Today I’d like to share a few of my favorite memories with all of you.
In college I met my friend Jeff Boyardee (NOTE: names have been changed to protect the innocent). He and I shared the same love of alienation and awkwardness. Jeff Boyardee’s abilities to conjure discomfort were more powerful than mine, and we would regularly go through elaborate steps just to create alienating moments. One time was particularly enjoyable – Jeff Boyardee was friends with a very sweet, nice girl named Caileen. Caileen was the kind of girl who volunteered to cut his hair while showing him “Pride and Prejudice”. Well, one afternoon, we knew that she was coming over and bringing along some old friends of hers to introduce to Jeff Boyardee and me. She had been telling them how funny and friendly we were, and we were hell bent on alienating all three of them. When the girls arrived at our dorm room, we had all the lights out except for a single candle in the middle of the room. On the stereo, an album of Gregorian chants was playing obnoxiously loudly. We didn’t acknowledge the girls at all, but just sat on the couch looking down. They came in and tenatively sat down, giggling at first, but as the minutes dragged on the awkwardness grew. Jeff Boyardee and I would speak only in short, pretentious sentances like “Consciousness is vanity.” The girls were confused and annoyed, and Jeff Boyardee and I had a long laugh afterwards.
Another time, we were being interviewed on a campus TV show by an ineffectual Greek gentleman named Thanos Zyngas. Thanos was something of a mascot around campus – always friendly, slightly plump, and beloved by all. He wanted Jeff Boyardee and I on the show to talk about how fun it is to be involved in campus life. I still have the tape of the interview, and to this day I laugh at this moment:
Thanos: “So where would you guys say that your humor comes from?”
Me: (mumbling) “I don’t know…”
Jeff Boyardee: “That’s kind of like asking the grass why it grows, you know?”
Thanos: (smiling) “Yes.”
Jeff Boyardee: “Because the lawn mower’s just going to come and cut it down anyway.”
That pretty much sums up my philosophy on life.