About this time of year, most editorial calendars feature an annual “top ten” list. This achieves a couple of goals: Thanks to frequent use of numbers, bullets, line breaks and sundry other non-lexeme typographical devices, lists tend to eat up column inches without burdening the writer with too much writing. Also, lists are like crack on the Internet where these posts enjoy an eternal half-life.
I thought I’d be cheeky and write up “Top 10 Top 10 Lists” but a quick online search reminded me that great hacks think alike. I discovered more than a few Top 10 Top Tenners, which is why I lowered the bar further and decided to write up the The Top Ten Ten Lists of Which You’ve Never Heard. Admittedly, this is a murder of a headline but I can’t stand to a sentence in a preposition, which brings me to number one…
1. The Top Ten Most Used Prepositions
This list of Ofs and their prepositional brethren comes courtesy of TopTenofWorld.com, which has such a tenuous grasp of English it’s a wonder that they could produce a list at all let alone one about language. The list is topped by “to” and “up” is down at the bottom at number ten. And, “If you feel we are providing valuable informations kindly donate us to support this work,” then they can hire an English tutor.
2. Top Ten Ways to Enjoy Beets
Kudos to the editorial wizards at FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org, who realized that they could create a cornucopia of content by spinning their grocery lists. Frankly, some of the suggestions seem like they were scraping the borscht bowl, like 9.) Eat the leaves and 2.) Beet kabob! (emphasis mine).
3. The Top 10 Bizarre Uses for Human Skin
The Top 10 Bizarre Uses for Human Skin is ghoulishly well-researched list by scribe Nene Adams (via Listverse.com) who reminds that judging a book by its cover might also mean evaluating the hide of its author. This was the case of 7.) robber-turned-autobiographer George Walton whose first-person confessional was bound in his own skin. No word if he tattooed “New York Times Bestseller” on his body, you know, just in case.
4. The 10 Most Satisfying Cases of Hecklers Getting Destroyed
No top ten list is complete without an offering from Cracked.com, which combines numbered lists and comedy to great effect. The 10 Most Satisfying Cases of Hecklers Getting Destroyed is one of writer John Cheese’s more esoteric if satisfying entries, replete with a delicious video of comic Joe Klocek dressing down a drunk who thought he was ready for the mic. When Klocek brings him onstage you’ll happily burn your remaining reserves of schadenfreude for 2012.
5. The Top 10 Survivors Of Skydiving Accidents
Spoiler Alert: The Top 10 Survivors Of Skydiving Accidents, courtesy of TopTenz.net, a site devoted entirely to top ten lists (whose name suffers from getting to the domain registry late), pretty much follow this pattern: Person jumps out of airplane, parachute fails to open, person plummets to the ground but lives to be included in a top ten list.
6. The Top 10 Bands from the 90’s That Were Cooler Than You Think
Diffuser.fm’s Joe Robinson was tasked with the onerous job of divining The Top 10 Bands from the 90’s That Were Cooler Than You Think. After I stopped laughing, I realized that I agreed with at least one entry – The Toadies, best known for “Possum Kingdom,” a three act anthem to supernatural seduction performed, as true music geek Robinson points out, in 7/8 time. Hail Satan.
7. The 10 Weirdest Cases Of People Faking Their Own Deaths
The 10 Weirdest Cases Of People Faking Their Own Deaths comes from the Law & Order section of the Business Insider, which, among other false fatalities recounts that of Nashville music attorney William Grothe who not only faked his death but he faked being his own murderer. Props to Grothe for bringing the total package.
8. Top 10 Unproduced Scripts
Not to be confused with its titular antecedent, the fabled McCarthyist Black List of yore, the 2012 Black List Predictions features the 10 most popular unproduced scripts circulating the trade (versus the ten unproduced scripts on my laptop). This is more of a pyrrhic victory for those included seeing as most would rather have the fame, fortune and action figures that comes with selling out – I mean selling a script. I mean, why am I not on the Blacklist?
9. Top Ten 10 Dystopian Sci-Fi Films of the 1970s
I actually wrote this one myself for some geek fan site for a quick buck. It only took me ten minutes since sci-fi titles are easy to spot on the Internet Movie Database. They’re the ones that use too many numbers, initials or Z’s: THX1138, Z.P.G., Death Race 2000, Zardoz, etc.
10. Top Ten Skulls
Time Magazine created this boneheaded time-suck a couple years ago and I defy you not to click-thru to such cranial-themed luminaries as Lucy, the Australopithecus, The Grateful Dead logo and Yorick, you know, from Hamlet.