The famed androgynous comedian, a heavyweight atop all of the major ultravision charts, who claimed to be a sensitive artist with bona fide creds in his side pocket, was happy to get off the stage without being booed. She said, “How was I?”
I said, “You’re lucky you didn’t get booed off the stage. That’s pretty good in my book.”
He said, “That’s no luck. I’ve earned my exalted artistic license.”
I said, “In your place I know I would have been booed.”
He said, and she furtively agreed, “No guts, no glory, no MFA.”
I said, “That’s a lot of heavy weight to carry.”
“That’s not funny.”
How was I supposed to know that the gastric bypass surgery did not take root? Empathetically, I shrugged. I could easily commiserate with rampant grief caused by widespread ridicule. I gulped some brown beer and lammed out of there.
Once safely at home, I drank more brown beer that communicated the essence of an ancient Chinese brewing root as a salute to stand-up comedy. It must be treacherous to tread our newly polluted waters as a sensitive artist forced to learn which way to paddle in order to appease the organizational disciplinarians of sexual politics and patronage who usurped the more honest and direct domain of out-and-out graft and corruption by sharks.
When the empty bottle of brown beer threatened to mock my faux feelings of concern, I threw it away and opened another. Don’t get me wrong. I did not just throw it away willy-nilly like some category of low-life scum. I acted responsibly. I genuflected, honored, and bowed. And I shook, too. The root sprinkled tenderly into the brown beer tends to make me sneeze while shaking. To this day, I remain perpetually grateful like a minnow swimming in our newly polluted waters that I am able to freely shake. Any day that I’m not caught up as bait is a good day. That’s got to be worth another solid genuflection or two. I hear those barbs hurt like a motherfucker.
The exalted art of genuflection, which originated back in the day when celebration was perfected by those so rightfully proud to be at the center of everything on the brand new dry, flat earth, and empathy was best left to infidels, charlatans, quacks, and sissies, especially those deserving of death and destruction under the guidance of the one true bearded baldy in the sky who uncannily looked a lot like one of the good guys doing all the jerking, like duh, has come a long way. Look at all the heavenly gold amassed, the diamond tiaras and silver vessels, the swords, the flags, the power, the marching armies, the lock-step. Look at all the knees needing replacement after all of that bending. You know there had to be a hell of a lot of jerking going on. Where do you think lubrication originates? If that ain’t the best of all possible outcomes, you better not say it too loud or proud until you are prepared to deservedly die with no head left standing.
The songs that fervent and dedicated human warriors believe only they sing, the hums, the coos, the mews, the croons, the belts, the lilts, the zings, the zips, the moans, the whirs, the grunts, the growls, the chirps, and even the silly tweets, which many comically exalted twerps claim to own, are versions of all that has been passed on to come around again by the animals who arrived first, settled in, and will remain after, the ones who are at home while it’s happening here and now, who don’t need no stinking badges, cement walls, or entitlement decrees, the ones called dumb by the dumber, who never had to disbelieve that the earth was not, is not, and will never be flat, like duh, no matter where the marching charging armies lead the dummies for the duration, no biggie.
The next day I hauled my trash and kicked it to the curb. It was heavy to lift, not only the brittle bottles and shattered tubes. One trash day tends to run excessively into the next. Messages that used to be meaningful had been eviscerated and ground into burned meat and toast, frayed pages, mealy mites and bugs, fallen ashes. The motors used conveniently for grinding were overworked, run down. They reminded me of a dumb joke I heard.
I heard it just the other day. I can’t remember exactly where or when. It was light or dark indoors and out. Unless it was the next day before or after that. It seemed as if a guy bumped into another guy and they both fell down. The punch line left me shaken and sneezing. It was pretty funny.
When the teen twins came home they were laughing. The yang twin blew his nose with a honking sound that could have been derived from Kamasi Washington. It was still Summer and the fucking middle school school that they were supposed to be attending was still letting me down by not opening up prematurely. As a direct consequence of all that mixed baggage of education they were missing, for which I blame the intimidation of so many marching charging armies let loose by the fucking government, all the fucking governments, the teen twins were hanging around a lot exchanging conspiratorial looks that often turned sullen with no warning. Maybe they had heard the same dumb joke. But, still.
I said, “What’s so funny?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“You had to be there.”
“Oh, I get it.”
“Did you hear the one about the two fat ladies who waddled into a bar to eat slippery baloney?”
“It’s so sad how you can believe you’re funny.”
I said, “Sad? Don’t you mean sick, or feeble, or disturbed? Something more wholesome.”
Then the yang twin said, “Why do you always need to be right so bad?”
I did not respond until he left. Then I said, sullenly, “Not that bad.”