I remember when I was younger and had a group of friends that I hung out with. We were inseparable. Mostly because nobody else in the class would talk to us.
We were a rag-tag group of misfits. One of them has a brother who plays professional baseball now. Another became prom king. The third was a very successful local musician. The fourth, well fuck, the fourth one in the group is me. Both of my sisters work with me. I didn’t go to prom. I could never get past the Intermediate level of Guitar Hero. Why do their lives rule while mine drools?
(My life in a picture. Who said babies are always cute?)
I’ve never really belonged in a group for too long. It’s part of the reason why I hate groups of friends. The Metallica song “Disappear” always reminded me of my friendships. The basic chorus goes “Just as soon as I belong, then it’s time I disappear.” That’s how you know your life isn’t very poetic. When James Hetfield can put it to music.
The one spot I’ve never successfully worked myself into was the spot in the group as the funny guy. Every group has one. It’s like the second one you need after the leader. I’ve come close to being the funny guy, but I’ve had a few things going against me. For one I’m way too attractive. I mean, my smile is just beautiful. My teeth glisten, the sun comes out and shines a little brighter. I’m sorry. I can’t help that my smile helped catch Osama Bin Laden.
Okay, realistically I’m not so incredibly dashing that I can’t pass as funny. I’m still pretty darn cute according to exactly 7 people I have met during the course of my life. I use a miniature golf pencil to make the check marks because the pencils are so miniscule that they never get in the way. It sucks when you ask someone for a normal pencil and they hand you one of those. It’s like they’re insulting my tiny fingers. Mocking the fact that my hands resemble that of a tweenage girl.
(Not my hand. My mitts aren’t nearly that stubby or angelic)
My big problem with an inability to be the funny guy in the group is that I’m not funny unless I’m around other funny people. It’s true. Put me in a room full of politicians, principals, and war criminals I’m the most boring Ben Stein sounding person you’ve ever met. Switch the politicians to comedians and the principals into clown college students and the war criminals into a farting dog and I’m a hoot. I’m like a chameleon. I adapt to my surroundings. I don’t change colors though. Except that one Halloween I put on blackface and bought the house next door to upset my parents. Then they realized it was only me and we laughed about how there weren’t any minorities living within 5 miles of us.
To my UNKNOWLEDGE TREE!!! in order to be the funny guy of the group you need to have some obvious flaw. That’s why fat guys are usually funny. People can make fun of them and they can make fun of themselves. Guys with a strange limp or a colostomy bag too are usually the funny ones of the group. They have something noticeable about themselves that everyone can join in on the fun with. You know that they use their humor to get over their glaring problem. I don’t have any obvious physical or mental flaw. Sure, my voice sounds very gay in my own head and I’ve had a widow’s peak and a cow lick at the same time. They’re still not strong enough fodder to make me the clown of the group.
(Will Arnett, the only success story with a reciting hairline in history)
I remember back in high school hearing one of my teachers call a student in the class “the class clown.” This bothered me. His hair wasn’t nearly messy enough, skin wasn’t nearly pale enough, and his nose wasn’t round and red. My hair was very messy, I was and still am pretty pale thanks to my Irish heritage, and I remember having lots of facial rashes and pimples at that age. Particularly on my nose. I looked like a clown and here this douche was getting all of the clown praise. He was attractive and funny. He was everything that I wanted to be. Then a year later, at a urinal, where all of my best moments occur, he stepped up next to me. He told me how funny I was. I thought it was a trick. Like two other jock bully friends of his were going to jump me and take disposable camera pictures of my penis. Keep in mind, even in 2005 the use of disposable cameras was accepted.
My assumption of the class clown was wrong. He thoroughly and honestly thought that I had become a funny guy. Sure, that was a year that a lot in my life changed. I was no longer morbidly obese, I had confidence in just about everything I did, the blonde girl in front of me in history class let me smell her hair, and for the first time in my life I was comfortable with the man I was growing up to become and eventually loathe. Unfortunately, loving yourself is a recipe for not being funny. All of the great funny guys secretly or openly have some disdain for their own souls. I had forever lost my chance at being the funny guy. I chose loving myself over being well-liked and popular. Shit. I’m definitely making sure my kids don’t make that same mistake. I’m telling them everyday how much they suck.
For my younger readers, know that things do change when you get older. Being the funny guy no longer really matters. What people want in a friend is someone to listen to them. Someone to let them know they care. A shoulder to lean on when they’re not strong. An arm pit to cry into when they’ve had a bad day. Older people don’t care if you’re funny. All they care about is that every once in a while you pick up the tab. And I’m not talking about the Tab soda either. Bring Tab to a party and you’ll be the biggest joke in the funny guy’s repertoire.
(They used to say this caused cancer. Now it only causes you to be made fun of)
“Everybody funny. You funny too.” – George Thurogood and the Delaware Destroyers (Really? You want to be known for coming from Delaware?)