another sign of the times
The other day I had a long drive to make so I rented a car. I treated myself to Sirius Radio and therefore spent seven hours flipping back and forth between four different comedy channels.
Two stints of three and a half hours of nothing but stand-up comics.
When I finally pulled into my driveway I realized that standing in front of people and trying to make them laugh is hard.
Impossible if you’re a girl.
Girls are not funny and don’t try and blame me for that observation. Everyone knows it. They will talk about shopping or men or, if they’re ‘shocking’, they will talk about their vaginas. You want to know what all of these things have in common?
Girls make them unfunny.
I tried, I swear to you I did. I sat and gripped the wheel tighter and tighter and tried to get through five minutes of a female comedian but after a few hours I simply switched channels as soon as I heard a feminine voice. I don’t know if it’s Nature or Nurture, DNA or evolutionary imperatives, but I swear there were times when all of the channels had a girl trying to be funny at the same time and I had to find an insurance commercial to listen to until it was over.
I also realized that I don’t find Hispanics funny. I can’t be as broad and say that nobody finds them funny, but after awhile I started flipping as soon as I heard the accent. Until that drive I had just assumed it was just George Lopez and Gabriel Iglesias that I found insufferable. Nope. Turns out that it’s all of ’em.
This is a strange thing to know about yourself. That you can find an entire ethnicity unfunny. I’m sure they are nice people and I wouldn’t hesitate to have lunch with a Hispanic comedian… as long as he or she wasn’t in the mood to tell jokes. To be on the safe side, let’s just skip lunches and stick to funerals.
After listening to so many comics, you also realize that comedy itself is in mortal danger. There are a huge number of ‘comedians’ that don’t even attempt to be funny. They stand on stage and just tell you how smart and compassionate they are. More than ‘those other horrible people’. Virtue-signaling as an art form. Unfortunately there are a large number of people who like to sit and feel superior to others and clap and support these douchebags.
When you’re in a car you’re under no threat of being judged for bellowing at the radio a hearty “Shut the fuck up!”
So I did. Again and again.
If you’re starting to get the visual that I was driving down the road yelling at the radio and changing stations every two minutes like a crazy person, you’re starting to get an accurate picture.
Even I realized that anyone watching would be rooting for me to drive off the road into a tree.
On the second leg of the drive it really hit home when I couldn’t stop laughing, but not at what was being said on the radio. I was laughing at what was going through my mind.
Earlier in the day, I honestly forget how it came up, I wondered if the sign for masturbation is taking your hand, putting it in front of your groin and jerking it up and down furiously. Deaf people no doubt masturbate so there has to be a sign for it. It comes up in conversations.
Which is sort of funny.
But what had me laughing for the last two hours of the drive was what if it wasn’t the sign for masturbation. What if it was the sign of a perfectly ordinary word?
All of a sudden I was filled with the urge to be a very important person. The kind of person who gives speeches. Speeches that a lot of people are interested in. Even deaf people.
I would need someone signing next to me as I spoke. Preferably a female… so I could find her funny for a fleeting moment.
Every time I said shovel.
Which I would work into the speech any time I could, and then give her a quick sideways glance.
I would start off with “Never doubt or question the power of love or one woman with a shovel.”
I’m sure she’d do a quick ‘shovel’, almost nonchalantly. Not knowing what’s coming. I would lull her into a false sense of security. Telling some story or other about hard work or perseverance. And then launch into “And you shovel… and you shovel… and you shovel…” then take along look over to her to make sure she’s not missing any shovels or half-assing them. I need her to be really grinding them out to show how hard it is, and then continuing “and you shovel and shovel. And then shovel some more.”
It’s only then that you allow yourself to crack a smile in her direction.
“Jackson Pollack once said ‘When I say artist I mean the man who is building things – creating molding the earth – whether it be the plains of the west – or the iron ore of Penn. It’s all a big game of construction – some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.’ Gary Larsen said ‘I keep thinking someone’s gonna show up and say, ‘There’s been a big mistake. The guy next door is supposed to be drawing the cartoon. Here’s your shovel.’”
The idea of pretending to be profound while just making some poor girl stand in front of people, put her hand in front of her groin and jerk it up and down furiously seems to me to be the funniest thing in the world.
Which I should explain to girls and Hispanics in case they ever get offended that I don’t find them funny. It would make them feel better to know what I do find funny. The virtue-signalers wouldn’t even want to make someone like me laugh. I don’t blame them.
Either way, I would end my speech, the signer’s aching wrist rejoicing that it was finally coming to an end, with a quote from John McDonnell; “I call a spade a shovel, straightforward. If I disagree with someone, I tell them.”