Ode to Carlin

I think of weird shit.

Then again, who doesn’t? I want to question everything and am always curious why certain people do certain things, and there are things that everyone does. Like George Carlin used to say during his iconic stand-up acts, “Here are things that bring us together.” And the best part was that he would bring such similarities up right after bashing abortion supporters or Republicans wanting to bomb the Middle East. It was, as they call it in the entertainment business, a ‘segway.’ And he was great at it.

You know, if you read up about Carlin and find out how we went from working on a squeaky-clean comedy team to being the guy that threw out F-bombs like they were peanuts at a baseball game, it really is pretty remarkable. This was a man who went from wearing tuxedos to wearing t-shirts with pot leaves on them; a man who said seven words you weren’t allowed to say on television (and most you still can’t say today unless you have premium cable); a man who started out his HBO comedy specials by declaring his utmost disagreement with American politics and foreign policy; a man who constantly denounced God and religion and mocked such faith-based followers with contempt.

I feel like I owe a lot of my current self preservation to the man, mainly because he helped me discover who I was. His words were more than just jokes; they were meant to be treated as viable ways of life in an inconsistent world. He understood language and its impact on the human psyche, cleverly phrasing different parts of his act so everyone in the room would understand but maybe not everyone would “get it.” He was as smart a person as I ever came across, a Voltaire in his own special way. And what I appreciate most was how he strayed away from what originally made him successful and popular, changing his own style after opening his eyes and seeing faults with our world and the people who inhabit it.

I was bored one day and had grandiose thoughts of being a comedian — at least in my own head. I wrote down some observations that may not necessarily be very hilarious, but I think there is some truth to what I came up with. Why not try to emulate someone you admire, anyway?


— When I was a kid, growing up in a Catholic home and going to a Catholic school, I had the mentality that young kids couldn’t really sin. We were too young to understand our potential to hurt others. So, when I was nine years old I was hanging with the neighborhood kids and I let a “fuck” fly. After that point I said, “Fuck it. There goes my perfect record.” It really is that easy.

— The best time to ask someone for a favor or something you are hesitant to ask, is right when they are in a hurry. Now, this must be done in person for the effect. For example, if you are sleeping with your best friend’s wife — which is an extreme example, but plausible — and you are hanging around watching football with him, when he says he has to go home and get some work done, tell him, “Thanks for coming by. Oh, by the way, I may have inserted my penis in your wife’s vagina.” He will be so overcome with confusion, sadness and disdain that he will probably just go straight to his wife and ask her what the hell is going on. After all, you have been known to be a joker among your friends and half the shit you say could be labeled as erroneous. Point is, you exerted your demons and allow yourself ample time to figure out clear and concise reasoning for the fidelity of your longtime friendship.

This method also works at the end of a work day, when your boss’ phone is ringing and you abruptly say, “I’m going to be an hour late tomorrow. Thanks.” Or at a bar as you are kissing and fondling a complete stranger, she expects you to take her home but you have other plans: “You’re cute, but I am honestly not enthralled enough to go through the effort of having sex with you.” Then you walk out.

Full-proof method? Perhaps. Does it bypass the usual odds and ends of any type of social interaction that many human beings would deem as drawn out and not worth their full attention? Absolutely.

— A young African-American male telling his parents he wants to play hockey is the equivalent of a young white kid in the 1960s telling his parents he has aspirations of joining the Black Panthers.

— I have this friend who enjoys picking up women at lamas classes. He is infatuated with breasts; he downloads pictures of tits on his phone, he loves grabbing tits when he has sex. He especially loves doing the inconspicuous tit rubs, mostly done at bars and concerts. That, of course, is when you walk especially close to someone, like if you’re trying to squeeze through a group of people and you kind of contort your body and reach your arm to “make space” and happen to have your forearm massage a D-cup for a split second. Or, as my friend calls it, “legal groping.”

— This is more for the guys, but could work for the ladies as well. You ever feel like you have to fart while sitting, and you contemplate farting straight into your chair or doing the slight stand-up method and releasing it away from you.  You know if you fart straight into your laz-e-boy, it will make that atom bomb sound and once you stand up it will smell like an atom bomb made of shit and radiation.

— I think the best and worst kind of fart is the one in the shower. Let me explain: One escapes while you are bathing yourself, and you immediately open your eyes as if you are in a horror movie. You know once you turn around, the errant fog of death will encapsulate you. Then you can just turn around and wash yourself again.

— Speaking of shit, I feel like Taco Bell has become America’s best laxative. When I was in college and needed a little bit of food to push me over the edge and relieve myself before a big exam, I would eat a Crunchwrap Supreme and a Gordita. Because, you know, the worst feeling when taking a test at any age in school is having to completely shit your pants. Up until I graduated college, I had to keep track of the things I ate to make sure that I wouldn’t be stuck in the bathroom during one of these moments.

— I had this friend for many years, from kindergarten until we graduated high school together. But the older we got, the more the guy lied. And it wasn’t serious shit he lied about. Rather, it was more real insignificant shit nobody should have to lie about to begin with. For example, he would come into school — like 10th grade we’re talking about — and he would say, “So, you catch that Pistons game? They won 97-82, they played pretty well.” And the actual score was like 80-71, and people would always correct him. Then he would do this face like, “Yeah, I lied” and then go “Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Not even kidding, he would say “Haaaaaaaaaaaa.” It kind of sounded like a gremlin choking on a chicken bone. It’s still an inside joke to this day, although used much sparingly.

— With the obesity rate climbing at astronomical rates, I can see athletics coaches in junior high and high school just struggling to separate the kids during scrimmages and the like. When we used to have ‘Shirts v. Skins’ back in the day, we were all not so physically impaired to the point where we were ashamed to run around topless on the soccer field or the basketball court. Now, well, I think coaches should alienate the obese and make them wear something self-deprecating — like a dress or a cow costume (complete with utters), for example. Or maybe make them wear custom-made shirts made out of old Big Mac wrappers. It might tear the nipples a little bit, but it would be a solid life lesson to get things on track. You are what you eat, right?

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