Funny Things Happen to Other People But Not Me
By Doug Moe
Hilarious things keep not happening to me. A lot of times I'll hear or read about something funny and it's so similar to something that happened to me, only funnier.
I just got a TiVo. This little gadget records your favorite programs like a smart VCR. TiVo will also try to predict which programs you might like based on your past recordings and record them for you. I heard about someone who had a TiVo that quite clearly thought he was gay. This person went through a lot of effort to try to convince this machine that he wasn't gay. He recorded macho programs and tried to ferret out anything that the machine might misconstrue (no more HGTV!)
A similar thing happened to me. I had my TiVo only a short time when TiVo took a couple of weird guesses at what I'd like to watch. It recorded a few Korean-language programs. Then it recorded a discussion show on Black Entertainment Television. I'm not Korean and I'm not black. So see, TiVo had done just what it had to that other guy; it had guessed at what I might like and guessed wrong. But not as hilariously. TiVo thinking I'm either black or Korean is just not as funny as thinking I'm gay. And I knew why TiVo thought that: I had recorded a Korean movie on the Sundance Channel. And I actually did enjoy the discussion show on BET.
I read a piece in The New Yorker about someone at a celebrity auction who paid Kid Rock not to play. This person hated Kid Rock and when the offer to bid for his services came up, this person decided to buy Kid Rock's services so that he wouldn't play. Hilarious.
A similar thing almost happened to me. I was on the subway platform the other day and a woman with a keyboard you could barely hear was singing a strange song. In fact, "singing" is a euphemism. She was actually tunelessly saying, "Dear God…I'd like to die…with a bowl of soup in my hand. Dear God…I'd like to die…by being shot out of a cannon. Dear God….” Every “verse” was another way she’d like to die. It was awful. I couldn't believe that she actually thought anyone was going to put money in her keyboard case. It was bizarre. Then I thought: "Oh man, what if someone put money in the case and told her they were paying her to shut up!" The platform was full of people in an ornery delayed F train kind of mood. The situation was ripe for conflict. But no one did anything. The F train came and everyone got in.
So you see? Almost funny stuff keeps happening to me. And as long as it does, I'll have plenty of stories to share that come close to making people laugh. And as long as people keep hoping I'll have something funny to tell, I'll keep telling the ones I have.
Doug Moe is a writer/comedian living in Brooklyn, NY. He has appeared on Comedy Central’s Contest Searchlight and performs regularly with Dr. Awesome at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater.
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