Absurdist

There are probably a dozen or so people I don’t see often and it’s a good thing. Not that they’re annoying, in fact, they can be pleasant to a degree, but they like to ‘get’ me. It’s like the moment they see me they have to be funny. Trust me, I’m not that funny in person. Here is what a great friend, who has known me for years, has to say,

“He’s not funny.” Said Scott Randolph. “He’s sort of an idiot, really.”

See? And he knows me.

But there are people who get competitive with me. It’s as if they have to be funny because of me not because there’s a need. The worst part is they go into their odd non sequitur world. A normal conversation turns into an absurdist conversation for reasons I’ve never understood.

I had to meet with someone to discuss a show they wanted to do. We went over their notes, it was pleasant, and became even more pleasant when he said he’d buy me beer.

He’s walking up to the bar when a guy approaches me. I’m good at faces but not names. But this guy was good at both. He says some things about me, then says, as a matter of fact, he thought of me just the other day (CA-Reep-E). I smile and, well, that’s about it. I know the face but nothing else is ever going to come. So, like the idiot Scott says I am, I stand and smile.

I can see the guy coming back from the bar and so can this guy. Sensing his time is drawing short he begins. Aw, fuck! He’s one of them absurdists.

Let me explain, these dozen or so people begin telling me these off the space shuttle stories (that always contain time travel) and then ask me questions that mean nothing, go nowhere, and, truthfully, never have made a shred of sense to me.

“So, Chris, what keeps you up at night?”

I know I could answer, ‘I sleep like a baby.’ but how many people do you want to know you suck your thumb and shit yourself in your sleep?

The problem is, if I don’t do some type of ‘humorous’ response they’ll keep it going until they get what they’re looking for. So, to that question, I answer,

“Wondering why eggs don’t taste like chicken.”

My friend arrives and hands me a beer. He looks at me with a look that asks if I need help. I nod him off and wait for my opening to close. The guy knows he’s losing me so barks out another question,

“Do you have a secret skill?”

“Trapeze artist.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I draw awesome straight lines.”

AH! Okay, stupid. But what was it Scott said earlier? Don’t bitch, you were forewarned.

My friend settles down but is keeping a close eye on the proceedings. I hear the next question and know this is the one that’ll bail me out.

“If you could be anyone in the world who would it be?”

“You.”

“Me?”

“Yeah, ’cause then I could have stopped this conversation before it began.”

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10 responses to “Absurdist

  1. Ding, ding, ding…excellent response ! :]

  2. He sounds like a Wang-Chung fan…

  3. What is funny, is that I emailed you a couple of hours ago about a “funny” guy that feels he needs to be funny in competition with me. The situation is so weird that I don’t know how to react because I was stuck in the middle of the whole thing.

    • When I read that I laughed. It’s not abnormal for it to happen.

      It’s just annoying to me. A waste of time. It annoys me when someone has to make me laugh. Like it’s a goal. And, boy, they won’t stop until I do.

      I’ve been cornered and just beaten with jokes. If I get really annoyed I let them start then beat them to the punchline. Trust me, I’ve heard the joke.

      I don’t mind joking and having fun but not as a competitive sport. I like the badinage but when the fun is taken out of it it’s just someone wanting attention.

      I was at a party doing a few jokes because I was having fun. This guy came over and wrapped himself around his wife. I ignored it and kept going. Other people were playing along so I knew it wouldn’t be long until the wraptor chimed in.

      And his joke bombed. I was going to call in a hazmat team for fear that another joke would never grow in that spot.

      When he bombed everyone looked at me. So I said,

      “Hey! I didn’t teach him that lame ass joke. Don’t look at me.”

      After that he was quiet but never let go of his property and never stopped glaring at me. Silly boy, I live off hate.

  4. I’m not gonna stop until you laugh!

  5. Oh the lives of the comedians!

    Har dee har HAR!!

    My BFF and I grew up together on comedy. By that I mean that our bond was hugely based on laughter and goofery. We thought we were pretty hilarious, even if a bit insular. Our developed characters ranged from drunken bums to paraplegic midget assholes. Our families and other friends also nourished our satire. For a short time we managed the world’s largest cartel, in secret.

    Always the more industrious one, he “made something” out of this and actually did some years as a stand up/emcee/magician in southern CT. After 40 years of friendship we still make each other laugh, but not all the time.

    I think these desperate absurdists are irresistibly drawn to groups of laughing people, like moths to flame. Oh look, there’s some people having fun. I want to go to there … It’s that or cry into another lite beer. 😦

  6. When I was a kid the first ‘recorded’ comedy I did was with kids in the neighborhood. We’d ‘interview’ people from the neighborhood and drop in snippets from songs as their answers. That form was pretty big on radio at the time.

    I don’t know what happened to those tapes or any of those guys expect for one. He’s a comedian. I haven’t seen any of them for years. For some reason I remember one of the guys had an enormous ear hole.

    The first comedy I ever wrote was for a cub scout play (yes, I was a cub scout. And boy scout. But I got kicked out of boy scouts for high sticking. Yes, we were playing street hockey. And, yes again, he deserved it). We were doing a recreation of one of those prince wins the princess stories.

    We wanted to change it but no one had any ideas. So I went home and started going over the story. It took all night (at least that’s how I’m telling the story) but came up with something.

    At the next meeting I laid out the script. Everyone was trying to get the hand of the princess. The princess was played by the biggest kid in the troop. At the end the choice was made. And I was the choice! And also one of the smallest kids in the troop.

    I could see people playing right into my master plan! I walked over to the princess to carry her off into a wonderland. Everyone could see that was going to be quite an issue for me to accomplish.

    I held my hands out as I approached the princess but, at the last second, he batted my hands away, picked me up and said the classic line I stole, uh, rewrote,

    “Sorry about that, Prince.”

    There is a shorthand in humor that, if you’re lucky, you get to share with someone else. To everyone on the outside it’s idiotic but that’s where the fun lives. I’m sure, David, you helped build the foundation of your friends comedy career.

    And he probably stole your jokes.

  7. Paraplegic midget assholes. Tee hee.

  8. In my heart, I know I’m funny.

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