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My Real Name (and Why I Stopped Posting So Often)

My Real Name (and Why I Stopped Posting So Often)

A wise man once said, “I have a dream.”

Another wise man once said, “Those who start blog posts with famous quotes are uncreative losers who deserve to rot in a room full of pre-teen girls discussing Justin Bieber’s eyes.”

And that’s what this post is all about: a dream, an uncreative loser, and Justin Bieber’s eyes a blog.

If you’ve ever read our about page, you know that my real name isn’t Phil. You’ve also probably figured out that I’m not a two-dimensional, comically-white-skinned guy with hair that doesn’t extend past the shape of his head. And if you’ve gotten that far, you’ve also likely realized that I’m actually a blue-toed Amazonian frog with a laptop and a WiFi connection.

Okay, fine, the million dollar question: who am I? And why did I use a pseudonym in the first place?

Let’s start with the last question first.

The Pseudonym

I started this blog with a pseudonym for a few reasons.

First of all, when I began High School Humor Blog, I had no critical acclaim as a humor writer*. I didn’t want to attach my real name to the blog until I was sure that I could write at least one almost-mildly-funny joke every now and then. That way, there was no pressure and I was free to write without worrying about how funny it was. Which, in turn, allowed me to develop my writing and enjoy it more. Now, about 200,000 words later, I’ve become a bit more confident (or deluded) in my humor-writing ability.

*Thankfully, now I’ve got loads of critical acclaim; lots of people like to criticize my writing and make a claim that it sucks.

Secondly, writing under a pseudonym ensured that I never had to worry about anyone I know reading this and then deciding that I am rambling, clueless, unfunny writer. That all may be true, but I like to think I do a pretty darn good job of hiding it when you meet me in person.

Thirdly, by using a pseudonym and fake picture, I allowed you all to imagine whoever you wanted, although I’m sure I’m sixty times more attractive in real life than the Phil of your dreams.

Now I know what you’re thinking: those are all brilliant reasons to use a pseudonym. So why would I stop and reveal my real name?

The Name

Well, for a few reasons. (Different reasons, however, than why I used a pseudonym, although I think there are only like eight reasons that exist in the world total, so I’m using them all up).

First of all, I’m proud of the content of this blog, and so I have many fewer scruples* about tying it to my real name than I used to.

*Scruple (n): a Danish pastry, sort of like strudel meets waffle.

Secondly, and mainly, the reason I have posted less this year is partly that I’ve been busy, but also partly that I’ve been writing a slightly more serious (slightly is the key word) column for my local paper every 3 to 4 weeks. Which means instead of publishing it here, it gets published in the paper, and you never know it exists. And so, by tying my real identity to the blog, I can offer you a few past columns of material you’ve never seen before.

Thirdly, I’m dabbling in all sorts of comedy and continue to do so, so if any of that ever appears in a format that you can get online, I can offer you that as well. I’m not going to go into specifics on anything, but it’ll leave me many more future options and decrease the likelihood we go a long time without posting.

And so, without further ado, I give you my real name:

J. K. Rowling

Okay, just kidding. Sorry. I hope you didn’t get too excited. (If you have no idea why I just did that, and think I’m a mean, terrible person, check this out).

My real name is actually Joel Kwartler (so at least the “J. K.” part wasn’t a complete lie). Pronounced “Kah-keh-car-keewar-whattheheck?” or “Quart-ler” for short. You could Google me and try to stalk me, but you won’t have much success—I don’t have a Facebook page (aside from the one for this blog), a Twitter, or even (gasp) a MySpace account. I know, I know, I’m not even on VHS, whatever that is. (For those of you who remember him, Ted–the other guy who wrote a few posts for this blog years ago–would prefer to remain Ted at this time.)

Since it’s probably unfair to leave you with a name and no face, here’s a picture of me:

I'm the guy in the center, between the nobody on the left and the invisible dude on the right.

I’m the guy in the center, between the nobody on the left and the invisible dude on the right.

Now that I’ve broken my cover, you’ll probably want to know a few things about me. Here’s what I’ll tell you:

  • When I was very young, a man came up to me (supposedly a family member) and screamed that he stole my nose. It took me a second to realize it, but he actually stole my nose. What you see in the picture is a prosthetic replacement made out of his thumb.
  • I know a man with one leg named Smith. The name of the other leg, if you’d care to know it, is Frederick.
  • I can bench press 4,562 lbs. “Lb” stands for “little bug,” which weighs approximately nothing.
  • My teeth have spent five years of their lives in jail. Some people call that “braces.” They’re on parole now.

Finally, you might be wondering what the future of this blog will hold. But before I get into that, I’d just like to thank you all, once again, for taking the time to read, share, or leave spam comments written in Greek about Russian pharmaceutical products. It means a lot.

So, the future. I’ll be a senior in high school this year, meaning I’ve still got one year to continue writing as an authority on high school. Also, that column for the local paper will continue, but (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) with a less demanding schedule, meaning I can focus a bit more on writing for this blog. The past few months have shown me I can no longer make any promises as to the exact frequency of posts, but I’ll do my best to post as often as possible. As for what’s going to happen at the end of this school year, well, I haven’t quite figured that out (if you’ve got any thoughts on what High School Humor Blog should become once I’m no longer in high school, they’re always welcome).

That’s about it, for now. Keep your eye out for an updated “about” page. (For those of you reading this by email or feed reader, I’ll mention it in a post when I update the about page).

Also, now that you know who I am, if you ever do meet me in person, you have only two options: go stark raving mad about how much you love this blog, or compliment me on my prosthetic nose.

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  1. You’re real name at last! Your wit and humor really is a relief. My friends are too dramatic at times and don’t write; therefore they don’t have wit and humor. Now once you get into college, just upgrade your blog title and content to college appropriate things that you find funny. That part is easy, but unfortunately, the URL says high school in it. Fixing that might be tough. This is just an idea, it’s what I did with my blog. Hope the rest of your summer goes good and enjoy your senior year in high school!

  2. Hey, “Phil”! We’ve actually met in real life. I thought I knew you at your funniest, but these posts are hilarious. Thanks for the great reading material on a gloomy weekday night.

  3. Glad to finally “meet” ya, kid!

  4. Juliana says:

    I just discovered this blog from a friend and I have to say that it’s really great! Your humor continuously keeps me laughing! :)

  5. i bet i can benchpress more lbs than you can
    also, the second wise man you mentioned is certainly very wise

  6. Nice.


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    My Real Name (and Why I Stopped Posting So Often)

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    My Real Name (and Why I Stopped Posting So Often)

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