Sometimes you don’t have to go anywhere or do anything for life to throw oddballs at you.
A few nights ago I was minding my Ps and Qs (but not Rs or Ss), sitting on the sofa vegging out after a hard day’s work when the phone rang. I have Comcast and can see the number on my television, so I could tell the call was from Indiana, but the caller him or herself was not identified. One of my exes is in Indiana (I tried to get them all to stay in Texas, but exes tend to be uncooperative), but we haven’t spoken in 12 or 13 years, so I was fairly certain it wasn’t him.
So I picked up. To the best of my recollection, this is the phone call I had:
Caller: Hi, my name is Tom Annoying (name made up) and I read your article in Writer’s Digest last month.
Caller: It said you do stand-up. Do you still do stand-up?
Me: Yes, when I get a chance.
Caller: Well, I wrote this great joke and I have no place to use it, so I thought I’d give it to you and you could use it in your next comedy set. But don’t tell anyone. It’s just for you.
Me: (rolling eyes) Fantastic. Tell it to me.
Caller: Okay, so, this guy is sitting in a theater trying to watch a movie, but the couple behind him are talking so loudly he can’t hear. Not wanting to get into it with them, he turns around and shoots them a look, but they ignore him. Are you still there?
Me: Yes. (I wanted to add “unfortunately,” but didn’t).
Caller: Finally, the guy gets fed up, so he goes the the men’s room. When he comes back, he sits down next to the couple and farts.
Insert really really really long pause here. I am waiting for a punchline and giving him plenty of time to deliver it. He, apparently, is waiting for uproarious laughter.
Caller: You don’t think that’s funny?
Me: Where’s the joke?
Caller: He farts. To show them how angry he is.
Me: I get that. But it’s basically a fart joke. And I’ve heard, say, 41,383 of them this year.
Caller: But I elevated it.
Me: (trying to be nice, but get out of the conversation as quickly as possible). You know, men and women typically have different senses of humor. Guys will laugh at a fart joke anywhere at any time. For women, three’s about enough. And I’ve been over my limit for a long time.
Caller: Well, clearly you don’t understand the concept.
Me: (shaking head sadly from side to side. Not sure whether I’m shaking it for his cluelessness or the fact that once again I have allowed myself to get ensnared in something I’d rather not.) I’m…
Caller: I guess the next time I write a great joke, I’ll call someone else. Click.
That’s right, the guy hung up on me! I’m the poor recipient of a long-distance fart joke from a stranger from Indianapolis. I have patiently not told him how rude and socially unacceptable I consider his call. And he hangs up on me.
So, to exact my revenge, I’ve shared his marvelous joke here. Use it if you will. Say you got it from me. Let the chips — and the farts — fall where they may.