February, 2010

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What the heck is up with me?, Chapter 1

As those of you who have diligently memorized everything I’ve ever posted here will recall, I’ve never had an alcoholic beverage. I’ve also never had a cigarette, an illegal drug, or – this is a good one – a sip of coffee.

Is this because I am no fun? Of course not. I am yes fun. This is because I made a freakishly sensible decision as a small child: That I would never start doing anything I saw people around me struggling to quit. And then I followed through. Please do not take this as an indicator of my personality in general. It is not.

Anyway, I don’t spend a ton of time thinking about this, but sometimes it manifests in odd little ways. Here’s one: I almost never enjoy songs about drinking/drunkenness. I’m not saying I dislike them, or am offended by them – I hear them and go “Hmm, yeah, don’t get it” and move on. This has kinda killed entire albums for me, by artists I love.

This is what I figured: “Of course I don’t get it! Never done it!”

So how, you’re wondering, does this aloofness translate when it comes to comedy? Well, it depends. Sometimes there’s a story that’s funny regardless of intoxication levels, even if drinking is heavily involved; sometimes it’s more about the actual drinking and I’m lost.

A few weeks ago we saw Paul F. Tompkins at Largo. I would like to state up front that I’m almost certain that Paul F. Tompkins is the funniest human being on the planet. You should buy his CDs and go to his shows and follow him on Twitter and such. That was a PSA right there.

Anyway, he did a bit about drinking, and I wasn’t bored or anything, because he’s the funniest human being alive, but I started to realize I hadn’t actually laughed in several minutes, which maybe has never happened before at a PFT show. “Well, sure,” I thought, “because I’ve never done it and such.” Shortly thereafter he moved to a different subject, and I was laughing my butt off as is customary, when it hit me that my theory had just been blown out of the water.

Because that subject? Was growing a mustache.

A thing that I have also never done.

So now I’m back to wondering: What the heck is up with me? Perhaps a mustachioed drinker will show up and point to a qualitative difference between these experiences that I am only subconsciously sensing. I certainly hope so – I’d hate to put much more thought into this.

A brief drama, brought about by the liking – and then strenuous disliking – of a sandwich.

There is wailing. There is screaming. There are time outs. And then, there is the explaining.

“You know, Daddy, Mommy was being really nice to me, and we were just talking about this nicely, then you came in here and started this big argument!”


“But it was mostly Mommy’s fault, because she was being mean and not listening to me!”


The sobbing ramps up dramatically.

“It was all my fault! I’m so sorry!”

[It's OK, sweetie, I forgive you.]

“Well, try not to! Because I did it all on purpose!”

[Hugs and temporary calming down.]

“Mommy, I really did do it all on purpose. It was all my fault, and I’m so very sorry!”

[It's OK, honey.]

“But it was you and Daddy’s fault, too.”

[sad trombone]

It must kinda suck to be five.