Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's up with all the files?

If you take a look over the desktop of my laptop, you will notice two things. First, I keep my virtual space just as unkempt as my physical space. There's shit everywhere. Second, you will notice that it is plastered with word documents, all of which appear to be pretty stupid. 'JOXE' is one of my favourites, as is 'Is This Appropriate?' which is a file I made recently for when I want to say something but I'm not sure if it is appropriate. I jot it down and then evaluate it objectively later.

The thing is, most of my files are full of nonsense things that I have thought and obsessively recorded. But there is a very good reason for this. A few years ago, I noticed that people kept coming up to me and telling me things I'd said to them that were apparently very witty and insightful. Even though I was allegedly totally sober during most of these incidents, I had zero recollection of any of them.

There was one in particular that made me sit down and think. A friend of mine had apparently been giving a speech but had accidentally drooled a bit, resulting in a spit bubble popping out of her mouth. Apparently, upon hearing this the first thing I had said was, 'Was it a speech bubble, though?'

I have no memory of saying that. The only reason I am able to tell this story is because a while later that girl was talking to me and quoted that line back to me. I laughed and told her that was a good joke and she should keep it up her sleeve for impressing people at parties. She gave me a confused look and confessed that she had been directly quoting me. I was a bit embarrassed.

Another similar incident occurred years previously, when I was in about year 7. It was a long time ago but I still remember it purely because of how awkward it made me feel. We were in class. Something happened to our resident sarcastic jock. I don't remember what it was, but it wasn't a big deal. Casually, I commented on it. I remember thinking that it was a pretty obvious thing to say but thought I'd better say it anyway. I was expecting the class to respond by groaning and saying 'Yeah, you think you're pretty smart, don't you?' which is the reaction I usually got. Instead, my comment was greeted with uproarious laughter. My gut reaction was that they were actually laughing at me (how emotionally secure was I?), but I quickly realised that they were laughing because what I had said had actually been funny. They were laughing at the jock, who was clearly embarrassed and didn't really have anything to say for himself. If Back to the Future has taught me anything (WHICH IT HAS), he was also probably covered in manure at this point.

Now, it was probably due to the fact that I was startled as well as the fact that I hadn't thought it a very important comment when I'd made it, but I instantly and totally forgot what I had said that had been so funny. I accepted the laugh and moved on. The problem was that apparently it was such a good call that people actually came up to me after class to talk about it. I had literally no idea what I'd said, but I didn't want to admit it. I seem to recall the conversations going something like this.

Classmate: Hey, good call against Johnny Football* in maths today!
Me: Thanks very much.
Classmate: The look on his face, it was gold!
Me: Yes, that was quite a look.
Classmate: How did you come up with that line anyway?
Me: Oh well, you know it was just... oh my god, look over there! Is that someone who used to be on TV doing a publicity stunt?
Classmate: What? That's just the weird albino kid eating a twig.
Me: My mistake.

This happened way too often. The best explanation I could come up with was that I was briefly and occasionally possessed by the ghost of a stand-up comedian (did someone say BRILLIANT SITCOM IDEA?). As a result, I now write down everything I say or think that might be funny. I open one of my files at random, pick a spot (No, I can't just add it to the end. For some reason, I always end up adding it to a totally random spot within the file.) and get typing. I later pan through it for any nuggets of comedy gold. While I do occasionally delete things, it's pretty rare and the result is a bunch of files full of ridiculous non-sequitors. Here is an excerpt, unedited:

Victorian Era Ghost'd!: It is like punk'd but instead of Ashton Kutcher, it is a Victorian Era Ghost!

I always lose Creepy Chicken

Creepy Chicken = trying to outcreep each other, last to have a nervous breakdown is the winner. There are no real winners.

Social conventions questions: Is it weird to approach someone you haven't spoken to in years to tell them you had a dream where they died? I'm going to say yes.

Housemates sitcoms:
A nerd and a stripper!
VIG + NC**
A guy who is afraid of cats and a TALKING CAT (studying psychology ;D)

I just realised that to get to certain places in the house you have to walk over a bed, like, just plain old step up there and walk over it. And I had never even noticed that was weird.

What's the time?? Time for a NUMERIC PALINDROME!

I don't like fair fights. Well, it's not that I don't like fair fights, I just really like unfair fights. I like to hit a small bat with my giant rock fist.

So, there you have it. For the record, that was page twenty of a file entitled 'crafty drafties'. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Oh also, to the fine people over at Hell Is Other People, yes those 'housemates sitcom' ideas were inspired by you guys. I am planning on writing for your show, whether you like it or not. You will try to tell me that I am not but I will still submit scripts, regardless of whether you even read them. Seriously.

-Smackie Onassis

*His real name was actually surprisingly similar to this.
** This is supposed to stand for Victorian Era Ghost + Nuclear Chemist, which is an idea I had based on "true" events. It has since been pointed out to me that Era begins with an E, but this is UNEDITED PEOPLE.

EDIT: Guys, everytime I see the phrase 'time for a numeric palindrome' I just lose it. I think it's the funniest thing. Is it just me?

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