Welcome to ‘What Is Your Damage,’ Annie Barrett’s summer shop of all the melodrama and self-absorption she misses from springtime reality TV. Every Tuesday and Friday, she’ll rant about a current offense to her humanity, then assess readers’ damages via video replies. Don’t be shy about admitting what annoys or intrigues you. We’re all in this pop cult together!

What is your damage, Ryan Lochte’s diamond-encrusted grill?

How was I never aware of you? It seems like we’d be a perfect match as A) You are ridiculous and B) I am what you might call “really into” bling and gems.

You have yet to reveal yourself in this week’s Olympic trials footage, yet I can feel you lurking, ready to clamp. You dominate most of the triumphant medal podium shots of Lochte, your human, that we see in between the races. Your human owns and proudly wears three different versions of you! And he’s teased that the grill he’s having custom-made for the London Olympics will be red, white, and blue to honor the U.S.A. Or might those colors serve to honor bloody England instead? Whose side of the great big swimming pool in between these two countries are you on, anyway, Ryan Lochte’s grill? Do you measure the pool’s distance in meters or yards? What’s your damage?

I don’t know if I can wait another month to be terrorized/intrigued by another iteration of you all over again. To be honest I can’t tell whether the anticipation of you or the threat of you plagues me more. All I know is I’m conflicted about your existence. Let’s examine that.

March 2007

Are you for real? Also, speaking of your possible British heritage, I wonder if Ryan Lochte looks like a hotter version of Prince William in this photo because of you or in spite of you. What if the Duke of Cambridge and Kate Middleton wore grills?

What if anyone besides rappers and Ryan Lochte wore grills? Would the entire earth just start spinning backwards — compelled by an increased magnetic field pulsating out of America — until it had suddenly dialed all the way back to the ’90s? Is that what you want, Ryan Lochte’s grill? I know the answer — I’m just repeating it out loud because you still have a month to really think about this.

After Beijing, 2008

Now you’re just f—ing with us. Those look like giant teeth!

August 2009


Let’s take a closer look.

AGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH. Are you a sparkly serpent head or a fabulous car? Either way, you look lopsided and drunk! And I’m suffering haunting flashbacks of those tight-ass rubber bands from BRACES tugging at my teeth.

July 2011

Back to “basics,” I see. Totally normal.

London 2012


Your actions will have consequences. There will be a Ryan Lochte line of grillz when this is all over (provided he doesn’t choke) and you may be quarantined at the Smithsonian for all eternity as the “origin story” behind our great planet’s shame-spiral back in time.

I brace myself for your upcoming reign of glittery terror.

Thank you, by the way, for letting your human do his Vogue cover shoot and totally chill Bob Costas interview without you.

Why am I even talking to you? You’re a grill!



And what is your damage, GIANT MICHAEL PHELPS HEAD outside the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha? Dude, where’s your grill?


WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE THIS WEEK, READERS? Tell me! Reader Damages for June 27, 2012: I’ve ranked the following atrocities, submitted by readers this week, on a scale of 1 (harmless) to 10 (Heather Chandler) in the ‘WIYD’ video player below.

Newsroom haters

–Matt Bomer’s face

–J. Lo in talks to play Carmen Sandiego

–male AND female winners on So You Think You Can Dance


–Ann Curry’s goodbye speech on the Today show

–Matt Lauer’s smugness

–Hoda possibly leaving Kathie Lee to replace Ann Curry

–a malfunctioning printer

–“never say never” repetition in Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never”

–all these Madea movies

The Bachelorette production staff

–Bret Easton Ellis’ “movie” with Lindsay Lohan and James Deen

–Blake Lively’s ridiculous-looking face paint in the Savages poster

–me never taking off my glasses

–Fetch of the Week: Rumours turns 35

–Fetch of the Week: Team U.S.A. (swimmers’ bodies)

Click on the text prompts in the video player below to see my expert assessments.

If you’re having trouble with the player, visit the ‘What Is Your Damage?’ channel on VYou.

What is your damage? What is with you today? What’s with today, today? Let me know what’s annoying you by sending me a “question” in the video box. Start with “From [your name, or a code name if it’s too embarrassing to be seen with me]” so I can address you properly). You can also tweet and/or e-mail me your damages. Do not mail me your damages. I do not believe in paper.

Thanks for playing along, and I’ll see you Tuesday!

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