Friday, October 22, 2004

Laugh Out Loud, Smiley Face, Smiley Face???

Here is how New York’s Fox Five News at Ten covered the tragic story of a young Boston Red Sox fan that was accidentally killed by police during a post-game celebration.

“A surprising Red Sox victory leads to a rowdy celebration, and now an innocent college co-ed is dead!”

Did they just say “innocent college co-ed?” Ah yes, leave it to a Fox News affiliate to get their cues on TV news story writing from the Girls Gone Wild commercials.

Do they at least have footage of her flashing before she died?

“Raw, real, uncut…and now dead. Let’s go to the videotape.”

Shortly after I wrote this joke, I showed it to my friend Adam, and my brother Ashok. This is, more or less, the conversation that followed:

Hari: So, what do you think?

Adam: I think “co-ed” is actually a real term that is used outside the Girls Gone Wild commercials.

Hari: Dammit, I’ve never heard it used that way before. Well, how’s the writing overall?

Adam: It’s ok.

Hari: Just ok?

Adam: I mean, it’s not great.

Ashok: Yeah, I didn’t think it was that great either, but I didn’t want to say anything.

Hari: What the hell? Oh my God, you’re probably right. This is crap. I’m never going to be a funny writer.

Ashok: Yeah, this is why I didn’t say anything. He’s a maniac.

Adam: Calm down, it is just a dumb entry in an online journal.

Hari: Fuck this thing. This is bullshit. Fuck it! Where’s my Gameboy? I’ll show the world that I’m still good at Tetris.

Adam: Tetris??? Holy shit man, you need to get a job.

I know it’s a sad day when I am able to get down on myself about one stupid joke in this journal, but I can’t help it. No matter how bad things get, it’s nice to know that I will, at least, have this lovely online humour journal…to the delight of tens of people. And let me once again repeat that this is an ONLINE HUMOUR JOURNAL, NOT A BLOG. I repeat this for my own benefit, as well, because sometimes I slip up. Here’s a quick story:

I was at a dinner party the other night (read: Four months ago) and was talking to a cute girl (read: Better looking than me) when I started to furiously write down a thought I had in the small notepad I keep in my breast pocket. The girl asked me why I carried a notepad with me and I panicked. I realize that I could have easily told her I was writing down some material for my act, giving me an opening to tell her I was a standup comedian. This usually impresses people enough to keep their attention and gives me a further excuse to slip in some anecdotes about my experiences performing.

(Note: My favorite anecdote is about the time I foolishly chose to perform at an event organized by a Christian group several years back. I decided to open with a joke comparing Jesus to Waldo because "just like Jesus, everyone's trying to find him." No one laughed and the set went down hill from there.)

However, I chose instead not to tell her I did standup because I honestly was not writing down joke ideas down for my act. I was writing down ideas for this stupid online journal. Now, I realize she wouldn’t have given a shit if I lied to her, but for some reason I actually cared.

Maybe it’s the instincts of an “online journalist” concerned with the accuracy of my statements…or perhaps its some innate urge for me to ensure I will die alone…or perhaps I’m simply a big fucking moron.

So, I planned to tell her it was for my “online humour journal,” but that sounded like an odd thing to say outloud in the real world, where people have real lives and are not just “harithecomic” or some odd reference to a song lyric with the number “82” next to it (Because some other Modest Mouse fan had to take the name "karmapayment" before I got a chance to!) A smiley face can’t fix everything in this strange new world I had re-entered.

So there was a pause…and the next thing I knew, I said the word “blog.”


There was silence, then a confused (almost) pained look of shock, disapproval, and ultimately, disappointment on her face. Then, perhaps, even anger. She had wasted her time talking to a loser, and she hated me for it.

The shit hit the fans pretty quickly at this point, and death hopefully seemed imminent…but it did not come.

So, fellow and future online journalists/ nerds, follow my advice: STAY ANONYMOUS. Do not tell people you write things online because if it is not a respected newsmagazine…a well known site like that “Wonkette” bitch has…or even a porn site for that matter…you will lose any and all respect from other human beings.


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