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!