You Know, They Do Comedy While Standing Up

20 03 2008

All right, readers, today I try something out for the first time. I’m trying a “3 Word Wednesday”. Just like the recent Sunday Scribble, 3WW was recommended to me by the lovely This Girl Remembers, who can be linked to right over there. No, to the right. Down. No, too far, back up a bit. Okay… stop! Yeah, there’s her link.

Anyway, 3 Word Wednesday is, as far as I understand, exactly what it sounds like. Three words are given out every Wednesday, and those three words are then incorporated into each participating blogger’s blog. I have a feeling I’m supposed to tell you what those three words are each week, but here’s what I’m thinking. Chances are you’ve linked here from the 3WW site, which means you already know the words. If you happened by this blog some other way, then maybe not knowing the prompt will encourage you to check out 3WW for yourself, which would totally ripple. Also, if I tell you the words, you may be taken out of the post a bit, since you know that there are these specific three words I had to include, and so you might be questioning whether or not they actually fit in, or if I had to twist some stuff to make it fit. So yeah, I think I’m not telling.

Anyway, here’s my post. I hope you enjoy.

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LIGHTS UP.

A man, FRANK, is on stage, clearly searching very hard for something. There is also a table with a WALLET on it, center stage. After a few seconds of searching, Frank’s buddy, JOE, enters.

JOE: Hey, buddy. You ready?

FRANK: Do I look like a man who’s ready, Joe?

JOE: I’d say you don’t. (beat) You lookin’ for something, Frank?

FRANK: Wow. You should really be a detective, Joe, what with your keen observational skills and all.

JOE: Yeah? And you should be a… jackass-head, with all the… stupid. (Joe considers his insult, settles on feeling good about it.) Anyway, the implied question was, “What are you looking for?”

FRANK: My wallet.

With Frank’s back turned, Joe spots the wallet quickly, since it’s clearly in the middle of the room in plain sight.

JOE: Say Frank, this wallet you’re looking for, it wouldn’t happen to be brown, would it?

FRANK: (back still turned) It would.

JOE: With a chain attached to it, perchance?

FRANK: That’s right.

JOE: Any money in it?

Without looking, Frank reaches out, grabs the wallet, and tosses it to Joe.

FRANK: I don’t know, see for yourself.

Frank goes back to searching, leaving Joe confused.

JOE: So, you knew where it was?

FRANK: (still searching) Of course, it was right there in the middle of the room, in plain sight.

JOE: Well, I know that. It’s just, you seem to still be looking for it.

FRANK: Right.

JOE: Hey, quick question: Why?

FRANK: Oh. Because I hate stand-up comedians.

JOE: Oh, okay. Hmmm… you know, usually Frank, I dig being your friend, I really do. But sometimes, it’s like our friendship is a tangled ball of Christmas lights, and I’m just looking for the plug. You know, the one thing that’ll make sense of it all. (Frank looks up, confused, so Joe is blunt) I have no idea what you’re talking about.

FRANK: Stand-up comedians. You know, they do comedy… while standing up.

JOE: (boiling) I know what a stand-up comedian is! I just don’t know what the hell your hatred of these beloved clowns has to do with us being late to the movie because you can’t find your wallet that you already found!

FRANK: Okay, okay. Good grief, calm down. Stand-up comedians, they’re always like, (mimicking a stand-up comedian) “I was talking to my friend the other day, and he said he was looking for his wallet everywhere and finally he finds it in the last place he looks.” And the the comedian pauses for the supposedly humorous punchline, “Well, I sure hope it was in the last place you looked, because once you found it, you stopped looking.” Frickin’ hate those smug bastards.

Joe takes all this in. Quietly seething. Then, through gritted teeth:

JOE: So, you’re telling me that we’re late to a movie that I really wanted to see because you, what? Want to prove a stand-up comedian wrong?

FRANK: (simply) Well, I refuse to live in a world where a joke — that I never even understood, by the way — goes unchallenged and is just assumed to be correct.

JOE: Get your coat on, we’re leaving! I’ve had enough of this, for crying out loud!

 Joes yelling spooks Frank into submission.

FRANK: Okay, geez. Keep your pants on, I’ll get my coat.

As Frank EXITS to retrieve his coat, the tension subsides, the room calms down.

JOE: You know, I always heard that joke with your keys, not your wallet.

Frank ENTERS, coat on.

FRANK: Really? (he considers the difference, starts laughing) That’s actually really funny. (he picks up his wallet, while decidedly not looking at it; now he’s cracking up with laughter) Keys! Because of course you would stop looking after you find them. It’d be the last place you looked because you already found them. And you probably have to be somewhere important, right? I mean, of course you’d stop… that’s hilarious, how do they come up with that stuff?

Joe shakes his head at his good friend, as the two men walk toward the door, and EXIT. As the door closes behind them:

JOE (O.S.): You got your keys?

The door slams shut.

FRANK (O.S.): Crap!

As the men shake the door voilently from outside,

LIGHTS OUT.

— ldi

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The Wizard Has Jokes And Shiny Money

14 03 2008

I like words. Yeah, I’m coming out in favor of words. In general. In specific, I like playing with words. It’s fun. It’s like you’re goofing off, but the smart-people way. Best of both worlds, I’d call it.

Turns out, other people like playing with words, too. People like Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. Did you ever see the movie Swingers? I did. A long time ago. I don’t really remember too much, except that two friends went to Vegas and Vince Vaughn was thin. And, oh yeah, they used the word “money” to mean “cool”. I think that was the first time I really realized that you could do that. I mean, I was already a pro at sarcasm, so I knew you could use words to mean the opposite of what they were, but I never really thought about words actually substituting for different words. “You’re so fuckin’ money, you don’t even know how money you are,” I believe was a line from Swingers. And it meant, simply, “You’re cool. You’re hot! You’re on fire, baby!” And the great thing was, it was never explained. There was never a scene, “Are you calling me currency?” “No, man. I’m calling you badass!” “But you said ‘money’.” “‘Money’ means cool.” “Always?” “No. Just sometimes.” “I see.” It just was. And it told you something about these two guys, that they used “money” to mean not money. “Money,” it turns out, is pretty damn money.

Joss Whedon likes to play with words. If you’ve never seen Firefly or the spinoff movie Serenity, do yourself a favor and go buy them both. I recommend the Collector’s Edition of the latter. Now, watch the entire fifteen odd hours of pure joyous entertainment that you’ve just purchased, and don’t come back until you’re done.

Glad to have you back. Now, one of the — didn’t you just love that? I mean, seriously? Don’t you just kinda hate FOX for cancelling the show prematurely, but then kinda love Joss for bringing it back as a movie? Ahhh… wait, where was I? Oh, right. Okay, so one of the things you may have noticed was the language of the thing. Obviously, there was a good amount of Chinese tossed in the mix, but I’d like to focus on one particular word: shiny. I loved it! I actually use “shiny” in normal conversation. Often. Basically, it means, “I accept that.” It kinda means “cool,” but not nearly as much as “money” does. Like, say you’re haggling down a price. “I’ll give you fifty.” “A hundred.” “Sixty.” “Seventy-five, and that’s as low as I’ll go.” “Shiny.” You just accepted seventy-five. Can you dig it? You can? Shiny.

Diablo Cody is a fan of wordplay. How many of you have seen Juno? Well, even if you haven’t, you probably have heard that the script is filled to the brim with fun words. A character is called “home skillet,” instead of saying, “Shaking that pregnancy test won’t change the result. You can’t become un-pregnant”, the shop clerk says, “That ain’t no Etch-A-Sketch. That’s one doodle that can’t be un-did.” Awesome. Except, what might another word for “awesome” be. Well, this movie answers that for us: “Wizard”. It’s said only two times, I think, in the movie, but it’s probably my favorite little gem. “You see that hot cheerleader over there?” “Yeah.” “I just asked her out, and she totally said yes.” “Wizard.”

And yes, even nerds plays with words (Heh. Nerds Play With Words is totally the name of my band.). I recently commented on my friend’s vlog and I mentioned another commenter whom I’ve never met. He responded, “You’d like her. She’s pretty jokes.” I replied that I have a feeling he made a typo, and did he mean she’s pretty jokey? That she has pretty jokes? He responded right back to inform me that apparently Nerd Fighters (I’m still not sure exactly what Nerd Fighters are. Please forgive my extreme un-hipness.) use the word “jokes” to mean “cool”. I take it that it’s only the plural that is used. Someone can’t be “joke,” for example. But I think it goes beyond just “cool”. I think it’s like, “exactly how I want it right now”. So, “This satin sheet feels perfect against my skin,” becomes, “This satin sheet is totally jokes.”

So, this brings me to my point. I want to make a cool new meaning for something!! So, I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out the common bonds. Firstly, they are all things that people already like. I mean, who doesn’t think wizards are cool? Who couldn’t use more money? Who doesn’t have a favorite joke? Who doesn’t get distracted by shiny things? So, I thought of “cookie,” or “pizza”.

Secondly, it can’t be something that has a specific, single meaning already. So, even though there are many different kinds of cookies and pizza, what they are is always the same. There’s no ambiguity. A cookie is round and has toppings, while a pizza is… round… and has toppings. A wizard though, can do magical things. Oooooh, mysterious. A joke can make you laugh for infinite reasons. Money can get you unlimited things. And lots of different things are shiny. The point is, when you hear one of those words, there’s enough leeway that you can accept them instantly as being stand-ins for other ideas.

So, I’ve been thinking and thinking, and I think I’ve got it. “Ripples”. It means like, “rocks”. As in, “That totally rocks!” “Dude, that totally ripples!” It’s great, you see, because ripples are beautiful, natural, and mysterious. Where do they go when they’re gone? Plus also, there are different kinds of ripples. Water ripples, sonic boom ripples, etc. You can also refer to something as Ripple-y, and it feels good and still hard core because of Ripley from the Alien movies, and also from the Believe it Or Not folks.

So, you tell me: do you like it? Does it ripple? If it does, spread it around. Let’s see if we can get it to catch on.

Shiny.

— ldi