Along with being more or less in a constant state of uncoolness, I'm also wont to be awkward as hell. I'm prone to saying ridiculous things, as well as finding joy/humour in really, really inappropriate situations. I won't for a moment attempt to convince you otherwise, as by now I'm sure the extent of my clumsy hilarity is probably common knowledge.
Look, it's who I am. I was #bornthisway ... for lack of a better term.
Perhaps (definitely), this is why I'm prone to super skeptical irritation when I hear a very pretty, obviously super cool lady squeal in embarrassment, "Oh, I'm so AWKWARD!". I think to myself with a scrunched up face, "Bitch, please."
Have you ever fallen down two flights of stairs because you couldn't get your hands out of your pockets in order to steady yourself?
Have you ever been running across a bridge and fallen through it and had one leg dangling into a river?
Have you ever dropped a plate full of avocado all over a client's jacket at work?
Have you ever asked someone who said they want to be an actor, "What kind of end boss do you have to battle in the video game of that?"
|No, I don't know what I meant by that either.|
You know what though? It's okay! I don't mind. I bring laughter to all those around me. I keep myself amused, I know that for sure. Rumour has it that I brought a hell of a lot of humour to the workplace I just recently left. And, as my dear friends constantly stress to me, I'm apparently much cooler than I give myself credit for. I'll try to take their word for it, but frankly I remain mostly unconvinced. Which is okay, because I am quite comfortable with the myriad ways in which I constantly fail at being socially able.
Let's be honest: at this stage of the game, I don't think my parents'd have the time, money and effort required to keep on paying my friends to hang out with me, if that's what they'd been doing from day dot. I highly doubt that. So let's assume I'm doing at least something right.
The reason I mention all that is because I was recently asked by someone:
"So why are you telling all these shitty jokes now?"
Well firstly, this is a new-found skill (I use the word "skill" very loosely here). Certainly, it's one that does nothing to diminish my awkwardness and propensity for giving the impression that I'm a little on the strange side, but I'll call it a skill nonetheless. For a long, long time I knew a grand total of one joke. One whole joke. I think I learned it from a Monty Python sketch, and it goes like this:
Q: What's brown and sounds like a bell?
Q: What's brown and sounds like a bell?
I'd bust it out far more often than is socially acceptable. Soon however, everyone knew that DUNG!! was my one joke, the one thing I was able to bring to a conversation about shitty jokes. I hate to be a one-trick pony, but for the life of me I just couldn't work out how to tell a joke. Goddamn, how do you remember them? HOW?
Oh, the woes! The despair that I felt, at my inability to remember any jokes in order to nab me some instant laughter karma in a social setting amongst other people sharing shitty yet hilarious jokes! It was incredibly disheartening. I figured it was my destiny to never be known for a master teller of jokes. Sure, I have plenty of hilarious stories. Sure, whatever. Anecdotes, shmanecdotes. What if I want to tell a joke? A "Did you hear the one about..." or a "X walks into a bar..." or a "Knock Knock!" joke that extends further than an interrupting cow? No dice. No dice at all.
Then suddenly, up to my desk strode my saviour in all things joke-related, my teacher in the ways of having a steady and unforgiving arsenal of yuk-inducing funnies. I suppose Ferg and I were inevitably going to win from our strange union (aside from the fact that we're you know, friends). I would gain much-needed exposure to epic, epic joke-telling. In turn, Ferg would get the satisfaction of sending me into hysterical cackles or painful groans (or both) at his ridiculously shitty/daggy/pun-ny jokes while he'd grin victoriously at my reaction.
Every day Ferg'd tell me another joke, either a one-liner burst of wordplay, or a long-winded epic tale that lasted for suspense-filled minutes only to be finished with the most anti-climactic punchline known to man-kind.
And so, each day I'd arrive home and share my newly acquired nugget of lulz to Mike, the obvious guinea pig for gauging how much work my delivery would need in the Real World. Either the joke would go down a treat, with Mike sending his palm to his face in disgust while laughing in spite of himself, or with the punchline being ruined by my uncontrollable giggling. Whatever way the cookie crumbled, it was funny shit.
As time went on, my confidence grew. I busted out shitty jokes whenever humanly possible, and rarely when socially appropriate. Meeting a pal's new girlfriend? SHITTY JOKE. Hanging out with fairly cool people you've not seen in a long while? INDUCE BEMUSED LOOKS AND AWKWARD GROANS.
Did you hear the one about the cowboy who bought a daschund?
He wanted to get along, little dogie!
And so, a few weeks ago it came to pass that a night was spent at a bar with Mitts and a number of pals. It was a night that contained sufficient alcoholic lubrication of my confidence to enhance any belief in my Completely and Utterly Irresistible Charm and Wit. I honed in on an attractive male and proceeded to attempt to flirt with him. Of course, given the schtick I'd come to enjoy so much of recent times, I'm using the world "flirting" very loosely in that "flirting" equated to "telling awful jokes".
The immediate problem was easy to spot: my slight inebriation combined with the fact that I was a little distracted by this particular male's attractiveness meant that towards the end of the joke's long-winded (yet entertaining) set up, I forgot the damn punchline.
To make matters worse - apart from the fact that I'm The Worst at this sort of thing - I ended up telling him that I forgot the damn punchline as soon as the thought entered my head. Judging by the look on the guy's face though, he apparently thought my exclamation of, "Shit, I hope I remember the punchline in the next minute!" was meant to actually be a part of the joke itself. One could almost hear the gears whirring in his head as he struggled to figure out how that statement fit into a story about Quasimodo interviewing replacement bell-ringers before he went on vacation. Undeterred though, I stormed ahead. I stormed onward, right until I got to the punchline in earnest, and still couldn't remember what the fuck Quasimodo said to the cops.
"Damnit! I can't remember!" I yelled.
The attractive guy stared at me a moment, in confused silence.
"Uhh...wait. Is that it?" he asked, looking bemused.
"No. Shit. Um. I can't remember. Hold on. I'll remember."
I clutched my beer and racked my brain while Mitts stood a couple meters away, stifling hysterical laughter.
"NO. WAIT. I'VE GOT IT. QUASIMODO SAYS TO THE COP, 'I DON'T KNOW WHO HE IS, HIS FACE DOESN'T RING A BELL.' HIS FACE DOESN'T RING A BELL!"
Mitts looked at me as if to say, "This is truly one of the stupidest things you've done in a long while"
The attractive guy smiled politely through his puzzled expression.
"That's pretty funny." He said.
I took a swig of my beer.
"Do you want to hear another one?"
He considered the question for a moment.
In that moment, Mitts erupted into that loud, cackling laugh that makes us such a force to be reckoned with when we're watching a movie that's in any way amusing, his head thrown back as he struggled for breath.
Welp! There was the answer. Why am I telling these shitty jokes now? Because whatever the result of my efforts, it's bound to be hilarious for someone.
I looked at the attractive guy, then at my beer, and then at Mitts. I spluttered into hysterical giggles. My god, is there no way for me at least a little bit suave? Apparently not. Which is cool. It's cool, because given what I've been doing for the past few weeks is basically a move in actively distancing myself from anything resembling coolness. I'm fairly sure my parents aren't paying my friends to hang out with me, which is cool. It's cool, because I'm almost certain I'm prone to enough hilarity to avoid complete and utter failure most of the time. With the power of shitty jokes on my side and with Ferg's arsenal of material at my disposal, I am almost certainly bound for glory.
Why did the scarecrow win an award?
BECAUSE HE WAS OUTSTANDING IN HIS FIELD.