In a podcast about Twin Peaks, no one is innocent. Random audience volunteer (and staff member of Twin Cities’ award-winning progressive sex toy retailer Smitten Kitten) Sarah is obsessed with one of Joseph’s favorite TV shows: David Lynch’s surreal murder mystery Twin Peaks. Topics include feminism, talking backwards, and sloths. PLUS, a new commercial composed of quotes from previous episodes thanks to Fes, Mike Fotis, Wil Wheaton, Mike Phirman, Courtney McLean, and David Mann. Enjoy!
Tag Archives: Comedy of Doom
I recently returned from spending a week in a giant hotel that floated around the Caribbean. The floating hotel was filled with awesome performers, friends, fans, and employees who wanted to aggressively sell me booze every waking moment.
Everything about the cruise was great. The other performers, the attendees (they self-identify as Sea Monkeys), and all of the events both official and unofficial. Even the things that weren’t necessarily great were amusing. (The staff really did want to sell you more stuff at all times. I’m surprised they don’t have staff members with mini-bars in each individual bathroom stall. It would be efficient.)
I did a brand new show on the mainstage that went really well. It was a light comedy show about all of my flaws as a human being. Stylistically, it’s a Frankenstein’s monster made out of parts of stand-up comedy, storytelling, theater, and drinking beer with friends. I’ve done a lot of different kinds of comedy performance, but this particular beast is the kind of show I want to be doing, so the warm reception was very gratifying. Hopefully, I’ll be doing more performances of the show and eventually recording it.
I also got to record an episode of my podcast Obsessed with my pals Molly Lewis, Mike Phirman, and Wil Wheaton. They were hilarious, insightful, and all-around perfect guests for the podcast, so go check out the beer and pro-tools episode and rate the hell out of the podcast on iTunes.
The kind Sea Monkeys also bought up all the copies of my book and comedy album that I brought on the boat. I performed a live riff with Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy. I played a starship simulator video game called Artemis live on stage. I danced to the mad DJ skillz of David Rees and John Hodgman. I decided Paul (of Paul and Storm) could use some interpretive dance (aka mime humping) during his rockin’ karaoke version of “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” I accidentally walked past the door to my stateroom while entirely sober and the steward pointed and laughed for a full thirty seconds. My lovely wife, Sara, did an amazing job helping the shows run smoothly backstage. Sara and I also had a nice romantic moment when we were terrified by the infamous hanging monkey towel animal.
I could go on and on about the cruise, but strangely the event that gave me the most perspective happened on the way home. (For more on the cruise itself, I suggest watching Greg Benson’s hilarious videos, reading Jonathan’s wrap up or Sea Monkey Alice’s blog post.)
The Sea Monkeys have a kind habit of applauding the performers when they enter the ship’s dining room. When Sara and I walked down the aisle of our packed plane home, two Sea Monkeys quietly, lightly applauded. We had a brief chat about accepting our transition back into the real world.
“We want to yell the thing, but we can’t,” said the Sea Monkeys. The thing was an ongoing joke to yell “SEX PARTY!” during performances. Definitely not the thing to yell on a crowded plane.
But it was a lovely moment to share. The mood on the cruise is very supportive and intense like we’re all members of a kindness cult.
Strangely, the man I sat next to on the plane turned out to actually be a member of a cult.
He was very friendly and not wearing robes or waving a dagger or anything. Let’s say his name was Ed. He was probably in his 50s, he smiled a lot, and told me he owned a feed mill in Amsterdam. He didn’t make any jokes about milling pot for animals. I didn’t either.
After the normal small talk, he told me that he had been in Orlando for a week to learn about approaching the world with kindness.
“That’s nice,” I thought. “I’ve been on a floating hotel doing a comedy/music convention that spent a lot of time celebrating kindness. Maybe I should have an open mind.”
Then he gave me a card for Avatar, the Compassion Project. I looked up Avatar. It’s been described as Scientology-Lite. It was founded by a guy who got sued by the Church of Scientology for ripping off their materials, so he went rogue. To review, this organization was formed by a man who was too morally bankrupt to be a Scientologist.
Ed told me the program had taught him to mill feed for animals in a manner that exposed rabbits to their inner happiness. I am not making this up. Ed wanted me to read a passage from his new Avatar book. It had blown his mind.
Around the same time, a child in the seat in front of us started yelling about how to spell Mickey Mouse. The child insisted that there is no “e.” That it’s spelled M-I-C-K-Y. (Much like Scottish Whisky has no e, so she must be a fan of single malt Scottish cartoon mice.) The child decided to prove she was right by repeatedly yelling “KY!”
I tried to focus on the passage in an effort to be friendly toward the smiling man who believed a bastardized version of Scientology can make bunnies reach their full potential. I was pretty sure I would think the passage was manipulative bullshit, but I might as well be friendly.
This was the greatly paraphrased gist of the passage:
Any text that spreads the message of kindness (like this one) is holy. Anyone who speaks against a holy message is a monster. Therefore, anyone who disagrees with what this book says about kindness is a horrible, evil person.
I finished reading and said, “Okay.”
Ed smiled and said, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
The child screamed, “KY!”
“That passage changed my life,” Ed said.
“Huh,” I answered.
I decided the best form of kindness I could show Ed and myself was to not go on a rant about how awful and disturbing I found his life changing passage.
Instead, I turned and chatted with Sara for a few minutes. Ed got lost in his book again. The child still screamed “KY!” long after her parents had agreed, “Yeah, sure, that’s how you spell Mickey. Please stop screaming KY.”
A lot of the performers and the Sea Monkeys had spent a week on JoCoCruiseCrazy pushing themselves to try new things. New songs, new jokes, new games, new drinks, new people, new experiences, new and inappropriate times and places to yell “SEX PARTY!”
There was a significant amount of discussion that people felt safe to try new things during the cruise because there was an almost surreal level of support, encouragement, and kindness.
Real, simple kindness. Like, “Hey, you should try karaoke. All we ask is that you try hard and have fun and we will applaud. We won’t lie to you and tell you you’re great if you’re not, but we sure as hell won’t laugh at you or throw things.”
If there is a passage about karaoke in the Avatar books I’m sure it’s vile and manipulative stuff teaching the important lesson that ONLY AVATAR CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO TRUE KARAOKE AND ONLY IF YOU PAY US A LOT OF MONEY AND HARSHLY JUDGE ALL WHO QUESTION THE ONE TRUE KARAOKE.
And I have a horrible feeling that the ONE TRUE AVATAR KARAOKE SONG is probably “Free Bird.”
In short, I’m very happy to have gone to my own week long seminar on kindness. One that happened organically and honestly without an agenda. One that happened simply because people felt safe to say, “Hey, is it cool if I try something new?”
And the only response they got from the rest of the Sea Monkeys was a resounding, “Yes!”
Usually followed by a resounding “SEX PARTY!”
Wil Wheaton loves beer! Mike Phirman loves Pro-Tools audio software! Molly Lewis plays the Obsessed theme live! A very special episode of Obsessed recorded live on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean sea for Jonathan Coulton’s JoCoCruiseCrazy! Find out the answer to the following questions and more: What is Wesley Crusher’s favorite beer? Could Mike Phirman kill a man with kindness? Why did Molly Lewis smash a pizza box with a ukulele? Plus, Wil and Mike make sex noises to advertise Joseph’s comedy album VERBING THE NOUN. (Also, if you’re a knitter, listen in the background to hear the clicking noises of the live audience’s crafting!)
DC Comics artist, the charming and witty Christopher Jones, is our guest as we challenge three comedians to prove they would be the best sidekick for Obsessed. Sam Landman (guest on the Star Wars episode of Obsessed) brings insight, explicit language, and t-shirts; Mike Fotis (aka Italian Santa Claus) displays startling breath control and lack of ambition; and Andy Kraft (the puppetmaster of Episode 2) does some sudden audio cosplay. There are a few audio glitches at the top of the podcast balanced out by the first ever post-credits Obsessed Easter Egg! Also, a lot of literal squealing. Enjoy!
Two guys named Kevin and Fes are Joseph’s random audience volunteers for a raucous interview about their obsessions with Indiana Jones and “Projects and stuff.” Plus, Joseph tells a tale of a screaming audience volunteer and begins work on a commercial for his book Comedy of Doom. Recorded at the launch party for Fearless Comedy at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul, MN.
I suspect I am not alone in feeling as though I am never really getting enough done. While I try not to procrastinate too much, I do make jokes about procrastinating a lot. When I realize I’m procrastinating, I have a lot of little motivational phrases I say out loud to myself. One of them is this:
“Get back to work, you idiot.”
And if I don’t get back to work, I sometimes follow up with:
“You are a bad and stupid person.”
Then I feel guilty that I’m being so mean to myself and I try to make it up to me by allowing myself to make a joke on Twitter about procrastinating. And the cycle continues.
This year, I decided to actually review my calendar and make a list of (almost) everything I did. Please enjoy procrastinating from your work to read about mine!
I did two shows at The San Francisco SketchFest. CineMadness with Bill Corbett and a short version of my geek stand-up/storytelling show, Comedy of Doom.
I co-wrote an internal awards show for General Mills.
I made jokes on Twitter about procrastinating.
I launched the Obsessed podcast as both a live show in Minneapolis and released the first episode online. There have been 10 live shows that have generated 16 podcast episodes.
I wrote a sketch for a magician.
I wrote and performed (with Shanan Custer) a commentary about smartphones for Minnesota Public Radio.
I did a story with the spoken word collective The Rockstar Storytellers.
I was one of the entertainers on JoCoCruiseCrazy II. I performed a full length version of Comedy of Doom. I was thrilled to get a surprise volunteer named Wil Wheaton for my Star Trek bit. I also played the role of “Ed McMahon” on Paul & Storm’s podcast with Paul F. Tompkins.
I gave a talk in a bar about zombies and Minnesota geek culture for the Minnesota Historical Society.
I made jokes on Facebook about procrastinating.
I performed at the Twin Cities convention Mars Con.
I started working as an occasional writer and performer on Wits. Since March, I’ve written for and/or performed with Tim Meadows, Rhett Miller, Andy Richter, Reggie Watts, Fred Willard, Paul F. Tompkins, Wyatt Cenac, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Sedaris, Dave Foley, Mike Doughty, Maria Bamford, and Brandi Carlile. And of course host John Moe, John Munson and The Witnesses, and other frequent Wits performers Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Neil Gaiman.
I went out to eat with my wife on her birthday. She mentioned maybe I should write a book.
I made jokes on Google+ about procrastinating.
I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.
I wrote and did eight performances of a one person stand-up show about vampires, stand-up, and vampires doing stand-up called The Sad Vampire Comedy Hour.
I wrote and performed a short story as part of a Minnesota Public Radio showcase led by Kevin Kling.
I did three performances and presentations about using comedy to discuss history for the American Alliance of Museums convention.
I did not get around to making any jokes on social media about procrastinating.
I wrote a lot of new material for the book. I edited the material from the stage version. I took photos for the cover and organized all the illustrations for the book. I hit refresh on the Kickstarter page roughly 700 times a day.
My odd little rock band called Math Emergency (composed of a math professor, a public radio producer, a public radio host, and me) played a gig. I played the drums and made jokes into a microphone.
I appeared on the AON podcast.
I made jokes on Twitter about spending too much time on Twitter.
I went on my friends’ annual bar crawl. I only note this because, while fun, going to 13 bars in 12 hours does feel a bit like work.
I appeared on the Vilification Tennis podcast where I cemented my reputation as an Axl Rose apologist.
I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.
I did multiple rounds of proofing and editing on the book and we sent it off to be printed. Comedy of Doom was officially published on June 20, 2012.
I wrote the pilot for an animated series version of the web comic Least I Could Do.
I made mean jokes about Google+ on Twitter.
We sent out all the copies of Comedy of Doom to the kind Kickstarter backers.
I attended the big Twin Cities convention CONvergence. I wrote and performed a one person storytelling and stand-up show about romantic advice for geeks called Verbing The Noun. We’ll be releasing a CD and digital download of the show in time for Valentine’s Day 2013. I did a live Obsessed show with Paul Cornell and Bonnie Burton. I did 10 other comedy panels and a signing for Comedy of Doom.
I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.
I co-wrote and performed a comedy show called Comedy: The Show with Four Humors Theater on the Centennial Showboat in St. Paul, Minnesota.
I made a quick trip to Los Angeles for a friend’s birthday party. I even wrote something for that.
I made mean jokes about Google+ on Facebook.
I wrote, produced, and performed in an hour long one act play called Nightmare Without Pants for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Here is a three minute live video preview of the show, in which I perform an accidental magic trick with a pair of rip-away pants.
Due to the stubborn forward movement of time I became a year older on August 17th.
I performed and did some comedy panels at Dragon*Con in Atlanta.
I made jokes about Google+ on Google+.
I was still at Dragon*Con. For one panel, I was challenged to sing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” I attempted to do it in the style of Nine Inch Nails. It’s a better song that way.
I did a performance at Space Camp with Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Ken Plume, Phil Plait, and more.
Obsessed was featured on iTunes as “New & Noteworthy” and a “Staff Favorite.”
I co-wrote, helped to organize, and performed in a large awards show for the Minnesota theater community called The Iveys.
I did a podcast with the awesome Len Peralta and became a trading card for his Geek-A-Week series.
I hosted and performed at a viewing of the Doctor Who episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” at The Parkway Theater.
I tried to treat Google+ with a little more respect.
I co-produced, directed, and wrote a piece for a theater event called Thirst. It’s a series of short one-act plays performed in a bar. The show had three performances and it was a benefit to fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota. Here’s the monologue I wrote about Harry Potter and kindness.
I joined The Ladies of Ragnarok (Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, and tour manager Dammit Liz) for a leg of their tour. I performed in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Madison. The Ladies also appeared on Obsessed.
I recorded the audiobook version of Comedy of Doom. We’re still working on editing and mastering the hours of audio.
I did another show with the Rockstar Storytellers.
I wrote and performed a ghost story for Torch Theater in Minneapolis.
I played another gig with Math Emergency.
I started a Tumblr account and wrote a thing about Halloween.
I used National Novel Writing Month as a motivation to work on some screenplays. I finished plotting and scripting the first drafts of two feature length films. Now working on second drafts.
My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is iron. The contemporary gift is candy. We gave one another Iron Man Pez dispensers.
I tried to make fun of Google+ on Tumblr, but I felt like I was kicking a puppy.
I wrote and performed the short story Adult Santa for The New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.
I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.
We (and by “we” I really mean my wife Sara and my graphic designer, Matthew Foster) made Comedy of Doom available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and many stores in the Twin Cities.
I wrote a story about the grim superhero The Leaping Lord for Paul Cornell’s 12 Blogs of Christmas.
I started writing a new stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing on JoCoCruiseCrazy III.
I started writing another stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis in March of 2013.
I booked guests for Obsessed through March of 2013.
I wrote some stuff that I’ll perform for my annual New Year’s Eve show at the Bryant Lake Bowl.
I made fun of LinkedIn on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.
I debated whether or not I should write this. I stared off into space and screwed around on social media. I beat myself up about procrastinating. I forced myself to write this. I read it. I thought about all the amazing creative people I got to meet and work with this year. I ran the post by my wife and business partner without whom none of the above would be remotely possible.
Later tonight, I’ll watch some TV, drink a martini, and think about ways to get even more done in 2013.
I’m going to start by coming up with some new motivational phrases.
I think I’ll try:
“Come on, you idiot, get stuff done so you have something to blog about next year.”
“Stop calling yourself an idiot, you jackass.”
And then I’ll hug myself and move on.
Happy New Year’s,
I originally wrote this piece for the very awesome New Standards holiday show. Many thanks to John, Chan, and Steve.
I have a new holiday tradition. Right around Thanksgiving, I turn to my beautiful wife and say, “Honey, I hate Christmas.” She patiently listens as I go on the exact same rant that I do every year.
“I don’t want to hate Christmas. I used to love Christmas. I used to get a break from school. I used to look forward to opening presents. I normally got Star Wars action figures, but one year my mother hurt her back, got high on pain meds, and gave me three different individually wrapped flashlights.
I didn’t even care.
I just went to my room, turned off all the lights, and pretended the flashlight was a lightsaber. I danced around in the dark waving a flashlight like an idiot. That’s what Christmas used to be–a warm comforting light in the middle of the dark winter. It used to feel magical. Now it’s just more stuff I have to do.”
This year instead of just complaining to my wife, I’ve decided to make Christmas magical again. In order to do that, I’ve invented a new myth.
The myth of Adult Santa Claus.
I don’t mean Adult Santa Claus like a special holiday movie you would order in a hotel room.
No, Adult Santa is like your cool uncle who also happens to be a life coach. He has the magical ability to visit every stressed out adult in the world on one night. He doesn’t have a sleigh guided by reindeer and he doesn’t enter through a chimney. He drives a 1997 Ford Taurus with a missing muffler and he comes in the front door like a normal person.
Adult Santa has many names. In Germany he’s known as Dave Kringle. Some know him as Saint Chad, the patron saint of whatever, man. In Belgium, they just call him Low-Stress Pete.
Adult Santa doesn’t say, “Ho Ho Ho!” He says, “Ho Ho Ohhh—I’m tired. Whooo! My back is killing me. Ahhhhhhh! Son of a—!” And he just goes on like that for a while.
His face doesn’t appear on Coke cans, but you might see him on a package of Nicorette or a bottle of Xanax. Because Adult Santa is just here to help.
He logs onto your facebook account and deletes that horrible post you wrote about your mother-in-law while you were hiding in the bathroom during dinner. He finishes that stupid PowerPoint Presentation you have to give on December 27th. He leaves a big bottle of Trader Joe’s wine under your pillow. He knows Trader Joe’s wine isn’t fancy, but you like it, so who cares? Adult Santa doesn’t judge.
Maybe he just sits on the end of the bed and rubs your feet. It should be creepy that an old dude named Dave sneaks into your house and rubs your feet, but it’s not.
He will even hang out with you. Adult Santa will stay up late and watch that episode of Downton Abbey you’ve had on the DVR for two weeks. He agrees with you that the best part of Project Runway is Tim Gunn. He’ll bring you an Xbox and play co-op Call of Duty all night. He is really good with a grenade launcher.
Adult Santa won’t force you to sing Christmas Carols. But if you want to, he’s got a couple of carols he likes to sing. He calls them Realistic Christmas Carols. His favorites include “Silent Night, Passive-Aggressive Night,” “I’m Beginning To Bitch A Lot About Christmas,” and “All I Want For Christmas Is Two F’ing Minutes To Myself.” Adult Santa likes to say that by title alone his favorite Christmas Carol is “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.
Unless you don’t like that kind of sarcasm, then Adult Santa just keeps it to himself. Because he’s not here to fight, he just wants you to be happy.
Adult Santa knows Christmas doesn’t actually suck.
It’s just really, really hard to be an adult.
So this year, I am going to recapture the magic of Christmas. On December 24th, I’m going to stay up late at night and wait for Adult Santa. I’ll set out some whiskey and a wedge of brie. I’ll sit in a dark room illuminated only by the glow of the Christmas tree. I’ll sip some of that whiskey as I listen for the low rumble of his rusted out Ford Taurus. I will feel warm and safe.
In that moment, I will get the true gift of Christmas. A gift that all adults deserve. Just a few precious minutes of peace on Earth.
Thank you and merry realistic Christmas to one and all.
I joined the ladies for shows in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Madison. What follows is a behind-the-scenes peek at the insanity.
When I met up with the ladies, the first thing they did was buy some uppers on the streets of Chicago.
Then we went for a ride in their van. They had a lot of duct tape in the back. It was like they wanted to kidnap people, but keep it lighthearted and fun.
They took me to visit a giant reflective statue that is meant to symbolize successful grant applications and tourism. It also looks like a giant space guy dropped his space burrito.
The function of the space burrito seems to be primarily photo taking. It emits a hypnotic suggestion convincing humans to take awkward bathroom mirror MySpace photos with half of Chicago in the background. I have no memory of taking this photo.
Then we met up with Bill Corbett and did a fun show. I told jokes about Star Wars, condoms, and poetry. I sold copies of my book Comedy of Doom. A man dressed as a pirate paid me with fifteen shiny dollar coins. He said nice things as well as “aaarr.”
Later, in my hotel room, I was disturbed by the CLEAN REMOTE. I couldn’t sleep because I was wondering how many businessmen had ordered dirty adult films using the clean remote.
We went to Minneapolis and did a show. I told jokes about James Bond, haunted smartphones, and mortality. We were joined by Kevin Murphy and a Velociraptor. (Kevin Murphy not pictured.)
Then, the ladies were guests on my podcast OBSESSED which will be out in a few weeks. After that we went to Madison and did a show with Dr.Noise. I told jokes about superheroes and bears and chatted with the audience about tacos. The show was held in a gaming room attached to a game store. The store had very severe rules.
We obeyed the rules and everyone was happy. There was also a man named Benjamin on the tour who had the job of dealing with all of the Velociraptor’s needs.
The photos above represent some of the finest photos I have ever taken. Like I’m probably going to take that big frame off the wall and swap out my wedding photos for these.
Thanks to the Ladies of Ragnarok for the fun shows, fun times, and, of course, the Velociraptor photo opportunities.
I recently returned from being a performer on JoCoCruiseCrazy II–a big floating music/comedy cruise.
In contrast to my musings and predictions here, I now believe the boat is powered by slightly drunk people having fun. Luckily, all the Sea Monkeys (this is the name the JoCo Cruise-Goers have given themselves) were having fun constantly and even managed to have fun backwards when the ship needed to reverse out of a port.
What follows is a collection of words, images, and sometimes links to moving images about my experiences on Drunk-Fun-Cruise 2012. Some statements are true, some are blatant lies.
All of the performers on the boat were talented and lovely people–with the exception of John Hodgman who spent the entire cruise swilling his “youth serum” (full pitchers of an unholy rum-malort cocktail) and screaming at the staff that they weren’t doing enough to defend the virtue of the Oxford Comma.
We had a formal night. People wore fake mustaches and little fezzes. All this boat-moving fun was in honor of Paul F.Tompkins–a kind and funny man, yes, but also a man who has accused me of being a murderer on more than one occasion. However as the old adage goes–“the smart phone camera does not lie!” It’s clear from the photo below which giant blurry head is a-plottin’ to kill some people.
I did a performance of my geek comedy stand-up/storytelling show Joseph Scrimshaw and The Comedy of Doom. I wrote an audience interactive bit called Star Trek: Oregon Trail. To my delight and surprise, my totally unplanned audience volunteer was Wil Wheaton. What followed was funny, but also surprisingly sexy. Do you choose to go on an away mission from this blog and watch the video?
A link to the full video of my show is at the bottom of this post. As you can tell, the majority of Sea Monkeys are cyborgs who have cameras embedded in their foreheads and can upload stuff to youtube by touching a computer thing on the side of their head like they were Lobot from The Empire Strikes Back. (Google image Lobot if you have to, then laugh and laugh.)
I was also honored to play the role of Ed McMahon to Paul and Storm’s two-headed Johnny Carson in this podcast recorded with a live (at least 25% hungover) audience during JoCoCruiseCrazy.
THE CRUISE ITSELF
Being on a cruise is pretty awesome. As you can see from this photo, it’s like spending a week trapped in a generic desktop theme.
That said, cruises are weird. They remind me of the old commercials for Grey Poupon.
Yes, you’re classy. BUT COME ON, YOU’RE MUSTARD AND WE ALL KNOW IT. STOP TRYING SO HARD!
The cruise ship staff does odd and sometimes terrifying things as if to constantly remind you, “this ain’t just mustard, son, this is motherfucking Grey Poupon floating on the sea!”
For example, the stewards make what they claim to be “animal sculptures” out of your towels. As you can see from the photo below, this is not an animal. This is a disturbing baby thing the stewards made after getting high and watching David Lynch’s Eraserhead seventeen times in a row.
In an effort to make sure the whole ship doesn’t get sick at once and pile into the infirmary like it was Groucho’s stateroom, little Purell hand sanitizer squirting units are set up along the walls roughly every inch or so.
Because these stations are everywhere, you constantly see people rubbing their hands together as though everyone is a super villain planning to hijack the boat and sail it to their volcano fortress.
There were around 550 Sea Monkeys on the cruise and another 1000 or so normal cruise-goers. While many of the normal cruise-goers were perfectly nice and charming people, at least half of them seemed to be on the cruise to meet a stereotype quota. Basically, they were angry old people who forced me to reconsider my preconceived notion that “douchebag” is a word only used to describe young people.
Here are a few of my favorite overheard quotes:
“I’ll tell you this right now: if water gets in here, we’re going to sink.”
“I need a colonoscopy.”
“It’s about respect. Let’s go get some ashes for Ash Wednesday. They got ’em at the piano bar.”
“Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!”
This last quote was said by the window on the Lido Deck that serves cheeseburgers and hot dogs to old men who feel the taco bar is too ethnic. There had been a back up in service because my commie pink-o wife ordered a veggie burger. All of the old men behind us were greatly agitated by this. As we walked away, as if to assert their manliness, four or five them began shouting “cheeseburger!” It was like they were doing a thoroughly American reenactment of the Monty Python Spam sketch.
I got off the boat when we stopped at Aruba and Curacao. Both interesting exotic places. For example, when you get off the boat in Aruba one of the first things you see is a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Little Caesar’s Pizza RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER.
I have honestly never seen that in real America.
To be fair, there are many interesting excursions to be had by cruise-goers who, you know, plan. (One friend went to an ostrich farm and learned the secret dance of the angry and/or horny ostrich.) But no matter how exotic these cruise destinations are, when you get off the boat you are usually presented with a “Little America” shopping district full of gifts for the whole family. Like this:
On Aruba, there was a movie theater playing The Phantom Menace in 3D. My wife and I debated going to see it. We thought it would be a fun way to drive geeks mad.
“What did you do with the precious few hours you had on a beautiful island off the coast of South America?”
“We sat in a dark theater for two hours watching Episode One in 3D.”
Unfortunately, as we approached the box office window we saw it was roped off with police tape. I decided to simply believe that Episode One was against the law in Aruba and we sat on a beach drinking beer instead.
The attendees of JoCoCruiseCrazy are supportive intelligent audiences and very fun people. They took it upon themselves to set up random “unofficial” events. I was invited to join an impromptu drawing circle.
My useless liberal arts degree is actually in the useless field of visual art, so it was great fun to sit under the stars and uselessly sketch the Sea Monkeys. Here’s a sketch of the gentleman who filmed me making filthy Star Trek jokes with Wil Wheaton:
THE MORAL OF THE CRUISE
Everyone involved with the cruise–performers, Sea Monkeys, the terrifying towel twisting stewards–are all truly wonderful. The event is special. As in, it is actually NOT NORMAL. It’s part cruise, part concert, part floating geek convention, part ukulele heavy band camp, and all awesome. If you actually read through this entire blog and enjoyed it even slightly, you would enjoy this cruise and you should go here to sign up for announcements about JoCoCruiseCrazy 2013.
If you didn’t have to Google image Lobot, you should sign up twice. If you didn’t have to Google image Lobot OR look up the Groucho’s stateroom reference, you’re probably the kind of person who would enjoy spending a little under an hour of your life watching a video of me saying jokes into a microphone. You will also be rewarded with a special appearance by the very funny Paul and Storm playing Dumbledore and Tom Bombadil if you make it through the whole thing!