I am not a funny person. I thought I was, but it turns out I only crack up one person: me. There is one way I can always get a laugh, though. I have a sure-fire method of getting a smile from even the most curmudgeonly person. I just talk about my life.
“Huh?” you might think. Let me give you an example. For my amusement, here is a perfectly good joke. Are you ready? Here it is:
“These two guys walk into a bar. The third one ducks!”
Cue the crickets, because no one is laughing – except me.
Now let me tell you how I got my black eye. Reading! I was lying in bed getting ready to go to sleep and wanting a book. I usually listen to a book on CD, or music, but today I had bought a book from the dollar bin. It was a hard cover, beautiful copy of John Grisham’s The Client. I laid back and read for a chapter or two until my eyelids grew heavy. At that point, I put the book on my shelf and fell asleep. That morning I did not need an alarm clock. At 8:45am, the book fell off of my shelf, which happens to be located above my bed, and hit me in the cheek. “Good morning!” I yelled … or something like that. I immediately went to the freezer and got some frozen peas to put on my rapidly swelling face. The first day, the swelling was under control and there was no discoloration. The next day, I looked like half a raccoon.
Not funny enough for you? Guess where I was going that next day? It was to my friend’s wedding! I spent the next week explaining how John Grisham gave me a black eye.
When I call my sister to tell her a joke, I get nothing. But when I told her this, she laughed her sick, sadistic ass off. I have to admit, it was funny. Every day, the black under my eye got a little lighter and this story got a little funnier.
Not convinced? Here’s another perfectly good joke:
Rene’ Descartes walks into a bar.
The bartender says, “Hey Rene’! How about a beer?”
Descartes thinks, and says, “I think not.”
Then he disappears.
Compare that to my real-life story. I am not an outgoing guy, by which I do not mean I am agoraphobic. I mean that I don’t frequent bars or concerts, I’m a bit shy around strangers, and apparently, I’m a bit slow on the uptake.
I live in a college town, Tallahassee, Florida, the home of my alma mater and employer, Florida State University. Like any person educated at a state school, I am thick enough to be very proud of this.
One fine day in the spring, I took the guys who work for me out to lunch. We went to a BBQ place called Shane’s, which is on the main strip in front of the college. We all met there and had a fine time. I went out the back door to my car, where I had backed into a space. I started the car and just then my phone vibrated, telling me there was a text message. I got out the phone and read the message as a student walked in front of my car. She kind of jumped half way in front of my car, as if she realized a bit too late that the car was running. I smiled at that, and she did too, and I went back to reading my message.
Just then, the plot thickened. A knock upon my passenger window made me look up. It was that same student, looking sheepish, asking with a motion for me to roll down the window.
“I’m so sorry to ask, but I’m going to be late for work. Could you possibly give me a ride?”
I looked at her over-blue jeans, a Wake Forest hooded sweat shirt, probably about 24, a bit older than I had thought. A voice in my head said “Do unto others …”
“Where are you going?” I asked.
Hope glimmered in her eyes. “Just down to the end of the road. My car broke down and I really need to get to work.”
“Okay” I said, thinking that God would be happy, that good karma would surely come my way, and that I would miss another fifteen minutes of work. Win-Win-Win. I unlocked the door.
As she climbed in, thanking me, I made chit-chat. “How’s your day going?” A stupid question, I know, but harmless. I pulled out of the parking space.
“Not well. I really need to earn some money.”
“Wearing that Wake Forest Hoody in Tallahassee is a bad move to start with” I said, joking about a conference rival. I pulled toward the street and looked left and right, not wanting to wreck during my good deed.
“I just need to make some money,” She repeated.
“Okay already,” I thought. I’m giving you a ride. We’ll get you to work ASAP. Ungrateful much? I said nothing, thinking that she was probably stressed about being late.
“You wanna give me some money?” She asked. I looked over as her lips sort of pursed and I realized I was not just giving her a ride. She wanted to suck my ****. I almost pulled into traffic.
“I’m not interested in that,” I said, “but I’m happy to give you a ride.” Weirdly, I thought about the possibility that I would hurt her feelings. Finally, the traffic broke and I pulled onto the main road and drove about fifteen feet to a stop light.
“Well, how about you just GIVE me 20 bucks?” She asked in a voice that was not nearly as endearing as the one I had heard up to now.
The damn light was STILL red, I thought. I had about two dollars in my wallet, because I had just taken my crew out to lunch. I was pretty sure that at least one BBQ stain adorned my shirt, which was old. My truck is an older model, not clean, and I have not been clean-shaven since I don’t know when.
I said “Do I LOOK like I have $20 to give to a stranger?”
The light turned green. “You can drop me off right here then.” And out she went.
I was nearly a John. I immediately called my sister, and yes, she laughed her sick, sadistic ass off. I could go on, but why, really? At some point, I’m just showing off. I have a life that is a human gag reel. I am a Cassandra of comedy. I tell jokes and no one laughs with me. I get a black eye and they all laugh with me.
Wait! Here’s a winner!
I walk into a bar. I have a black eye and I say, “I think I just had a prostitute in my car.” Anything?
Craig, don’t worry about it! The whole family thinks you’re funny. Really!
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to hang around with us any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!
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