#14 Noose Dressed Like A Necklace by Kevin Devine
I’ve been neglecting finishing this list and just writing in this form in general. I should have saw this coming when at the beginning of August with 21 songs left I proclaimed to myself, “The last post and reveal of the number one song will take place on my birthday.” Well my birthday took place roughly 12 days ago, and about 39 days after August first, and since the beginning of August I’ve only posted seven more songs. I attribute the lack of production to both laziness and jinxing myself, although I think it’s less jinxing myself and more God, who I don’t believe in, hearing me say I’ll do something and then ordering all his minions, you know Jesus, C. S. Lewis’s ghost, and internet pornography, to make sure I don’t do that thing which I said would be done, just like what recently happened with me saying I would definitely continue pursuing stand-up comedy, only to four days after doing stand up again announce to myself that I would never do stand up again. Although I’ve convinced myself that has less to do with God and his minions than it does with me once again realizing that I have no desire, other than two false desires, to do stand up comedy.
The two false desires, and really three but I’m too lazy to correct it so lets pretend two is really three for the moment, are firstly, and this is 20% of the reason I did it, that I had nothing better to do (Nothing better to do? Don’t have a license, don’t have a job? Those sound like things better to do) and I completely agree now, which is why that was a false desire. Doing things out of boredom or having nothing else to do can be good, when you really have nothing more important you can be doing. But I have things I should be trying to accomplish that are more important to me living in this world than doing stand up.
Secondly, and this is 30%, I thought it would help me out in possibly one day writing for a television show, since I didn’t attend an Ivy League university and am not Jewish – although with my nose I might be able to pull it off – and therefore have no networking worth a damn in the comedy television writing industry. But another way to end up writing for a TV show, or more notably getting a network to build a show around you, is being a successful stand up comedian. I don’t want to act on a television show, although playing a very small role wouldn’t be that bad, but anything with too many lines or filmed in front of a live studio audience would beat the shit out of me and the small acting ability I would ever be able to harness. But, if I was doing comedy, especially in the L.A. area I would at least have the ability to meet other comics, some of which could be working on a show and help get me a job despite my lack of a college degree, or really any working experience at all.
And lastly, and this makes up 99.9% percent of the reason and really the last two things I mentioned make up a combined .1%, I wanted to become something and impress the millions and millions of girls who, rightfully so, didn’t think I was good enough to walk their dogs. Walking the dog is how I refer to anal sex – which could be very disturbing if the way I have anal sex really does have anything to do with how I walk dogs. Anal sex and dog bestiality jokes aside, I really do have this feeling inside me that I’m not good enough, especially for those girls in my past who basically told me I’m not good enough – I mean they sugar coated it with things like, “I’ve been hurt in the past,” or, “I just don’t want to be with anyone yet…oh, except two weeks from now I will start dating a guy who doesn’t look as good as you, and you don’t even look good to began with, so what must that say about your personality,” or, “I would never date a pathetic loser like you,” oh no, trust me, that last one was her sugar coating it, she said like me, not me though. So I do have this feeling inside me that I have to somehow impress people, and one of the ways I thought I could do that was with stand up. Of course I was wrong.
It’s not just that I suck at stand up, and trust me I do suck. I’m horrible at remembering my lines, and the way I write jokes is based on the writing, so when I even mess up one word or can’t remember that one word it feels wrong and I’m thrown off. The first time I did stand up I wasn’t proud of the jokes I used at all. The most recent time I wrote five minutes of material on sperm donating that I really liked and I felt was who I am as a comedian, but when I got up on stage to do it I totally blanked on what I had wrote. Part of that is my inability to remember anything I actually need to remember, but also I’m terrified of crowds, and although I do believe I could possibly one day get comfortable with crowds, the most pressing reason I don’t want to do stand up is that I don’t want to do stand up. With the exception of a few brief moments in high school I’ve never had any desire to do stand up.
I really like writing. For whatever reason I never loved performing. Stand up has writing involved, but it’s mostly about performing. For everything you write you have to perform it over and over and over again until it’s almost perfected, and then guess what, you have to perform it over and over and over again when you’re doing it in front of bigger crowds or for a comedy special. I don’t think I’d ever get to the point of being paid for stand up anyway, but even the idea of doing open mics and doing the same material a lot annoys me. I hate editing, and that’s basically what you’re doing. Finding out what works best and what doesn’t and cutting and keeping and adding and just thinking about it annoys me. Even after writing this I’ll read over it once looking for mispelled words, miss a few, and making sure the sentences make sense – true story, on numerous occasions I’ve come across sentences that just don’t sound right, think for ten seconds, and then say, “fuck it,” and moved on.
The stress of doing stand up doesn’t help either. The whole week leading up to being in front of people is just stress filled, and in my already mostly depressed life I don’t really want too much stress. Some is good. The stress from needing to learn to drive and get a job is fine, and it’s about all I can handle at the moment.
Anyway, I want to work on something else right now, which is another reason I don’t want to do stand up. I’d rather be working on other stuff that is more fun for me and more meaningful. Now, to some people this may just sound like a big excuse so I don’t have to go through all the stressful and depressing parts of doing stand up and just quit. And it is. I assure you it is. At the beginning of the week I was kind of afraid of quitting, even though I didn’t want continue doing it for reasons which I find suitable. But now I’m not afraid of quitting something that doesn’t have meaning to me.