Monday, August 07, 2006

My head is killing me (5 weird things)

You heard me.

Not so loud.

What's up hockey fans?

I'm temping in the legal department of Bear Stearns today, trying to ward off a savage hangover with 12 ounces of rapidly warming ice coffee and a banana. It works better than you'd think, but still- I could deal with answering these 9 phone lines a hell of a lot better if I wasn't also having to force out a fake laugh every time some lawyer sauntered past the reception desk and answered the "how was your weekend" question with the words "short!" or "too short!"

I mean, I know- casual conversation is a pain the ass, but c'mon, people, you're killing me with this shit. One of them just said it again, and then topped it off by making that gay-ass "pow-pow, I've got a gun!" gesture with his fingers. Oh, and by the way, if you went to college in the 90's and were offended by my use of the word "gay" well- take it easy there Oprah, I'm using it exclusively in the sixth grade sense of the term.

Either way, I may not make it through the day, which is why now might be the best time to provide my entry in the "5 weird things" thread that's been bouncing through the hockey blogs of late.

I got tagged by Tapeleg over at Jerseys and Hockey Love, and while this whole thing seems a little chainletter-y to me, I figure , what the hell, I'm happy to be included. I'll drop Ben a line too, as TL tagged him as well- we'll see if he can do one. I can tell you right now, he's pretty busy with the Unleashed , thing (which is new today incidentally, and you should check it out.)

Right now, the thing I've been busiest with is fighting the temptation to let fly with this beastly fart that's been rumbling around under my bowels for the past 20 minutes. It's just been rolling around in there, building, like a thick wad of gassy bread dough. It would be a bad one too, as I drank about 8 cans of Coors last night, and seeing that the coffee and banana is, well, compounding the issue, this could be something truly awful. Suffice it to say, if I let it tear, this office would be treated to a torrid blast sounding not unlike the first spastic, coughing pull of a lawnmower cord, and smelling so goddamn terrible it would make a man long for the comparatively sweet aroma of the wet corpse of a large St. Bernard being cremated on a stack of burning tires.

I better head to the restroom.

OK- I'm back.

Much better.

Anyway, lemme try to think of something weird, other than the fact that I live in America and hockey is my favorite sport, which is pretty bizarre, especially when you look at the ratings for hockey in this country. Anyway, here goes:

Five Weird Things About Me- by Ritch Duncan

1) I was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the late, great, humor magazine Jest. I'd tell you the whole story of its rise and fall, but we need to have room for four more weird things. Here's the short version:
-I started it, got it going, and had great writers, many of whom are currently working in the some of the most coveted comedy writing jobs on the planet. After two and a half years fighting what seemed like hundreds of battles about the kinds of things that are always argued about in collective creative endeavors, I got fed up and either quit or was fired, depending on who you talk to. The magazine sputtered on for a few more issues and finally died. So yeah- now I'm answering phones for lawyers part time. Still, if I had it all to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

2) The opportunity I got after the magazine tanked was my introduction to blogging for a large audience, and in a way, was the inspiration for this blog. It was a fictional blog I wrote under the name "Kirk Thomson" about a 30-something video store clerk that was bitten by a werewolf. The first post is here, and the story was eventually optioned by an independent film company, meaning I was hired to write a screenplay based on the material, which I did. The whole story is here. It inspired the hockey blog because it was started for fun, with no hope of making money. When it did make me some money, it was the greatest thing ever. I started the hockey blog on (hopefully) the same principle. I even wrote about hockey a few times on that blog- For example, I was pretty pissed when they Bettman and Goodenow didn’t settle the lockout when they had the chance.

3) The first job I ever got in comedy was a radio show I started on WMCA 570 AM called "The Frank Dell Comedy Hour," which I still think is a pretty cool Lenny Bruce reference. The kicker? WMCA was (and still is) a Christian radio station, and at the time I had a dayjob selling ads for Talkline Communications Network, a Jewish TV and Radio network. Talkline bought a block of airtime in New York on WMCA on Saturday nights from 8:00 PM to 3:00 AM, and seeing as Orthodox Jews can't drive cars until the end of Shabbos, when the sun sets, they had a problem during the summer, as the sun didn’t set until 7:45. This meant that none of the regular Jewish DJ's could even get into their cars until quarter to 8:00, and couldn't get to the station in time to start the shows. Seeing as I had done college radio, could run a radio board, and was the only non-Jew in the office, I found myself with a half hour block of time on New York radio to do whatever I wanted with. It was pretty sweet. Hence, I started my own sketch comedy radio show, sandwiched between programming intended for hardcore Christians and hardcore Jews. The bad news was, the audience hated it. A lot. The good news was, I was the guy who answered the phones during the day, so when people called to complain, they had no idea they were talking to the host of the show they hated so much. I'd be like, "Really- you thought it was in poor taste? Hold on- lemme get a pen." Obviously, I never told a soul. It was a good time, and led to my other radio gig, hosting a radio game show for a couple of years.

4)When I was a kid, me and my older brother held our youngest brother down and poured pepper directly into his nostrils to see if, “like in the cartoons, it would really make someone sneeze." As it turned out, he did sneeze a little bit, but the primary side effects were thick red streaks that appeared on his face accompanied by what he claimed was a severely painful burning sensation that didn't go away for days. He's turning 30 next year, and is still pissed about it. Can’t say I blame him.

5) I won my high school's "Young Businessperson" award my senior year by making the most "fake money" of anyone in one of those stock market games high schools do every year. My winning technique was to do no homework except saving the newspapers from the first and last days of the assignment, finding the cheapest stock that went up the most, and doing all the charts and journals retroactively in different colored pens. We all started with 1000 fake dollars, but I ended up with over 90 grand. I justified my cheating by figuring that real stockbrokers would have done the same goddamn thing if they could have gotten away with it, so I felt pretty savvy. The prize was a hardcover book about sound investment strategy, which I may have opened once.

OK- that's five.

I was going to tap the always entertaining Sidearm Delivery for his five things but somebody got there first.


OK- how about Mike and Jason from Orland Kurtenblog?

I tap those guys.

Anyway- God bless you if you made it through this. This was WAY too long.

On the plus side, my head is feeling much better.

So- did anything happen in hockey today?

No, no- stay where you are.

I’ll go check.

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