell an exercise product too difficult to use by those most in need of exercise?

The Perfect Pushup is simply unworkable. I have tried everything in the last fifteen minutes—using both hands, girl pushups, taking frequent breaks—and none of it has made your product easy or effortless. I am still grossly overweight.

I called GNC to exchange the defective merchandise, but they refuse to accept any return now covered in cat hair and bits of cereal. Therefore, I am emailing you directly.

I insist on a refund of the full purchase price of $39.99 for the Perfect Pushup, which I assure you I paid, not the sale price of $14.99 listed on my receipt. Also, an apology for wasting my morning. If I do not hear back from you within ten business days, I will be seeking legal counsel from my downstairs neighbor, Larry.

Andrew Ross