That’s Not FUNNY!

Hey, folks! Good to see you! And I mean that. Not that I’ve ever seen you before, I just mean that simply that my being able to see you at all is indicative of the fact that I haven’t gone blind. Unless this is some kind of elaborate internal hallucination, but if that’s the case, perception being a process of thought, maybe I’m just as well off, am I right? Right, folks?

Okay. Well, first things first. I’m from Chicago, the Windy City. And they call it that not because it’s that windy — in fact, Minneapolis is the windiest metropolitan area in the continental United States — but rather because our politicians are said to be so windy! That is, not that they are some sort of meteorological wizards, or wind gods from some long-dead pagan faith, but that the force of their constant talk and high-minded promises is “windy”, in a metaphorical sense. Anyway, I just flew in from the Windy City — you remember, we just talked about that — and boy, are my arms tired! You see, I’m going to be here for several weeks, and I overpacked, so my bag was very heavy. I keep meaning to get one of those bags that’s on wheels but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m a real procrastinator, you might say. In fact, that’s exactly it.

Anyway, so, as I say, I just got here, and one thing I’ve always noticed about Los Angeles is all the pretty girls. Now, don’t get me wrong, ladies — I’m a married man. But, hey! I can still look. I’m married, not dead! Because, you see, if I were dead, neither my eyes nor my sex organs would function at all, or at least not anywhere near the level of efficiency and control that would be ideal. And I love my wife! I do! She’s a great lady, but I have to say — well, I don’t want to call her fat. Not only is it inaccurate, but it promotes an unfair double standard of beauty for women in our society. But I will say this: when she sits around the house, she really sits around the house! She’s got Epstein-Barr. It’s very sad.

But, hey, enough about me! You folks didn’t pay eight bucks to hear me complain about my personal problems. At least, I’m assuming you didn’t. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you did.  I don’t know, you tell me. I’m a big believer in giving people what they want, so if you did pay eight bucks to hear me complain about my personal problems…well, how about this: can I get a show of hands? Who paid…who’s here for the personal problems? No? What, that’s about three of you. Now how about comedy? Who wanted to hear some comedy? Okay, that’s….fifteen, seventeen…eighteen. Looks like eighteen. I’m gonna have to call majority rules here. People who paid to hear me complain about my personal problems, I’m afraid you were just outvoted. It’s nothing personal. I’ll refund your money out of my own pocket, if I have to.

Now, for some comedy! I don’t know if you folks are big news readers. Not the kind on TV; I mean, like, if you read the news a lot. Anyway, there was something in the local paper — well, actually, I can’t lie to you. It was Highlights for Children. But they do a great job with pre-adult journalism, in my opinion. Anyway, it seems this moron threw a clock out of the window, because he wanted to see time fly! You see, the poor guy had a fundamental misunderstanding of the use of language; he took what was clearly meant to be a rhetorical device, and he, or the madness to which he was sadly in thrall, turned it into a literal command. Perhaps he was autistic, or had aphasia some other condition which muddled with his affect and language comprehension abilities. And what is the cost of our society’s tragic misunderstanding of mental illness? A perfectly functional clock, and quite possibly a window as well. And, to be honest, the act of labeling a very sick man a “moron” doesn’t really sit right with me. Frankly, I would expect Highlights for Children to be more sensitive.

Folks, I travel a lot of clubs and do a lot of comedy shows. Not many as I would like, it’s true, for reasons I cannot quite fathom. But anyway, I heard a young comic the other day mention that the neighborhood where he grew up was so tough that the milkman drove a HMV. Why this got a laugh is, to be honest, beyond me. Urban crime and the decay of our inner cities is no laughing matter, and any nostalgic joy one might encounter at hearing of places where the delighfully antique practice of home milk delivery is still maintained is immediately driven away at the thoughts of what horrors might await the poor dairy worker were his armored vehicle to prove insufficient to keep away gangs of lactose-starved predators. Hearing the audience laugh at this tragic cry for help left me feeling more confused and upset than at any time since I first started on the circuit and was perplexed by an audience’s reaction to my relatively straightforward explanation of why a chicken I had seen earlier in the day crossed the road.

Look, thanks for coming out tonight, everybody. You’ve been a great audience, in the sense of sitting there and listening to me speak. Please come back and see me; I’ll be here all week. What? Oh. Sorry about that. Apparently, I won’t.


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