Why I like the smell of Aspen trees

Now, this might be hard to believe, but some people out there don’t think I’m funny.

I probably should have warned you before I said that, I hope nobody fainted.

Anyway, an example of this group would be “everyone I went to high school with”. I know it’s “cool” now to say how you were “so unpopular” and you “hated high school” and all that, but you’re a liar. You were popular and you know it. I actually was a huge loser. I had no friends, never went to parties and I didn’t attend the prom.

I know what you’re thinking, “A handsome devil like you?” But it’s true. Keep in mind, I was probably like 6’3″ and 160 pounds back then. I think I could have been more popular if I had just lowered my standards a little bit and hadn’t been so proud and thought of myself as cooler than the people who would actually be friends with me. Maybe I could have even snagged a nice, little nerd girlfriend too, who knows?

So it’s been established that I was a loser. Another part of my problem is that I thought of myself as hysterically funny (and rightly so). However, there was a general lack of consensus between me and my classmates on this issue. I am comforted by the fact that history has proven me to be right and them to be wrong.

I’m speaking not only of the fact that I am widely regarded as hilarious and witty by people of discerning tastes, but also that the person my class collectively voted as being the funniest, i.e. “the class clown” was a dangerous psychopath.

Listen to the list of classic comedy bits this guy pulled: There was everyone’s favorite; “the rumored use of steroids”. And who could forget “the time he raped someone”? Let me stress that these are all rumors. Just like how people used to say him and his weight-lifting partner were “secret homosexuals”, but regardless, people in my high school heard these rumors and decided that this was their kind of funny.

I don’t know if these rumors were true. I didn’t really know the guy because he was too cool and funny to interact with me, but I did witness him doing one of his “comedy routines” in gym class once.

When I was a senior, gym class was basically a free period. You went to the gym and did whatever you wanted. I was probably sitting in the bleachers, reading at the time, but I remember Mr. Comedy had decided to play basketball with the black kids who got bussed in from Hartford. Now, just because you can lift 300 pounds over your head or hold down a struggling woman doesn’t make you good at basketball. I guess this frustrated our protagonist and he took his frustrations out on one of the players by throwing him on the ground and holding him in some sort of wrestling move.

This really got everyone’s attention and made gym class suddenly very exciting. You gotta admit, this guy’s got charisma! As he held his unwitting comedy partner down and screamed things at him that I no longer remember, his “weight-lifting partner” ran over and pulled him off. As he struggled against his friend’s embrace, wanting to continue his unprovoked attack, I could see the anger in his eyes. His face was a deep shade of red and I honestly think if his friend hadn’t been there, he would have killed this kid.

The friend managed to move him away to the other side of the gym and then began the arduous process of calming him down by looking deep in his eyes and shouting things like “Snap out of it man! He’s not worth it! He’s not worth it!” I remember he kept saying that, over and over. No, they never kissed. Not as far as I saw.

Hilarious, right? Actually, it was really scary at the time but now that I look back at it, it was pretty funny. Maybe my jerk classmates were right. My comedy repertoire was rather limited at the time and I certainly didn’t have anything of this epic proportion in my bag of tricks.

God, I never thought about it like that. I really misjudged this guy.

I almost feel bad about starting the rumor that he raped somebody.


  1. I need to scan my old high school pictures. I’m wearing flannel in most of ’em. But, sadly, no photos of me wearing my thrift-store fedora and Japanese racing jacket have survived.

    Did I say “sadly?” Because I meant “dear God I was a jackass.”

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