Friday, December 13, 2013

All The World's a Comedy Club

Back in the '70's (remember those?  No, you don't, you're too young, fuck you), Lily Tomlin had a television special.  It was great, and my favorite sketch was a birthday party, where all the kids were clowns and Lily's parents hired an accountant as entertainment. (Pause as you attempt to YouTube said sketch.)
Welcome to my world.
I view the entire world as a potential joke. It very rarely fails to disappoint me.  Even when I'm residing in the Pit of Despair (I wouldn't recommend it as a vacation spot, the food sucks), I usually come up with some bizarre take on the situation that makes me laugh.  I was born with this....what, impediment?  gift?  defect?  freakish chromesomal abnormality? but it wasn't till I hit Extreme Adulthood (also not the best vacation destination) that I became proud of it. 
Between the ages of 9 and 14, a bunch of obscure relatives I had never met died.  My parents made my sister and me go to the visitations, despite our strong protestations.  They were Family and it did not matter that I was on more intimate terms with our mailman (not in that way!!) than the deceased, you had to show up at the funeral home. It was the Done Thing.  My parents were Republican. (Which is why I wasn't allowed to go to my mailman's funeral.)
So, my sister and I would find a couple of out-of-the-way chairs and play what we called, "My Aunt Harriet Died Last Week."  (For the record, we did not have an Aunt Harriet.)  One of us would start the conversation by saying, "My Aunt Harriet died last week.", and then we would just improvise a sketch till our parents said it was time to go home.  We didn't know what improvisation or sketch comedy was,  we didn't even think we were being particularly clever (thinking you were clever was Not the Done Thing), we were just trying to kill time in a funeral home.  (Thank you, I'll be here all week.  Try the veal.) 
That's how my brain works.  Luckily, I have managed to find a community of people whose brains also work this way.  We're kind of like a leper colony, only not contagious and better looking.  It's very comforting to know that if you see something that strikes you as funny, you can message/text/actually pick up a phone and call one of your fellow Funnylepers and they will appreciate the humor.  I have tried pointing out the humor in stuff to Civilians but they treat me like I'm Robert the Bruce's father.  (If you haven't seen Braveheart, you won't get that and will thereby prove my point.  Thank you.)
When I was a kid, I was in awe of all comedians and I thought there was some Special Magic Funny Fairy Dust that grew in LA and New York that made them funny.  But, luckily, the joke's on me.
P.S.  I don't think chromesomal is an actual word, but it's fun to say, so I left it in.  Fuck the Done Thing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Holiday Greeting, Debstyle

Once upon a time, there was a man who ruled the world.  He was all powerful and everyone revered him.  He could be loving and generous, but he could also be mean and vengeful, you simply had to follow his rules.  Some of these rules didn't make a lot of sense to his subjects, but they followed them, partially because they wanted the man to love them, but also because they didn't want to suffer the consequences.  It was the way of the world.
After a while, the man started to get the feeling that all the people didn't really love him, as much as feared him.  He was surprised and hurt by this and decided he would come up with a plan that would prove to his people that he was a kind, forgiving man who truly believed that love was the most important thing there is. 
The plan he came up with was this:  Rape a virgin and impregnate her.  Then, when the child was grown, have him tortured and murdered.  Then, then, people would truly realize how kind and loving he was. 

And, Holy Fuck, the plan worked. 
Of course, that's just one interpretation of the story.  But it explains why I just can't buy into the whole religion thing.  Because I really do believe that love is the most important thing there is.  And that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.  Of course, being human, I don't always act in a loving way or take the time to think, "Would I want someone to do this to me?"  But I do take solace in the fact that none of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes; sometimes we learn from them, sometimes we don't.    What doesn't make me feel any better is to think that there is an infallible being out there who never fucks up.  It just makes me feel guilty.  Thanks, Sister Mary Elizabeth. 
My spritual beliefs are always in a state of ebb and flow. I don't think I could ever put them in a permanent form.   And I really envy those who can adhere to an ancient  dogma and feel totally comfortable with it.  There was a time I pretended to do that.  But I'm on the downhill slide of life and my "Truly Don't Give A Shit" hormone is kicking in pretty strong.
However, the Aged Hippie in me still wants to grab humanity by the scruff of the neck and shake them till their eyes rattle while screaming, "LOVE EACH OTHER, you fucking assholes!  LOVE EACH OTHER!!!"
Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I've Written About Writing Before, But Hopefully You Won't Remember

Everyone has issues they have to deal with.  I don't mean like taking out the garbage issues, or doing housework issues or learning lines issues (none of which I have ever dealt with, by the way).  I mean deep-down, life-long, holy crap kind of issues. 
I will not bore you with what my issues are, because I'm not paying you $120/hour to listen to me kvetch.  Also, I adhere to the following truism:
My shit is my shit and no one gives a shit about my shit.  (It's kind of the adult version of I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.)
But we also all have Certain Things that help us cope with our Shit Issues.  Excluding the escapist therapies, like alcohol, tobacco and ice cream, we all have something we do that takes us out of ourselves long enough to emotionally breathe. 
One of my Certain Things is acting.  Duh.  But writing is another.  I get into a  zone when I'm writing that pushes my Shit Issues to the back of my psyche.  It's nice.
"So, Deb," you say, stroking your mustache and adjusting your toupee, "I guess this means you write on a fairly regular basis, heh?"  (I don't know why I assume you all have mustaches, toupees and end sentences with "heh".  I could be wrong about this.)  But to answer your question, dear
I would love to write more.  Okay, I tell myself I would love to write more.  But the truth is, instead of writing, I tend to fuck off.  The idea of writing everyday makes me flummoxed and antsy with a side of heebie-jeebies.  That is not nice.
"Discipline!", you cry, tapping your pipe on the ashtray, "Discipline, Debala!!"  "Fuck you, mustachioed, toupeed, pipe-smoker!", I retort.  Discipline is all well and good but some days I don't have anything to say that's worth writing down.  Or even worth verbally expressing, for that matter.  So, discipline or not, unless I'm creating instruction manuals for space heaters, daily writing ain't gonna happen.
I have no answer for this conundrum or really any idea why I felt led to share this with you.  I guess it's just one of those days where the Shit Issues are looming and the only thing to chase them away is a little literary ice cream.