Friday, May 4, 2012

Warning: extreme hilarity

If you love yourself, buy this book.
Seriously. It's a real possibility that you will not be able to handle the comedic writing I'm about to unleash on you. I, for one, cannot read this passage from "A Very Unhealthy Club," an essay from Mike Nelson's Mind over Matters without laughing so hard I tip over and frighten the pets, tears streaming down my face, shameful guffaws escaping my throat, and all despite my best intentions to keep it to a chuckle this time around. Warning: this is probably a bit graphic for some people, people who aren't comfortable discussing things like ballsacks, but if that's you, I'm surprised to see you here in the first place:


Do you think a representative from the Old Guys Who Like to Hang Around the Health Club Locker Room Wearing Absolutely Nothing for Extended Periods of Time could give me a call and explain your position (and not "splayed out on the chair by the shower" please, because I've already seen that plenty)?

I don't mean to knock anybody's hobbies, but by a very, very large degree, those hobbies where you are not required to display your aged scrotum to the world are favored by ours, and many other cultures. There must be something to this, wouldn't you think? I ask you to simply look around the health club locker room--okay that's long enough--and note just how many people aren't sitting naked save for shower shoes, splayed out in chairs reading the Wall Street Journal. Note the care taken by all to keep the amount of time one is displaying one's genitalia to a minimum.

"Oh, lighten up," I hear you saying. "This is man's natural state." I would lighten up, except I can't. I'm very tense because I can see your withered nut sack. And if keeping oneself in man's natural state is inherently desirable, why do you own clothes at all? Or a house? Is your theoretical "natural man" really allowed to have a health club membership? Shouldn't you and Australopithecus be out leaping around the woods throwing sharpened sticks at an ibex? And how do the shower shoes, the plastic beach chair, and the extraordinary amount of displaying going on fit in with your hastily thrown together "man's natural state" argument?

As to your powdering your lower area with talc over the sink, leaving great dunes of you-fouled talc, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be firm on this one: stop it. I won't listen to any of your arguments on this point. Nothing, I don't care what it is, that has glanced off your inner thigh, should be allowed to rest on the floor of a "health club." Frankly, and perhaps a touch graphically, I can't imagine any amount of talc, even that Sam's Club promotional size you carry around, is going to improve the situation much.

Why are these same naked men always the ones who want to talk to us, the be-toweled people?

"Hey there, young fella. Get in some tennis today?" they shout (they always shout) despite the fact that the tiled area they prowl magnifies sound a hundredfold.

"Yep, got some tennis in, and now I'm fully wrapped up in a towel so I don't nauseate the others!" I want to shout back.

"Good, good. Say, my scrotum is very old and leathery!"


It just goes on from there. Devolves from there, you might say, if it were possible to devolve any further than a vivid description of elderly scrotums. Scroti? Spellcheck doesn't like scrotums. Scrotum maybe is one of those words that's the same in both the singular and plural?

Anyway. I am sharing this to spare my online humor writing class more babbling because I think I'm becoming quite the Chatty Cathy over there. Mike Nelson is my "virtual mentor," a humor writer I'm studying to try to pinpoint what it is that makes the funny. And it's going fairly well, save for the breaks I keep having to take to recover between (or in the middle of) essays. I forgot how hysterical he is. How in the hell is he not more famous?? I mean MST3K has a cult following that will apparently never die, but I read a lot of humor and am highly opinionated, and I deem Nelson right up there with the Sedarisi and Bombecks that I consider my "top shelf" choices for humor.

I guess the bottom line is this. Mind over Matters and Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese are like a penny used on Amazon, before shipping. Buy them immediately. I'd urge you to buy new if I thought he was seeing a penny of it these days, but I doubt it.

Call me when you get to the one about tofu. Oh, and the one with the best title ever: "Portal to Hell: The Radioshack Experience." Such great stuff.


Anonymous said...

I had to stop reading that book in public because I couldn't control my laughter. I can't think of any other book that made me laugh so hard.

Leanna said...

Will definitely read this one. You forgot to label ballsack. Should that be two words?

Post a Comment