What a Nice Guy by Phil Torcivia

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Not Qualified

The stuff that gets me giggling the most involves humans attempting something they’re not qualified to do. Failure is funny—even my own. You must learn to laugh at yourself, people. To do so requires you to spend significant time witnessing train wrecks.
  1. Baseball – Whoever invented recreational softball had a marvelous sense of humor. A few years ago, I had a baseball game on a field next to a softball field. The softball field was decorated in Amish: boys in suspenders, girls in pastel dresses and doilies. Between innings of our game, I watched the Amish train speeding toward a wall. One of the girls hit a pop up (a minor miracle in itself), three boys ran under it, two collided and fell, and the ball hit the third square in the forehead. He took a few stagger steps and dropped to his butt. I was gleeful as a kid on Christmas morning.
  2. Singing – Most people who watch (and not obsess about) American Idol admit they enjoy the first few weeks most. Why is that? Well, that’s when the people who think they can sing show millions of viewers they can’t.
  3. White Acting Black – When I see a white kid wearing a crooked, flat-billed cap, an oversized T-shirt, and jeans so low he can only bend his legs from the knees down, I get a kick out of it. If he also speaks in Ebonics, drives a low-riding pickup, or has a tatted-up, fat, white chick pushing a stroller next to him, I get downright giddy.
  4. Fat Bikers – I appreciate the effort, but insist that the first fifty pounds should be lost on a stationary bike, not in public while wearing loudly printed tights.
  5. Dancing – Wise people (like me) who are aware of their inabilities rarely attempt certain activities unless there is an over-ingestion of alcohol. If we must do so, we take much care as to not draw attention to our maladies lest someone calls paramedics to attend to the seizures on the dance floor.
  6. Baseball – I know I covered this already, but believe me, there’s enough material here for five bullets. A friend of a friend joined our baseball team last year. He hadn’t played since his school years. He (wisely) went to Play It Again Sports to equip himself. He (unwisely) bought a helmet with a channel cut in back. When he proudly donned it during his first at bat, the rest of us noticed and verbally beat him mercilessly. His helmet with a ponytail holder didn’t protect him.
  7. Storytelling – We all have those friends who launch into a story that veers off into some parallel dimension and ends with a missing punch line. I frequently sit through half a rum and diet waiting for the payoff while wishing for cliff notes. Still, brain farts are funny.
  8. Ingesting – When I watch the young-ins drop shots into beers and chug them, I wonder what possible enjoyment there is in it: violent belches and brain freeze? I also love people who proclaim their food can’t be hot enough. They order “nuclear” wings, and cringe and sweat through dinner leading up to tomorrow’s sphincter burning potty sessions.
  9. Grace – Anyone doing anything clumsy is funny, as long as there are no bone fragments involved. People who walk into sliding glass doors, trip over a sidewalk cracks, and slip on wet floors should each take a bow, that way I wouldn’t need to hold back my laughter while acting as if I didn’t see it happen.
  10. Baseball – OK, one more. People who bring baseball gloves to an MLB game amuse me. I sat in the leftfield bleachers Friday, next to a pudgy dude with a soft pretzel and a glove. It didn’t matter that we were over 500 feet away. Every fly ball caused him to stand, pound his fist into his glove, and yell, “Here it comes!” What … a ball-less boob.

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