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Rimshot and The Other Shoe
2004-06-25 - 1:34 p.m.

Rimshot and The Other Shoe

I'm one of those guys that almost always goes for the rimshot.

What I mean is that I always try to find something funny to say. I'm always searching for the comedy hook, which isn't really a bad way to live. I'm seldom depressed, and it's probably a big reason why my blood pressure is so low. So I enjoy looking at the world from a lighter side.

I'm constantly making comments or telling little anecdotes that, if you really listen, you can almost hear the drummer's rimshot to punctuate the joke. You know, the old comic's standard: "I ran into a guy the other day, and he said he hadn't had a bite in three days. So I bit him." ba-dum-bum. And I'm also not afraid to laugh at my own jokes. Hey, sometimes you have to let the slower audience members know when to laugh.

So, I enjoy making a joke, or telling a funny story. And often.

But the downside to this is that the people that know you and hang out with you a lot, are always waiting for the rimshot.

I enjoy being the joker, but I do have a sense of decorum. There are certain places and situations where insightful humour is not appreciated. And while I will, on a rare occasion, plant my foot firmly in my mouth, I generally know when not to make an enormous social gaffe. Mostly.

But the folks that are always waiting for the rimshot, sometimes make you look like an ass when you're really on your best behavior.

If I'm at work and a co-worker tells me that their father / mother / brother / sister / aunt / uncle / cousin / neighbor / mailman / gynecologist was just killed in an accident in the construction on the new I-95 exit, it's not really appropriate to say "man, they are never going to finish that exit at this rate!". It would be funny, but it wouldn't be appropriate.

So I have learned to clamp down on those particular brain cells at those moments, and not say anything. But your buddies, the ones that get to hear your best material, are waiting for that other shoe to drop. They're waiting for the rimshot. So one of them looks at you and says something like "Whassamatter? You don't have anything smart to say about that?".

Now, in my eyes, this person is the eedjit in this situation. I was being quiet and respectful. Yet, somehow, everyone looks at me. And waits.

WhatTheFuh...I was behaving! I was minding my manners! But this one person has somehow made me the villain of the piece. You know, "No soup for you!"

So I shake my head no, and try to punctuate my sedate respect with something like "no, no...that's really tragic". And everyone continues to look at me, waiting for the other shoe.

Some days you just can't win.

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