That’s Absurd



Here is a story from my youth. And how it was filled with very mixed messages. And to add trouble to the mix nothing ever got explained or clarified.


I have always been an avid reader. And I do find a lot of strange things to read. Just call it my own, “Sixth Sense”. I really do not search this material out. It just seems to find me. Then I get labeled as, “Being strange” when I share this material. It is my gift. It is my curse.


So back to the story. I went to a Catholic school from Pre-K until eighth grade. I know. It explains a lot. I am not sure how. But it does. Here is an old joke. What is the difference between being raised Jewish and being raised Catholic? Jewish people are born feeling guilty while Catholics have to go to school and learn guilt. So here is my story. I was in about sixth or maybe it was seventh grade. I got into trouble for reading MAD Magazine during school. I was sent with the magazine to the principal’s office. While I was waiting a young priest from the church came by. He looked at the magazine and took it from me. He did not realize that they were still printing it. He said he really enjoyed the magazine when he was my age. He gave it back to me and left. The nun who was the school principal then called me into the office. There I received a lecture on how this magazine was unacceptable to have. Not just in school. It is something that I was never to be in possession of. Period. But then I tried to explain that the priest only two minutes earlier found it enjoyable. The truth was I was not able to say anything in my defense. I just told it was unacceptable. But I was not told, “Why?” All I could think was, “Doesn’t a priest out rule a nun in Catholic hierarchy?”


This just lead me on a quest to find other things that were know as “humor”. So at this time I found things like the Dr Demento Show. And George Carlin’s Class Clown. That is the album with the Infamous Seven Words. This is material that anyone in the Catholic hierarchy would not appreciate. I did not need to ask on this one. This is the point. When you do not explain the “Why’s and the How’s” what so ever then you are making those people search them out. You are on your own to figure out where “the boundaries” are. Especially for yourself. It can lead to confusion. Especially when you are young. In my case it just lead me to look for the strange and the unusual.


My sense of humor is bordering on be totally absurd. Regardless of what you may think. I am not there yet. Or maybe I am unwilling to accept that the fact is I am already there. And I have been there for a long time.


But there are a lot of real absurd things. And they are not always on the Jerry Springer Show. But some really good ones are though.


Here is a real one.


Did you know that in this United States the President appoints someone to position of being the National Poet Laureate? Who is that? He is someone who gets to write poetry for the country. And this position has been around for a long time. You think they would have made you read this in high school. Nobody knows who this is. Even though they just appointed someone new this week. Only in government are they willing to pay for a nobody.  That just sounds absurd to me. But if they are willing to pay for the position then I think someone with a presence should be appointed to the position. So I have a suggestion for the next time someone needs to take on this role. Here it is. Chuck D from the rap band Public Enemy. Along with his sidekick Flavor Flav. It is an appointment like this that would show that would show government is in touch with the people. Government showing any attempt to be in touch does sound absurd. They need public opinion polls to show what they should be in touch with. It seems like the only thing they are in touch with are the lobbyists. Or their interns in the cleaning closet.


So I am just going to be writing segments on the absurd.


Let me explain how I came to this idea.


I found this book in the close out section of the bookstore.


My “Sixth Sense” found the last copy on the shelf. The book was called, Would You Rather…? The Ultimate Challenge. YOU MUST CHOOSE. Over 700 Absolutely Absurd Dilemmas to Ponder by Justin Heimberg and David Gomberg.

They do have a website. CLICK HERE.


So I found it very interesting. And I thought that some of them would be great writing prompts for myself.


NOTE TO THE REAL AUTHORS. I am not sure if this violates any copyrights. But I am advertising your book and website. So please contact me for to arrange payment for my services. This may sound absurd to you. But you started it.


This one caught my eye as I was paging through the book. And after my friends’ very recent marriage. (Please do not be offended) I was inspired. So here it is.


Here is the prompt

For your wedding, would you rather…

have a paintball war at the reception


enter down the aisle to the tune of We’re Not Going to Take It by Twisted Sister?


That sounds absurd. Well, idea of marriage and myself in the same sentence is a prime example of being totally absurd. But this is the prompt that I am going with.


I have to say that Stay Hungry album by Twisted Sister where this song appears is a secret guilty pleasure for myself. It came out in 1985. Anytime I go to a bar that is featuring 80’s retro night for music for some reason Twisted Sister is not featured on the play list. Sounds hypocritical, I know.


I think it would a fun song for wedding. However, if I were to get married then I would have to be a little more accepting of the fact. And this song just is too much of protest. At this point, it is just too late.


Therefore, I am going to have to go with the paintball war. It is more symbolic of the idea of marriage for myself. It is like in the movie The Wild Bunch. The final act when William Holden and his crew go to have the showdown with the Mexican army. They know they are going to die but at least they are going down with a fight. Sounds extreme. But as I said, I like the symbolism. Plus it would a very memorable reception. And no ones “dies” in any real sense. But at least I left my “single hood” in some type of “Blaze of Glory”. Besides the hidden passive aggressiveness (especially when fueled by alcohol) by my family should be good for a laugh and then later for analysis. And if there is video of it then I can guarantee some good play-by-play commentary. It would all be so absurd.

 And with that.

This will be continued.