I was on the road recently, and the other comedian wanted to go to a strip club. No, thanks. What can I say, I'm not your typical male. I never got into sports, buffalo wings or date rape. [Hmm, should I ask the girl behind me if "date rape" is hyphenated? Probably not.] Anyhoo, I've been to about three strip clubs in my lifetime, and it wasn't until now that I delved into why I dislike them so much. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't appreciate naked, coked-up 'nursing students' or 8-dollar Miller Lites, it's the insincerity I can't tolerate.
In high school, I was dorky and invisible to women. Fine. I get it now. Confidence is sexy, and I had about as much as Dennis Franz in a Speedo. [zing! take that, Sipowicz, you bloated, out-of-date reference!] So by default, any attention I receive from a pretty gal today may be somewhat inexplicable in my skewed self-perception, but it's welcome and long overdue...with one caveat: said attention must be genuine. Paying a woman to pretend she's into me is like having the teacher's edition of a math book. It's cheating. You gots ta earn the privilege to sneak a peak at those 8008s --that's upside-down-calculator-speak for BOOBS. Technical jargon. Just forget it.
What I find most appalling is how insincerity is easily recognized, but overlooked and even accepted in our society. Politics especially. Does it not bother anyone that politicians hire speechwriters? It's widely believed that they just tell us what we want to hear to get our votes, and still, we allow and enable their hollow promise-making. Either that, or the general public is easier to dupe than Dane Cook fans.
Recently, in an effort to offset the annoyance of long lines, my bank put out Otis Jizzmeyer's cookies and hired "greeters." Sugar topped with syrup. More tellers would be nice, but that would be too costly and logical. Now, as much as I adore good manners, I'd rather be politely ignored than to search the room for the two faces who shouted the bouncy-but-disingenuous welcome. I just don't buy it when affability has an agenda.
Furthermore, my banker, Angela, told me how cute my shirt was--which is only funny if you know sign language, and even then, certainly not cute--and I asked if she knew what it meant. Sheepishly, she told me she did not. Well then, Angie...shut your fucking mouth. Anyone who knows me knows I would never say that. But thanks to my choice of wardrobe, I didn't have to.
The ability to be abrupt is a human quality we all covet, but seldom practice. It's why we secretly revere t.v. characters like House or Dr. Cox from Scrubs. We don't just love them for being witty pricks, we admire how they bitch-slap the elephant in the room and stomp on eggshells. Too bad more real people weren't like this...we're running low on social messiahs.
Insincerity is a lie in disguise, and we play the game despite our instinctual reluctance. No one wants to be lied to, but no one likes the truth either. I think about how much further along in life we'd all be if we simply said what we meant and meant what we said. In the decade I've been doing comedy, I should have colon cancer from all the smoke blown up my ass, and yet, I persist. I've pissed away years of my life in relationships either stringing girls along or getting tripped up by girls who did the same to me.
We waste so much time being misleading, deceptive or phony. So pretty please, with unpopped cherries on top: let's all be frank. Sincerely.
p.s. the insecure voice in my head asked me to clarify that I do not have herpes. Repeating: Mario does not have herpes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends know people with herpes. [a nod to Doug C.]
p.s.s. Doug C. does not have herpes.