Issue #179 – “The Rest Is History” – November 15th, 2010

-Despite all my snide remarks and bluster, when one of my buddies gets married, I’m secretly envious. For one thing, the wedding is an entire weekend that revolves around him and his fiancee: I’m jealous of the spotlight. The experience itself is a rite of passage, a tradition passed down for generations of men: I’m jealous of this connection. It also signifies that my friend has found a soulmate and partner-in-crime: I’m jealous of their bond. As I stand on the periphery of the party, single-minded and double-fisting, I picture my own wedding. The image is hazy – besides my groomsmen being introduced like the 1996 Chicago Bulls – but one thing is clear: I have a lot to live up to. If I ever get married, it will be after a career of trashing weddings. But I’ve also been taking notes. If only to make sure that when I walk down the aisle, the only thing that’s trashed is me.

-I will not have a band at my wedding nor do I even understand the concept. You know what’s better than a ten-piece orchestra playing Jay-Z? A DJ with a MacBook Pro playing Jay-Z. Cover bands should remain where they belong: drowning out the conversations of frustrated drunk people at dive bars.

-My buddy Rob, who is recently engaged, asked me in all seriousness what I thought about having his bachelor party a few weeks after his wedding, just in case he couldn’t get it organized in time. “Dude,” I responded, “that’s like gathering around a loved one’s deathbed after the funeral.”

-I’ve been told that most weddings are followed by a brunch in the morning. I, however, have never been to one of these mythical brunches. If you’re in good enough shape to attend brunch the day after my wedding, then I will not have accomplished my goal. Bagels and Bloodys will be served around sunrise for those left standing.

-I maintain an Excel file of every wedding I’ve ever been invited to, whether or not I attended, what I gave as a gift, and when I received a thank you note. After studying said spreadsheet, I’d like to promulgate an addendum to the rule that you have one year to give the bride and groom a gift. Effective immediately, it is now also a rule that if the couple does not send a thank you note within a year, you get the gift back.

-The couple often seems bewildered after a wedding when no one has taken home the gift bags they prepared for the guests. Um, that’s because they were put on an unmarked table on the far side of the hall some time between dessert and my ninth cocktail. Besides, what could possibly make you think I need a wine stopper filled with sand?

-Fortunately, three of the weddings I expect to attend in 2011 – for a high school buddy, a fraternity brother, and a Wall Street colleague – figure to be some of the drunker nights of the upcoming year. I, of course, will be stationed at the ever-shrinking singles table, taking notes and taking shots. No misstep will go unnoticed as I silently conceive every aspect of my own nuptials. The only thing missing is a bride. But I’m confident I’ll be able to get her on board with all of my ideas. I mean, obviously we’re not going to have a band. Otherwise how will we afford the smoke machine?

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

-The only times I ever use the very respectful terms “sir” or “ma’am” are when I’m trying to be as derogatory as possible.

-One of my agents turned thirty-two last weekend. He received wrapped gifts at his birthday party. Wrapped gifts! Since when are we exchanging birthday gifts with people older than toddlers or younger than grandparents? I turn thirty-two next year. If you give me a wrapped gift I will probably ruin it because of all the shots my normal friends buy me.

-My alma mater has a branding problem. People are always confusing Penn (Ivy League) with Penn State (Joe Paterno). But the University of California is even more confusing. When people tell me they went to “Cal,” I immediately think of Jason Kidd. When people tell me they went to “Berkeley,” I think of dirty, Birkenstock-clad hippies. It blows my mind every time I realize it’s the same place.

-How do postal workers feel about delivering junk mail? At least sanitation workers are performing a valuable public health service by carting away garbage. But postal workers are literally just transporting dead trees that no one wants from place to place. While wearing beekeeper hats and what look like denim-colored slacks cut into shorts. I’d say these poor souls deserve their own commemorative stamp, but that’d be just rubbing it in.

-I left my BlackBerry in a cab on Halloween. Luckily, my buddy had ordered the cab using a fancy iPhone app, so I had all the relevant data, right down to the taxi’s medallion number. I spent most of the night calling the cab company while futilely trying to figure out how to perform complicated tasks on the iPhone such as “redial.” Two hours in, I realized I had become so fixated on the goddamn app that I never even tried to call my own phone. I finally did, the cabbie picked up, and I had my BlackBerry back after twenty minutes (and a $50 tip). The moral of the story? iPhones are stupid.

-And, finally, I’m not sure who was getting married when I first recognized the prevalence of a certain pattern in bridesmaids’ speeches. But I quickly noticed that at every wedding, a woman, usually the maid of honor, would stand before the guests, clutching a creased piece of paper or never-ending stack of index cards, and recount the story of how the bride and groom met. In rare, cringeworthy instances, she would attempt to rhyme. And after conveniently glossing over a few sordid details, she would inevitably conclude her tale with the phrase “and the rest is history.” Cue polite applause and beelines to the bar. I began discussing this phenomenon on stage, and it eventually became the framework for my entire stand-up act. Along the way, though, I discovered that the phrase can be applied not just as a humorous poke at wedding tradition, but also as accepted shorthand for our ADD-addled, Wikipedia-fied world. “I had a few beers, decided to create an online facebook, and the rest is history.” “My contract was up, the weather in Miami is nice, and the rest is history.” That’s really all the explanation our generation desires or demands. “The rest is history” is the new “yadda yadda yadda.” With that in mind, I hope you will tune in to my Comedy Central special “Aaron Karo: The Rest Is History” this Friday. I’ve tried to capture the unique dating and mating rituals that me and my friends and you and your friends experience. And I only dropped forty-five bleeped out F-bombs in the process. How do I know? I created a spreadsheet for that, too. F#%& me.