HI, I'M GEORGE ZIMMER
Early on Sunday, September 25, 2004, a couple of hours after Ashley Simpson performed on Saturday Night Live and was caught lip-synching, a curious thing started happening on her website's forums.
OWNER AND CEO OF THE MEN'S WAREHOUSE.
A troll was spamming the boards, posting long, lovingly-detailed accounts of what they were going to do to Ashley, to her friends, to the board of directors at prominent companies, to the family cat.
I WAS SITTING ON A BEACH ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA THIS PAST WEEKEND WHEN WHO SHOULD WALK BY BUT ANGELIQUE BENOIT, PART-TIME MANAGER OF THE LOCAL FLOWER SHOP, "PETITES BAISES."
The common (and bizarre) thread between all of these posts was that they were ghostwritten in all capital letters as George Zimmer, the owner of the discount menswear chain, the Men's Warehouse.
LET ME TELL YOU ASHLEY, SHE SAW MY PRODIGIOUS MEMBER THROUGH THE SPANDEX OF MY SPEEDO FROM ABOUT FIFTY FEET (15¼ M) AND IT WAS LIKE THAT SCENE IN "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS," BABY.
George Zimmer is known for appearing in his own commercials, discussing the fineness of the clothes that can be found at his stores, and the care that his employees take in ensuring a good experience for customers. All of the commercials have him dressed in an earth-tone suit against dark backgrounds, and all open and conclude with the same phrases.
THERE WAS AN ALMIGHTY TEARING SOUND, LIKE A CHORUS OF ANGELS RIPPING ONE, AND I THINK AN EINSTEIN-ROSEN BRIDGE MUST HAVE OPENED UP, BECAUSE SHE WAS IMPALED ON ME LIKE A TURKISH DIGNITARY AT THE COURT OF VLAD ȚEPEȘ.
This phraseology was copied in the posts, although the style evolved after the meme spread to ebaumsworld and flourished (or festered, depending on your point of view). The interesting thing about all of this is that Zimmer is, by all accounts, the sort of guy that Internet people would enjoy spending time with, a proponent of the legalization of cannabis, among other things.
AFTER SPINNING HER AROUND LIKE A CORKSCREW FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR, I RECITED BOOKS TWO THROUGH SIX INCLUSIVE OF PROUST'S "IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME" WHILE SHE YODELED. ASHLEY, IT WAS A MAGICAL EVENING.
The phenomenon died out as suddenly as it had started, but not without accomplishing that Holy Grail of Internet culture: a meme had been started. It is still in use, although some would argue it produces only classic retro lulz today.
I EVENTUALLY GOT BORED WITH THE MONOTONY OF PROUST'S PROSE, AND FETCHED HER AN ALMIGHTY DONKEY PUNCH. SHE CAME SO HARD HER SKULL DISLOCATED.
Search the Web, and you will find a stockpile of George Zimmer anecdotes. Some are much more clever than others, but many are funny enough to get you to spit whatever you're drinking across your monitor.
I GUARANTEE IT.