Gentle Humor

I don't offend some of the people most of the time

Category: Comedy

The Benefits of Growing Older

Many people would say that getting older is cruel payment for gaining experience and wisdom in life. They want the wisdom without getting old, as in, “If I’d known then what I know now,” and “I wish I could go back to high school – I’d sure do things differently.” I can tell you it won’t be any better if you went back to high school all wrinkly and decrepit, but if you mean you’d like to go back with the wisdom you have now and be in the same body you had then – which did not have a muffin-top – then that makes sense.

I wish I’d had the wisdom back then to be braver,  like talk to a boy I secretly carried a crush on for months. I thought the pain of rejection would be worse than the joy of being brave and finding out if he had a crush on me too. I found that out a couple of decades later that he DID have a crush on me, at a reunion. He had not aged well. I dodged a bullet on that one.

This pining love continues to be the theme in umpteen movies, so I guess it’s still going on even though it everyone is so much more open now. Kids seem to do and say anything anymore, particularly the “f” word, but they – the kids on TV and in movies – will carry a torch all school year for some guy they pass in the hall every day, even though their friends are always trying to get them to talk to the guy or ask the girl out or whatever.

That’s one gift of age – you can see these movies and know exactly what’s going to happen. We’ve seen this plot a million times. Girl (or guy) is in love with guy (or girl), but is afraid to tell him (or her) due to the fact that the movie would end too soon.

The girl and guy bump into each other all the time but he doesn’t pay any attention to her until he finally “sees” her for the first time about 45 minutes into the movie. The guy says to himself, “hmmm, where have you been all my life?” and the girl says to herself, “WTF” (because kids love using the “f” word in movies).

Oh that reminds me, I saw a trivia question: “What two words are used the most in the English language?” I’ll leave a little space for you to think………Okay, here comes the answer, which, BTW, I got wrong. The answer is NOT “and” and “the.” The answer is “I” and “You.” Crazy, huh? I think I personally use the other ones more, but in this very sentence I used “I” four times, and “the” only once, so I guess they’re right.

However, I think that, for people age eleven to thirty-five, the “f” and “f-ing” words are the two most often used. Just cozy up to some high-schoolers in a group – I don’t mean get IN their group, they’ll clam up like, uh, clams, I mean hang out in a bush somewhere where they don’t know you’re listening and you’ll hear these words every third word, like this: “WTF, did she f-ing think I’d f with that f-ing f-er?”

I hang out with kids a lot – I frequently hide in bushes – just kidding – I tutor in the library at the high school, a very loud place where the f-word is used way more often than the dusty books decorating the shelves. Back in the day, if we needed to say the f-word on occasion, we’d check around to make sure no grownups could hear lest we get our mouth washed out with soap. Today, kids know they can call Children’s Services Division if parents or strangers on the street come at them with a bar of Dial soap, so they sprinkle the f-word in their conversations like confetti at the Super Bowl.

And yet, according to Hollywood, they are afraid to tell a boy they have a crush on him.

I have more to write about age and the benefits, but I’ll have to think of them first, and luckily I can drag that out into another post since we are all out of time today. Have an effing nice day!

Jonathan Does Rodney

My nephew is here, returning from Alaska where he was working as an entertainer on a cruise ship. He’s learned all kinds of new things, like how to be a ventriloquist.

He started doing Rodney Dangerfield jokes, and he was pretty good. He was grabbing his collar, talking about getting no respect. He was so good, in fact, that I’m going to get some of Rodney’s jokes and post them here. It will serve two purposes. One, it will make you laugh, and two, it will give me extra time to hang out with my nephew, my niece, and my great niece since they are all driving back to California tomorrow at the crack o’ dawn.

Enjoy these.

A girl phoned me the other day and said… Come on over, there’s nobody home. I went over. Nobody was home.

I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.

I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it.

I found there was only one way to look thin, hang out with fat people.

I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.

I had plenty of pimples as a kid. One day I fell asleep in the library. When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.

I have good-looking kids. Thank goodness my wife cheats on me.

I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.

I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap.

I met the surgeon general – he offered me a cigarette.

I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.

I saved a girl from being attacked last night. I controlled myself.

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous – everyone hasn’t met me yet.

I was so ugly my mother used to feed me with a sling shot.

I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out.

It’s tough to stay married. My wife kisses the dog on the lips, yet she won’t drink from my glass.

Life is just a bowl of pits.

I have to agree with him on this last one, but when you can laugh at the bowl, then life can come up roses in spite of the thorns.

Or something like that. My nephew would come up with a much better joke, I’m sure, but you’d have to pay to see him. For free – you get me!

My First Stand-Up

I went to an open mike last night to do stand-up comedy with my brother and my niece who’s visiting from LA. Whew, that was crazy. I’d never done stand-up before and I was an absolute wreck.

We signed in and I was fourth on the list – I wanted to go first of us three and get it over with. You can’t imagine what it’s like when the lights go down and you’re watching the first guy and he’s pretty good. The audience wants to laugh. Second guy’s good, too. The emcee is introducing them like they’ve been there before. Third guy’s good. Crap! I was sweating bullets because it was my turn. But the emcee called someone else, then the 5th, 6th, 7th person went up and still I didn’t hear my name.

My initial excitement and fear turned into “hey, what’s going on here.” Then it dawned on me that they assume I have no talent since they don’t recognize my name, so they’re putting me at the end.

The bad comics started to go on, and we had to sit painfully through their struggling routines. We were just on the point of leaving when they called my name.

I had done some rehearsing and memorizing, but when I got up on stage and squinted into the bright lights and saw those 50 people out there, it was like someone caught me peeing. My eyes were as big as platters. But I grabbed the mike and started talking, and remembered my first joke – AND GOT A LAUGH! Pretty cool. Then I got ANOTHER LAUGH!

Then I forgot the next three jokes, and I was just standing there looking at people looking at me. Luckily I planned a joke in case that happened. I looked down at my chest and said, “Once when I went to an open mike, I saw a lot of people with notebooks and writing their joke list on their hands, so I wanted to be a little more discreet. I decided to write them on my chest and then I could just glance down. I flopped these things up on the counter and wrote everything down, but I just went to check what I wrote and I was sagging so much the “O’s” were about six inches long.”

The crowd thought this was hilarious. I was doing hand motions and looking down my shirt. One guy yelled out, “I’ll read it for you,” which got some more laughs.

I remembered my last joke, and started on a part about soap in the shower, and I needed to put the mike back on the stand so I could make hand motions. When I did that, for some reason the lights were shining right in my eyes. So I moved the mike stand over, and still the bright lights. “You can’t get away from these lights up here,” I said, and got ANOTHER laugh! Then they turned the lights off and I said, “Perfect” or something, and got another laugh.

But, ah my friends, the laughs were sparse from there on out, because I told a long story that I thought was sensationally amusing, but I think there should have been more jokes and less long drawn out story. You can do that in a 20 minute speech, but we only had five minutes, and the crowd was not interested in the long setup. Still the audience laughed at the end and gave me very warm applause.

My brother got up and told three jokes that I’ve heard a million times but the crowd had not. He’s a professional speaker (www.renewableenergyspeakers.com) who speaks about solar energy, global warming and the environment, so he’s very comfortable in front of an audience. His jokes were very well received, and he ad libbed in between. He got hearty applause and some whistles.

My niece got up and talked about the craziness in LA. She’s pretty so the mostly male audience was eating up every word she said. She graduated from USC in film and acting, and is naturally very funny and knows how to work a crowd, and they were delighted.

We left after the next comic, who was just awful. On the car ride home all of us were so excited. We critiqued each other and talked about the lights and how we were surely in the top 10% of the entertainers. My brother said, “Let’s all do that again next week.” I’m not so sure about it – I’d have to write new material, but what the heck, I’m game.

I have to tell one last funny story. There was a woman who got up and her fly was open. She was heavy and not very attractive, so her act was about not getting any sex because no one would sleep with her. The jokes were okay but not great because she kept saying the same things. She finally said, “I hope I will get lucky tonight.” My niece yelled out, “Your halfway there – your fly’s open.” That brought down the house – and the comedian made the most of it. All in all it was a great first standup experience.

Copyright © 2017 by Suzanne Olsen