Home > Musings > Jeremy’s Loose Pesos: A try at improv blogging

Jeremy’s Loose Pesos: A try at improv blogging

Since the last post I wrote was such a downer and I’d like people to stop worrying about me, I decided to write something (hopefully) funny again. To that end, I’ve come up with a rapid response blog game. I’m using an online topic generator to bring up random writing prompts and on each topic I’m writing a short paragraph on the spot without taking time to think about it. I’m writing whatever pops into my head, but the goal is for whatever pops into my head to be funny or interesting. So think of it as written improv and like all improv, it should either be really fun or a total disaster.

Traffic. People have been trying to figure out how to stop speeding but with no success. I think it’s because we’re going about it all wrong. Speed limit signs give us a goal, as in “sweet, I can go at least 10 mph over that before I get a ticket.” Even our speedometer hurts the cause. The needle pointing to increasing numbers gives us a competitive mentality, like we’re playing a game. “Woo hoo! I got 95 in a school zone. That’s a new high score!” The only way to reduce speeding is to remove numbers and instead tell us what the result would be if we hit a tree at that speed. You’re driving 30 mph? Nope. According to my car, I’m driving a speed called “bent fender and minor concussion.” Willing to risk driving 80 mph on the highway? Maybe, but would you if it was called “eat all future meals from a straw?”

“My friend is a real scene stealer.”

Concrete. When you’re a kid, wet concrete is exciting because you can write your name in it. That way whenever people walk past the spot, they see your name. It’s kind of like you’re famous. Then you grow up and you stop caring about something as trivial as your name being written in a sidewalk, unless of course you’re an actor. Maybe actors never grow up because they play make-believe for a living. Actually, I think Ryan Gosling still has an imaginary friend. It explains why he never speaks in his movies. He’s intensely listening because he thinks his imaginary friend is the one talking in the scene.

Monster. When I was a kid, I was convinced there was a monster who lived under my bed. If I let my feet hang over the edge of my bed, it would surely grab me, pull me under the bed and kill me. However, if I kept my feet an inch away from the edge, I was fine. Apparently the monster had really short arms. I’m thinking it was a tiny Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Hospital. Hospital food is so bad because you’re captive. They don’t have to give you food that tastes edible because there’s nowhere else you can go for food. The same is true at Disney World. In fact, in many ways staying at a hospital is better than going to Disney. At Disney, you have to wait in line to use the bathroom. At a hospital, you don’t even have to get out of your bed. At Disney, you buy from expensive souvenir shops so you’ll have something to help you remember the visit. At a hospital, you get free souvenirs like staples, incision scars, and bed sores.

Lunatic. There’s a fine line between insane people who need to be locked up because they’re a danger to themselves or others and circus performers. Now that I think of it, we only ever see the performers who get really good at their craft. What about the guy who is just now learning how to swallow a sword? I’ll bet a lot of accidental deaths in the circus community start with the phrase “and for my next trick…”

Vice. Say what you want about Miami Vice and its pastel suits and shoes with no socks. At least Sonny Crockett was smart enough to use an alias (Sonny Burnett) when working undercover. That’s more than you can say for the guy who’s supposed to be Britain’s greatest “secret” agent. Hey, maybe James Bond wouldn’t get kidnapped by every villain if he didn’t go around introducing himself as James Bond.

Roof. The roof of your mouth is really more like a ceiling, isn’t it?

Egg. Philosophers are concerned with what comes first between the chicken and the egg. Most men, however, really only care what comes first between their sperm and the egg.

Spit. Kissing someone is the ultimate display of affection. Spitting in their face is the ultimate insult. It seems that the acceptableness of sharing your saliva depends on consent.

Shoelace. When the inventor came up with the idea of a shoelace, I don’t think he could have foreseen how versatile they would become. Aside from keeping your shoes tight enough to stay on, they have other important uses. They became such a popular suicide tool for inmates that shoelaces are now confiscated whenever someone goes to jail. They also help runners with fragile egos get a rest while saving face. “Oh man. My shoe came untied. I guess I have to stop running while I tie my shoe, which is a shame because I totally want to still be running because I’m not tired at all.

Uniform. The importance of the invention of the uniform shouldn’t be overlooked. Uniforms are used to quickly convey information about a person’s identity without them having to say anything. In sports they are important because it’s easier to throw the ball to someone who’s wearing the same clothes as you than it is for them to have to explain that they’re on your team. “Hey, it’s me, Dan. Recognize me? We work together. We show up and practice these plays together every day. Also, remember that Christmas party where the guy got too drunk and ended up making out with the inflatable Frosty the Snowman? That was me! Now throw it here! I’m open!” Let’s face it; by then a defender probably located him and covered him.

Uniforms are also important for the military:

“Don’t shoot! I’m on your side. I’m an American!”

“Oh yeah? I don’t recognize that accident.”

“I’m from Montana! I swear!”

“Sorry, but I have no idea what someone from Montana sounds like. You’re about to die unless you correctly recite the Pledge of Allegiance.”

You may not have noticed this, but I also wear a uniform every day. My tattered jeans help keep gold diggers away by signifying that I don’t have money. My designer dress shirts, however, signify that I want to dress well and desperately want to be seen as attractive, so I shop for shirts at the outlet mall. Put the whole look together and it makes a very simple statement: I am single and looking but don’t want to waste your time if you need a guy who can afford to take you nice places.

Okay, that was much more difficult than I expected. I’m not sure how fun it was to read but it was an interesting challenge. Like the last post I must apologize to anyone who took the time to read this, but at least this time you don’t have to wonder whether you should confiscate my shoelaces. 

Song of the Day: “One” (music by U2, lyrics by Metallica) by Chris Cornell

  1. January 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    LOL You did great. I used to love to do the theater equivalent.

    • January 18, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      You did improv? That’s so cool. I’d like to try that. I actually took an Intro to Improv class a few weeks ago but it was basically just a teaser for the regular course. Still fun, though.

      • January 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

        I had lots of years in the theater, and on a rare occasion still do it. One of the first things they train you on is improve because you have to be quick if someone forgets their lines. It’s a lot of fun and it really helped my writing too.

  2. January 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I think this is excellent execution of improvisational inspiration. I definitely chuckled at tiny T-Rex. He would make a much better meme than that stupid velociraptor one. Except then I think of the T-Rex in Toy Story who would never try to bite anyone. Also, nothing in a hospital is free, ultimately, but you’re right: in many ways it’s an improvement over Disney. I’d add that most American hospital rooms are air-conditioned, whereas at Disney, for at least two-thirds of the year, you are habitually consuming $5 bottles of water to avoid heat stroke while you wait two hours in line for The Tower of Terror.

    • January 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      That’s a good point. And I live in the City of the Mouse, so almost everyone I know has annual passes to Disney and goes constantly. I have no idea why they subject themselves to that.

      • January 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm

        Because there’s only so many Magic games you can suffer through?

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