I couldn’t really do a funny post for today, so sorry to let you down. I always like to give a warning shot, since the website has comedy in the title. Memorial Day was created after the Civil War, in which 600,000 casualties of war bought the price of freedom and ended the institution of slavery in the United States. Today, we honor our fallen heroes who paid the highest price so we can grill meat and pound beer on a Monday instead of going into the office.
This is a long way to travel and very dark, but bear with me. I read a story about a month ago my mom told me about. A drug addicted mom, her mom and a friend were arrested in Cincinnati for beating her six year old son to death. Apparently, the kid was hungry and crying, so the woman that gave birth to this boy, who was reported to be the size of a four year old from malnutrition, was hogtied and beat until he passed out. He died from his injuries. That story has haunted me the entire month of May.
This weekend I googled Memorial Day stories and was directed to the PBS website where people posted stories of their friends and family who were lost to war. I clicked on Vietnam, which is near to me since my dad fought with the 101st Airborne there. I don’t know what was more painful, reading stories from children, now in their 50’s, who knew their fathers, or the ones that put simply “to the man I never knew.” Some were short, some were long, but I only made it about three pages in and had to stop. I wanted to keep going, but I couldn’t.
My point for the earlier depressing story and the Memorial Day remembrances is just this. In this country today, I can go on social media and see all kinds of posts about how America sucks. I don’t make enough money, life’s not fair, how dare people not realize how important issue x or y is, etc. The history of the world has always been filled with oppression, tyrants, suffering and war, but in this little spot of time in mankind’s existence, a group of people of different backgrounds, races, and political views have found a way, not through common genetics, but through the promise of liberty, to build the greatest and freest nation ever wrought by humankind. We can worship (or not) how we choose, live as we see fit and express our minds as we want. Freedom is always under assault from those who do not appreciate it or covet the reins of power. Some, especially our soldiers, have went to the corners of the earth in the prime of their youths to defend and/or promote the principles of freedom. Some have been used and abused by our politicians or disrespected upon their return to civilian life or have had to survive with crippling mental and physical injuries.
Too many of our vets kill themselves, including one very close to me. I encourage everyone to put pressure on their representatives to act or donate to any one of the veteran suicide prevention organizations (google it – there are plenty). I think about those that sacrificed their lives and then I think about the lady that killed her own son I mentioned earlier. What a chasm that can exist between people and how we live our lives. We can do a lot for our vets, but one small thing we can do? Live a life of good. Too many people have given too much for the beautiful things we can enjoy in this country to exist as a heap of human shit. Take a couple minutes to remember our heroes, then strive to live a life that would make those who aren’t around anymore proud to know that their sacrifice was not in vain. God bless the fallen and also those who came back to us on this hallowed day of remembrance.
One of life’s mysteries is what people decide to wear on planes. I had to fly to Atlanta and back for a quick work training session this week; here’s a few highlights.
– Workout clothes lady. Not comfy workout clothes – full on “I just did yoga” clothes complete with matching her shoes to her shirt. I don’t know if she knows, but there is not enough room on planes to turnaround in the bathroom, let alone get a quick cardio session in.
– Exposed skin person. First, planes are fast moving germ factories. I think airline attendants will outlive everyone if a virus catches on. Second, why expose that much while you’re trapped in the sardine can with wings? I saw a girl wearing an evening gown style dress with her entire side and inside boobs hanging out. She was with her mom. Good job, mom. Of course, I also saw a Bernie Sanders lookalike with his bottom three buttons unbuttoned so his old white haired tum tum was showing. Actually, it may have been Bernie exept this guy combed his hair.
– “I’m from America” guy. There was a guy in front of me wearing a baseball hat/cowboy hat hybrid but looked like a mesh American flag, complete with basketball jersey, basketball shorts and high socks with tennis shoes. He also had a tribal tattoo and a flip phone. If you’re over 40 wearing that outfit, you should be in a mental institution or staying in your mom’s basement still.
I went down to my in-laws to help mow their yard while they were out of town. I forgot that their yard
is half Appalachian mountainside and half jungles of Nam. I need the exercise, though and that grass ain’t going to mow itself! (Practising for when my kid gets older).
As I started, the skies decided to open up and drench me instantly. I had to stop and texted my wife that I had to toss my clothes in the dryer after 10 minutes of mowing. “Are you mowing naked?” No, I think they frown on that even in southeastern Ohio, but I’ll bet it’s happened before and recently. “Still want a yard big enough to pee in?” That’s an inside joke – I have said in the past I wanted a yard large enough to piss in without worrying about the neighbors. I amended my statement – “Just need a fence, not the yard.” It’s good to have life goals.
In conclusion, after 3 and half hours and possible tropical diseases thanks to the monsoon, I have decided to vote for whatever candidate outlaws grass. I’m sure a lovely astroturf can be found, plus think of all the jobs it would create. If I was making an action movie, the enemy they fight at the end would be grass. In the sequel, it would be grass on the side of a hill. Maybe if everyone would start peeing in their yard, we could take care of this greem menace once and for all.
– I saw two articles in the last week. “The End of the Democratic Party” and “Republican party is no more.” Both are ending, yet are the only choices America has had since 1856? I think if you’re a person who likes to write articles with no basis for logic or reality, you can get hired to be a political blogger…or a sports commentator. What are your credentials? “I can write stuff at least once a week about stuff and sometimes I’m 14% correct.” You’re hired.
– I was looking at my meal the other day and thought, “I shouldn’t give any of this to my daughter; it’s way too unhealthy.” Then I ate the entire meal without a second thought to how awful it was for me.
– I was walking through a parking lot and a woman holding a two year old said, “I told him he was a fucking idiot. What kind of shit for brains does that?” to her friend. I have found in life that the best judges of human intelligence are people who hang out in parking lots screaming obscenities in front of young children.
– The last time I flew a guy threw a fit because he had to dump a full 16 oz. beer in the trash to board. He dumped it, then the flight attendant checked his boarding pass. Wrong flight. It made my day.
– I got asked to do a comedy show once about 50 miles from my house. “What’s the pay?” No money, but you get free beer. “Oh great, I can do a free show and get a DUI on the way home? Sounds great. Of course, the same guy asked me if I was on the show that night. “Yes, I emceed.” What number were you? “First, third, fifth, seventh…” He didn’t catch on to my sarcasm then, either.
Teenage Chris: “Oh man, I can’t believe my dad wants me to mow the lawn Saturday. I went to school ALL WEEK. Sure, I was done at 2:30, and get 3 months off the summer where I work part-time 24-32 hours max…and get a fall break…and spring break…and 3 weeks around Christmas…and every major holiday…and parent-teacher conferences…and when it snows. Yes, it’s a riding mower and I listen to Pearl Jam on my Walkman and it takes all of 45 minutes – CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE TO DO ON MY DAY OFF?!”
20’s Chris – “I get only a week’s vacation, 2 personal days and 5 sick days with this job? Looks like I can call off hungover or when I get a new video game 12 times this year.” I seriously called in once and this was the conversation. “I need to take a vacation day.” Boss: “You’re out of them.” Me: “Really? Hmm. I’m sick.” Boss: “You have to bring a doctor’s slip if you’re off all day.” Me: “I’ll be in after lunch, I think I’m OK to work.”
30’s Chris – “I get way more time off now! Finally, years of hard work have paid off! Just think of what I can do…after I fix the hot water heater, catch up on yard work, finally get that dentist visit done, run to Lowe’s, paint the siding, clean the gutters, rearrange the basement, reshingle the roof, replace the faucets, install a new door, get my car worked on….oh shit, I got sick and had to use my extra vacation day. Maybe I’ll take off a day next year!”
Now that the title drew in all the 25-50 year old women, I’ll let you down, it’s just about comedy shows. I got to do a couple of really cool shows in the last week. Most shows I do are show up, do jokes, fill your time, etc. Last weekend in Cleveland I was asked by Chris Paugh to do a joke battle/insult attack show where two comics go burn for burn as the crowd judged the overall nastiness and wittiness of said verbal assaults. I think this is a great idea. I made a drinking Jenga game one time where I wrote “Insult everyone at the table.” The more intoxicated the person, the better the jab. Example – one beer, “Oh, I just can’t do it…umm, you are wearing a green shirt, I like blue. Tee hee. Is that too much?” Six beers later – “Let me tell you why I hate how you talk, you marble mouthed piece of garbage!” Yes. Mission accomplished.
I did the battle as Captain America vs. Iron Man, aka Bill Squire.
I ended up pulling out the victory. Cap’s top three attacks were 1) I called Iron Man an arrogant billionaire. If he had less VD, he’d be Donald Trump with armor. 2) Liberals don’t like him because he’s a billionaire weapons maker. Conservatives don’t like him because he promotes big government over individual rights. Libertarians…well, you’re all high, we’ll talk later. 3) You hooked up with Gwyneth Paltrow AFTER the guy from Coldplay.
I then got to host the semi-finals of the Open Mike Talent Search at the Columbus Funny Bone on Wednesday. I enjoy emceeing because I try to find a joke or callback for each and every set and a lot of people notice the effort. When I did one such show as a contestant many years ago, the emcee said the same intro for every single comic and I could tell he was mailing it in, so I vowed to at least act like I gave a shit. Of course, some of the jokes bomb horribly, but oh well, here’s the next comic. Emceeing is tough work for a 15 person contest, especially when you have to tinkle. Leaving the stage for more than 90 seconds is like leaving your kid alone in a room to grab something. It’s probably going to be OK, but if something goes wrong, it will go WAY wrong. Plus as I put on Facebook earlier this week, emceeing a comedy contest is like being a teacher on recess duty, but all the kids are drunk and talking about their private parts. Well, and the teacher, actually.