Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Barside Comic: The Joy of being Hacky

I stopped by Miller's Pub last night after an old friend had recommended I do. Legend has it that this establishment was the inspiration for an episode of MASH; plus, there is a pretty rich history since the it has been around for as long as it has.

The place has clearly had some renovation done over the years but there is still a rustic charm and the decor did speak a story of history; though I often wonder how much of the decor of places like these tell a fully true story and how much is either given poetic license or is completely fabricated.

I guess all of that is part of the charm of such a place, lots of stories and despite how accurate or true, most are interesting enough to listen to or read.

I sat at the bar, ordered a beer, and decided I would also stay for dinner. It seemed to me that fish & chips was the appropriate thing to order at such a place and so I did. I chatted it up first with my neighbors to the right of me and then noticed that of all baseball games to be playing on a TV in a bar in Chicago, they were showing the Boston Red Sox against the Texas Rangers. I grew up a Yankee fan and moved to Red Sox Country just about two decades ago, it's fun rooting for the arch enemy in the arch enemy's home town. But here I am in World Champion Cubbies and the AL team White Sox and the only game they got going is the damn Red Sox, I can't get away from them! LOL!

I look up at the screen at one point and see this guy with the word "ODOR" on his jersey. I don't watch a lot of baseball anymore, so I was unfamiliar with him. I was stunned to think though that this guy has a name like "ODOR" and gets every lucky break to make it to the big leagues and be on national television and he decides to wear that name proud.

This is where I got chatty with the neighbors to my left, a group of younger folks just nursing their drinks, sharing an app and discussing where they were going next.

I began to make every hacky joke about the name ODOR I could come up with, pausing strategically in between. I don't recall the entire barrage, but here are some of them and the interaction:

Me: I can see the headlines now if they lose the game because of him, "ODOR stinks up the game with an crucial base running error in the bottom of the ninth."

Them: Laughing

Me: Or if he ends up winning the game, "Ah, the Sweet Smell or rather, ODOR, of Success!"

Them, "Oh, you are funny!" as they laugh through that and build my confidence.

Me: If their kid is not behaving, then they are a bad ODOR!

Them: "How do you think of these?" still laughing as if they mean it.

At this point, let's face it, it's already getting old. There were a few more that I can't even recall but they were just okay. This is where anyone should stop - take the acclaim for them thinking you are some kind of quick witted comedic genius despite the hackiness of it all...but me, I needed to stretch this out a bit and make it a little uncomfortable; this for me was the real fun.

Me: "If I were him, I'd name my first kid Pleasant, just to give them a positive head start."

I knew I was on my way to accomplishing my goal by the reaction to this one, there were three of them, two looked at each other and then over to the third, the third got the joke and explained it, then they all started laughing. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect outcome because the one guy that got the joke did the work of lulling the other two into a false sense of security and into believing I was still funnier than I was hacky.

I paused for a little longer, partly because I need to to come up with the right joke to deliver but also because it had to be the right amount of pause to break back into the discomfort zone. I was pretty much out of stuff but the group was two dudes and one girl. I knew if I could come up with something that the dudes would instinctively laugh at but the girl might either laugh to just go along with it or just go quiet...but either way, clearly express that they were uncomfortable - I knew if I could pull this off, my job was done.

Me: Do you think that Mrs. ODOR has a pet name for her chooch?

My strategy here was to delve into a potentially uncomfortable area and also get the two dudes to start impulsively coming up with those pet names which would really make it extra uncomfortable for all of them.

The two dudes sure enough started laughing hard while the girl just sighed and said, "Really?" while make the exact face you would imagine.

I felt my job was done, I finished my beer, paid my tab, them wandered out of Miller's Pub and out into the city.

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