Friday, January 13, 2006

Never, never

Okay this won't be a full on post, just some advice.

No matter how funny you think it is, or what a good joke it would be do not casually refer to your wife as "Nanny McPhee." She won't think it is funny and you will waste a lot of time trying to explain yourself.

"Nanny McPhee"

A cheeky rebuttal that cracks me up

Gratefully, not all of the embarrassing tales are mine. Since he was good enough to leave a comment I will now tell one of my favorite Mike stories. This should be fun. I can enjoy all of the hilarity of the situation without any of the anguish that comes from my own memories. Anyone who has spent much time with me in meatspace has probably already heard this one. The conversation probably went something like this:

Anyone who knows me (AWKM): Jonnyten, why are you laughing so hard? Nobody said anything.

Jonnyten: Sorry, sorry nothing.

AWKM: Nobody laughs that hard at nothing! What happened.

And then I say:

Okay. When I was in high school my buddy Mike got tickets to go see the Star Wars movies for his birthday. And no, by the way I was not in high school from 1977 to 1984. This was before George Lucas screwed up his original Star Wars films. They were as they had been created, you know, perfect. Studio 28 in Grand Rapids was having a showing of the entire trilogy, back to back, in theater 1. I was so geeked to see them all on the big screen!

So we’re sitting there, towards the back. Mike was sitting on my left and he was talking to someone on his left. So his head was facing away. Well this rather large woman went to sit down behind us. She took off her jacket and was trying to set it in the seat or something. I am not sure what she was up to, but she was working pretty hard at it. It consumed all of her focus and she forgot her surroundings.

As she worked, her prodigious rear end pushed its way into my field of vision like a sunrise over my shoulder. I stared, incredulous. Her derrière was almost resting on Mike’s shoulder and mine. It was huge and it was covered in her navy blue sweatpants. (They were in fact blue although to this day Mike remembers them as being black for reasons which will become obvious as I continue.)

I started to laugh and couldn’t believe Mike hadn’t noticed it yet. He was happily talking away to his friend next to him as the Globeous Maximus hovered by his ear like a vagabond moon. It was too much. I thought it was hysterical and I wanted Mike to see so that he could laugh with me. I tapped him on his shoulder.

Upon retrospect that might have made me partially responsible for what happened next. In my defense, however, I should first note that I could not have told him what was happening without letting the poor unfortunate owner of that caboose overhear me and thereby become embarrassed. I should further note in my continuing defense, that I had expected his head to behave normally when his shoulder was stimulated. When I say normally what I mean is that I expected his head to swivel upon the top of his neck thereby giving him a view of the gently intruding badunkakunk. What I had not expected was that he would pivot at the waist, swinging his head in a wide arc to face me.

The arc terminated by inserting his face well into the cheek closest to him. Only that cheek compressed, while the other remained bulbous. I think that is why it looked to me like Mike had only half a face as he screamed.

That was so funny. I am cracking up as I write this 6 or 7 years later. He just stuck his face right in her butt! I can’t stop laughing at it. Every time I remember it I crack up.

OK! Deep breath. Whew.

OK so that’s it. He stuck his face in a big old be-sweat-panted butt that had more than a passing resemblance to the Grand Canyon for all it’s nooks and crannies. I can only imagine what it felt like from Mike’s perspective. It probably was suddenly night. I don’t know if it was warm or cold or which would be worse. I will leave it to Mike to fill in what detail he recalls as he is able to overcome his defense mechanisms to remember. The only way it could possibly have been any funnier is if she had cut one right across his mouth as he was screaming.

If you are worrying about the poor woman I will just say that she didn’t react in the least. She continued to work at her seat and finally sat in it without making a sound. This either means that she was aware and felt too embarrassed to say anything, or that Mike’s face hit in a spot between nerve endings and she did not feel his impression upon her hiney.

I forgot to mention one of the funniest parts. Mike was still grinning from his conversation with his buddy on the other side when his face entered the buttock. I got to watch the unfolding emotions across his features as he suffered a complete failure of composure. They went thusly: The cheese eating grin fell off his face quickly as it was replaced by confusion, this flowed quite naturally into the open mouth of shock and then as realization crept in horror and acceptance as signified by the scream. It took a while to read all that but it happened with hilarious speed while at the same time each individual expression was distinct. Or maybe it was instinct. Or maybe her endstinct.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Think about your life, Pippin

Since Joe brought it up I might as well tell you. This one is a real life nightmare come true.

My senior year of high school I got a part in the chorus of Pippin, the musical about Charlemagne’s son’s search for fulfillment in life. The musical has a real carny feel with its wild movements and extravagant costuming. Joe in fact played the titular role (for the uneducated reading this that means that he was cast as the character whose name is the title of the play. It does not mean that Joe had breasts. He does have nice pectorals though and if you ask nicely I am sure he will make them dance for you.)

I was having fun singing and learning the dance steps, and for a non-named supporting character I was given a remarkable amount of lines and even a short solo, though I had never been in choir. Everything was going great until we got our costumes. We immediately realized how daring the costuming for the show was going to be. Low necklines, spandex, weird facial paint, masks. Then it was my turn.

“Jonnyten!” Mrs. Hoffman called out. From her hand dangled a sinister blue unitard with certain accessories. I looked at it, uncertain. The charming fellow who was our costumer noted my concern. He came to me and let me know in a San Franciscan accent that if it would make me feel better he would be waiting outside the bathroom when I tried it on.

I donned the costume. Blue, spandex, skintight, all over. There was a golden disk that velcroed over my shoulders and sagged like a saddle chip decorated in faux jewels. The kicker however was a black thong with a poofy gold-decorated wasteband. The secondary effect of this thong was to very clearly delineate each hemisphere of my gluteus maximus, and of course, the main effect of this thong was to draw all attention in the room to my black crotch standing out against a field of blue. It felt like the costume was yelling, “Hey everybody! Check out my area!” It felt like I was naked with neon no-no’s.

I walked back out onto the stage and saw people snickering. I distinctly heard someone say that I looked like an anorexic smurf. There was a girl named Risĕ (pronounced Reece-Uh) who was lying on her stomach just staring at my crotch. I said something to her and she responded without taking her eyes off it. I felt like saying: “Up here?” Now I know what women feel like when perverts keep staring at their chest. Eww, it doesn’t feel good.

I thought I was over it. We were rehearsing and the show was really coming together. My makeup was a blue question mark painted on my left cheek. My right eye was a black diamond. During one scene I had to exit stage left and then enter stage right. We were told to go around the back of the audience for those transitions, but I didn’t have time and I had found a quick shortcut through the cafeteria. I was the last offstage and the first back on thanks to my shortcut.

Now I come to the part that I don’t want to tell. I can feel the heat creeping into my face even now as I write this. It was a performance night. I remember the rush of getting into our places and hearing the crowd murmuring just on the other side of the lowered curtain. Stage fright manifests itself differently to different people. For me it is gas. Just before the curtain comes up I get nervous gassy guts. So there I am lying on my side, left-cheek-sneaking like mad and the place smells like the Hippo car on Barnum and Bailey’s train. It’s doubly bad because I am wearing two thongs. A dance belt is under my costume and there’s that extraneous thong on the outside. Between the two butt-strings I am doing my best not to blow Yankee Doodle. I hear another chorister whisper to me: “Gosh, who is doing that?”

I respond, “I don’t know but they are nasty and they probably feel bad about it.” The curtain comes up, the music starts, and we begin our episodic review by asking the audience to

Join us, leave your field to flower
Join us, leave your cheese to sour
Join us, come and spend an hour or two

The musical is roaring along and then comes that exit and entrance I told you about. Ah man I don’t want to write this. I digressed a bit, but I have still come to it haven’t I? I exited stage left, whipped around the side and walked into the cafeteria. . . past a man. . . in a suit. . .talking behind a p-p, a p-podium. There were chairs set up on both sides filled with jocks and parents in sports coats and ties with a path down the middle. It was the Hockey awards banquet.

The speaker trailed off and just stared at me with an open mouth. The Hockey jocks were staring at me with sideways grins. The only way I survived was by staying in character. Blue spandex, black exterior thong, ponytail, makeup. I calmly walked down the middle aisle, unwittingly displaying every bulge and strain in my well delineated gluteus maximus as I passed. The room behind me volcanoed into laughter. The speaker tried to remember where he was in his speech.

But at least I made my entrance in time. The show must go on.