On work days, Sarah Horner must be taken seriously, as a formidable and prolific beat reporter on law and criminal justice for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
On her off hours, though? She's down to clown.
A few nights ago, Horner was at a happy hour with friends when she was reminded of a story from her nephew's first birthday. This was a couple years ago, and the theme of the boy's party was to come dressed up as some variation on "Jack."
Horner came as an outsized (and alive!) Jack-in-the-box toy, replete with a large cardboard box for springing out of. Horner's outfit and makeup were on point, though this somehow failed to impress the guest of honor.
"My nephew was just spooked by me entirely, like, 'Who the hell are you?'" Horner says.
As she recalled to her friends, she'd performed the Jack-in-the-box routine roughly "a million times" at the party, without a hitch.
There was some beer and wine involved. Horner tried once more. It did not go as planned.
Horner showed her friends the short clip of her catastrophic failure, and they all had a good laugh at her expense. Then one friend said she knew one of the guys behind FuckJerry, the wildly popular set of social media accounts that curate memes, one-liners, funny photos, and viral videos. She sent Horner's Jack-in-the-box moment to her FuckJerry pal.
The following morning, the friend messaged Horner to let her know the video was not only online, but "already had 10,000 views." Horner went to see for herself, and found that she'd become the anonymous subject of a FuckJerry post with a one-word caption: "fail."
failPosted by FuckJerry on Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Horner can't argue with that assessment. She assumes her sister had also filmed earlier attempts, when she'd "perfected" the Jack-in-the-box routine. But who wants to watch everything go smoothly when you can appreciate a perfectly awful failure instead?
Horner says she feels a "weird sense of pride" about the video, and accepts her FuckJerry fame without the slightest hint of embarassment. "Oh, God no. I wish I could top it somehow."
She might get the chance at another nephew's birthday party this weekend. If not then, Horner anticipates doing something this ridiculous at some later date. Kinda looks foward to it.
"This is not the first time I've made a fool of myself. I'm positive it will not be the last."