Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Very Special Christmas Blog

Christmas is interesting.  There are a few different ways to look at Christmas and the holiday season.  An optimist looks at Christmas as a time to spend with family and loved ones.  A time to eat great food and listen to great music.  A time to give and receive presents.  Oh the presents... A pessimist looks at Christmas as a time they have to spend with family they wish they didn't see and eat stale fruit cake.  It's a time to make sure you spend the same amount of money your cousin Chet spends on you... Because let's face it, that cheap son of a bitch is trying to do the same for you.  There are people that celebrate the commercialization of the holiday season.  These people celebrate the true meaning of Christmas (i.e. crazy spending, elaborate gifts and validating your place in society's sliding class system).

There are also a small number of people that celebrate Christmas for the birth of Jesus.  Now this is a very small minority within a group called Christians.  Most of these Christians are harmless and use the Jesus as an excuse to exchange gifts and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas (Santa Clause and spending money).  A small minority within that minority celebrate Christmas because they truly believe that is was a fellow named Jesus H. Christ's birthday.  They also believe that Jesus came out of a Virgin's vagina thousands of years before artificial insemination was invented.  This is also the same group that doesn't believe the Easter Bunny existed but that J.H.C. died and came back from the dead (like Superman or Stephen King's Pet Semetery).  Now the group that believes that is an interesting group.

I pretty much look at Christmas as a combination of all of those things (besides the Jesus bullshit).  I enjoy good food and some family.  I enjoy receiving and giving gifts.   I even enjoy the fact that It's a Wonderful Life plays 24/7 on TV like C-Span.  I'm one of the only people that has never seen that movie and I probably never will... but I at least like knowing that it is there and I have the option to watch it.  Tradition is great and these Christmas traditions are powerful and good enough to overshadow the annoying family members (that we all have), commercialization and pressure we are put under in celebrating this holiday.  

My biggest gripe with Christmas is Christmas music.  Stores and radio stations start playing Christmas music before the last trick-r-treater snags your last Snickers bar.  Christmas music is already grating by Thanksgiving and by the time Christmas comes you want to smash a guitar like John Belushi in Animal House.  Christmas music is hokey and annoying.  It's made for the same people that complain about rock music being the devil's music and keep Jay Leno on the air (fuck him by the way)....

If I had to pick one Christmas song that bothered me the most, I would pick the traditional Christmas standard "Do You Hear What I Hear?"  Besides being one of the oldest and crappiest turds of a Christmas song, it is wrong and lyrically irritating.  There is a lyric in the song that goes "A child.  A child.  Shivering in the cold.  Let us bring him silver and gold."  Why silver and gold?  How about a sweater?  Silver is great... but it's not curing hypothermia.  And gold isn't bringing back that little fucker's foot that he lost to frost bite.  I can't see how silver or gold would be at the top of a starving, freezing orphan's priority list.  

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" must have been written by an American.  America epitomizes and represents the "Hey there's a problem?  Let's throw some money at it!" attitude better than any other country in the world.  It's like when you see starving Africans on television.  All they want is food when Sally Struthers waddles out with a giant check (that looks like a check golfers win at tournaments).  The little guy is holding the check saying: "I really don't have anywhere to cash this... Can I have a McRib instead?"  We just sit and wonder why other countries are so ungrateful.  But I digress....

We all know what it's like to have to sit in holiday traffic to visit family we wish didn't exist, only to be disappointed year after year after year that you didn't get stuffing because your annoying Uncle Pat talked your ear off about the PBS documentary he saw on universal health care on your way to the bathroom and by the time you got out your Aunt Grace ripped through eight servings of your Mom's awesome stuffing like she was R. Kelly at a Kid's Choice Awards after party.  Now I don't mean to sound negative towards my family.  I never want to imply I wish they didn't exist.  For the most part I like my family, but I'm also a misanthrope. I don't like many people.  There are roughl6,889,700,000 (a number from Wikipedia) and I like 25 on a good day.  So, I'm bound to hang out with one or two of the 6,889,699,975ish I don't like during the holiday season.  Its going to happen.  But again, I digress...

We all deep down love this stuff.  Despite the hokey music and shitty fruit cake, Christmas is fun.  Traditions don't just stick around for hundreds of years because they're tolerable... They stick around because they are worth while.  So no matter what sex or race you are or what religion you follow... have a great time and enjoy the family you have (even those idiots Uncle Pat and Aunt Grace).  They are the only family you have and its probably the only time all year you will be forced to hang out with them.  

I wish a safe and Merry Christmas to all... Even the Jews.  

P.S. This is pretty much the only Christmas song I like.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shitting the bed while winning a dick eating contest on an atom bomb: By Mike Finazzo

I bombed.  I bombed hard.  It was like Pearl Harbor.  Not the underwhelming box office performance of the Ben Affleck shitfest.... but like the island in Hawaii that Japanese dropped bombs on (an event that inspired that terrible ball-eating Ben Affleck movie).

Now there is certain terminology we use to describe bombings.  First, there is the common "I bombed."  "I bombed" is the equivalent to "I sucked" or "I blew." Bombing is common.  Everyone does it and every comedian has said that phrase.

"Shitting the bed" is a popular phrase.  I have seen a lot of comedians shit the bed.  I've even shit the bed once or twice.  I like to think of shitting the bed as bombing in front of a small audience (something common in Baltimore).  It is not uncommon to have an open mic with eight comedians and six apathetic audience members.  Sometimes you have a bad set or a good set where no one laughs and it's like shitting a bed.  You made a mess but no one is there to see it.  However, you are still stuck with the neuroses and humiliation and lying and settling in your own feces.  Insert funny joke with the word "poop" in it to end this paragraph.

"I ate a dick" or "eating a dick" is also a favorite among comedians.  I learned this phrase from my good friend Tommy Sinbazo.  Tommy bombed once and said "I ate a dick last night." At first I thought this was a performance art piece.  Tommy used to dabble in prop comedy so maybe he literally ate a dick on stage (he owns a double-headed dildo)..... But  how exactly would he eat a dick?  Would he use a fork and knife and cut a grilled penis into bite size pieces or he would he chomp into that son of a bitch like a 7-11 Big Bite.  Obviously, T-Bone did not eat a genitalia.  He had a bad set and described it as a good ole' dick eatin'.  I picked this phrase up and use it whenever I have a poor set.

There really is no way to get around dick eating while shitting in your bed.  It happens.  Every comedian  has bad sets.  Sometimes there is barely an audience.  Sometimes you have an audience that doesn't understand or wants no parts of you.  Sometimes you just flat out suck.  Last night I just flat out sucked.  But as always, I record all my sets.  I'll watch the game film and get back on the horse.  I'll learn from it and get better.  I'll also be ready for it to happen again (but like every other person that does this more than a handful of times... it will).

There is a great book called "I Killed." It's basically 200 essays/short stories of comedian road stories.  The book is a collection of every well known comedians telling the story of their best bombing.  The book is honest, humbling and hilarious.  I like reading it, because it's written proof that people more famous and way better at this than me have had similar and often times worse experiences.

Anyway, I'm going back to the drawing board and working as hard as possible to make my next set as good as it can be. So until my next dick eating, I leave you with a video of Bill Hicks (a comedian better than pretty much everyone who has ever tried this) talking about his worst gig.