This Is What I Thought About This Morning

January 22nd, 2007

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Charlie-

Nothing gets me out of bed faster than hearing someone else in the apartment start mulling around their room because you know he’s heading straight for the shower and although you could easily snooze for another twenty minutes the fact that it isn’t your own will1 keeping you from starting your daily routine will drive you crazy and that feeling of being screwed will fuck with you all day long. Hence today, when I heard F start shuffling in the room above mine, I quickly and maliciously sprang forth from bed and rushed into the bathroom. The fucking asshole part of it was that I was actually ahead of schedule since I could be at work an hour late today. So what did I do? I took an extra long, luxury shower; and, I relished in it. Later, on my way out I passed the bathroom door and said, “Have a good day, F,? with an inflection meant to imply: yeah, that’s right, we both know that I got the early shower, and I’m happy about it because (among other things) it inconvenienced you! And what did he say to me? What did that mother fucker say to me? He says, “Peace in the Middle East.? What the fuck! So I’m all, “Huh. That would be nice. Man… world peace.? So now I have this whole gravitas to my day. Bastard.

Anyway, so as I think you know, I’ve been taking improv classes at the UCB School (Upright Citizens Brigade), so expect me to become $350 funnier over the next eight weeks. No, it’s actually a lot of fun, difficult, mentally stimulating, a great place to meet girls, and a reason not to come back to Philly on the weekends. (Yeah, I hate all of you, Philly friends… not that anyone else is reading our so truly private letters, dear friend.) At the first class I was a complete let down. I had no energy, no ideas… so for the second class I treated it like a race. I slept well, had a good breakfast, didn’t do any drugs or drink any coffee, got myself prepared mentally; which for me means repeating, “you’re the greatest. You got this, you got this,? over and over again in my head. (Seriously, I have to stop and ask you to join me in appreciating the punctuation in those last two (or is it one) sentence(s).) Anyway, second class went pretty well, I felt funny, felt like I was listening, being a team player. The hard part about improv is balancing absurd humor and realistic humor. In fact, that might be the general challenge of comedy. You don’t want to just keep making up crazy shit on stage because that’s the opposite of clever, but at the same time, if you improv a really mundane scene, people aren’t interested. Also, with improv, you need to use your lines intelligently, you want to throw something out with weight to further the scene, but again, you don’t want to overload it… balance.

But this isn’t what I wanted to talk about as far as the UCB Class. What wanted to write was that since I’ve become more comfortable I’ve started throwing out little quips in class. It’s cool, I mean people laugh which I guess is why we’re there in the first place, but today I was thinking… maybe an improv comedy class doesn’t need a class clown.

Alright, how about this: Human Traffic. In NYC, you start to treat regular walking like driving a car. For example, today I was caught in a pedestrian bottleneck. Apparently my commute today (uptown to a color correct session) followed popular routes through complex subway stations. I was coming out of the J at Canal Street when I was brought to a complete stop in a swarm of people trying to make their way to the NRQW6 trains. This wasn’t a little pause. This was like several minutes of waiting for my turn to go down the stairs. And the crazy thing was that once I got to the bottom things flowed smoothly, just like highway traffic. Eventually, as we all dispersed towards our specific train destinations the traffic became lighter and lighter until I found myself in the back roads of the station almost completely alone. Then at Grand Central I got slightly disoriented trying to find an exit and ended up going against a heavy stream of peacoated middle age women who seemed slightly dissatisfied with their lives, which you obviously recognize as a dangerous situation. I mean, the comparison goes further, there’s even parking, which is basically what you’re doing when you try and find a place to stand while riding the train. The J is usually crowded in the morning and I always end up holding onto to one of those bars that’s right above a seat so I’m basically sticking my crotch right in someone’s face for the whole ride. It sucked today because when I got on I was the first person that couldn’t find a non-crotch-in-face standing spot so I had to be like, who’s it gonna be? Who’s getting my crotch in their face for the next fifteen minutes. So I choose this woman who’s doing the eyes-closed-like-you’re-sleeping riding style cause she’s obviously prepared for this sort of interaction. Finally, she gets off and I slide over and put my crotch in the face of the woman who’s next to her and realize shit, I can’t even stand in front of the open seat to give no one the crotch ‘cause I need to leave that open for women and children, so there I am, putting my crotch in a woman’s face while there’s an empty seat right next to us… which due to my chivalrous nature, I cannot use.

4. I saw some flags being put up outside a building today which had not been folded properly. I never quite liked the idea that you had to fold a flag a certain way; I always thought it was a weird way of respecting the tradition of the flag or something, but after seeing those wrinkled pathetic flags, I decided that the flag-folding ritual is important because a limp, wrinkled flag is sort of a self-defeating thing.

-Shababo (please make a chess move)

1This is will as noun, as in free will.

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