A little friendly speculation (or, The process of writing comedy, part 2)

I learned at a very young age that most adults were lying to me most of the time. I understand, I've told a few lies to get out of uncomfortable conversations myself. You know, things like

No officer, I haven't left the house all day.

It wasn't until I got older though, and saw a bit more of the world, that I realized just how deep the lies were. I mean, fundamental things that they tell us about who we are, are just made up bullshit. You know, things like

Every person is a unique individual!

I believed that with my whole heart and soul, mostly because I was a smartass and preferred my own company, so I didn't know that many people. Once I got a little more experience with them, I started to notice that wherever you went, people were pretty much the same. Of course, there are a few different types of people, but only a few dozen, at most. In my own small part of the world, there's really less than ten.

The idea really solidified for me one evening in my late teens when I was having a conversation with one of my close friends, and he suggested that our group needed a Daphne.

'Around here?' I said. 'We're probably going to have talk somebody into naming their kid that, then wait until that kid is old enough to hang out.'

'No man,' he said, 'I mean like Daphne, from Scooby Doo.'

'You mean we need a hot redhead who probably can't spell her name? I'm not against the idea, but I don't know if I'd call it a necessity.'

'Look,' he began, 'You know how in Scooby Doo, you've got Fred, who's the guy with the van that always wants to do something?'

'I'll admit, we know a couple of those guys,' I said. 'Continue.'

'Alright, so then you've got Velma, who's a regular girl, and probably hanging out because she wants to get with the guy with the van...'

'No shortage of them in this town...'

'Agreed. So then you've got Shaggy and Scooby, who get invited because they're entertaining, and come along because they might score girls, food, or booze.'

'I'm aware of how we fit into this analogy. So what about Daphne?'

'Well, Daphne narrates, so everybody's on the same page. Like, when the gang finally pulls up in front of the museum they've been looking for, it's a big building with lion statues out front, 100 steps, and a big sign that says 'MUSEUM', but just in case anybody is spacing out, she will still announce 'Looks like we're at the museum!', so people who can't see the obvious clues can still keep up with the action.'

'Interesting,' I assured him. 'So, why do we need this?'

'Well, I've been smoking a lot of pot lately, and zoning out when we're riding around. Sometimes when we stop, I can't remember where we were going. Also, she's always running off with Fred, so I might have a better shot with the Velmas.'

The conversation continued for hours, and covered many more enlightening topics. The characterization of people in our lives as fictional characters stuck with me, though, and made me see the world a whole new way.

For example, I was already a big fan of The Simpsons. Suddenly I understood why... everyone in my life was represented as a Simpson's character. From the Marges that raised me, to the Homers that I hung out with, and the many Barts, Milhouses, and Lisas I befriended over the years. As I met more and more people through my life, it never stopped being true. Everyone was a character from The Simpsons, or from some other sitcom.

Then, as I got more 'educated', I learned about things like character archetypes. I learned about things like personality profiles. I learned that I myself am not unique at all... I've met at least three people who are basically the same person I am. There's a handful of you here on Hive who give me an eerie doppleganger feel..


This post used to have a very different beginning, which got cut, and was used in this post instead. I'm going to leave the next section of the post the way it was, just to show some more of the process. Well, not JUST for that, it's also for shits and giggles, as we say in America.


Well, that got off topic without ever touching on the intended topic. If you've stuck with me thus far, dear friends, you'll be delighted to know that this piece is intended to be all about you!

No, not you specifically, you narcissist, it's about friends, generally. So, I guess that means that it's really about people.

What you missed here is a great example of why writing comedy is so much easier than performing live. I just drew a total blank for at least 20 straight minutes, and nobody even noticed. If you hear 20 seconds of silence on stage, it sounds like a lifetime.

You're all people (no offense to the bots), so maybe it is about you. Maybe I should just get to the story, and we can decide what it's all about later.

The whole idea for this post (or what this post was supposed to be) came from all of you, and the love that all of you have shown me here. It reminded me of hanging out with my friends, back before Covid. We didn't stop hanging out because of Covid, we've just gotten comfortable in our lives and drifted apart over the decades. Although technically I've met my friends in real life, I really only communicate with them now through infrequent messages, just like with many of you. Before you go into a tirade about how electronics are ruining in-person relationships... let me say that without the electronics I wouldn't communicate with them at all. I'm a reclusive person who will almost never call a person on the phone, unless that phone call is happening in lieu of a face-to-face meeting.

We've got all kinds of miscreants... big ol' dummy bully miscreants... smarty pants back talk miscreants... mischievous prankster miscreants... shoot, we even got genius level hacker miscreants.


That last paragraph is an example of one of the funny ideas I just jotted into this draft. I put it here, because most of my friends have been some type or other of miscreant. The rest of that second section was supposed to be a sort of intro to what is now the first section, but I couldn't find a good way to segue between the two parts. What you see here is what I've finally decided to post. Is it great? No, but it's good enough. Besides, this thing has been sitting in DRAFTS for MONTHS, and I'm sick of looking at it.


I hope you all enjoyed reading this post much more than I've enjoyed writing it. Getting through this thing has been like pulling teeth, from a live crocodile. I'm still not really happy with this one, but they can't all be gold, can they? In fact, it might be a good idea for me to lower expectations a little bit. I don't want to peak too early, and have all of you thinking 'Man, Hugh's really lost his touch!' Expect less of me in the future, dear friends, I promise I'll be trying to post some lower quality work. No need to thank me for managing your expectations... it's the least I can do, for all the love and kindness you've shown me!

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The picture? That's the paper plate I use to gather all the weed I grind for the blunts I roll. The hidden message? It says 'WEED POWERED'. That pretty much sums up how this post came into existence!



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7 comments
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You should do a post on how to roll a blunt :)

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That's actually a really good idea. I'll have to set up a tripod to take the pics, but that shouldn't be hard. Now, if I can just remember where I put the tripod...

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I really liked your story but more from social psychology aspect then from comedian one. It nicely explane that peoples are pretty much same where ever you go..

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I had intended to dive a little further into the psychology behind different types of people, and how we see them. In the end, laziness won. I may tackle the subject again in the future, I think it would make a good addition to my 'A different take on...' posts.

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Another amazing post, @oldsoulnewb. As a wannabe filmmaker, we need a Daphne.

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I could be a substitute Daphne for a while...

'Well gang, we haven't found a Daphne yet... I guess we'll have to keep looking!'

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