Just a garden variety dope

Since I’m never not trying to figure out bits, I may as well use this space to get them on a page before tuning them. Guess what I’m doing today?

I’m not cool enough for legal weed to exist.

I’m so uncool, that if weed wasn’t legal, I would have no idea how to get any.

As an individual, I have no chill. When I invite gals over for Netflix, we watch the damn movie. And we probably watch Paddington, because it’s cute and I’m likely stoned.

When I smoke weed I do boring shit like go to the gym, cook a nice meal or spend THREE HOURS IN THE SUPERMARKET.

I was told a good rule of thumb is never to shop hungry. I have a new rule. It’s Don’t Buy Weed High. When I’m high, money doesn’t make sense.

You know when you first started flatting, and you got ambitious about how many veggies you could cook and eat in a week? A mature adult knows you cannot eat two cabbages in seven days. A student discovers graft vs host on day five.

The problem with buying weed when you’re innately boring, is it all sounds very exciting. Oh, you mean I could get creative and euphoric? Sure, I’ll take two. Social and talkative? Two of that one too. Chilled and focused? HERE’S MY WALLET. JUST TAKE IT. Anything to feel cool for once.

“Cool” is knowing what you want. If I was cool (and not an awkward quantity of stoned) I would’ve walked out with two grams. I left with seven, because I’m a sucker and the sales rep upsold me.

Seven grams is maybe six months worth of weed for me if I go hard and smoke heavy. WHY DID I BUY SO MUCH?
DID I THINK THEY WERE GONNA RUN OUT?
IT’S LEGAL NOW. THIS IS NOT A RESOURCE SCARCITY MODEL.

It gets worse, I already had a couple of grams at home. The new stuff is gonna go stale before I even have a chance to smoke it. It’s like buying two cabbages all over again. But you know what? I’m a boring adult, so I did what any boring adult would do. I bought a god damn vape.

Turns out online shopping is even dumber high.

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What’s my wrangle?

Egads, I’ve been staring at this for long enough that I need to start by any means possible. What’s on my brain?

I’ve got this “bit” percolating at the back of my mind, but I haven’t worked out all the beats yet. The set up is probably something like:

“I’ve never been to the rodeo. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
Apparently your first one is quite the doozy.”

But I don’t really know where to take it from there. Mostly I think it’s funny that a rodeo, something of very little consequence to most people, is used as the benchmark of proficiency. “Not my first rodeo” implies some level of skill, but what’s happening at all these rodeos that’s empowering a myriad of people in their varied lives? Also, it’s usually really banal stuff that seems to have very little with roping a steer or riding a bucking bronco. Furthermore, I highly doubt all the people who use the phrase have actually been to one. Why is a rodeo so important? Does it hold a different status in rural communities? I’ve got the phrases “Cowboy Cathedral” and “Draw Pilgrimage” in my head, but I don’t know what to do with them. Do rural folk have an equivalent expression showcasing an activity they rarely take part in? “This ain’t my first pride parade”? Education rally? Abortion clinic? PC party protest? It’s kinda judgemental. What’s some more benign stuff that city slickers do but country folk probably wouldn’t? Traffic jam? Pop up sale? Brunch line? It’s all a bit mediocre.

I dunno. Just ideas at this stage.

So here’s something. I’ve been struggling lately creatively. Honestly, it’s been since I started on the meds. In no small manner, they’ve been a game changer. They’ve given me resolve to get out and do things, and stop me from going flat every time I hit a bump. I wish I started them years ago, they’ve truly been a positive step. The buoyancy they’ve allowed me is a big deal, and I’m thankful to be taking them. I’ve also found it hard to be creative. My brain isn’t making those quick connections it once was. I’m struggling to have answers on hand like I’m used to. It just feels like there’s gum in the works that keeps them fluid, but lacking some of that deeper grind. I don’t know if this is a side effect that will level out with time. I’m sure hoping it is. They say it takes 4-6 weeks for all the effects to settle, and there are definitely potential side effects I haven’t seen sign of yet. I know that while I was in my depressive depths, I had this almost desperate creativity and I’m having trouble accessing it. This is not a full on complaint. I’d much rather have my life back in the way that these meds have enabled. It’s also kind of ironic that while they’re giving me the push to go out and try stand up again, I’m limping along at attempts to write/edit new stuff.

Perhaps I’m missing renewed perspective that could be helpful. I’m reading Chris Gethard’s Lose Well at the moment. I very rarely read self-help books, but Gethard has a familiar voice and his content is generally not patronising. I do find that I need to take it in small bites, to register ideas and consider how they’d fit into my life. The chapter I just read was about finding new comfort zones in grey areas. He shares advice his therapist gave him, which is to never take the same way home twice. I don’t know how literally actionable this is, but the gist was to find new ways to see the world. Try getting off the subway a stop or two earlier. Take side streets and be open to opportunities. Perhaps there’s a cute neighbourhood cafe or bar that you’ve never seen. Maybe you’ll come across graffiti or scenes that challenge you. There’s no telling what’ll spark synaptic connections. Now that the weather has warmed up, it could be easier to venture outside and explore. I could find time to visit subway stops I’ve never taken. I could look at the city from an unintuitive vantage point. Who knows what I’ll find?

I could even figure out what city slickers do but country folk probably wouldn’t.

I’m the Good Charlotte of motivation

I know it seems like I’ve lost my way lately, but after a lot of coffee in a not long period, I’ve decided what to do with my life. I’m gonna become an Instagram motivational guru.

I’m sure at the offset this sounds like a curious vocation for someone in the depths of depression, but I’ve got this. If David Avocado Wolfe can peddle nonsense pseudoscience to scores of desperate white hippies, then I can 100% take advantage of the same demographic. It’s clearly the right thing to do, and I’ve run out of other options. So let’s go, time to motivate the fuck out of some Equinox gym members!

Why do people care so much about gold, when nothing shines brighter than a mother’s love?

You know what money can’t buy? A ray of sunshine. Be the brightness in your life.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it uses fewer muscles. Happiness is literally the path of least resistance.

Sure, antioxidants are great, but why be so negative? Try being pro-oxidant for a change.

Regret creates negative ions that dry out your skin. Being happy produces quarks that send your body into a constant state of flux, eliminating impurities.Why argue with science?

If you really want to start your day off right, try a bowl of pine cones. They’re nature’s granola, but without all that sugar.

Music is the fruit of love, so never go without it. Silence leads to the void, and that’s how sadness gets in.

People spend so much time worried about what happened in the past, that they forget tomorrow is a new day. Identity theft is only a crime if you get caught. Just be someone else.

Take five minutes a day just to stretch and feel in your body. Buy a rack. Hire a personal torturer. Elongate your limbs and soul.

If you have trouble sleeping at nights. Try staying awake for five days at a time. It’ll kickstart your metabolism and refresh your entire system. The night terrors can’t catch you if you never rest.

Your body is the greatest vaccine of all. To set yourself up to fully realise your dreams, take a shot of a deadly disease every morning. Become a professional bug chaser. Trust your body. It will take care of the rest.

Real beauty comes from within. Your organs are where your true light shines. Try inversion surgery today, and find your inner splendour.

Now all I need is to pay some Instagram models to repost me and I’m set. Why was I ever worried about my future, when it’s literally this easy?

I may have only etched the outline, but it might be some kinda sketch?

I was having brunch with a friend earlier today. She’s a comic, and we were chatting about bits and whatnot. I told her about an idea I’ve been sitting on. It’s something, though I don’t know exactly what it is. She told me to write it down. “Oh” I said, gesturing to my head, “it’s all written down up in here.” She shook her head “Your brain is an Etch A Sketch. Write It Down.”

She’s right. I don’t need to nail it, and the pressure to get it right first time will kill its potential. If I just get it down, I can take and tweak ideas later. So here. I’m getting it down.

It starts with a couple of guys hanging out, watching internet videos on their phones. One guy shows another guy this video of a dude mashing people’s food as they’re trying to take photos for Instagram (excessive link size, I know. You kinda need to watch some of the 55 second clip to get this idea). They chuckle and go back to work. They’re on the set of some kind of high profile food magazine shoot. Think the equivalent of Vogue, but food. They’re crew members working on a massive project. Something like an ornate croquembouche, gilted and everything. It’s almost threatening how magical it looks. Everyone is gathered and they’re just about to get their shots. The talent is in place. The director/DP, etc are all around. They’re gearing up, and the video flashes back into this dude’s head. It’s silly, he shakes it off and looks back to the shoot. He looks at the cake, the video flashes in his brain. He can’t shake it. He’s trying to concentrate, but it’s not going anywhere, it’s just getting more insistent. Everybody else fades into slow motion as he looks back at this cake with the video throbbing in his skull. Everything’s set, and at the last moment before the cameras click, he yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and squashes the cake. There’s silence. Everyone’s stunned. He’s stunned, looking at his hand, the now ruined exquisite pastry, the director/DP and talent.

The director looks him right in the eyes and lays him out bare. “What are you doing? Why? Why would you do that? Do you know how many people work on this shoot? That cake? That cake was twenty hours work from a team of the world’s most exclusive patisserie. We have been putting this shoot together for DAYS. Have you got any idea of the total hours that went into getting the shot that you just ruined? Have you even thought of the cost? That was real gold. The cost of materials alone runs in the thousands. The wages for everyone on this shoot? There were tens of thousands of dollars involved in getting that one shot. That one shot for the Christmas issue, the biggest issue of the year. It’s printing tomorrow. This all had to be done by 10am, and it’s all gone now. Did you even think of your own family? They needed you to have this job. You have a sick wife and your benefits are the one thing keeping her health above water. How are you supposed to pay the bills now? Can you comprehend the magnitude of what you’ve done here?

It cuts to a wedding. He’s standing with his wife, watching his daughter about to cut the cake with her new loving wife. Everyone is smiling, they look so beautiful and happy. He looks into his wife’s eyes and it’s obvious, no matter how hard the past months have been, this is a bright light in the darkness. Staring right into her teary blue eyes, there’s a flash in his brain. The same video. He gasps, but you know the score. It’s in there and not going anywhere. We know how much this all means to everyone, but some things are inevitable. At the moment just when the photographer’s about to take the shot, he yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and squashes the cake. Gasps and dead air across the room. We’ve been here before. His daughter dresses him down this time. She talks about the work that went into the cake, how much time it took them to find just the right bakery, especially after that emotionally gruelling experience with the homophobic bakers. All the financial hardships her and her wife had, and how the wedding almost didn’t happen. The guy knows he’s fucked up, but he has nothing and she keeps barrelling into him.

Cut to the hospital. His wife is in bed and he’s sitting by her side. She looks very frail. They’re talking, she says something like “I talked to Jane earlier. They’re struggling, but they do love each other.” He asks “did she ask about me?” His wife shakes her head “she’s not ready for that yet. It’s still too soon.” A doctor walks in with a chart and nurse. The doctor starts explaining how fortunate they were to be living in Canada with the healthcare system. How if they were in America, there’s no way they’d be able to afford this vital medicine. The doctor goes on about all manner of stuff pertaining to treatment, while the guy’s eyes look towards the bag of medicine the nurse is holding. We can hear the doctor going on about how severe the wife’s case is, how they were lucky that they managed to catch it when they did, etc. The guy is still looking straight at the medicine. We all know where this is going, the video flashes back into his head. The nurse plugs the medicine into the IV, the doctor is droning on. We see a shot of the wife’s hand bareknuckling the husband’s own. It’s obvious she’s suffering. She starts talking about how emotionally taxing it’s all been, etc. We get the picture. The dude steps up, yells “SMOOSH”, reaches out and slaps the medicine out of the IV. Silence all around. The medicine bag is just pissing out on the floor, going everywhere. Total shock. The room is stunned. In the background the bag continues spraying everywhere. There’s silence, aside from the sound of the medicine shooting out. The doctor starts talking, laying the dude out. Something like “Why would you do that? Your wife is in a critical condition. This is vital. Do you know how much that medicine was worth? In America, people go bankrupt over life saving medicine like this. I mean, you’re SO lucky we’re in Canada and your wife will be able to survive, but there will be severe consequences. There will be an inquiry. At this level, there is a high chance of jail time. You’ve lost so much, why would you cause yourself to lose even more? There are tears streaming down his wife’s face. Hurt and anger in her eyes.

Cut to a shot of a book cover. The title is “how to build a house out of books” or something. The book is lowered and we can see a house made out of books that looks like the one on the cover. The man inserts the book itself as the last book required to make a workable door. It’s hidden away at the back of library and, from the outside, just looks like a shelf. It’s very silly. The guy has lost everything. He’s been kicked out of home. He’s living in the library in secret, none of the staff or patrons know. He’s exhausted and gaunt. He’s using the computers and secretly masturbating under his track pants. We’ve all taken a Greyhound bus, we know what that looks like. It’s very obvious. He’s scrolling through porn forums, etc. He’s getting there, when suddenly the video pops into his head. As before, he tries to push it away, but it’s not going anywhere. Cue clips of his thoughts flashing between porn and this video, when all of a sudden he sees something, yells “SMOOSH” and cums right on the screen. A librarian sees/hears this and is shocked. Other patrons look. The librarian starts dressing him down, while the whole time he’s also extolling the virtues of the public library system, etc. The point is to really drive home how scummy it was for the dude to do it. As he’s saying all this, the camera cuts to a shot of the cumstain dripping down the screen, directly under something that says “Bread Face”

Cut to a shot of a table. It’s a bright area, well-lit and colourful. A really pleasant vibe. An exotic cake sits in the middle of the table. The dude comes in and sits down. He looks healthy, happy. “Hey guys” he says cheerily “this week we have a Dacquoise. It’s a type of meringue from the French village of Dax. I know ya’ll are big fans of the cream based cakes. Okay, here goes. SMOOSH.” He smooshes his face right into the cake. It’s a live stream. The screen cuts to the comments coming in thick and fast. A bunch of “SMOOSH”es, cheering, smiley faces, “GOOD SQUISH, SIR” and that kind of thing. It’s evident these people adore the guy. There are too many comments to track. The view counter keeps going up, it’s over a million. The guy pulls his face back up, huge grin from ear to ear. “Well that was fun. Remember, if you have suggestions for new cakes or breads, send in your requests via Patreon. I just wanted to say once again how much I love and appreciate you all. You know I had hard times and having your support really pulled me through. This community is amazing, and I’m so proud we managed to pull together and set up that scholarship for underprivileged inner city students. You’re astounding humans. Geez, I’m tearing up here. I need to go, but until next time, “SMOOSH”.”

Fin.

Stand up for your mics

I’m doing the open mic tonight!

I think. I hope? I read on the site that the show was at 10pm, sign up was at 5pm. Weirdly, the bar opened at 6pm. I happened to be home today, so I jogged down and got there around 5.10pm to be early like the bloody nerd that I am. It was closed. I looked in and there seemed to be someone inside, so I knocked. A bartender came out and was like “we don’t open until 6pm”. I was like “I know and this feels really dumb to ask, but the website said 5pm sign up so I came down to check it out.” She stared through me and said “well you read wrong, signup is at 9.45pm, so come back then.”

Cool. So now I feel nervous, insecure and that I’m a fucking idiot. Seems fun. It’s also a different format tonight and I’m kind of confused, which isn’t helping anything. I thought it was 5 minute sets, but it might be 3 minutes? But also maybe that’s just for the 8pm show and there’s an open mic afterwards? Who knows, maaaaan? My brain is kind of fixating on doing a set, since it’s been a long time, so maybe I’ll just write out the jokes I’d like to tell.

I go to see a bunch of standup and I’ve seen comics do this thing.
They’ll be all “how’s everyone out there feeling tonight?” and the crowd is like “WOooooOOOOoo.”
Which is fine in a group.
But if I saw a friend on the street and was like “hey bud, how’re you doing?” And they went “WOooooOOOOoo” I would maybe think they were a ghost.

I work in an office. Does anyone else here work in an office?
[hopefully one or two WOOs] – A couple of ghosts. Cool. Spooky, but cool.
If you haven’t worked in an office before, it’s basically just saying hi to coworkers as you pass in the hallway until one of you dies.
Then you get to do their work too.

At our office they play some of the oldies stations and TLC is now considered “oldies”.
I was listening to that song “No Scrubs”, and it’s kind of ambiguous.
You know the one. “I don’t want no scrubs.” It’s confusing.
They’re all “I don’t want no scrubs. A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from me. Hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holler at me.”
So either Lisa Left Eye Lopez and Co don’t know how double negatives work, or No Scrubs is an ode to their terrible taste in men.

I listen to a lot of music, and honestly, I’m fascinated by 50 Cent. For a while I thought that he was super clever.
He’s got this song “PIMP” and his has this line “A bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.”
Which is great, right? Of course a “bitch” can’t get a dollar out of him. He’s 50 Cent. He’s only half a dollar.

And y’know, that’s not even the most egregious part of the song. So he’s all “I don’t know what you heard about me. But a bitch can’t get a dollar out of me.” And his reasoning is cause he’s “a motherfucking P.I.M.P.”
The thing is, pimping by its very nature is transactional. You’re a business owner who employs contractors to serve clients. Those clients pay you and you take compensation for facilitating the transaction. So if “a bitch can’t get a dollar” out of you, you’re not paying your contractors. You’re not a motherfucking P.I.M.P. You’re an illegal sex trafficker.

Then again, 50 Cent did file for bankruptcy. So maybe “a bitch can’t get a dollar” out of him after all.

That might be a 5 minute set, but it’s certainly not a 3 minute set. If that’s the case, I might drop the TLC bit and see how it goes. Wish me luck?

And maybe a better mood?

Any quantity of ducks is an intense quantity of ducks.

Re: Yesterday’s post, I’ve been thinking of the upcoming open mic.

Writing jokes is weird. It’s strange to try and figure out how to be deliberately funny. It’s non-intuitive to put words together in the hopes that they click. There are so many unspoken rules of comedy. It’s rare for us to really understand the ins and outs of where humour comes from. Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle, but mostly if you’re writing jokes it’s more like Twister style storm chasing. And occasionally you luck out and a cow appears in the middle of your tornado. I’m sure there are people for whom it’s effortless. I’m not one of them. If I want to make a bit work, it’s imperative that I understand why it does. If I do, it makes it easier to take the joke further or tweak it. Or maybe I’ve got the outline of approximately which lines I want to draw and/or cross, but I don’t know the specifics that will fill in those outlines. This is not a skill I’ve attained any mastery over. I’m getting better, but it’s still truly years away.

I was reading back over a bunch of old entries today, in the hopes I’d get inspiration. A story popped out at me that I happened to have organically told coworkers the other day. The basics were that I was on a date with a girl in a park. We were feeding bread to ducks. I thought I’d do a nice deed and gave a stack of bread to this little girl who was with her grandparents, so she could have fun feeding ducks too. Maybe 15-20 ducks crowded almost instantly and she was terrified. I felt really bad, not for being friendly, but things obviously didn’t work out. It was also deeply funny.

But that’s not what stand up sounds like, so it needs to be structured in a manner that fits the medium. A lot of the time I won’t everything done, but I’ll leave placeholders to fill in the gaps later:

Do you ever have those moments where you know you changed someone’s life?

I went on a date once. I took a girl to the park and we fed bread to ducks. Very sweet. Like any dumb 20 year old, I was looking for ways to score “points”. I saw a little girl with her grandparents and thought oh hey, here’s my chance to do a nice deed and get some of those aforementioned points, y’know? So I walked over to the grandparents with a couple of slices and was like “here, she can feed some ducks”. I’m a hero, right? They said thanks, and gave her the bread. As soon as her tiny hands grabbed the bread, she was swarmed by an intense quantity of ducks. She was screaming. Her grandparents were trying to fight off the ducks. My date and I turned away screaming with laughter. I looked back and just knew I’d gifted someone a lifelong phobia of birds.

It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. The thing is, I’d want to have a tag or something. I was thinking about it earlier today and I thought it’d be funny if for some reason I said she’d developed a fear of bread. ‘Cause that’s absurd, right? But how would I make that work? It’d require going somewhere after the joke that hinged on it. I chatted with my girlfriend and told her I wanted to find something in the venn diagram of bread and birds for a callback. We thought about it and she suggested breaded chicken wings. But how could I incorporate that into the joke? Was there another scenario that could have a payoff? Maybe if years down the line something happened that brought it all together. Like maybe she was on a date and found herself surprisingly terrified by a plate of breaded wings? So maybe something like this:

I looked back and just knew I’d gifted someone a lifelong phobia of birds. And maybe… bread?

So anyway, my little cousin was telling me he was on a date with some girl. It was going great. They were chatting and ordered appetisers and everything was perfect, until a plate of breaded wings arrived on their table and she suddenly didn’t know why she was screaming. And he didn’t know why she was screaming. Buuuut, I kind of think I know exactly why she was screaming?

My bad.

Does the end tag add enough? It’s all made up, but is that weirdly plausible? I don’t want to bog it down with too many details, ’cause it’s a big expectation for the audience to a) connect the dots and b) realise that the two stories are linked. I also don’t want to write enough of a story that it feels like I’m reading it out on stage. It needs to breathe and be organic. Writing jokes is weird.

At least this is a start.

I didn’t think “Big Willie Style” was a synonym for fascism…

Most of my days are weird days, but today was A Weird Day.

I feel like it started last night. The weirdness, that is. Today definitely started after I woke up. I had this stupid idea banging around in my brain. I’ve still got a while before I work out the beats of it, but the basic idea was some sort of satirical pizzagate style conspiracy theory based around Will Smith’s pre-millenial classic, Willenium. Look, the world has gotten kinda fucky and strange. There’s a lot that doesn’t make sense. All of our established broadcast mediums are imploding. Society is separating into dichotomous spheres in which reality is almost entirely different from one another. Nazis, the literal first thing anyone thinks of when you ask “what’s the most evil thing?”, are back en vogue. Adam Sandler released a legit great stand up special. It’s all pretty damn inexplicable. What if- and bear with me here- we accidentally ended up in an alternate universe where, instead of the millennium happening, the Willenium did?

Think about it, doesn’t this all seem like the bizarre fever dream of a breakout rapper-cum-actor-cum-scientologist-cum-youtube star? Somehow Xenu and thetans got involved in fucking up the state of balance. Could explain Kanye, y’know? We’ve ended up in an all new Wild Wild West, he pulled a bait and Switch worthy of a Men in Black mission. It’s sure become a Nightmare on My Street. Is this some terrifying triumph of the Will? The Fresh Prince might not cuss, but he’s fucked us all royally.

Anyway, it’s a thought in process. I’ll work on it.

Speaking of work, it only exacerbated the weirdness. Look, I underslept, I’m going through some stuff at the moment and I’m clearly in a manic state of mind. That said, I think something was in the water. It wasn’t just me. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it was me. I was ranting endlessly about my Willenium Theorem, I had too much coffee and News sent us a ginormous cookie to say thanks for our help with a campaign. We had a new hire start. It was bonkers mojo all around. I really do feel sorry for her. If she makes it back to the office tomorrow without calling it quits, she’s a keeper. It was a cosmic calamity to have her seated next to me though.

Now, I’ve had my fair share of bizarre interactions with coworkers. My close team mates are used to it. Mostly. Still, today had its standout moments. So this afternoon the new hire was sitting next to me. I asked her if she’d gone on the slide yet. She said no. I said “when you do, take off your shoes.” I accidentally said the last part a little bit louder than the first. My other co-workers heard it and turned around. So in their minds, apropos of nothing I turned around to a young female co-worker on her first day and loudly said “TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES.”

Today’s been a strange one, folks. It’s had its ups and downs for sure. What can I say? This Willenium has taken more than it’s given.