Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oh, George...

Greetings and salutations, WYMOP readers!

I sat mid-week to write a post for you all, and it occurred to me that the past couple of weeks (at least) you’ve been sort of listening to me complain. I’ve tried to be entertaining about it, but it’s still just me bitching and I can’t imagine a lot of you are all that interested in that. I decided that this week I'd shake that up a bit and relate an older story, something that’s pretty funny to me now, though I have to admit it wasn’t at the time.

And so, without further ado, (yes, I know, who talks like that anymore?), here’s the story:

Long ago and far away... well, alright, not that far away. Right here, in fact. But it was a long time ago, long enough that I was just a young man anyway, and I had (still have, actually) a friend, another young man I’ll refer to here as PC. PC had (still has, actually), due to the nature of mammalian reproduction, a father. PC’s father would occasionally get show tickets through his workplace. One fine day I got a phone call from PC.

“Hey. My dad got tickets to the show this Friday. Want to go?” 

“That depends,” I said. “What’s the show?”


“Wait,” I said. “George Carlin?”

“Is there another?” he said.

So that was how I found myself sitting in the front row of the North Shore Music Theater watching the great George Carlin performing some of his Grammy Award Winning comedy. I was happy, excited... and also tired. It had been a long day at work. Luckily, though,  the Music Theater is a small, intimate setting with very comfortable seats. What with us sitting in the front row and all, I could even stretch out my legs and put my feet on the railing around the stage (the performance at the NSMT is in the round) so I was feeling pretty good when the show started.

Carlin was his usual self: smart, funny, and as sarcastic as they come. I was having a blast until...

… I opened my eyes. Less than twenty feet away, George Carlin was staring at me. Straight at me. And he did not look happy. I felt my eyes widen. I felt the cool wetness of drool on my chin. I tried to recall the last thing George had said, and came up blank.

I had been asleep.

In the front row.

Asleep in the front row of a George Carlin show, and I’d been caught!

Guys: You know that feeling you get deep in your belly when, as a youngster, you slipped off the pedals of your bicycle and came down on that bar they put there specifically for you to hit your nuts on? And rather than landing in that one-in-a-million position where you have one testicle to either side of the bar so you squish your scrotum a bit but manage to save the boys, you instead land in that other one-in-a-million position where you somehow manage to stack your testicles one on top of the other and squash the hell out of both of them in one shot and spend several minutes wishing you were dead?

It felt like that.

Gals: You know that feeling you get deep in your belly when you drive 75 miles to a store that has advertised a massive sale on the perfect pair of shoes for you, the ones that will change your life just as soon as you sock all ten little piggies home in those babies, and you actually have a coupon that can be used in conjunction with the sale to make the price drop so low the store winds up paying you to walk out the door wearing your new fabulous footwear... only to find they’ve just sold the last pair not two minutes before you walked in, forcing you to buy three pairs of other shoes at full price as a ‘recovery from grief’ purchase?

It felt like that, but before the other three pairs of shoes.

I don’t have any real memory of the rest of the show that night. What I do remember is sitting on the edge of my seat with my feet flat on the floor, my eyes open so wide I was in danger of one of them falling out in my lap. Two voices, both of them mine, wrestled back and forth in my head, each striving for dominance with their own little thought:

    1. Oh my God, I love this guy, he’s one of my favorite comedians and this is probably the only time in my life I’ll ever get to see him live and I think I insulted him, I definitely insulted him, oh Christ kill me now, kill me now, oh my God, I love this guy, he’s one of my favorite...

    2. I am about to have one of the world’s greatest comedians make me part of the show... and not in a good way.

It was one of the scariest moments of my life, and I drive in Boston.

Think about it.

The good news is I was not made a part of the act, or if I was then it was so horrible I’ve completely blocked it from my memory. Either way the net effect was to have me wake up in my own bed the next morning almost convinced it had all been nothing more than a terrible dream... except my testicles still hurt.

Man I wish I could have just bought the extra shoes!

Oh well.

Talk to you later!

~ ~ * * ~ ~

...aaaaaand the bonus video!

This week it actually has something to do with the post, which is a serious departure from my norm, I know. For those of you who are familiar with Carlin's classic work, this will be a giggling little stroll down memory lane. For those of you who read that post up there and said "Who's George Carlin?"... well, first of all shame on you, but second of all this little clip will give you some idea of why I love this guy (may he rest in peace).

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