Saturday, September 12, 2009


I was really excited to see a friend of mine today, and almost resorted to my old list-of-things-to-talk-about technique because we had only an hour to spend together, but all conversational topics flew completely out of my head when she admitted that she'd just come from her first improv class.

Clearly, we were now required to devote the entire agenda to making fun of her. And although I know blogging about it publically will only incite sympathizers, in your heart you people know that improv is wrong. In fact, improv is so entirely laughable that my friend (let's call her "Michael" after the Office) was caught in the logical paradox of being forced to make fun of herself. She even confided that the first part of class consisted of throwing "sound balloons."

I seriously know, from experience, that me laughing at someone always, always means that -- just like the minor character on Star Trek -- I'll be killed before the episode is over. I know this and yet I do it anyway; I can't help myself. So even though I'm aware that she will:

a. Go on an as-yet-to-be-invented Improv with the Stars reality show and win a million dollars and have sex with George Clooney.
b. Catch a criminal by pantomiming vital information to the police chief behind the bad guy's back.
c. Subsequently be awarded a medal of honor by Barack Obama, who will then leave Michelle for her.
d. Be single-handedly responsible for the next Improv revival and star in major motion pictures with stars I have a crush on.
e. Which will revive our economy, just like Shirley Temple movies did in the 30s.
f. And will inspire her to create a foundation with the profits, for the betterment of humankind.

Even though I know this like I know how many unused condoms are slowly expiring in my nightstand drawer, I still can't keep from laughing mercilessly at her. In fact, I need to devote even more time to the project. I gotta find out if the students go for drinks afterward and if so, where. I need to know if there's a discount if you take a series of improv courses. Plus is there a holiday improv recital so her friends can come watch her do improv? If so, you know I'm declining any invitations to the Bahamas in order to attend. My calendar is cleared for her.

I kept trying to get her to make the "I have a gun" jokes ala Michael and the Office, but for some reason she just wasn't as into it as I am. No doubt she's purchasing an actual gun at this moment in preparation for our next luncheon together, but let's put that image aside for now.

Probably the most hilarious part of this whole misadventure is that her stated reason for signing up for improv is, "I'm shy."

Okay, let's examine. It would take serious futuristic medication to make me exhibit symptoms of shyness, but I've countless times witnessed shy people and their bizarre behavior sets (like not making out with a cute guy simply because they haven't known him a full 90 minutes) so I can infer what kind of torment goes on in those timid little souls.

Still, I envy them their dignity. And perhaps that's where improv acts as a cure: by robbing them of their last shred. Thereby giving them nothing left to lose. My point is: I'm not shy. I would find improv excruiating. Therefore, how did my friend fail to implode into a gooey pile of whirring, once-human parts? I suspect a whole Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheeps? scenario here. In fact, improv could probably replace the Turing test.

This all means, of course, that my friend doesn't need to bother with a gun purchase. She can kill me with her bare legs, Darryl Hannah style. And I'd have to go along with it because as we all know, "Thou shalt not block."

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