by Kiki O'Keeffe
This is a picture of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka wearing a bemused but skeptical look on his face — you know, like he does throughout the movie. He’s resting his chin on his hand, and the text says, “Please, tell me more,” and other snarky expressions of incredulity. Seems useful for when you want to cut someone down to size for saying something ignorant with a lot of bravado.
We have a white male baby making a fist with a furrowed determined brow. It’s unusual to see a baby so determined. But he’s victorious, too, like he earned something. I’ve never heard of a baby earning something, so I think this is the basis for the humor. That it’s kind of an adult emotion. This would be a great meme to use when you’re feeling good or want to congratulate someone else on doing a good job.
This is a picture of a black cat with a collar and tie, but not the rest of the shirt. The cat looks very official and seems to take office life seriously. The text is cat puns on normal office dialogue, like, “It’s time for your purrformance review,” or, “I’m gonna need you to come in on Caterday,” as though addressing employees. What’s unclear is who the employees might be — smaller cats, people, pigs, spiders. You can have a lot of fun imagining the broader world. But the cat puns are the real sell on this one.
This one is sweet. It’s a gif of a handsome chef applying salt to rack of lamb or ribs or something. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it’s meat, and it needs salt. But there’s the thing; he’s not doing it the normal way. You know the normal way to salt something? You take some salt and then sprinkle it on the thing you’re salting. Not this chef. He’s doing it with… a little flourish. And it’s beautiful. And sometimes beauty is the only thing we need more than salt.
Justin Timberlake! Oh boy, this one is about spring, so I know you’re going to like it. Who doesn’t like spring? It’s a picture of Justin Timberlake at the peak of his *NSYNC days with the curly bleached hair. Remember that song, “It’s Gonna Be Me,” and how Justin kept pronouncing it “May” for some reason, even though he has no accent? Turns out, that’s also the name of the fifth month of the year, so this little meme evolved with a highly specialized telos: to herald the first of May, and then to go away until next year.
Kiki O'Keeffe is a writer in Brooklyn.