I tried something that proved to be harder than expected. No, not thinking before I speak. I’ve yet to try that. Instead, I decided to write an original joke every morning and post it on Facebook, thus exposing myself to the ridicule of those silly enough to “friend” me.
Watching a white guy hit on a black barista is especially painful before my coffee. When he said, “I like my coffee like my women, black and strong,” I threw up a little inside my mouth. When it was my turn, the barista looked at me with daggers and asked how I liked my coffee. I said, “White, with no self-esteem.”I now have to find a new coffee shop.
People have said for years they think I’m funny. (I mean funny, ha ha.) I should think about writing jokes for a living, they’d say. Like just about everything else in the world, stuff is a lot easier when you don’t have to do it every day. Coming up with something new every day, especially when I’m tired, in a shitty mood, looking for a fight, etc. just plain sucks!
I’ve been buying too much alcohol lately. It’s really out of control. So much so I decided to start going to meetings. The people at Shopaholics Anonymous said I needed to find a new meeting.
Add to that the fact that most of my friends are ethnic, gay, or mentally ill—or all three—which eliminates about 99.9% of the jokes that come to my mind. I really had to reign in the humor that is fine when I am working on the motorcycles or when I’m with family. Though I am not graced with anything bordering on circumspection, I do try not to engage in offensive behavior with those I care about or make my living from—which, if were represented by a Venn diagram, would be one big circle. This means that coming up with something somewhat amusing within a rather limited corral is hard work.
We need a new coffee machine so I put in a Swear Jar. I also changed the popcorn sizes from Small, Medium, and Large to Cheap Ass Tiny, S****y Middle of the Road, and M***** F***king Huge. Between the surge in popcorn sales to middle school kids and tripling the size of the Swear Jar, we’ll be ordering the new eight-head, gold-plated, espresso machine by the end of the week.
An interesting side effect from this experiment is that my mind started spending even more time turning everything into a spoonerism or a pun.
How do you turn a Tuesday chicken potpie dinner into a Saturday night party? Add commas: chicken, pot, and pie.
And as luck would have it, many a time I would come up with something incredibly funny and have no way to record it. I do not condone texting while driving, but I could see why there are those who feel compelled to do such a thing. Inspiration is a finite resource for some of us.
I was riding along about 70 mph and got nailed in the face with a dove. I don’t care what the ad says, that damn thing was not ¾ moisturizing cream.
There are other things I could do if I wasn’t pimping independent film to this town. I happen to be one hell of motorcycle mechanic (which is a broad indicator of how useful my six years of college English would be for getting gainful employment).
Looking for investors for a great business idea. Buy a 3D printer. Then print more 3D printers to sell.
Fixing stuff is all a matter of systems. Once you grock how a mechanical system works, you can apply that to cars, motorcycles, biological organisms, political parties, religion, getting laid, and so on. But there is a psychology to motorcycles that emanates from how the brains behind them were thinking when they were designed. BMW does things one way and Honda does them another. Harley Davidson has their own planet from which their designers hail. Moto Guzzi makes Harley look like solid earthly logic. I love this stuff and am usually successful at making various machines road worthy. However there is a big however, and that however is that I only like working on them if they are mine or owned by someone I like. So, should I decide to work on motorcycles for a living and have to work on a bike of someone I didn’t like, my day would go south fast: “Gee, my 1973 Harley still vibrates even after you installed highway pegs.”
“Harley’s are very intuitive. If they think you are an idiot, they shake more. It’s been scientifically proven. Take a night class. It’ll help.”
The front forks on my motorcycle were leaking so I went to the motorcycle shop and bought some fork oil. The guy behind the counter looks at me and says, "Ah, blew a seal?" I said, "Does EVERYBODY know why I got fired from Sea World?" I now have to find a new motorcycle shop.
A question that sometimes comes up when I’m interviewed about the Darkside: What is the hardest part about running a theater?
I sat at the counter in a diner and ordered a chicken sandwich. The guy next to me ordered an egg sandwich. You’ll never know which one came first.
Usually I joke that it is pure hell trying to find a way to spend all the money I’m making. Frankly, the answer is the converse of that. For several months of the year it doesn’t matter what films are playing, almost no one shows up. And this happens every year. I might spend six hours and $500 rebuilding a power supply to make a lamp work, only to have three people show up for the show. And they will complain that it was too loud/quiet or tell me they can get Red Vines a lot cheaper at the store. I may not be able to write prolifically like Stephen King but I can hold a 70 year-old 35mm projector together with a stale Jr. Mint, a paperclip, and the love of Jesus in my heart—until people start showing up for movies again and I can afford to install a fresh Jr. Mint.
New policy: If I see someone texting in an auditorium during the movie, I’ll turn off the movie, open the door slightly, then toss in a noose. What happens next depends on the other people trying to watch the movie….
Trying to be funny every morning as the coffee starts to make my brain cells speak to each other (in the same language) is not an easy job. It gives me understanding and perhaps a little patience for those who do seeming simple tasks professionally.
I borrowed my friend’s new smart phone to call tech support. What he didn’t tell me is he had dropped it in his curry bowl at lunch. As I was talking to the tech person in what was likely Mumbai, India, I was overwhelmed by the smell of Indian food. My friend told me it was a new app that detects the accent of the person on the phone and produces a smell from that person’s region. The next day we were sitting in the pub and I used his phone to call my sister in Canada. I could smell beer! It smelled just like the Labatt’s I was drinking! I was astounded! I went to the cell phone store and tried to by a phone that would support that app! Such depths of humiliation had been unseen since middle school. I could hear the guys in the cell phone place laughing the whole way back to my car. I called my friend, “Hey, I just got that Geographical Smell-O-App on my phone.”
“Really? What are you smelling now?”
“I can smell the creek you’re up without a paddle the next time I see you!”
Yes, I can intimidate that aggressive panhandler into never coming to the snack bar counter again, but it pisses me off for the rest of the day and God help the next person who even slightly annoys me. Meanwhile that cop I just called an “idiot” because he was hassling some skateboarder deals with guys like this everyday—and doesn’t slap them into the next county. Who’s the idiot?
Having come from Canadian parents, I can assure you that adulterers in our friend’s country to the north are indeed forced to wear scarlet “Eh”s, dontyaknow?
The real humor is that these lessons are fleeting at best and I will be asking myself how hard is it really to ring up a few pounds of Fuji apples without spilling them all over the damn scale? What keeps me from asking that very question is another question: Do I thread up the correct film every show, every day of the year?
That would be a no.
These are some of the lesser jokes I wrote:
Did you ever see the Happy Days trading cards? When my friend told me to give him the one with the guy in the leather jacket, he’d invest it and give me back TWO cards, I suspected a Fonzy Scheme.
I’m running in a 5K race with a buddy of mine. I’m in lousy shape and I know it. About half way through the race I realized I had it. I push it as far as I can and decide to give it up. I tell my buddy I’m through, and he freaks. “Dude, you can’t stop here?”
“This is the 3K mark and the black guy behind you will think you’re a racist.”
When I think of irony, I think of PETA beating a dead horse.