Humor by Mark Bazer

Are you ready for 2011? By that I mean, are you ready for Mariah Carey's twins?

To be sure, there will be other topics deserving of attention next year: A presidential election will start to heat up, 9/11 will have its 10th anniversary, WikiLeaks will publish every e-mail you've ever sent . . .

But in 2011, nothing or nobody is going to be able to touch Mariah's twins.

Except the photographers stylizing them for the covers of US Weekly, People and In Touch.

Get ready for the exclusives about how having children has shown Mariah what's truly important.

Get ready for the eight-page pullout section of babies Octave and Inspire (or whatever their names end up being) with the Mariah pull-quote, "I want to keep my children out of the public eye."

Get ready for the beach photos the week after delivery of Mariah's perfectly toned post-pregnancy body.

In other words, get ready for wanting to stay as far away as possible from a grocery-store checkout line for much of 2011. Other than Mariah Carey and her husband, the only one to benefit from the birth of her twins will be Peapod.

None of this is a knock on Mariah Carey -- Lambs, put down your pens! -- because right now she should be all about her husband and future family.

And when people -- and I hesitate to use that word when describing gossip journalists -- come asking Mariah about what she cares about most, it's hard to blame her for answering them.

"My taste bud situation is unparalleled," she recently told "Extra." "I don't know what it is, but I'm just about fruit for some reason."

Say such a thing to your friend over lunch or post it as your Facebook status and nobody blinks an eye. Say it on national TV and you sound a bit like a moron. It's not (completely) her fault a reporter asked her about her wacky pregnancy cravings.

There are three types of celebrities who end up on the cover of US Weekly and, hard to believe I'm saying this, its less-classy competitors.

You've got the Angelina Jolies, Brad Pitts, Jennifer Anistons -- major celebrities with actual talent who, for whatever their faults, know better than to want anything to do with the gossip industry.

You know the stories about them are untrue, and you want to avoid them.

Then you've got the D-list celebrities whose only talent is their ability to live terrible lives and who seem to exist because of gossip magazines. People like Kate Gosselin make an unspoken deal with the gossip industry: I'll share everything I do and think in exchange for you keeping me in the public eye. It's a win-win for everyone except 99.9 percent of the country.

You know the stories about them are true, and you want to avoid them.

And then there is the category Mariah Carey falls into: celebrities who have talent, who are famous for something more than being famous, who are fabulous and beautiful -- and who still show up at the "Extra" studios or the US Weekly editorial offices.

Why do they do it? What do they possibly have to gain? They can't be doing it just for a free family portrait taken by a professional photographer, can they? Don't they know about the good deals right now at the Sears Portrait Studio?

Whatever the reason, the stories about them are usually true and you usually want to avoid them. But ... it's hard. Because OMG! Mariah's having twins!

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