Post #25: Scrutiny pt. 1

Observational comedy is funny. It always has been, always will be, and I will never stop laughing at the same joke told with a couple hundred different delivery methods.

Cheap laughs are still laughs. Low hanging fruit is still fruit. 

Unfortunately for me, I'm usually incapable of constructing witty words into clever enough combinations that are met with that feeling where you're pretty sure a little pee just leaked out, but that somehow only makes whatever the person said even funnier.  The greats can do this [seemingly] without any effort at all, like they're bowling with bumpers and a strike is imminent. It's not fair and I hate it. 

The best observational humorists of the world are just regular dudes & gals like you and me, but they are able to describe their day by way of an imagination that acts as the foundation for wit & judgement which if cultivated early enough - seems effortless to you or me. The "ordinary man put into extraordinary scenarios" model isn't usually how they come up with their comedy, it just feels that way because their lives sound funnier than ours, so funnier things must happen to them more often, right? I don't deny that might be true for some, but probably not. I argue that their default-mode is programmed to receive their daily interactions differently, or through a filter that some of us just don't have. For simplicity's sake (and because I clearly don't have one so I'm not qualified to say), let's call it The Funny Filter. 

Let me explain this in sports terms because that's basically all I understand. I (and maybe you are, too) am like the rookie wide receiver tasked with running routes for a Hall of Fame quarterback, but my football spidey-senses are underdeveloped and no matter how hard I try - or guess - I just can't translate the non-verbal consultation that happens in the microseconds between a snap and the whistle. Because of this I'll never cross-up a cornerback, dazzle a coach, nor will I catch 40 TD's in a year. I'll be considered an average player for my entire career, and that's finally ok with me. I've felt the opposite way for most of my life, like I should be disappointed in myself that I didn't turn into a deep threat like I thought I had the potential to be. I never developed into that player who demanded double coverage or extra time in a film room for my opponent because I just wasn't meant to be that player. It was never my true role. Add this analogy on top of the fact that I've never enjoyed actually playing football and you'll start to understand what I'm trying to say; I don't have The Funny Filter, I'm not a pro, and I could never quite accept it until now. 

I have something different, and it's something I'm proud of: the ability to make people around me just a little bit better at whatever it is they or we are doing. Not because I'm better at it than they are (although some might say I act that way at times, but I assure you it's usually the opposite), but because I know that if I'm able to help them with something - in turn I will perform my task better than before because I learned something. Together this process continues until we've toppled as many positive dominos that we could and the problem is either solved or totally f***** worse than it was before. Either way, we can have a beer and move on because fixing everything isn't the point.

I'm not Will Ferrell, not Louis CK, and I'm not Tucker Max. Sometimes my delivery is akin to Michael Cera crossing an icy street on crutches. A drunk Michael Cera. And it's raining. It's the arena-league of observational comedy and I'm riding the bench. But I'll tell you one thing:

I'll do my best to make sure that the rest of the players on the bench remember it being a fun time.


With that out of the way, here's a few observations that someone WITH The Funny Filter is free to steal for material.

1.) Baby on Board. I know that I've beaten this topic to death, but I'm 100% convinced that there's never been a licensed driver who suddenly changed their driving habits because of your placard, nor has there been a single crash averted from one. I'm more likely to roll my windows down to next to the Baby on Boarders just to sing along with violent rap music next to give you something to complain about on your mommy blog.

2.) Mommy Blogs. Quit patting yourself on the back and just focus on being a parent like the generation before us & the hundreds before them. I'm not an anthropologist, but I watch a lot of documentaries and I've yet to see one about ancient cave paintings depicting mothers passing on helpful tips on how to get your baby to fall asleep faster so you can watch The Bachelor in total silence while you drink three glasses of wine & feel sad that your baby-daddy doesn't look like he did when you married him. Which brings me to my next point... 

3.) Why is it funny for guys to rag on marriage so much? I get it - you don't want to grow up & add 7 extra pillows to your bed (none of us do last time I checked), but we should really start keeping that s*** to ourselves from now on. I'm tired of hearing about how you waved goodbye to the fun in your life & watched longingly as it drove away from your house, taking with it your beer signs & jean shorts (don't ever get rid of your jean shorts, btw). If you somehow turned into a miserable bastard after getting married, that says more about you than it does the person you married.  You know who you are. 

4.) Do we still need the Voicemail lady to explain how to leave a message? Do those monotone instructions help anybody?

5.) I had a lot more of these saved on my iPhone somewhere but now I can't find them. Awesome.

Here's to hoping that I'll transform into a deep ball threat someday, but until then I'll just have another Americano and keep beating my dead horse while making fun of girls who smoke cigarettes. See you on the bench.

Onwards,
--Justin