Sunday, May 10, 2015

Comedy in a world of not funniness.

There are a lot of reasons I fell in love with and married Chrissi. I'm not going to list them all here. Why? Because this isn't about all of the reasons, it's only about one. And I know me well enough to know that if I start to list the reasons, then I'll start to elaborate on them, and then this whole first paragraph will go off on a tangent, filled with pointless details that aren't relevant to the actual post I am writing today. Kinda like it just did.

So, what is this one true reason I am going to blog about on this day-of-the-mother? Ok, I won't keep you breathless with anticipation any longer.

Well, maybe a little longer.

She's funny. More to the point, she's MY kind of funny. I have the kind of a sense of humor that many people just don't get (or don't want!). Like saying kind-of-a instead of "kind of" in the previous sentence, in an obscure but hilarious nod to the line "what-a kind of a name is Stove?" from the movie Bridesmaids. You see, none of you people who aren't reading this laughed at that, but Chrissi would have.

Over the course of my long career in comedy (aka life), it is not unusual for people to stare at me blankly when I tell a joke or (what I think is) a funny story. But Chrissi? She does more than just "Get it". She elaborates on my insanity. Of course, being the gentleman that I am, I return the favor. Sometimes, with us, it's hard to know which one the insanity starts with on any given topic. Whether it's interchangeable penises, or a friendly game of "Punch Prius", instead of thinking it's strange or stupid when one of us says or does something inane or droll, the other of us that isn't the one of us that originally came up with said drollness just adds on to the run-on sentence. It's almost as if our brains are cosmically linked in some sort of space-time continuum. Or else we just think alike.

A quick example before I return to our Mother's Day festivities (which consists of me watching the kids while Chrissi does schoolwork. Sexy, huh?). A few weeks ago, we were driving back from a far-too-brief trip to Bristol. For some reason that I don't believe we ever actually figured out, traffic was inching along at a pace that a snail would be jealous of, for many miles. As anyone who's been stuck in traffic knows, the most frustrating part is not knowing why. It sometimes seems like a random punishment from God for not being funny. But maybe that's just me. Anyway, Chrissi and I were discussing what might be the cause, and talking about how other drivers were also probably wondering, when she saw a roadside sign that had been partially knocked down, making it difficult to read from far away. The sign was for some cave that was coming up at the next exit. It was obviously not related to the slow-down, but Chrissi said, "Oh, that's what it is. People are wondering what attraction is coming up, and the have to slow down to read it." Then she turns and yells, as if to the driver behind us, "It's a cave!"

That's funny, right? I mean, I don't know how well that translates when you're not in the moment, but it cracked me up, thinking about a line of cars full of people trying to read a knocked down road sign. So then, keeping with this post's topic about she and I building on each other's silliness, I also turned as if speaking to the driver behind us and shouted "Pass it down!"

She laughed when I did that. And that's why I married her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To Blog or Not to Blog

Not. Just kidding. But really, who has time to be witty and funny and interesting? Clearly not I. I yearn for those days of bloggage, when the words flowed from my fingertips like lightning from the nerdy wizard I used to play in D&D.

That's Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, I said it. I played it. I lived it. Not "LIVED IT" like Tom Hanks, in his portrayal of a college student playing a game incredibly similar to D&D, but without the lawsuit, in the HORRIBLE (yet hilarious) movie "Mazes and Monsters" (Aka Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters). If you want to get a completely wrong idea of D&D, and the people who play it, you should watch that fine piece of cinematic wonderdom.

Shhh... don't tell anyone, but I really miss D&D. Playing characters, living adventures through them, getting drunk. I never understood the "loser" rap that D&Ders got. What could be cooler than drinking? Just kidding. To me, it was just like being an actor (though admittedly, talent was not required) working without a script. You create a character, you get to choose how he reacts to different events. You get to choose to be naughty or nice (Don't tell Santa!).

I remember the original D&D game. We sold it at the first place I worked at. Actually, we no longer sold it by the time I worked there, but there was some dusty backstock at the top of some shelf in the corner. It was a box with dice, a one page instruction sheet, and a pad of graph paper. That's it. There were practically no rules. There weren't the dozens of books detailing every possible situation that are out there now. First, second, third, hundredth editions. It's ridiculous. It was, and still should be, a game of imagination.

Maybe that's where it got the bad rap. People think only children should play games of imagination. If that's true, then people are dumb. Imagination stretches the mind. Imagination leads us to think, reason, solve problems, create. I'll be honest, I think I was a better thinker back when I used to play a manic, thieving, back-stabbing nutcase of an Elf with a God-complex. For some reason, that character always had trouble making friends...

I also always loved being the DM (Dungeon Master, for the uninitiated). Creating a world for people to play in, having to think of whatever wild, insane, and yes, stupid, things your players would do. Often having to think on your feet to deal with those wild, insane, stupid things you never even dreamed those idiots... I mean players, would do. It was all fun. I honestly wish I knew people nerdy enough - I mean, cool enough - to play with now. Sadly, my wife is very much not one of them. About the closest she'll come to playing D&D is watching "The Big Bang Theory". And that's just a sad mis-representation of how the game is played. Come to think of it, no wonder people who watch that show think D&D isn't cool: They don't drink when they play!