He does it better. . .

. . .but I know exactly how he feels:

I was in a meeting yesterday where the opening of the interview was,

“You’re funny, but. . .”

I could never tie them down to exactly what their problem was with me (too aggressive isn’t specific enough besides, I’ve written nice thing) and it was frustrating.

Story to come next week.

What’s weird is I’ve recently noticed I’ve been writing about writing and/or the after effects. I really haven’t been getting my ‘normal’ amount of loons filtering in. Oh sure, there have been some, including a guy who, due to blood loss (he was losing it before he arrived. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it) passed out at the counter, but they’ve generally been blank. Like there’s been some mass hypnotism. They’re still bitchy and annoying and cloying but it’s cookie cutter. Everyone’s rolling down the conveyor belt of generic complaints.

Maybe it’s also that I’ve been pimping my writing ass out there more (to little success) so that’s who I’ve been dealing with. As boring as I find writing about your own writing is I gots ta run with the bullshit that’s racing with me.


13 responses to “He does it better. . .

  1. I love the end of the clip; “Well, then he’s a virus.”

    It takes a special person to be able to take the ugly, the monotonous, and the day to day what-evers and add your own special twist that leaves us in stitches.

    Here’s to being hit in the face with some good bullshit. *Which is the equivalent to telling an actor to break a leg.* 😀

  2. Something tells me the caller stood in line to protest “The Last Temptation of Christ” without seeing it, also.

    I think Lewis is doing now what Carlin was doing 20-30 years ago. And doing it quite well.

  3. Here’s some advice from a professional comedy writer, whenever anyone starts their conversation with,

    “I’ve got a good sense of humor, I think.”

    Hit them square in the face with a shovel (if one is not available improvise. Look around, spot the largest item you can lift and swing and substitute).

    The reason you must act swiftly and with, to some of you, extreme force is because you must stop them from sucking the life out of the room and, potentially, a six block radius.

    Steve from Cleveland is the prototypical version of this ilk. He will allow himself unfettered criticism on any subject without having to back it up. Oftentimes they will shade it with a veneer of intellectualism (he was listening to NPR after all) but that’s no more than a curtain around the great and powerful Oz. An ineffectual shell with a loud microphone.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to ask what someone exactly found offensive. I’m sorry, but ‘everything’ doesn’t cut it. My use of punctuation causes anger? I should be stopped!

    The problem with people of this ilk is they won’t allow the involuntary reaction to an environmental stimulus to take over. They’re always too busy searching for something to high-horse to enjoy the moment. It is so much easier to lean back and tell someone they are not worthy than put it out there and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous assholes.

    I often say that jokes are unrealistic lies. There is no rhyme (“I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” “You’ll be sorry.” “Oh, yeah? Why?” “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.” Emo Philips) or reason (“It’s a small world but I wouldn’t want to paint it.” Steven Wright). Humor lives in a place where I can put two things (a live badger and a meat grinder, for instance) together to create a juxtaposition (I’d rather shove a live badger through a meat grinder than talk to Steve from Cleveland.) that could create mirth.

    But first you’d have to overlook the problems (I mean, where would I get Steve from Cleveland’s number?) and react. I guess some people are so wrapped up in their world (not for a minute am I saying that’s wrong. Everyone has to choose a path that feels right) to allow something as simple as a joke, even one that breaks the laws of physics, time/space continuum, or boundaries of good taste, to wash over them like a lithium shower.

  4. When I read, listen to, or watch comedy I want a release from realism. I am there to laugh. Therefore I find it disturbing that people take it seriously. I heard that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert catch Hell on a regular basis because of their political spoofs.

    Are people really that dense?

    I personally laughed my ass off when Rosanne Barr sang the National Anthem. I mean seriously, when you ask a comedian to sing, what are you hoping to hear?

  5. People aren’t dense.

    Hahahahahahahahahha. Oh, you don’t know how hard that was for me to type! My index finger cramped in protest!

    I pretty much use a 10% rule for everything. 10% are brilliant, 10% are dense, 80% vacillate depending on many factors.

    It’s in that eighty percentile most folks like Steve from Cleveland exist. Bright, hard working, possibly likeable folk. But, if someone or thing gets their dander up they can be pious as a pope with a piehole full of penis (hey! Some people ain’t gonna like that).

    I’ve tried this experiment many times. Let’s say I have a joke about intoxication. If they don’t do drugs, it’s a junkie joke. Junkies get the drunk joke. Even though it’s the same joke they’ll always laugh at the other one but, when the next one is about their substance, it’s dander city (I often have to change my pants two or three times a day due to all the dander on them).

    I had someone refuse to talk to me because I said I would do a cancer joke. That was their off limits. Yeah, my Mother, my girlfriends Father and many other people I’ve known have died from cancer. But, I’d be a huge fucking hypocrite if I said I wouldn’t consider it or wouldn’t allow someone else to do it. The chance may never arrive but I was hired to write jokes about cremating a guy which pissed the hell out of a bunch of people (two Italian grandmothers cursed me!) They never had anything to say about the funny because I’d touched something close to them so they never got to that. I was an evil ass who dared joke about something important to them. Yet, the same night, I saw those people laugh at other ‘off color’ jokes. The difference was the subject of those jokes were not important to them. It’s all in or not. That’s free speech. I may not like something someone says but godspeed. I don’t have to pay or bring attention to it.

    It’s just jokes! I’m not curing cancer but, if I was, I’d be sure to keep some on hand. I’m sure that would keep my family in line!

    I thought the Roseanne thing was a riot and they got what they deserved. But, she got crucified because she dared to have the balls. I’m glad she did it way back in 1990. If she’d done it after 2001 she truly would have been crucified. What you can get away with changes with the times. And, sadly, it hasn’t been for the better in years.

  6. I think I could have been just like Steve at certain points in my life. People were afraid to mention anything Soldier related to me while my son was at war, for fear of finding their bowels sitting in a bowl next to them. (Fear as well as sadness, I believe, will cause a temporary lapse in judgment) So, I can see were you are going with this.

    I love comedians who slam everyone across the board; Equal opportunity bashers.

    Although my favorite would be those who can stand up and laugh at themselves. People in general need to take a step back and perhaps laugh at how retarded they themselves are. This is how I make it through the day.

    For the Steves who are out there, I would like to use my then four year olds tactics for standup. He would tell a joke, which had no punch line, made no sense, and was not funny. He would then glare at his audience (which he gathered and held prisoner) and he would scream at them, LAUGH. His little face would be bright red and he would scream it again LAUGH. Which we all did because he was so serious that it was hysterical.

    OK, maybe it would only work for four year old comedians. *shrugs*

    Anyway, life is too funny to be taken seriously.

  7. That’s exactly it. Most people have an off limits topic and it can come for any reason.

    At Bob The Man’s going away party a bunch of us were standing off to the side joking. We stood off to the side for a reason. It was a bag of ugly surrounded by a coating of horror. But his wife had to come over. The tone changed for some but not for me. If I’m in the middle of slaughtering a cow and you walk over I’m not likely to stop. This could be the last time I see my friend so the last thing I want to see is him laughing. So whatever kind of humor he wanted, that was my job.

    The topic of when he’s coming back came up and he said X amount of months minimum.

    “Maybe you’ll get back earlier.” I said.

    “No, that’s the minimum.” He said.

    “It could happen.” I pushed. Bob knew I was up to something so he took the bait.


    “You could blow up!”

    Everyone, with the exception of his wife, laughed. It was for Bob, he knew what I was doing. He set up the joke for us to do when other people came in. I wouldn’t have done that joke at any other time but, at that moment, for Bob and his like minded (many of them going over with him) friends, that’s what he wanted to hear. The people who could accept that joke is small. But that’s why there’s a genre called gallows humor.

  8. I probably would have laughed as well. It would depend on where my head was at that very second. The problem being, I had no control over when I would laugh or fly into a rage while he was gone.

    At my son’s going away ceremony I was chatting with him, his CO, and a few of his buddies. Mr. J was sitting on the top row of the bleachers.

    I said to my son, “Dad J wants you to head up and talk to him when you get a chance.”

    One of his buddies smirked and asked, “Have your old man come down here.”

    My son was hesitant to leave the group… (afraid I might say something about him while he was gone.)

    He was torn; Does he head up and leave me to tell tall tales about him, or does he stay here and upset Dad J?

    Finally he turned to me and asked, “Mom, what does he want?”

    (keep in mind his buddies and his CO are ribbing him)

    With a straight face I explained, “I asked him to knock you off the bleachers.”

    What the hell? He might get a broken neck, but he would get to stay home with us.

    Kind of selfish, but he wouldn’t let me push him down the stairs or run over his legs with the car.

    Kids, I just don’t know what they are thinking these days.

    I love your sarcastic humor. It is a real gift.

    I too am sarcastic, but the crap that comes out of my mouth comes across as bitchy and bitchy is generally only funny to me.

  9. Your sense of humor works for me, betme. I look forward to reading your posts.

    I’m glad your son is home.

    “(Fear as well as sadness, I believe, will cause a temporary lapse in judgment)”

    Sometimes it’s too much to expect someone to get the joke. It hits too close to home. I get that, Chris gets it, you get it.

    That doesn’t put us amongst the ranks of people calling radio shows and declaring vague judgments.

    We have lives.

  10. In Drew Carey’s old-ass-by-now book “Dirty Jokes and Beer,” he talks about people writing in because they were offended by something on the show. He cites one episode that depicted a schizophrenic stalker in one subplot, and Mimi finding out she was next in line for some Polish noble title in another.

    Several people complained about the depiction of the mentally ill, several people about the depiction of the Polish, but NOBODY complained about both.

  11. How come no ones pointed out that you did a cancer joke? Might not be a great or very offensive one, but you did one.

    Taoist Biker points it out exactly. People are so myopic many insulting things get past them or they find funny but let it swing over to their bitch zone and it’s all over.

    Good thing I’m a near-sighted, club-footed, left-handed, red-headed, Norwegian/Native American/Rastafarian Junkie Jew/Mormon. It’s very had to find anything exactly offensive to me.

    And, no, that’s not a challenge.

  12. Thanks for noticing, BJ, and don’t think you slipped a Ween reference past me.

  13. I also think that people need to be able to laugh at themselves as well as at others. You can’t always be the one telling the joke; sometimes you have to be the one the joke is about! After all, no one is perfect, shit does happen, and no one is immune to shit!

    Humorless Tight-asses are just people who take themselves too seriously; and the only reason they are funny to me is because I’m irreverent enough to see humor in everything! Of course, I do have multiple personality disorder and take a Baskin-Robbins-23 -Flavors assortment of psychotropics/anti-depressives, so the lithium shower reference is as refreshing as an Irish Spring commercial to me!

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