Issue #142 – “Question Everything” – December 15th, 2008

-Life progresses through a series of questions.  “Can I have some juice?” becomes “Why is the sky blue?” becomes “Why doesn’t she like me?” becomes “How am I gonna pay the rent?” becomes “Will you marry me?” becomes “Weren’t you on birth control?” becomes “Did you notice all these gray hairs?” becomes “Where are my teeth?”  And then, once again, “Can I have some juice?”  We are taught from an early age to question everything.  But I’ve spent far less time pondering life’s great existential crises than I have obsessing over life’s inconsequential annoyances.

-Why do companies think that giving me a five-dollar rebate will be enough incentive for me to refer a friend?  I don’t like your product that much, and I certainly don’t like my friends that much.

-What is the non-athletic equivalent of a linebacker in short sleeves running out onto the field in freezing cold weather?   Going out drinking with no jacket on a Saturday night in freezing cold weather?

-Why do rogue government agencies in the movies always seem to keep a list of their undercover operatives in an easy-to-copy, portable hard drive that often falls into the wrong hands?  Some things are just better off committed to memory.

-How do I know where to hang a shelf on the wall?  If people are watching, I’ll knock in different places and pretend to listen to the sounds to determine where the beams are.  But really I have no fucking clue what I’m doing.  If people aren’t watching, I just keep making holes until I find a good one.

-Why do television shows utilize dream sequences?  I have never watched a dream sequence and then said, “Wow, that was a really good scene.”  Instead I’m like, “Wait, so none of that actually happened?  Then why the hell did they just make us sit through that utter nonsense?”

-Why do some guys think it’s OK to power walk on the treadmill?  It’s not OK.  And neither is the fact that you were at the gym when I got there and were still there when I left.  Here’s a hint: pick up the fucking pace.

-Why do I get my apartment cleaned the day after people come over – when only I can enjoy it – instead of the day before people come over, so that others may benefit?

-When I call T-Mobile, why does the automated voice ask me to say my phone number, but then chime in with more instructions just as I begin speaking?  This causes me to say, “917 – goddamn it!” and be told that my number cannot be recognized.  No shit.  Now stop interrupting me.

-To me, the interesting thing about questions is that, throughout our lives, we vacillate between asking a lot of them and not inquiring at all.  We’ve all seen annoying little kids continually ask, “Why?” and be encouraged by their parents.  Then in high school it becomes uncool to ask questions in class; and in large college lectures it’s almost impossible.  But when job interviews begin, we’re asked, “Do you have any questions?” and are expected to fire away thoughtfully.  Even though at this point in our lives, all most of us want to do is curl up in a little ball and ask the interviewer, “Can I have some juice?”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-There is no slideshow setting that could possibly allow me to plow through the barrage of pictures you just sent me fast enough.

-The power walking guy was evidently taking a day off, because last time I went to the gym, there was a chick running on the treadmill next to me.  I have never heard such sexual panting.  She was listening to her iPod so she was probably unaware, but she was exhaling and moaning in such a way that I actually paused my own iPod just so I could listen to her.  Then I wondered if the sounds are reversed when she has sex – and she pants and grunts like she’s running on the treadmill.  Definitely not as hot.

-Sometimes I make judgments about people I’ve never even met based on whether or not their car is in their spot in my apartment’s parking lot.  “Well, well, well,” I’ll think, “Mr. Silver BMW is out pretty late on a weeknight.  Must be problems at home.”

-When I’m running to catch the subway in New York, but the doors close just before I can get on, I always get a little embarrassed.  I can’t make eye contact with anyone on the platform immediately afterward.  I also try to act nonchalant but really I’m fuming with unbridled anger that I have to wait three whole minutes for the next train.

-My mom wants me to set her up with a Facebook account.  I always feared this day would come.  Thankfully, I don’t think she really knows what it does, and only wants to join in order to see the videos my filmmaker cousin posts to her profile.  Plus, my mom can’t even add me because my account is at the 5,000-friend maximum.  Still, having your mom on Facebook is like having her come out with you to the bar – she isn’t necessarily going to see anything she doesn’t already know about, but you’d rather her worst suspicions not be confirmed.

-I love that tight, sore feeling I get in my abs when I work them really hard and push myself at the gym instead of just half-assing twenty crunches.  I also wish I didn’t get that feeling so rarely that every time it happens I get confused and think I pulled something.

-And, finally, we’ve reached the end of another year of Ruminations.  What a wild ride 2008 was.  I began the year with an exhausting, nationwide stand-up tour.  At a stop in Philadelphia, I met Amy, a fan with quite a story.  It turns out that at my last show in Philly, Amy had gotten so wasted that she fell on her way home and tore her ACL.  She had to get surgery, was on short-term disability, and endured six months of physical therapy.  But there she was, two years later, back at my show and fully recovered – and wasted again.  Good work, Amy!  As 2008 continued, the hits kept on coming.  In August, I celebrated two milestones: the launch of my new web site and my performance on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS.  And of course, last week Comedy Central Records released my new stand-up album.  It was a very successful year and I can’t thank you all enough for making it possible.  Next week I’m headed to Argentina to blow off some steam before getting back to work on making 2009 even better.  People keep asking me if I’ll ever run out of material about being a twentysomething.  Sadly the answer to that particular question is yes.  But the only reason I’m not worried… is that I turn thirty in six months.  Fuck me.