I sit and write this as I begin a new phase in my life. A new era. A new dawn. Folks…I am now 30 years old. Yes, my birthday-for those of you who didn’t notice that I mentioned the date in my past two columns-was January 14. The same birthday as Carl Weathers, who played Apollo Creed in Rocky I-IV. Carl and I have a lot in common. Like, um…well, uh…okay, we just have the birthday thing in common…but I also have patriotic drawers. Now that I think about it, I have more in common with Burgess Meredith. Feisty, determined, and sometimes I pronounce “for” like “fer”, as in “What are we waitin’ fer?”
So yeah…the big 3-0. Please don’t get me wrong. I believe that you’re only as old as you feel. If the adage was “you’re only as old as you act”, then I’d be in good shape for quite some time. Anyway, I feel great. And I’m looking forward to the new year of my life.
My birthday itself was actually weird. Fun, but weird in the sense that it was actually my birthday and I wasn’t just saying that to get free shots from the cute waitress. When asked to prove it, all I had to do was show my ID. I didn’t have to rely on lines like “I must have lost it when I saved that baby from the burning car.” or “Well, this is the only time we had to celebrate my birthday, what with everyone’s busy schedules and all.”
I wound up hanging and going out with some lovely Purdue students after my show in Lafayette, IN. I love college towns, because it’s possible to have a good time with just $3.50. Bars know that their clientele is the student body, and students are usually broke. So there’s a happy medium.
“Yeah, I’m getting this round for everybody. I need 2 rum and Cokes, 3 Miller Lites, and a shot of Jack.”
“Okay, that’ll be 75 cents.”
“Cool…here’s two quarters…and five Skeetball tokens from Chuck E Cheese.”
“Deal, but I keep whatever tickets I win.”
“Done and done.”
I remember being in high school and thinking “Wow…thirty. That seems like it’s an eternity away.” In fact, in religious studies class, we were asked to define “eternity”, and I answered simply “fourteen years…when I turn thirty.” I was then told to leave the building because “for the last time, Mr. Anderstat…this is an all-girls academy.”
But what’s most mind-boggling is that another year is gone. Weren’t we digging bunkers and storing bottled water in case of a Y2K catastrophe? What happened to those good times? It’s amazing how time just flies on by.
Overall, 2002 was a great year. Yes, there was turmoil and sadness all over the world-terrorism, economic woes, the New York Mets season. All madness!
We saw many things this past year, like our fair share of movie prequels. It is no longer cool to tell movie goers what happens later. We must now know what happened first. Like Star Wars and Hannibal Lecter prequels. And that idea is catching on. Coming in 2003… My Big Fat Greek Prom Night and Harry Potter: Womb of Secrets.
Because my birthday (January 14) falls so close to New Years Day, I choose to make my resolutions on my birthday (January 14). Don’t ask me why. It’s just something I’ve done since ’98 when it took me two weeks to recover from a hangover. Now it’s just habit.
So it’s time to hit the ground running. Tackle some projects. Make some resolutions. As a stand up comedian, I have different kinds of resolutions. The normal stuff of “eat better” and “remodel the garage” don’t apply to me. Not unless you count peanut butter omelets as good eating. And my “garage” is actually a long, leafy branch that hangs over my parking space at my brother’s house. Remodeling that would require a ladder, long clippers and I presume a permission slip from Tennessee environmentalists. You don’t want to disturb the habitat of the inch-worm, especially since America is their only home. They’re confined to the U.S. because of the climate and the fact that every other country uses the metric system.
But I have instead a list of resolutions that do apply to my life on the road as a comic. So here they are, in no particular order, unless you count the fact that they’re numbered:
- Stop telling Papa John’s I have coupons that I don’t really have.
- Discover cold fusion, or vacuum my Saturn, whichever comes first.
- Learn the robot dance.
- Dust more. It would also suffice to just say “dust”.
- When girls ask what I do, say something besides “stuntman”, “Navy Seal”, or “dolphin trainer”. Note: Telling the truth (“comedian”) only results in the reply “Say something funny,” which gets annoying.
- Stop eating tuna-safe dolphin. Okay, dolphin altogether.
- Find out the identity of that 5th doctor who keeps disagreeing with the other 4, and ask him what the problem is.
- Stop opening email messages with subject lines of “funny”, “cute”, “This is true b/c it was on the news”, or “You owe us money, Keith”.
- Smack people who continue to say “da bomb”.
- Stop giggling whenever I hear the city names “Sugar Bush”, “French Lick”, and “Lake Tittikaka.”
- Learn how to spell Tittikaka.
- Deliver this ring to Mt. Doom.
- Learn the art of the comb-over in case I decide to implement it.
- When asking for a wake-up call at hotels, stop saying , “Can you wake me up before you go-go?”
- Learn Spanish, then visit Miami.
- Mix Coke and Pop Rocks just to see what will really happen.
- Start the wave in a crowded elevator.
- Shorten name to K-Al…then holla at my peeps with the 4-1-1.
- Upon witnessing someone dunk a donut at Krispy Kreme, stop yelling out “Boo-ya!”
- Increase vocabulary. Then be loquacious and garrulous…with my peeps.
- Make enough money to eliminate the need to donate plasma. Or other things for that matter.
- Write thank you notes-birthday: January 14.
- Start new reality show: Joe Saturn. Or Beer Factor.
There you have it, folks. My 2003 resolutions. I think it will be a good year. Many people believe that life begins at 30. You won’t ever hear someone under 30 say that, but some people do say that. And I’m looking forward to it.
Best wishes for a great New Year, everybody!