I’ve Written Other Jokes, But These Are The Ones I’m Going To Tell

Accomplishments In The 24 Hours Since Deactivating Facebook

Bought fancy expensive smoked sea salts. (Will probably become amazing chef.)

Remembered that Twitter exists.

Some work stuff that probably wasn’t important and is definitely going to have to be done again.

Made a joke about fantasy football that was pretty OK and hurt someone’s feelings at the same time.

Bought a $7 magazine.

Ate some hummus.

Remembered that Instagram exists.

Poop Jokes in Hell

I’m on a quest to Do Things. It’s because I’m feeling the scaly little fingers of depression poking at the back of my throat and I hate all of my clothes and I’ve watched all of Parks & Rec and 30 Rock at least ten times through and I can’t sleep at night. That’s normal, right? So I would lay awake scanning Facebook to see what other people were Doing and it turns out that most people were Doing Things and I’m doing nothing. I CAN’T EVEN SLEEP RIGHT.

On Monday night I went to stand up comedy open mic night at the little movie theater bar by my house. I just wanted to watch how this kind of thing went down. I don’t know how it’s possible that I forgot what it’s like to be around people who are very Personalityish, entire rooms full of them. How did I forget the few theater classes I took in college? Oh Christ, I forgot the few theater classes I took in college! And that’s how I ended up sitting at the bar waiting for this thing to start, listening to a dude in a collared sweater with a throat zipper talk about his “craft” and give a guy in a trucker hat with large ironic words on it pointers on his “material.” Oh nooooo.

So we filed in to this little room behind the bar and found some seats. There was a VERY energetic girl zipping around, to and fro, up and down, pulling on her clothes and her hair and just generally being a weirdo. Something about her was familiar but I couldn’t figure out what, because my thoughts were interrupted by the sound check, which was:

“ARRIGHT STOP WHATCHA DOIN, CAUSE I’M ABOUT TO RUIN…”

Oh nooooooooooooo.

It was Zippy on the mic, throwing down some white girl rap. To be funny! Because who says mic checks have to be boring when they can be trite?! Ehhhhgghghg. So it’s when Zippy takes the mic and starts the show with jokes about a dude she used to date (“He put a ring on it!” and the room literally sagged under the weight of 1000 cheap one-liners farting to death) that I realize how I know her: she was a leasing agent for the owners of my apartment several years ago. She used to bust into my apartment on Saturday mornings with total strangers who would peek into my bedroom as I hurried to cover my butt. I stood on the other side of my door once and listened to her tell some prospective renters that “the current renter is difficult.” So holy shit if I wasn’t a little creeped out that now here she was in front of me telling me about how she’s Jewish, joke about some guy she dated, Fran Drescher impersonation, hurr hurr durrp. Give it up for all of these nervous people you don’t know!

First up: a guy. First joke: a poop joke. Nothing to see here, move along.

What followed was a veritable parade of dongs. There were a few women in there, but the swagger and attitude and stink of dong pretty much overshadowed the whole operation. Here’s how it went:

Poop joke guy. It was about thinking he was crazy when he was twelve because he would shit and there wouldn’t be anything in the toilet. This was funny to me because the only video I could find on YouTube of a comedian performing at this open mic night was of a guy telling a story about this one time when he was 5 and he pooped his pants. I thought “I bet every joke will be a poop joke,” which is why the first joke thrilled me so, if thrilled=crushed with disappointment (because people were LAUGHING.). It was then that I noticed that this same venue holds a monthly story slam wherein all the stories are about shitting yourself. I’m not kidding. Their flyer says “Have you ever shit your pants?” (Yes but I don’t see why I should tell you about it, sir!)

A guy who said he was going to do an impression of the inner voice of every comedian who would perform that evening, then proceeded to scream “LOVE MEEE” into the mic. You could hear the crunchy spiny bits of the tumbleweeds passing through the room on the wood floor after that, and it was super awkward, so he went back to his little notebook and said into the mic “what else, what ellllse…” before just quitting entirely.

A guy who talked about hating ex girlfriends and burning bridges because “that’s stupid to do when you’re in your 20s, but I’m in my 30s now…”

The guy from the bar, who talked about his craaaazy family and how mean they are. He said he had written OTHER jokes but that these were the ones he wanted to tell tonight “so fuckin’ deal with it.”

This guy who made me so uncomfortable, I leaned over and whispered that we HAD to leave right after he was done, because it was like he was doing his Dane Cook impression. Like right down to the facial expressions and body movement. You know, jerking around and impersonating women with head tosses and one hip jutted out, smacking his mouth with all of his words, using the space around him to trot about like a pony with one leg shorter than the others, playing with his own spiked hair like he wasn’t going to go to the bathroom after his set and put it back the way it had been. And he was getting close and leaning in and staaaaring and almost challenging everyone to look at him. Creeeepyyyy.

I hate to put all the women in the same category but damn if they didn’t make it so easy to do. They told jokes about dating and that’s pretty much it.

Etc. etc. etc., and the one thing all these men had in common was this swaggery bravado, like they didn’t need you to laugh. They were just there because they were CHAAAARACTERRRRRS and they knew they were funny and they needed to practice on your face. It was like watching someone take a masturbation selfie. It felt so false, like I should be in another room or something. Which most of them were, between each other’s 3 1/2 minute sets. They were crowded around the bar ignoring all of the other comedians until it was their turn, then they expected your full attention. Which kind of strikes me as weird and disingenuous. But isn’t the whole thing like that?

Meanwhile, through the entire thing, Zippy was seated directly to the left of the performer. She took her hair down. She put her hair up. She changed the height of her ponytail. She yanked at the tongues of her sneakers. She took her sneakers off, put them back on. Whipped her hair back and forth. Up and down. Pulled on the zippers on her athletic jacket. All of this while holding up her phone every time the 3 minute alarm went off. Holding up her phone RIGHT NEXT TO the performer. Like instead of in the back of the room. She laughed in a way that was almost intentionally Fran Drescher-y. Like “NYAHHAHAHAHHAHAHA.”

This is what it’s going to be like in Hell, isn’t it? Or maybe the Hell part is when you’re walking home wondering what your therapist is going to say when you tell her all this stuff, and also the part about how you can’t walk by a trash can without thinking someone’s going to jump out from behind it and tell you a horrible joke.

I must poll my friends who do stand-up and find out HOW they have the energy to put two sentences together after being around other stand-up comedians. Because fuuuuuck.

Yo Linden

There were a couple of weeks in August when all I could stand to have on my TV was every episode of The Killing ever made. I love that show. Is it the constant rain and sadness that I identify with? Is it because it’s in Seattle? Is it because Detective Linden is the best lady cop in the entire world ever?

I mean, take a look at her. She wears the same sweater throughout all of Season 1. She’s tired and frazzled. Her makeup is minimal so as to appear nonexistent. Her hair is all fucked up, either oiled back or fuzzed up like she brushed her ponytail backwards to get all that frizz going. She chews gum constantly and her jaw does that tightening thing that, in any other Lady Cop Push Up Bra Hour show, would be considered unattractive. She scowls, and not in that pouty way. She also gets fucked over a lot because she can’t fucking do everything perfectly. Like raise her kid. She’s colossally bad at raising her kid, which is a really brave choice for a show. I caught myself thinking “what a dick, leaving that kid alone in a hotel room while he’s sick” and wondering aloud why the show kind of glossed over that. Then I remembered all the times that men have been shitty fathers on TV shows and I’ve thought “well but he had to go to work, so….so you know.” Nobody makes a big deal about that.

I appreciate the fact that she’s struggling with some kind of mental illness, but the jury’s still out on whether the choice to have her deal with that has any intended connection to her mishandling of personal affairs. I don’t get the sense that the show’s writers are saying “any woman who doesn’t focus completely 100% on motherhood is crazy,” but I can see how some would think that.

She's not buying what you're selling, bub.

She’s not buying what you’re selling, bub.

I usually find cop shows to be kind of dumb and boring, especially if it’s about two lady cops who are trying to haaaave it alllllll! (See Rizzoli & Isles. I mean, whose fucking names are Rizzoli and Isles? I highly doubt a Rizzoli has ever met an Isles. Also I’d be pissed if I was a lady cop, running around in my smart little lady cop pantsuits, and the sergeant assigned as my partner ANOTHER lady cop because she also likes pantsuits. Does he think we’re going to get along based on the pantsuits thing? I’m here to work, Sergeant, so you can re-assign Isles to the K-9 unit she came from! Then I’d be like OHHHH SLAMMM and high five a man cop and it would be this total funny and rad moment because that’s what happens when ladies are just one’a the guyzz.)

Anyway, about Linden. I kind of feel about her the way I felt the first time I saw Die Hard: kiiind of turned on, but mostly because I wanted to be the character, not because I wanted to fuck the character. That’s never made sense to me before, because people would say things like “You like Bruce Willis? Yeah he’s hot.” Yeah, sure. But when I was a kid and watching Die Hard in my grandma’s recliner, I wasn’t thinking “dang I’d do some sex on Bruce Willis,” I was thinking how cool it would be if I could make my muscles so huge that I could effortlessly slide down a cable inside an air vent while it blew up behind me. That would really be something! Maybe somewhere along the line I, as a girl, was discouraged from doing anything but sexualizing male characters and their badassery. I mean, you can appreciate them, you can’t do what they do.

Enter Lara Croft. With Tomb Raider I, not only could you do what she could do, you were a hot girl at the same time! So people would want to fuck you, which made it okay for you to do man things. Like put together ancient statues from pieces you find all around an underground maze you can only enter by stepping on sensitized plates on the ground in the correct order. Also other stuff, like shimmy across ledges and pull yourself up and ride an ATV through the jungle, shooting monkeys with a rocket launcher. Or an Uzi. You know. Depending on which cheat code you put in. Anyway, what a novelty! Huge titties and a gun!

In my heaven, Angelina Jolie isn’t the Tomb Raider of the two completely heinous films crapped upon us by the sticky bunghole of Hollywood. The Lara Croft I envision is more like Linden: short, sinewy. Tense and focused. A little bit on the manic side because you kind of have to be in order to do anything very difficult and consuming. Flat-chested, because you’re banging up against the sides of the cave walls you’re climbing all day and humongous Jolie tits would make that impossible. Careful with guns (especially on an ATV, dude) and not nice to men just because they’re men. Not nice to anyone, actually. TOO BUSY RAIDIN’ TOMBS OVER HERE TO BE NICE. A frown and a muscular jaw for the ages.

Fuck it. I have inspired myself. I’m quitting librarianship and becoming a lady cop who raids tombs in the slow season.

1 Comment

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One response to “I’ve Written Other Jokes, But These Are The Ones I’m Going To Tell

  1. Alllllright, you’ve convinced me to check out The Killing again. I got stoopid stoned before saddling up to the first two episodes, and I couldn’t stop giggling at her nodding/scowl combo platter because I tend to be an immature butt hole…in life, all the time.
    P.S. Your Twitter slays me. Too fucking funny woman! You need to write a show – sitcom style. Like, please.

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