Saturday, November 7, 2009

On Barroom Humor

A few nights ago I had the privilege of watching the Yankees win there eight-billionth word series from the comfort of our new favorite dive bar. Quite frankly, we are coopting a bar that has stood for 80-some-odd years and served the likes of Prohibition era boozers and Babe Ruth in his Sunday best. It closed, reopened, and even now that they have a liquor license again there are few customers beyond friends of the owner and bartenders. We are the young people talking the cool old hangout and free drinks away from old alcoholics and brawlers who have grown too old and saggy to properly defend against our youth and indiscriminate indiscrimination.

So allow me to give a brief description of the bar's patrons this particular evening.

There was me. Real threatening, I know. There was Anthony and Dean. There was the bartender, let's call him Tony because I can't remember his name and he was definitively an Italian New Yorker.

Then there was the trifecta of failed comedians. Yes, I spent a night hanging out with doppelgangers of Maria Bamford, a skinny Artie Lange and a slightly whiter Carlos Mencia. Maria had the same demeanor and propensity for self-deprecating wit, minus the cute pink hair she sported recently. Artie was just as obnoxious but less funny than those around him, while his raucous, repetitive laugh went on far longer than it takes you to come to the belief it is mocking and devoid of human empathy, even though he's probably just stalling until the conversation can come back to him through awkward silence. Oh, and then there was Italian-Dominican-Puerto Rican George Lopez, who basically was older and sadder and drunker sitting in the corner not being funny.

It was uncanny, no?

That said, the night was actually quite entertaining, if nothing else heightened by the fact that I've always kind of wanted to bang Maria Bamford, despite her lack of either make-up or self-assurance.

These were the jokes we told that I can remember:

Q: "Where's the one place in New York you can never find a cold beer in October?"
A: Shea Stadium.

So this guy walks into a bar and he hears music but he can't seem to find any speakers. He walks up to the bar and orders a drink and when the bartender brings it over her says the guy, "Hey," he points up, "I can hear music but I don't see speakers anywhere."

The bartender says, "Oh, yeah, I've got a foot-tall midget behind the counter." The guy looks at the bartender and doesn't believe him, but the bartender says, "No, look," and as the guy looks over the bar he sees a tiny man playing a children's piano.

"That's amazing!" the guy says. "Where'd you ever find him?" and the bartender says, "Oh, I got a magic lamp." The guy looks at him like he's crazy but the bartender immediately jumps on it. "Hey," he says, "Did I lie about the midget?" So they guy believes him and asks to see the lamp.

The bartender goes off and is gone for a really long time, but when he comes back he has this little lamp in his hands. The guy takes the lamp and says "I wish for a million bucks!"

He turns around and sees the bar now filled with a bunch of ducks. "What gives?" he says to the barman. "This thing can't hear for crap!"

"I know," says the bartender, "You really think I asked for a twelve-inch pianist?"

wah wah waaaahhh….

Much later I was asked why all the girls love Jesus and was informed it's because he's hung like this (and Horatio spread his arms as wide as if he were being crucified.)

Badum chhh.

Since I was tired of Artie thinking he was funny and being fairly certain he was going to bang Maria that night, I offered up an on-the-spot retort I am now keeping forever:

Q: "Why do all the girls hate Jesus?"
A: "Because it takes him three days to come again."


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