Jan 6, 2005

Nothing richer

There is no richer source of aggravation and interest to me than people. I used to sit in the Mall and watch them walk by, read them like pamphlets in a busy airport. There always seems to be another story just behind the last one; someone behaving like they need to be put down to protect the neighborhood, or someone acting like the Final Trump is about to sound, or someone performing that single act of kindness that for just a moment redeems the entire sodding horrid lot of us. Me, I've just about given up on expecting much from many. We far too often project our own personalities, our own hopes and expectations on someone else, then expect them to fill the gap between their own life and the shape of our expectation, live up to their potential, whatever term you might care to use, and unfortunately most fall short of what we'd like them to manage. This happens at work a GREAT deal.

'Nuff serious stuff. How 'bout some autobiography?

I develop stories. I can't just be happy with a blurp. When I make a joke, I cannot just drop a few lines and wait for the giggle. I was in the breakroom yesterday with one of the managers and one of the floor guys, and they were talking about strange names they have encountered, and I tossed off the joke that I would like to name my son "Clive." I said something along the lines of it being 'a strong bristling-moustache regimental-jacket braid-and-pips swagger-stick sort of a name' and I tossed off a sharp call to attention and palm-out British military salute, and I swear to you they looked at me like I had just reached down my throat and pulled out my own liver.

I'm glad I didn't use the usual joke I have for name occasions, which is "Garibaldi."

What good is a joke if you don't develop it? Why read the back of a cereal box when you can just as easily have a book? Half the fun I have in telling jokes lies in getting to develop the joke's characters, even if it's only a line extra from the tried and true, or an accent, anything that adds colour and flavor. Bar jokes are especially good for that, if it's the longer variety. It's hard to add anything to a one-liner, but the genie in the bottle or the piano-playing hamster, THOSE are the jokes that live to be developed.

A friend of mine told me that I was liked because I "always take that one step further than necessary," and even tho he was referring to my usual style of going over 'the line' whenever I can I took it as a compliment. I rather like being the one who dares to push a little further.

Roight, wot's all this then?


renegade said...

You've actually seen Clive Barker right?

Irrelephant said...

Uhm...emaciated fellow, grey walrus moustache and muttonchops, tall black top hat, tendency to walk with a cane?