Something Completely Different
So the other night a friend of mine asked me to write a stand-up comedy routine. She said, “Hey, someone convinced me to do a fifteen minute stand up bit here soon, and I’d really like to see what your take on something like that would be, since you’re such a good writer.” Well, well, well… stroke my fucking ego why don’t ya.
Now I don’t consider myself particularly skilled when it comes to comedy, but I told her I’d give it a shot. Can’t be that hard, after all, just tell some silly life anecdotes, maybe a funny voice here and there, boom. And then I remembered that I… am not a funny man.
I thought “Aw, fuck, what the hell am I supposed to do…” So I’m standing in the shower thinking about this; You know, where all the best thoughts happen, and then it hit me: I know plenty of funny people, I’ll just rip them off!
That’s not fair, I’m not gonna be ripping anyone off here, but I am going to talk about college. Most of us have been there, it’s where you go to learn about yourself at the cost of all your future earnings forever and always, and it’s at college that a lot of us have met some of our most… colorful acquaintances. There’s the usual greatest hits: that one guy who’s surprisingly racist for no apparent reason, that one crazy ex you had that you just couldn’t say no to, and that one person who’s just a little TOO into the whole school spirit thing…
And then there’s those special people you meet. Those people who don’t really seem to fit into the generic personality types that you usually hear about. And that’s what we’re gonna talk about today, because those types of eccentric personality types? I somehow managed to stock my friends group EXCLUSIVELY with them. And when I say eccentric, I don’t mean that they wore a fucking trench coat in summer or some stupid shit like that. No, I mean they were the most insane, mad, lunatic people you could throw into a pile.
So first there’s the most extra of our little band, a man who’s name alone could just be this entire stand-up routine and it would probably be just as funny: Blade Swift. No joke, his name is ACTUALLY Blade Swift. He didn’t change it later, that’s what his parents really decided on. I can only imagine what that naming process had to be: “Honey, what do we name our son?” “Well, you know, I was thinking a lot about it, and I feel like maybe we should name him after either your father, or maybe mine, but I feel like those are too mundane…” “Well, you’ll have to cut it down quick, he’s due in- FUCK I’VE GOT IT.”
Blade’s a great guy, definitely in the top echelons of people you want in your corner. Fiercely loyal, wonderfully charming, dazzlingly brilliant… and a right ass, most of the time. Dude’s got a God complex so thorough he could make The Pope seriously consider his divinity.
Now naturally you expect someone like this to be an asshole. And you would be correct. But see, I mentioned earlier that he is a wonderfully charming person, which kind of clashes with that whole asshole thing, but that’s kind of the beauty of Blade: He’s startlingly debonair while he acts like an asshole. It’s infuriating, like a porcupine covered in marshmallows. Sure, you know it’s barbed, but those marshmallows are fuckin tasty.
Anyway no, Blade’s great, we were actually roommates for awhile, along with a few other people. In fact, one of our favorite stories comes from the old apartment. Now, the Apartment was a pretty crazy place, but before we can really get into it we need to talk about one of our other roommates at the time, AJ. AJ’s a beautiful guy, and can look gorgeous by fucking accident: Can, but most CERTAINLY does not. I’ve never seen someone so worried about how they look in my life, and that includes an ex I had once that could spend three fucking hours deciding on a t-shirt for the day. A fucking t-shirt, not even like a dress and heels or something, just a fucking t-shirt.
But anyway, AJ is really chill, really relaxed, really calm… until someone pokes him with a stick. It’s a pretty common joke among our group that I’m basically fueled by my impotent rage, but fucking AJ. This guy can fuckin RAGE. I once saw him get into an argument with a neo-nazi, and the NEO-NAZI said, “Whoa dude… maybe we should take a step back for a minute…”
Even better, that mother fucker is an amateur voice actor, so occasionally he gets into an argument WITH HIMSELF.
It’s the weirdest fucking shit, back when we were roommates I used to come into the apartment and would hear a heated debate coming from his room with what sounded like 13 people, and ALL OF THEM WERE HIM.
So anyway, AJ, Blade, and I all lived in an apartment together for a year or two, but it was a bit of a… rocky, start. Not between us, interestingly enough: You’d think with three egos that size we would have caused some sort of singularity and swallowed the fucking world, but somehow we managed.
No, the problem in that apartment… was Aric. Aric was a friend of ours who moved into the apartment with us. He was a pretty good guy: generous, quick-witted, sly… and arguably the biggest ego in the apartment, which is saying something.
Now I don’t wanna say too much bad about Aric, he admittedly had some personal issues he was working out at the time. But I will briefly recount one of my favorite Aric stories in which He and I, with a couple of other friends, went into a McDonalds. So we go into this McDonalds and he starts crushing on the gal behind the register HARD. Now… this girl looks kinda young, but we were all in College at the time so everyone looks a little young, but regardless I look over at Aric, and I say, “Dude… she looks a little young, maybe you should cool it a bit…” He seems to agree for a moment… but only a moment. This poor girl walks up to our table with all the food we ordered (and it was a MASSIVE pile of food, we were a little drunk and we were all pretty big guys) and Aric almost IMMEDIATELY puts his foot in his mouth — “Oh my God, Marry Me!”
The other three of us cringe pretty hard at that, because you see Aric had a problem with flirting. He was amazingly smooth with anyone he talked to, but whenever he talked to women he had a tendency to fall apart pretty quickly, and almost ALWAYS reverted to marriage jokes, which NEVER ENDED WELL. Anyway, so he says this marry me line and tries to write it off as a joke, but then he tries to ask her what she goes to college for… At which point we found out that this young woman… was a high schooler.
Yea… Needless to say, he clammed up pretty quick.
Anyway, so we four get an apartment together, and we’re all a-tither. Never before have you seen such a group of grown, gruff looking men act like a squad of school-girls, but there we were: Giggling and picking out the design of our bathroom.
Now the apartment was a pretty big place, and kind of a steal for us four college kids. A long open living room that went into the spacious kitchen on the left side of the apartment, and all the rooms squared away on the right side, with the bathroom at the far end. This place was fucking HUGE, if a little skeevy. No matter what we did we could NOT get that carpet clean, and the lighting was shit. But we go about making the place livable, getting extra lamps, booze, lots of seating, booze, repainting the walls, getting booze… It didn’t take long for the place to get pretty homey.
But, booze and college kids in a large open apartment will always add up to parties, and we fuckin ROCKED that place. And by rocked, I mean ruined. After our first party, that place looked like a battlefield after the fucking civil war: Bodies everywhere, fluids all over the floor, smoke clouding the air, a distant rumble in the air… it was fuckin great.
Problem is, Aric is a bit of a neat freak, so he gets on Blade’s ass about the place not being cleaned up… before anyone has even had a chance to wake up yet. Naturally, no one was particularly impressed with him. BUT, we said alright and cleaned the place up by the end of the day. No harm, no foul.
Or at least, that’s what we thought. Later than night, Aric called an apartment meeting, and made it clear in no uncertain terms that he wanted everyone cleaning all the time: He had a chore list planned out, and he wanted everyone to stick to that list like it was gospel or he was going to start taking away the things he had bought for the apartment. Once again, no one was impressed.
AJ flat out told him to go fuck himself, I laughed uncontrollably, and Blade calmly told him that this wasn’t really the best way to handle the situation. So Blade tells him that if he still feels pretty strongly about this in three days, we can re-convene and figure out a better solution, but this particular meeting wasn’t going to get anywhere, so everyone should just disperse for a bit and chill… not that there was a lot of say in that matter, since AJ and I had already migrated back to our respective rooms.
Now, “lets all chill out and come back to this in three days” seems like a pretty reasonable response to that situation, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, some of it could have been handled with a bit more tact, but ultimately not an awful way for everything to settle for a bit, as long as no one pokes the bear…
So the next day, I come back from class, and the moment I open the door, I hear AJ shout out, “Don’t do anything, I’ll handle it.” Now, I’ve got no idea what the hell he’s talking about, so I just shrug and go to my room, where I find a peculiar note taped to my door. Now, I won’t read this whole thing, but I could easily have just made this entire bit about this letter. It’s a fucking MASTERPIECE, starting with a half-hearted apology before going FULL BOAR into a numbered list of reasons why Aric is amazing and infallible and magnanimous, demanding that we recognize how great he is… it’s fucking glorious. Hell, at one point he specifically measures out exactly how much time the average person has awake down to minutes, and how much of a percentage of our time chores will take. It. Is. AMAZING.
Naturally, I don’t take this well, so I tear it off and go talk to AJ, who is FURIOUSLY typing. Before I can even say anything, he just says, “Don’t say anything man, I’ve got this. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Alright, that’s fair… until I turn the corner and see the chore list up on the wall. I reach up to go rip it the fuck down, but AJ shouts at me to just leave it, so instead I just leave the apartment. I volunteered at a local comic shop at the time, so I took the letter in and shared it around, laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing is. So one of the guys at the shop scribbles up his OWN version of the chore list. It was REALLY short, I can recite the whole thing here:
Matt deals with his shit.
AJ deals with his shit.
Blade deals with his shit.
Aric deals with his shit and shuts the fuck up.
Eventually I wander out of there and head back to the apartment, to find Blade looking at the chore list; I’m not gonna lie, I was CONVINCED he was going to explode. Like, LITERALLY explode, I’ve never seen someone’s face so red before in my life. Before I can even say anything, he reaches up and rips the chore list off of the wall so fast I’m not convinced he didn’t take some of the wall with it. AJ shouts out to leave it alone, that he’s handled it, and then I see what he had been working on: He had taped his own letter up on Aric’s door, basically telling him to go fuck himself. Not how I wanted to handle it, but ok…
Needless to say, Aric eventually comes home and we are UP. HIS. ASS. He tries to keep himself puffed up and self-important, but with three fairly burly dudes baring down on him it didn’t take long before he shrank back.
Naturally, Aric decides to leave the apartment. After some shenanigannery in which he tries to weasel out of his part of the lease without finding a replacement, he finally found us a new body to fill the slot. Unfortunately, when he was supposed to meet everyone I was busy, so I didn’t get to meet him before this new stranger moved in. Fortunately, I got to run into him AS he moved in…
And lemme tell you: This is the silver lining of that little incident. Hell, this is the fucking diamond encrusted gold lining of this story, because this man is a fucking DELIGHT. I first met him when he was moving a refrigerator into the apartment: We already had one, but he wanted extra space for more food. So he introduces himself as Dan, and I help him lug this fucking fridge up into the apartment, as its fucking raining mind, so the thing is slipping and sliding everywhere, but we get it up there and he heads off to work.
Fast forward to later that evening when he gets home, and he walks in with this CASE of food. Naturally, I’m kind of a fatty, so I wander on over to see what all the hub-bubs about (and maybe to sneak a little of that food). He see’s me sniffin about like the scavenger I am, and he says “Oh good, can you give me a hand, I’ve got like… three more boxes like this downstairs.” Uhhh, fuckin what? This box already has ham, mashed potatoes, pumpkin bars… and he has three fucking more of them?
So I help him cart everything up and into the apartment, and he says, “Awesome man, help yourself to some of this food, I can’t possibly eat all of-” Before he could even finish the sentence I ripped into the ham box and fucking GORGED myself on it, you’d think I hadn’t eaten for weeks.
So Dan gets a chuckle out of this, and then tells me that he’s gonna throw on some headphones and do the dishes. Now, he hasn’t been here long enough to even HAVE dishes in the sink, so I’m like, “Oh shit, thanks man. I’ll give you a hand with that.” “Nah man, I’m just gonna do em myself, it’s kind of a zen thing for me, but we should watch a movie or somethin later.”
And like that, we had gotten rid of someone who was demanding we thank him for letting us do all the cleaning, and had him replaced by a fucking saint with a love of stupid movies, anime, and shower beer.