Thursday, April 02, 2015

Thank you, Betty, the slutty cow, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

The oldest person in the world passed at 117. You’re up, Larry King.

Sadly, Gary Ross Dahl, the creator of the Pet Rock, passed away at 78. He started my generation’s lifetime habit of continually asking the rhetorical question: why the hell didn’t I think of that?

The rumor is Monica Lewinski will be a host on “The View.” That might work, with what we know about Monica, with her mouth, she should be able to get a word in sideways.

An Indiana pizza joint will not provide pizza to gay weddings. To which an Indiana gay wedding replied; “Oh, shoot, that will hurt our “Tacky Straight White Trash” wedding theme.”

 Since you asked:

One of my first memories of comedy writing was with my buddy, Andy. We had until recently worked together in a brokerage firm in downtown San Diego. Those were fun times as downtown San Diego was in its nascent days as a fun hang for singles. We were both technically single, although Andy was living with his girlfriend and I was living with my soon-to-be fiance, Virginia. We still managed to get in a fair amount of harmless trouble.

One late afternoon, we were enjoying many margaritas on the deck of my ghetto-of-La Jolla, California townhouse with its amazing view of not-the-ocean. I told Andy I thought I had a knack for comedy writing, as I had just started doing it semi-seriously.

A little background information. 

We had both gone to good colleges and ran track. I did a real man’s event, the Decathlon at UCSB, and he was a skinny little distance dweeb - as I jokingly called Andy -  at a prestigious private Oregon school. 

When we worked together, we used to go on runs and he loved to torture me as we were both competitive, however, at a buffed - if I do say so -  200 lbs, I was about forty pounds heavier. Not a natural distance runner.

One late afternoon, I went in his office just before we were set to go on a run, and he was eating a burrito the size of a Futon.

“I thought we were going for a run?”

“We are.” He said quickly devouring the rest of it, he wiped his mouth and then wiped me out on the run. That is when I learned distance runners are calibrated differently than the rest of us.

One of my favorite Andy stories was a few days before my wedding when he came bounding into the townhouse and shouted:

"Quit whacking-off and zip up your damn monkey."

"Andy," I said, "I would like you to meet my future mother-in-law, Ann."

Andy is a smart, funny guy, and, as I mentioned, highly competitive, so when I told him I felt I had a knack for comedy writing, he agreed, but with the caveat he thought he could kick my ass writing comedy. (He went on with some drivel about a supposedly hilarous column he wrote for his tofu-eating rich hippy college's newspaper) 

Oh. It was on. It was so on . . . 

So I went on my new trusty Dell computer and logged on to that new-fangled thing called the Internet and found a topical premise:

“An Iowa man has applied to marry his cow, Betty.”

We were each going to write five punch lines in thirty minutes and the winner would be judged by my next-door-neighbor, Stan. Stan is also a funny guy and a laid back surfer. The perfect judge.

Here were my five:

“An Iowa man has applied to marry his cow, Betty.”

1, After the wedding, the couple plans a long Honeymooooooooon.

(Remember, I was just starting out, so these weren’t necessarily great)

2, The man’s family considers this marriage udderly ridiculous and are afraid she will try to milk him of everything he has.

3, If you want to get the couple a gift, they are registered at Bed, Bath and Barnyard.

4, His friends are not sure if the mixed marriage will work. He’s protestant and she’s episcopal. 

And my final joke for “An Iowa man has applied to marry his cow, Betty.”

5, “So much for the getting the milk for free.”

One strike out. A couple solid singles, maybe one stand-up double.

Here were Andy’s five jokes for:

“An Iowa man has applied to marry his cow, Betty.”

1, The wedding was leather optional.

2, See above.

3, See #2.

4, There was a lot at steak. (That one wasn’t bad)

5, See #4.

In terms of an ass-kicking, this made the Little Big Horn look like a panty raid. Andy got decent wood on one pitch. And that was just a loud out. We didn't even have to go to Stan to judge, and Andy agreed. 

That was when I really started to feel comedy writing was for me.

Thank you, Betty, the slutty cow.