Saturday, January 10, 2009

Auld Acquaintance

You never know who you’re going to run into, do you? We spent New Year’s Eve with my sister and her family. We took the kids (she also has two boys, hers are 11 and 7) to a restaurant in the Philadelphia suburb where she lives, and we ran into her high school boyfriend, with his wife and what looked like his parents or her parents. This particular boyfriend was disliked, and heartily so, by my family (me included) and by all of her friends. He was a jerk. That’s all, he was just a jerk. Maybe in another post, I’ll list instances of jerkitude (I can think of one in particular, but it’s for another day), but just keep in mind: Sister’s High School BF=Jerk.

Regular readers might remember my post about my husband’s childhood friend Simon’s visit from Korea. My husband saw right through my attempts to avoid him, and he did end up coming for dinner. It wasn’t that bad, actually; he was on his best behavior. Anyway, Simon brought a gift for my husband: a box set of “What’s Happenin’ DVDs. (My husband said later that Simon remembered that they were both huge fans of that show; husband didn’t remember this, but took Simon’s word for it. As my husband is very seldom embarrassed about anything, ever, I have no reason to believe that he was covering up for his own bad taste. He openly declares his love for Air Supply, Journey, and Ace of Base. He received as a gift from an uncle in Korea a Polo Ralph Lauren shirt with a four inch high polo player embroidered on the chest and he wears it all the time because “it’s a perfectly good shirt!” If he’d been a “What’s Happenin’” fan, he’d have owned up to it.) Anyway, Simon wanted to watch one of the discs, so we watched an episode in which Rerun is auditioning for a talent show. (We all discussed the fat jokes that were a constant in every episode of “What’s Happenin’”, observing that Rerun would be considered just a bit overweight today.) Early breakdancing was heavily featured in this episode, and our boys immediately started busting moves, yelling “check THIS out!” My husband and Simon thought I was overreacting when I soon insisted that the boys stop breakdancing, but there’s a reason why breakdancing makes me nervous.

On a very cold Saturday night in January 1984, sister’s BF the Jerk and I were sitting in my family’s living room; he was waiting for her to finish getting ready to go out. As usual, he was making “jokes” about how long girls take to get ready. As usual, I was seriously annoyed; first, because I firmly believe that unfunny people should just accept their unfunniness and stop trying to make jokes. Secondly, because my sister never took longer than 30 minutes to get ready to go anywhere, and it was only because Jerk always showed up early, hoping that my mother would offer him a snack, that he had to wait for her. I kept telling my mother to stop feeding him. Anyway, I was watching “Star Search”, and Jerk sat down to watch it with me, thoughtfully providing a totally not funny running commentary. When a breakdancing duo took the stage, Jerk extended himself. “Look at that stupid shit. Anyone can do that stupid shit. That’s not dancing, that’s just rolling around on the f*&% floor like an asshole. Look, everybody’s clapping like it’s some big deal. ANYONE can do that stupid shit! Watch.” And 30 seconds later:
“Auuugh! Jesus! Auuuugh! I think I broke my arm! Seriously, I broke my arm! My f*&% arm is broken!”
And it was. My sister and Jerk broke up very soon after; he never forgave my family for laughing, and laughing hard, as we drove him to the hospital. But hey, I should have said, you finally got a laugh, right?

Anyway, my sister, knowing that he’d seen her, decided to go over and say hello. It’s been 25 years, after all. Why not be friendly?

Five minutes later, she came back to the table, smiling broadly. “What did he say?” I said.
“Nothing, really,” she said. “It just cracks me up that he’s still such a jerk.”
“Wait a minute”, my husband said. “Was that the guy? The one who broke his arm breakdancing?”

“Yes”, we answered in unison. At that moment, we realized all over again how funny that was. He broke his arm! Breakdancing! Ha ha ha ha ha! Thank God it was really noisy. He’s a jerk, but I wouldn’t want him to hear us laughing our heads off at his expense. We stifled ourselves and finished our dinner.

We stayed at my sister’s house until Friday night. On Friday afternoon, my sister and I decided to go to the Y and walk/run around the indoor track together. I noticed a sign for a yoga class, and asked my sister if she’d overcome her anti-yoga prejudice.

“No”, she said. “That’s not exercising. That’s just rolling around on the f%$# floor like an asshole. Anyone can do that shit.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! My family excels at beating jokes into the proverbial ground. 25 years, and this one still kills. Happy New Year!


enc said...

That joke has at least another 25 years' worth of tread on it.

Brilliant. I nearly broke up laughing!

Matty Boy said...

This IS not beating a joke into the ground. This is a running gag, and as such it is COMEDY GOLD!

I has spoken.

CDP said...

enc--thank you, because even if it didn't, I know we'd be working it until at least 2034!

Matty--there are few things funnier than an inside running joke, are there? If you has spoken, I has heard.

Lisa said...

enc and Matty Boy are right. This isn't beating a joke into the ground. This is Jack Benny always being 39, Jerry always saying "Helloooo, Neewwwman," or Ted Baxter always reading the news wrong.

And your sister is almost as funny as you are!

Miss Kate said...

That is a good joke. Come ON! From the sound of it, he still had it coming!

I am ashamed to say that I watched "Dog the Bounty Hunter" this week and saw him sporting a shirt with a 4" high polo player. I wondered what the deal was. Now I know.

CDP said...

Lisa--my sister is high-larious. And I love the Ted Baxter comparison; that show always cracks me up.

Miss Kate--Ha! My husband LOVES Dog. And the shirt is genuine, but I don't think they're sold in the US--I think that Polo sells them only in Asia. It's hilarious; everyone in his office makes fun of him when he wears it.

SaoirseDaily2 said...

I have found out that most people remain the same from childhood and really don't change much, including myself. It must be nice to go out with an extended family.

Enjoyed reading this post. Have a sweet relaxing Sunday.

susan said...

Poor guy. I know it happens but can't help but feel sorry for someone lost in jerkitude his entire life.

CDP said...


Susan--I felt kind of sorry for him too, but we still crack up over the breakdancing incident.

WendyB said...

There's so much funny here but this just killed me “No”, she said. “That’s not exercising. That’s just rolling around on the f%$# floor like an asshole. Anyone can do that shit.”

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

So your husband is a soft rock radio station? It must be hell for you.

BeckEye said...

That's classic. And more proof that anyone can be funny if they just resort to slapstick.

You should've challenged the Jerk to a worm contest, right then and there.

CDP said...

WendyB--I know, I handed it to her on a silver platter, and she didn't disappoint me.

Dr. Monkey--you. have. no. idea.

BeckEye--exactly! He's not a wit, but he excels at unintentional physical comedy! Ha ha!

dguzman said...

Bloggy gold, baby! My sister Mary and I can still bring up the classics and kill each other with laughing.

That's family, man. And I'm glad that Simon behaved himself!

pistols at dawn said...

If you blaspheme against breakdancing, the Gods ensure that your attempts at the latter half of the compound word will end in the former.

Playwright Chick said...

Very funny!!! TEE HEE HEE HEE! Just loved this post about The Jerk! *snicker*


All material on this blog copyright CDP 2007-2010 unless otherwise noted.