the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


I wanted to clarify something about my last post where I criticized the mean-spirited nature of  the viral website,  The People of Walmart, just in case someday, someone catches me one day making a joke at someone’s expense, and points his finger at me as being hypocritical.  Let me say this clearly:  I am PRO-MOCKERY and PRO-HUMOR.  In fact, I have been registered with this political party since grade school.

I believe it is my right, even my duty, to make fun of myself, my family, my friends, those who comment on this blog, those who follow me on Twitter, Dooce, any blogger who gets a free trip anywhere, mommybloggers, politicians, actors, and customer service representatives.

As one commenter mentioned in defense of the site, there are several other websites online that have a similar snark appeal as The People of Walmart, some of them amusing, such as the viral site titled Awkward Family Photos.  Unless I am mistaken, the major difference between the two websites is that in Awkward Family Photos, readers send in their own strange family photos, while in The People of Walmart, amateur photographers are secretly taking photos of other shoppers, much in the same way that perverts slip cameras under the skirts of women to get photos of their underwear, or if they are lucky, their privates, and then publish it on the web!  That is something that makes me uncomfortable.

But like I said, I am all for making fun of MYSELF and those close to me!



  1. Staceylt

    Neil, you never disappoint. That photo made for my biggest smile of the evening.

  2. Danny

    I agree with all your points including the creepiness of corporate involvement on blogs or Twitter. It turns my stomach, as does that Walmart site, and yet I admit I’ve looked at sites like Awful Plastic Surgery. Not to laugh, just to stare in amazement and thus feel superior. It’s why I’m fascinated by shows about OCD hoarders. Don’t we watch all that shit to feel better about ourselves? See, wee’re not that bad…

  3. Juli Ryan

    I am all for mockery! I especially like self-deprecation. And it would be an honor to have you make fun of me. Thanks for your comment on my blog, you rock star, you.

  4. mamie

    i think the bubble caption says it all. don’t make fun of me or i’ll kick you. that is a big bottle of bubbly. night.

  5. Elisa

    I understand what you mean, but to be fair, the things published on People of Walmart are mostly extreme examples. It’s not like they are taking normal people and teasing them just for having a muffin top or a bad hair day. They are extreme examples.
    I’m pretty sure if you saw one of those people on the street, you’d joke abou them with your friends. Granted, maybe publishing them on a blog takes it a little far… but come on, a car with plastic kitties glued all over it?? It would be a crime not to share it 🙂

  6. Momo Fali

    I’m crying. That is self-deprecation at its finest.

  7. Mad

    Neil, is that the Queen Mary between your legs or are you just glad to see me?

  8. Chris

    I think we’re all a little hypocritical. Even the nice people. It’s primal. Your mom looks so pretty and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a picture of your dad. I think your photo is GREAT!

  9. harmzie

    I still don’t see how they’re all that different. Somewhere there’s a mom saying: “Waahh! WTF? How did that get THERE? Seventeen matching Christmas sweaters makes for a *beautiful* photo!”

    If Law & Order has taught me anything, it’s that Wal*Mart is essentially a public place and there should not be any expectation of privacy. A photo studio, however should. The internest has ripped these definitions asunder.

    That said, I spend hours at Awkward. Yes, you bet it’s primal. Rawr…

  10. sweetsalty kate

    People who don’t cheerfully note their own contradictions bore me. People in bright red flannel jammies do not.

  11. Genie

    That picture reminds me of Motherboy. 🙂

  12. Neil

    Actually, I wonder my mother’s reaction to seeing this photo up there. What the hell is she wearing? It is the ugliest outfit ever. And it looks too tight, doesn’t it?

  13. Long Story Longer

    The Walmart site bugs me. Does everyone have to find someone who has a little less than they do to feel good about themselves?

    Neil, that picture and that caption had me giggling for an hour. Cripes, you’re brave to post it.


  14. Becky

    This shoulda been a caption contest. 🙂

  15. schmutzie

    Awesome photo. The dork factor is freaking endearing. I should dig up some of my families dorky portraits.

  16. Headless Mom

    You look a lot like your dad.

  17. Loukia

    Haha! Okay, that’s a great family picture!!

  18. threeboys1mommy

    We have one of those! I’m wearing a dress and I have a worried look on my face because I was told there were ghosts all around. Wonder if I could still get one with my kids. Let the haunting continue!

  19. teahouseblossom

    Reminds me of those old, embarrassing photos of Bill Gates pre-money.

    Since it’s blurry, you can always claim not to be the guy in the photo. Kind of like that film of Bigfoot running away.

  20. sassy

    I sent in a wedding pic to Awkward Family Photos. They liked it so much they asked me to sign a realease to put it in their book, flattering me, stating that hubs and I had acheived ‘awkward perfection’.

  21. Deb on the Rocks

    This is wonderful, wonderful. I agree on the Walmart site, it’s very different and predatory.

  22. tysdaddy

    Man, I’ve got a million pictures just like that one. Pictures that will, I’m hopeful, never see the light of day.


    Just wanted to swing by and thank you for your kind words at Flutter’s. That was an “awkward” post to write, but it needed to be done.

    I’ll be around . . .

  23. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    I am with you on the mean spirited joke the same way on the net as I would to your face vs ah mah gawd Heathers and Mean Girls sniping. I’ve been to high school before, no thanks.

    And by the way, nice life ring.

  24. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Oops – I meant light hearted in my first part there. I am just all aflutter by that damn photo.

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