Monthly Archives: April 2008

Pick Up

My girlfriend wanted steak tips from this place we used to visit when we lived down the street. The food is very good and that was one reason but the biggest factor was a gift certificate someone gave us.

I, of course, had to go in. When I’m leaving the truck she tells me to make note of who’s there. I okay that instruction and enter the restaurant.

At the bar are people we know. Most of them greet me and we make a little small talk while waiting for the order. I was quite surprised to learn a couple of those people visit this site. I was even more shocked they like it.

“I never knew you were funny.” One guy said.

“You never paid me.” My standard response. I’m not one of those guys who’s on all the time. I punch in and punch out just like everyone else.

While talking to one guy another guy, someone we refer to as Smelly Guy for seriously proper reasons, keeps trying to get my attention. I keep signaling that I’ll be right there. But that’s not good enough. He keeps calling down the dozen or so seats.

“Hey, you want a beer? Want me to get you a beer?”

“No thanks,” I respond. “My order will be out in a minute.”

I’m finishing with one guy, shaking hands with another when Smelly Guy (who for some reason has an eye patch. I didn’t ask. I find curiosity kills many, many minutes of my life) sidles up to me.

“So, where ya been?”

“Around. We don’t get to this area much.”

“Oh, you should stop by more often.”

“We keep talking about it.”

“And where’s that lovely girlfriend of yours?”

“In the truck.” Smart enough to make me run the gauntlet.

And the conversation went on like that for the next couple of minutes. Let me say here that the moniker is not only fitting but exponentially so since we last spoke.

He kept pressing for attention and information. I kept deflecting and trying to find a clear air hole. Finally I had enough. I had to say hello to a couple at the end of the bar and the waitress was signaling for me.

I tried to close out the conversation with my patented easy let down. You know that one. It’s when you tell someone you’ll try to stop by over the weekend because it’s a specific time frame yet ambiguous enough so when you don’t show up you just say, ‘I said I’d try.’ And you’re home free!

But Smelly Eye Patch Guy kept going. I found myself in that place I go to when I clock in for work.

“Listen, if you keep it up I’m going to crawl up your ass and go spelunking with your polyps.”

I heard the guys behind me laugh.

“So that’s how you do it!” One of them said.

“I bet we’ll read that tomorrow!” The other one said.

And so you did.

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Audition

I auditioned as a writer for a sketch comedy show. I didn’t get it but I thought I did pretty well within the boundaries they set. On the phone I was told I had an hour to write a sketch. While I’m thinking, ‘I could just send them something I’ve already written’ she says,

“It has to be an ensemble piece set at a wedding with three bridesmaids as the leads.”

Now I have a backlog of stuff but, damn, that’s one I missed. So I tell her I’ll be in touch. I sat down, thought of weddings, bridesmaids, farting backstage at church (no, that’s a best man thing), a bunch of lesbians walking into a bar jokes for some reason before this popped out of my head:

INT. RECEPTION HALL – DAY

Three BRIDESMAIDS are standing in the Reception Hall sipping their drinks. People are dancing, walking, talking, your basic wedding mixing.

BRIDESMAID 1
That was really a nice service.

BRIDESMAID 2
Yes, I thought the sermon was beautiful.

BRIDESMAID 3
And didn’t Theresa look lovely?

The Bridesmaids nod and agree in unison.

BRIDE (V.O.)
Everyone! Time to toss the bouquet.

The Bridesmaids duck and turn away.

BRIDESMAID 3
No, no, no. I can’t catch that. My companies sending me to New Zealand for the next eighteen months.

BRIDESMAID 2
There’s no way I can get that. I’ve decided to come out to my family at the reunion next week.

Bridesmaids 3 and 2 turns and look at Bridesmaid 1. They agree that she should be the recipient.

BRIDESMAID 3
What about you?

BRIDESMAID 2
Yeah, you’ve been going with Eddie for a couple of years now.

BRIDESMAID 3
Isn’t it about time you two thought about. . .

BRIDESMAID 1
. . .he just broke up with me.

Bridesmaids 3 and 2 are astonished.

BRIDESMAID 3
You mean before you got here?

BRIDESMAID 1
No. During the service. He said he’s leaving me for someone at work.

The Bridesmaids turn in unison and look at Eddie.

EDDIE is at the table laughing with other GUYS. He turns toward the Bridesmaids, lifts his drink and smiles.

BRIDESMAID 2
What a jerk.

BRIDESMAID 3
I can’t believe it.

BRIDESMAID 1
Believe it. I bet I even know the one. It’s probably the one he’s been ‘working late’ with.

Bridesmaids nod and stir their drinks.

BRIDE (V.O.)
Okay everyone! It’s time.

WOMEN crowd around the Bridesmaids who are standing there staring straight ahead with their arms by their sides.

BRIDE (V.O.) (CONT’D)
One. Two. Three!

The BOUQUET is flying through the air.

Women reach around the still Bridesmaids.

The Bouquet rolls through the air straight towards Bridesmaid 3.

Bridesmaid 3 cringes in horror.

The Bouquet is about to reach Bridesmaid 3.

Bridesmaid 3 raises her hands and volleys the Bouquet back into the air like a volleyball.

The Bouquet flies towards Bridesmaid 2 who gets into the ready position and passes the Bouquet to Bridesmaid 1.

Bridesmaid 1 bends her knees and leaps into the air.

The Bouquet is hanging in the air.

Bridesmaid 1 reaches back and spikes the Bouquet.

The Bouquet tumbles through the air.

Eddie is laughing with the Guys.

The Bouquet is heading for Eddie.

Eddie turns and reacts as the Bouquet closes in on his face.

The Bouquet crashes into Eddie’s face sticking there.

Eddie falls back and hits the floor dead.

The three Bridesmaids high five.

A bumper superimposes over the screen as the Bridesmaids celebrate:

DeadEx

MALE (V.O.)
DeadEx: when he absolutely, positively has to die that night.

FADE OUT.

About twenty minutes after I’d been given the assignment I called to say I was done and emailing the piece. She was taken aback I could come up with something so quickly and made a snide aside to the quality. I told her there was only one way to find out and that was to check her email.

A few hours later I get an email that tells me I didn’t pass the audition. Although there were many reasons (too short – I hate padded bits, too unbelievable – she had a problem with the flying bouquet, too sporty) it seems the main reason, from what I could tell because there were more words dedicated to it than in the entire bit, was, as she wrote in the email,

‘Fedex parodies are so old. And that’s such an overused slogan. It MAY have been better with a Aeropostale or American Eagle or even Wal-Mart tag. You HAVE to update your references if you want to be in this business.’

Walpostale Eagle: It won’t make sense but at least it’s a hip reference!

Cliches Are Good

When people approach me with requests for things I will not or cannot do I become quite steely in my resolve. What I mean by that is I probably know more about what I do than someone requesting my service. That’s what makes me a professional and the people bothersome.

I won’t bore you with the request but trust me when I say it was something that is probably mentioned on the don’t side of state and federal regulations. As often as it happens it still amazes me that people are so intent on not taking no for an answer they’ll stick to their guns no matter how absurd.

“No, I know I’m right.” Someone will stand their ground after my telling them for the last half hour that, in fact, they are mistaken. “I know you have cockfights here. Twice on Saturdays.”

It’s tiresome and I know there’s nothing I can do to hasten them down the wind that is not on the don’t side of state and federal regulations.

What I also find is, once they’ve exhausted each prong of their attack, they tend to go cliche on my ass. Don’t get me wrong, cliches are good. They give people who couldn’t come up with something on their own a snappy retort to rest their haggard mind on.

“Yeah, well,” the guy whose been requesting the impossible for the last fifteen minutes begins. “You just want your cake and eat it too.”

I ignore the obvious statement in lieu of,

“That’s not true. Sure, I want my cake but I’d fuck it.”

See? Cliches are good. I got to top it and he left with these words, the only words I really wanted to hear,

“I can’t believe you’d talk to a potential customer like that. I’ll never be back.”

Officially Ancient

We went away as a family for the last couple of days. Having been forbidden to write about that part of my life you’ll never know the joy experienced by one and all. What you will get is a glimpse of what life’s like when two adults are limited in their adult-like behavior due to the proximity of someone a tad less adult.

We did get to do a good chunk of yard work so that was good. Of course, in life, where there is good there must be things not so good. And, to me, one of those things is shopping. I know I’ve mentioned my hatred for all things shopping so I won’t bore you with the fact that a local chain, Christmas Tree Shop, sucks the souls of men and mixes it into a blender on frenzy. I’ve petitioned they rename the chain, Carries Total Shit. I’ve yet to hear back from them.

Soul sucking bastards.

So you can understand my joy when we traipsed from store to store in search of I DON’T FUCKING KNOW! To the best of my knowledge, and I’m pretty knowledgeable for an idiot, there was no specific reason to be in any of these stores. It’s a good thing I’ve had so many concussions. I can black out at the drop of an anvil (makes living next to The Acme Corporation anvil test grounds very convenient).

At one store I’m sitting alone in a room staring at my feet. Don’t get me wrong, I felt blessed to have the seat and solitude but I’d much rather have been having steak and suds. I’m sitting in the room for between five and fifty-six minutes when a couple of women walk in. They’re looking around and one walks towards me.

“I’m not for sale.” They laugh and one of them says,

“Pity. I was going to ask the saleswoman about you.”

“What would you say? How much is that weird looking guy-like statue? I have some crows in my yard I want to frighten.”

They laugh again, but, more importantly, exit leaving me to my sneaker watching.

But, sometimes the numbness doesn’t fully take over. I find myself coming to while wandering aimlessly through some random store. When that happened yesterday I found myself in an antique store. I think what brought me to was that antique store smell. The way I can best describe the smell would be to say it’s probably what John Wayne Gacy’s house smelled like before his arrest.

But, because I’m a dutiful boyfriend and I’ve already found that being in one place for too long brings buyers, I wander. It was during this wandering at the antique store I was handed my old-timers badge.

Right there, on the shelf, was a copy of a book I’d been featured in. I’ve seen it in used book stores (where, if no ones looking, I sign my bits) but to see something with your work in it in an antique store sure makes you want to break out the prune juice and depends.

The book in question (because I know someone would ask) is an awesome tome entitled ‘The Best Of The Best American Humor’ from the editors of Funny Times. It can be purchased at many places on line including http://tinyurl.com/4htvxv or at an antique store in Dennis, MA.

Leaves A Bad Taste

We were with a few people and one started talking about edible underwear. Another women says,

“Ew, they taste like shit.”

I say to her,

“That’s because you’re eating the wrong side.”

Yes, I’m Dyslexic!

I’ve received some emails asking if, as I mentioned in ‘Fanatic’, I’m really dyslexic. What does this tell you?

Dyslexic’s of the world, untie!

How many times have we heard that ‘Oh so funny’ ‘joke’ in our lives? More times than you can shake a shtick at, I’m sure.

How many times have we been embarrassed because we don’t understand why that ‘Toys R Us’ logo is so damn funny?

How many times have we been rear-ended at that octagonal red sign because we can’t find the guy who’s supposed to be there selling ‘Pots’?

It’s time for the world to know that dyslexia is no laughing mattre!

Tell ’em you’re dyslexic not analphabetic! You know all the letters sometimes you just don’t agree with their placement!

Come on! Join us! Let the world know you’re proud! You’re loud! You have problems spelling shroud!

If you’re not dyslexic you know someone who is so wear our badge of honor proudly as you help ease the disease!

dys.jpg

 http://www.cafepress.com/boundandgags.24337014

100% of the proceeds from the sales of our shirts goes directly into the pocket of the guy who wrote the bit. Not one thin dime will go to help any dyslexic but him. But he has been known to buy rounds for his drinkin’ buddies! So, purchase with abandon! He’s parched, sober and his friends are broke!

Fanatics

I’m a sports fan not fanatic. What I mean by that is I don’t say things like ‘We won!’ or ‘We lost.’ or ‘We shouldn’t have bet the mortgage because we didn’t play very well.’ Whenever I hear someone say that I can’t help but to think, “What’s this we Kemosabe?”

I’m pretty sure the guy standing next to me who said that didn’t even get on the roster much less into the game. Hell, he’s sitting next to me so he didn’t even get a ticket. I understand it’s the global ‘we’ but, let me tell you, it sure seems some of those people have lost that part of the equation. By the spittle that accumulates at the corners of their mouths you’d think they’d suited up.

I tend to avoid those people.

But, no matter what, they’re always there.

Part of the job of a sports fan seems to be to whine. And the guy next to me took that to an art. In one stream of consciousness rant he covered the Red Sox slow start; the Bruins getting blown out of the playoffs; the Celtics losing a few late season games (even though they’d clinched the division – but don’t let facts get in the way of a good whine); and I don’t even want to get started on the Patriots and their season marred by Beligate, Tom’s dates, Randy Moss’ ex-date.

I’m listening and can’t help but to think about this past year for Boston sports fans. Let’s go to the big board, shall we? The Red Sox won the world series; the Patriots had an undefeated regular season and went to the super bowl; the Celtics are poised to bring glory back to their name; the Bruins and the Revolution made the playoffs; okay, so the Lobsters had a tough season but do you see my point? New England sports fans truly have little to whine about.

Yet, we do.

And my listening jar was just about filled to the brim.

“Hey!” I say to this guy who, if memory serves, wanted to rename Kenmore Square Ortiz Circle last year, but now wants him benched but would prefer if he were traded to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

I have his attention so I want to tell him that it’s a long season. Many things can go right and wrong at any given moment. It’s that uncertainty that draws us to the spectacle and deepens our love of the team and sport. That, for the last few years, it’s been a marvel to be a Boston sports fan. But all that came out was,

“Stop your fucking whining! Boston backwards is not sob, you know!”

And I stood by those words. Especially when I realized my dyslexia was right so I got to do my touchdown dance right in his face! Take that, sports fan without odd disabilities!