So I’m sitting and talking with a fellow fly fisherman the other day, when the passing mention of my Tenkara rod managed to cataclysmically-irrigate the soda he was drinking into a 90-degree spray spectrum. Somebody driving by stopped and asked, “Are you re-seeding a lawn?”
My friend looked at me. “It’s your fault,” he said. “You had to mention that thing, didn’t you?” To him, Tenkara is a bittersweet combination of:
1) A punch line to the world’s greatest joke, AND
2) A reason to actually believe I am the world’s funniest man.
Neither of these is true, although I can find and assimilate a number of people who would argue both points with me. But all of this rigmarole DID get me to thinking about a more general problem of which I have encountered for years, and has me question: Why are people always holding ME responsible for their pie-hole spray? It seems I am continually saying something that causes people to do this.
So many times it has been that I have logged onto my computer early in the morning, only to have an email from a friend or acquaintance, claiming that I bear some degree of visceral blame for some inorganic liquid making a forceful exit from their olfactory channels. Most of it blamed on some unplanned broadside that came out of my mouth. Some of it on something I wrote somewhere (Memo to my co-workers: that smart-alecky, dual-edged-and anonymous, management-eviscerating sign in the break-room was written by somebody else). By the power of my skillful amalgamations of imagery and wit (and apparently by proximity “dapping with an implied bamboo willow”) , I can, through some external and unconnected power, turn the unwitting milk consumer into an expectorating, cranial Claymore mine—by rhetorically activating the pneumatic turbine that has been hiding all along in their own face.
I’ll admit. Even the skilled and circumspect are subject to the violent onslaught. I myself discovered that my friend David could remotely bilge-pump half my cappuccino through my sniffer, with merely screaming, “He just squeezed a nickel!” out a San Francisco hotel window (of course, the scattering multitude’s exodus from a magnum opus drug deal in front of the liquor store below did help. I laughed so hard, that I actually experienced another, traumatic venture in hydroponics that will remain free of elaboration).
My friend Larry told me I owed him a new keyboard with some verbalized, unindemnified assault of hydraulic rhinoplasty. I understand he is adjusting to his uni-nostril quite nicely. I wish him the best. I promise. I won’t refer to the better of two horrible options as “the leper with the most fingers” anymore.
At least Tim is able to confine his reactions to the pedestrian and “I’ve already thought of that” smirk. That is at least for now. Just wait. I’ll lie in wait in the tall grass of opportunity with one indecorous analogy, and that’ll be it: snotty catharsis.
The question is, just how dangerous is this phenomenon? Maybe I should I place an indemnity clause on the masthead that says. “Hi. And welcome to Master Of None . Sometimes I write witty and observationally-atrocious things. Sometimes it’s even about Tenkara fishing. If you happen to inadvertently atomize half a Slim Fast meal through the upper half of your head, it’s not my fault. Humor is entirely subjective. Have a nice day.”
It’s the liability that scares me. Sure, it’s all fun and games now, until I have Joseph Merrick serving me papers claiming he’s a circus sideshow because he read the some analogy I crafted using DB Cooper jumping out of a plane, or a rogue NASCAR vehicle plowing into the concession stands to illuminate someone’s aberrant reaction to normal stimuli, and managed to force gallons of unregulated Perrier out his Cochlear channels. Sure, I’d argue that his damage came from a suppressed sneeze, or Thalidomide fallout, but whom are they going to believe? The silver-haired smarty-pants? Or the Elephant Man? You guessed it:
JUDGE: “Pay the Cleft, wiseacre!”
ME: “Yes, your Honor. I’ll just leave the name blank and wedge it above your upper plate, ok?”
JUDGE: “Now leave, and If this court comes to the understanding that you have written anything else under the nom de plumes of Dapper Donny, Cane-Pole Dennis, Atavistic Andy or submit yet another screen play about Helen Keller’s clairvoyant childhood in a production called ‘The Fourth Sense,’ it will be considered contempt. Mainly because that one alone turned my own face into a sputtering, PVC irrigation hemorrhage.”
ME: “That was good, wasn’t it? I. Thought that I’d—–“
JUDGE: “GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY COURTROOM!”
I merely write this as more of a strategic focus; something that perhaps us allegedly funny guys could logroll. Woodshed. Discuss. Because it may seem like mere whimsy . . . now. McDonald’s thought the culpability sphere orbited in equal ellipses, too, until they had to buy some ambidextrous drive-through nitwit a new crotch and have their car detailed at the same time.
So what I’m saying is: Life is too short for me to pay for your new face, when I’ve got enough problems with mine without a hydraulic nasal aneurysm messing it up even further. If you have problems with such outbursts, then read this blog in Braille form. I understand humor doesn’t translate through the fingers as easily.