"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love, Jokes and the Search for Meaning

Warning: This is one of those over-sharing posts. Also, there's slightly off-color jokes at the end, so if you're very easily offended, stop before the dotted line.

I'm sometimes asked why I never married. My usual answer is, "My standards are too high. I'm looking for someone who can tolerate me." It gets a laugh, but there's a lot of truth to it.

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd developed an infatuation and now I can say it's run its course. I saw a woman at a crossroad in her life and I wanted to point the way for her. She wants to be part of something larger than herself, but only on her own terms - and that never works. She collects experiences like others collect objects, but some day it's going to ring hollow and she's going to wonder what the point was. If and when that happens, I'll still be there for her. She'll probably be somewhere else.

Last Night's UMTR Board Meeting

I was specifically asked not to blog about the meeting. I can say that there were a lot of laughs, mostly at my expense. It was suggested that I said some mean things about some people of whom I'm actually quite fond - I get accused of that a lot and it's true, if not malicious - I say much worse things about myself. I can be tactless. I'm also the guy that'll tell you what you need to hear (and a ton that no one needs to hear... I'm working on that).

There's a literary bent to the board [Kate's literary, I'm bent]. Kate's written more books than I've run ultras and Phillip's written a book about his experiences on trails and writes articles for magazines about sporting events. You know they're real writers, because they don't blog - there's no money in blogging (even potentially). Julie writes a blog that's had 300000 hits! Wynn's blog sometimes has poetry, so he's a reader as well as an artist.

Me? I write jokes. I've never earned more than the price of dinner writing jokes, but you may have heard something I've written. It's a weird business; I can't tell you what jokes I wrote and sold. That's part of the deal when ghostwriting. That just leaves me with jokes I think are funny, but which no one wants, like:

"Sports stars today are like musicians were in the 60's. In fact, there's a whole new Rat Pack. David Beckham's like Frank Sinatra, Tiger Woods is like Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jeff Gordon is like Dean Martin's limo driver."

That's a hack joke, but I still think it's funny.

When the Republican National Convention comes to town, John Stewart's broadcasting from St. Paul. He'll need B material for the local media and I'm hoping to get a piece of that action.

I tried stand-up once, but don't care for it. You have to treat the audience like they're morons and that's not like me. Plus, my favorite jokes take too long to tell. I'm more of a raconteur. And I like to find out what individuals find funny and work with their tastes - scientists are the toughest (how many jokes can you get out of confusing Fermi-Dirac with Bose-Einstein?)

Sun Face Buddha, Moon Face Buddha

I have connections to a number of monasteries, both Christian and Buddhist. The Rinzai Zen Buddhists are a funny group. They're the ones that believe in sudden enlightenment, often through koans. The only koan most Americans have heard about is: What's the sound of one hand clapping? My answer when asked that one day was "Half a raindrop." [You probably had to be there.] Then we watched the Three Stooges.

I find it interesting that so many runners are taking up yoga. None of them seem to get it, because it's not about exercise. Hatha yoga is about preparing the mind to be more receptive to the world as it actually is. Patanjali's Yoga Vasistha should be required reading before anyone starts. Yoga isn't something you do, it's a way to do things.
My favorite current unsold off-color jokes:

I did my part for charity. I took part in the Breast Cancer 3-Day. I was really disappointed. I misread the sign. I walked 60 miles before I found out. I thought it was the Breast Cancer 3-Way. I don't think I'll get invited back.

Steadman Graham was asked what he thought about "Oprah's Big Give." He said it was like throwing a hot dog down a hallway.

With the shortages in food, first pasta and now rice, people are stockpiling. I'm personally sitting on more than 500 teabags. It makes me very popular at bath houses.


Diane said...

Very true, your comment about being left only with the jokes that no one wants. I'm not very good at coming up with jokes, so this post has given me a great excuse if/when a person tells me I'm not very funny!

Carl Gammon said...

I enjoyed your jokes. (I hope that doesn't mean I have to pay for them!) I enjoy telling jokes on the trail, but once you've run with me a while you've probably heard them all. Several times.

Since you mentioned the UMTR, with Ice Age and Superior coming up, I've been keeping an eye out for the Fab 5 Fifties results listing. It's going to be fun to follow throughout the year.

grimeyrunner said...

beautiful! I especially like the off-color jokes. I actually thought they were pretty tame.

Runner Brewer said...


I am guessing you could not marry any woman who would have you as a husband.

What's the most important part of a joke.............................................................timing

Runner Brewer said...


Bryan said...

You asked for it: here's a joke for scientists:

When radiation was discovered, it shocked researchers because it was the first area of physics in hundreds of years in which the ultimate answers were only statistical, not deterministic. It was not long after that physicists began to develop quantum physics, in which all the ultimate answers are only statistical. There had been clues to quantum mechanics before, but no one could begin to understand quantum theory until after their minds had been exposed to radiation.

SteveQ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveQ said...

Carl, I hope you've been getting the e-mails I've sent with series standings. The UMTR website should have the results soon - I had to deal with the IBM blue screen of death.

Pete, I agree the jokes I posted were tame, but I know at least one person who reads my blog who would be deeply offended.

Matt and Bryan, thanks for proving that comedy is best left to the pros.

keith said...

You have been tagged by Keith.
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play

grimeyrunner said...

it's better to keep it tame. I know my 12 year old niece checks in on my blog now and then so I have to remind myself to keep it in check. If she's going to have to go to counseling I want it to be her parents fault.