Recent Work By Matthew Vincent

No. 002 – De Beers: For making us spend two months’ salary.


If you truly loved your girlfriend, you would spend at least two months’ salary for her diamond engagement ring. If you fi nd yourself asking, “Is that before or after taxes?” then you may also be wondering who came up with this bullshit? It was De Beers. The company also came up with “diamonds are forever” and “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” It’s the reason we associate a dia- mond solitaire with poppin’ the question. De Beers started this marketing campaign in the 1930s and is still bamboozling us with this sparkly razzle-dazzle nonsense. Everyone knows these diamond companies are shady, greedy, and sneaky. Just watch ten min- utes of the movie Blood Diamond and you’ll see. They also keep the price of diamonds high by controlling supply and demand. Try to forget about all that for a second, and focus on the ques- tion, “Do you really NEED a diamond to propose?”

[you] RIFE!

Congratulations De Beers, you convinced everyone that a diamond is mandatory when a guy gets down on one knee. You also made everyone think there is a direct correlation between the size of a diamond and the quality of love and devotion. Wake up America! (Since you are, indeed, the world’s largest diamond consumer.) You have been DUPED. Who says you have to buy a diamond ring for an engagement? Your girlfriend? No, the diamond industry tricks people with its excep- tional marketing ploys. And we fall for it. De Beers claims you should spend about two months’ salary. Since the typical American male makes about $36,000, that means the average Joe owes his woman about $6,000 of sparkly (and tries his best to comply). More than 80% of American brides receive diamond engagement rings. Take note, about 95% of the US population has sex before marriage. This means that most people refuse to obey God and the church regarding premarital sex, but they will listen to De Beers about the six grand. Think, people, THINK! Spend your money on a great honeymoon or start a trust fund for your un- born child’s education. Or maybe, spend it on counseling before your marriage ends in divorce! Remember, a diamond is just a rock someone found in the ground. It takes more than digging in the dirt to make a marriage work.

No. 003 – Peter Travis: For inventing Speedos.


Peter Travis was many things: a designer, sculptor, ceramicist, kite-maker and teacher. But the Australian is most famous for bringing millions of unwanted winces of disgust on the faces of people after seeing repulsive men wearing Speedos. This phenomenon is undeniably awful. Don’t get me wrong, the Speedo does have its place. It is after all, very functional swimwear. It has low resistance for swimming competitions, it doesn’t restrict movement while diving and it can even lend itself to a body building-competition (although, that last one is highly debatable).

[you] RIFE!

Ahh the beach…a tranquil environment of warmth, soft breezes and the calming eff ects of water. Picture yourself in sunny Florida lying on a blanket about to apply some tanning lotion. Suddenly, you see something troubling. And like a needle scratching across a record, a hairy old guy struts right before your eyes  sporting a banana hammock. Apparently someone forgot to remind him he is not in Europe. Quite frankly, there is nothing more revolting than this phenomenon. Finally, we know the wanker responsible for Speedos. Let’s face it, Peter, the world could have done without this invention. It just makes everyone feel gross. Unfortunately, most of us were forced to wear them during swimming in middle-school gym class. Teachers told us we had to wear the uncomfortable trunks so everyone would look the same. Let me tell you, there is nothing “the same” about pre-teens when it comes to scrotal development. I blame Mr. Travis for the agonizingly embarrassing trauma of a late bloomer. So take note: If you are a European man visiting American beaches or pools, we do not want to see your ass-crack, or your bulge, and we certainly DO NOT want to see your pubes. So stop it, and get some board-shorts.

No. 010 – The U.S. Treasury and Mint: For making America change.


If a penny saved is a penny earned, then a penny made is a taxpayer played! Allow me to elaborate…actually, let’s let the United States Mint Director’s cost analysis explain:

•Cost to mint a penny: 1.26 cents
•Cost to make a dollar coin: 16 cents
•Cost to mint a nickel: 7.7 cents
•Cost to make a dollar bill: 4.2 cents

[you] RIFE!

In case you need it spelled out for you…it costs MORE to mint the penny and nickel than the coins’ actual worth. And, if you forgot 4th grade American history, your taxes pay for minting. Does this upset you? Well, now you fi nally have a good reason to smash that piggy bank! The stupid annoying little penny…it and everything below the quarter, need to go away. Let’s start dissolving as many as we can in bottles of Coke. And besides, except for buying a hotdog at the ball game, who the hell uses cash anymore? The U.S. mint says 33% of all transactions use cash. That seems a bit high. They must be including all of Washington’s untraceable private escort transactions in their statistics.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, start lobbying your congressman and the March of Dimes. And be sure to max out your credit as often as possible to deter coin usage. I am sure we will experience some resistance with the bleeding hearts and conservatives. But don’t worry, just tell them we can still use coins for circuit breakers and weddings, instead of throwing rice. Rice does kill birds you know. And the next time you see Obama, tell him to fi ght for NO CHANGE! On a side note: someone please tell the one dollar bill to wipe that smirk of its face, because it only has a life expectancy of 21 months. So it can go away too. In fact, if you were replaced with the $1 coin, taxpayers would save over $500 million per year since coins last at least 30 years!

I wonder how long it takes a dollar to dissolve in Coca-Cola?

Why did you write [you] Ruined It For Everyone?

I felt there was a real need for some honesty in this era of Eat, Pray, Love. My writing takes a more sardonic approach to the world. We can’t just Band-Aid up our problems or spackle them with Julia Roberts. We have to address the mess we are in and find out who’s to blame!


Could you tone it down a bit? You’re scaring people.

Okay, sorry. I wrote the book because…well, I always wanted to write a book. (I’m sure most of us have at one point or another.) But it had to be in my voice…so the book is part fun facts, part humor, part sarcasm (and partly unfinished).


What makes you such an expert on being able to identify these ruiners?

Genetics of course. I was born with a very large hand. And attached to that hand is a very long pointy finger.


How did you research the book?

Well, I am proud to say that I did not step foot in one single library. I Googled everything (which is probably why I put a disclaimer in the front of the book that it might not all be factual). Aside from that, when I found something or someone that made daily life more difficult–I shrugged, and then added it to the list.


What’s your favorite part?

I like the ones that hit close to home for me. And I’m sure everyone will have their favorites, but a couple of mine are:

02–DeBeers–For making guys spend two months salary. (Because I did not use this rule of thumb to propose to my wife–and luckily she still loves me–I think?!)

056–Overprotective parents–For ruining children. (Hopefully I can take my own advise with my newborn daughter. So, I’ll have to get back to you with my success rate…)

051–Michael J. Fox—For causing skateboarding accidents. (I like this one because MJF is an unsuspecting ruiner. Yes he is beloved and he stars in my favorite movie BACK TO THE FUTURE. But seriously, how many kids have skinned their knees or broken bones trying to be like Marty McFly?)


Is there anything you’d like to brag about?

Well, I hate to boast, but since you asked…I designed this whole book. The cover, the illustrations, the typesetting and the writing—and in that order. (They think I’m a writer—but really, I am a designer at heart.)


What does it feel like to be a published author?

I have to say, it doesn’t suck! But, I was humbled very quickly when Christian Lander (the author of Stuff White People Like) told me before my book came out, “Make no mistake about it…you are an author–and you will have critics.”


What else is going on in your life?

I just had a book come out AND a baby come out…trust me, that’s plenty!


Is there going to be a sequel?

I just said I’m super busy, weren’t you listening? Okay, I’ll make you a deal, if you buy a copy, I’ll write another one. There, are you happy now?


I read through this entire interview and I feel kind of gypped…

Well, if you really feel that way, you can always email your frustration at [email protected]. Or, for complete fulfillment, you can visit and tell me [who] Ruined It For You!