Sit Down Comedy … August 23rd, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4145)


Sit Down Comedy

Carefully selecting the pen name Barton Marshall, he had just received the opportunity to pursue an article for Flog Blog, International: “No more than 5,000 words—a nickel a word (edited).”

He was to do a feature story on a group of young citizens meeting outside San Francisco, California, who referred to themselves as assholics.

He was certainly intrigued. He made some calls and set up a time to come and be “a fly on the wall” at one of their joinings, and interview some of the participants after snacks.

The traffic on the freeway was so heavy that he arrived fifteen minutes late—thinking he was going to make a horrible first impression—only to discover that he was the second person to arrive, and that the folks trickled in at their own whim.

About forty-five minutes later, when there seemed to be a quorum of twenty-five or thirty people, mostly male, the meeting was brought to as much order as was able to be achieved without a gavel.

A young fellow stood to his feet and said, “My name is Henry and I’m an assholic.”

The whole room burst into laughter, shouting. “Ho, Henry!”

He continued. “I’ve spent the better part of my younger years trying to tolerate the bitter taste in my mouth from being forced to expel thank you’s and vomit excuse me’s.”

(Uproarious laughter.)

He pushed on. “Unlike the alcoholics, we are not anonymous. We are proud. For us it is not one day at a time, but rather, the glory of one insult at a time. I have no need to search for a higher power, for no one is higher than me. And though it’s taken me time, I have finally learned how to trample on the weak, while trumping the losers.

“It began one day on a bus—one of those city buses teeming with the wretched refuse. You know what I mean. The bus was full, and I was tired, when a pregnant lady—very pregnant; obtusely large, gross in magnitude…”

(With each insult the laughter increased.)

“Well, she got on the bus and there was no place to sit. My retarded inclination was to stand up and give her my seat. You know what the problem with that is? Then I don’t have a goddamn seat! I did what everybody else did. I stared into my phone and let the prego stand, just glancing over every once in a while to watch her ankles swell. After that first encounter—that glorious elixir—I began cutting in line at concerts, grocery stores and even bravely did it at the DMV.”

(Everybody was hooting and hollering.)

“Nowadays my morning commute is spent counting how many fingers I give to people in traffic en route to my worthless job, where a bunch of no-good foreign workers struggle to keep up with my exceptional, beautiful American ass.”

(Applause, applause, applause.)

For a moment, Barton thought it was merely an impromptu comedy troupe, meeting with a different weekly theme—this week being rudeness. But when Jack, Brian, Sandy and even Sue followed suit, with wild tales and vicious epithets against humanity, it became obvious that the assholics had actually discovered a perfect name.

They seemed to be intoxicated on cruelty and drunk on self-confidence, which was producing a slur against everything and everyone in sight.

There was mocking of the straight line and cursing those heretics who had escaped the club—going out into society with their anemic apologies, detoxing on civility and swearing that the key to escaping assholic is “one thought at a time.”

The meeting rolled on and rolled on, for nearly an hour, until the members began to be so critical of each other that it nearly broke out in a fight. Sensing danger, Barton left the room and climbed into his car, went home and sat behind his computer and typed his article, which he entitled, “Assholic Abominabus.”

He finished it off, put it through word count and discovered it was 3,823 words. One more read-through, a couple of quick changes and he sent it off to Flog Blog, International.

Five days later a note came back, reading, “Although the writing was passable, we felt that your title lacked impartiality. We asked you to write an article about the club—not a review. Better luck next time.”

Barton Marshall sat back in his chair and thought about what he had learned. He considered reacting to the rejection with the same acidity as the assholics. How comforting it would be, for a moment, to be pissed at the whole world and convinced that all the people at Flog Blog were pedophiles.

Yet all that ferocious fussiness would not grant him an opportunity for publication nor a few dollars for his bank account.

So Mertland Michaels sent out a query to a magazine which was looking for someone to write a feature story on the decline of interest in squirrels.

 

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