17 October 2004

oh, my ailing self esteem

What's the fastest way to get to the hospital? Stand in the middle of the road.

Today was something of a rough day for me. That so-called joke was courtesy of me, circa some fifteen years ago.

As I go slowly through the boxes of my childhood stacked in my "computer room" I've come across a number of odd and interesting things. I found high-bounce balls that have cracked. I found incomplete model cars. I found a great many bookmarks, none of which I have ever used more than once. I found plastic knickknacks and puzzles that I'd forgotten and discarded. I found a tape recorder missing several crucial pieces. I also found a couple cassette tapes that were immediately obvious as to their contents.

You see, my parents had given all of us kids tape recorders (and some inherited creativity and imagination) and the desire to use them at an early age. There are probably ten or fifteen cassette tapes floating around bearing our youthful voices in pseudo-comedic sketches and fake commercials.

Well, this particular tape was mostly me solo, and as I listened to it in the car I was not impressed. The twenty odd minutes I heard along the way to the used games and movies place were downright horrible, replete with horrible timing, transparent voice imitations and 130-in-1 Electronics Kit sound effects. Did I mention that most of the "funny" stuff was cribbed from elsewhere, including, if I recall, a number of bad joke books.

Hence the joke at the beginning of this; it's the only thing in the entire forty-odd minutes that made me laugh.

Forty-odd minutes is a long time to be just listening to a cassette tape, and I was in fact also driving at the time. You see, earlier today Jessica and I were out on a mission to get some shelving (and groceries) and maybe even a broom handle (mission accomplished!) whereupon we also went a bit out of the way to drop in on a used cd/dvd/video game place. I had a coupon for getting a free whatever if I bought another whatever of equal or greater value, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Passing up a nice set of EPs by Belle & Sebastian (because I could find nothing else near it in price to get for free) I finally settled on The Simpsons: Road Rage and Gauntlet: Dark Legends (yes, yes, I know, Scott) for the PS2 for well under the price most places would charge, so I bought them.

It wasn't until I got home that I opened the cases and realized the discs were still at the store. Color me embarrassed.

I'd also not brought along the two Blockbuster rainchecks we had for The day after tomorrow and Man on fire (neither of which I'd be likely to watch if not for the fact that they're free).

So I ate some food and headed back over there to pick up my games. I'd grabbed the cassettes as an afterthought, realizing it'd be easier to listen to them than surf the radio through the north side of Columbus.

So I already feel like an idiot for not checking the games. I always check stuff like that. Always, always. I even look in the ones I check out at the library. Evidently I'd neglected to do so this time. Anyway I was feeling like an idiot and listening to the high-pitched voice of young Mike, whom I could just picture huddled over my little boombox with the box of miscellaneous pieces (which would provide the sound of breaking glass or an automobile crash) and Electronics Kit at hand. Too bad I hadn't prepared any funny material, because this stuff was painfully unfunny. There have been atrocious Saturday Night Live sketches that caused people to gouge out their eyes to stuff in their ears that were better than this.

Let's just say that my self esteem was not at an all time high.

The store clerks remembered me and found the discs, sending me on my way with a bonus five dollar coupon for my troubles.

I was so touched by their kindness, or annoyed by my lack of comedy, that I forgot again to stop by Blockbuster. Monday's not even until tomorrow.

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