Storytelling

Nose Job

I may have become a little bit of a bore and a twit. I know my teenage children would agree, but I often catch myself explaining obscure references in conversations, and taking the discussion off track in tangents. It’s bad enough to make an obscure reference, but then to explain it in detail, and go deeper and deeper to mention the source of that reference, and the source of that other one as well, can be a bit much, especially when it has to do with old television shows, old movies, and old comic strips. I go on these tangents because these obscure references entertain me, and I think it’s important to pursue; but I shouldn’t expect anyone to applaud, or even participate in the exercise. It’s kind of why you are supposed to masturbate when you are alone and in the privacy of your home, and definitely not in a public place when people are around.

Speaking of Pee Wee Herman, he has a new show on Broadway that I really want to see. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that will travel with a national touring company. You just can’t have a B-list actor, such as Alan Ruck (Cameron from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off ) play the part of Pee-Wee, but if anyone could, Alan would be my first choice.

I watched Pee Wee’s Playhouse when it was on during Saturday mornings, and loved every minute of it, back when I was first out of college. What I didn’t know about at the time was that the fore-runner was  The Pee-Wee Herman Show that hit on so many of the comedic beats.

What was so very funny about Pee-Wee is that he had a simple premise–What if an adult acted like an over-excited kid–and then ensured that Pee-Wee always reacted truthfully, and organically, as that kid in every situation. It was truly funny, and people react positively because they recognize the child. After all, being grown up isn’t everything it’s made out to be.

What people don’t react well to is masturbating in spite of the fact that it’s a very normal, common experience. 97% of all men masturbate four or more times a week, and 99% of all women know a man who has masturbated. Yet, it just ain’t mainstream. That’s fine–my goal is not to mainstream the act, but to explain the part of me that has become a bore and a twit.

I have just demonstrated my tendency to trace back the obscure references, explain trivial things, and over share information that might make me a bit of a bore. My point of reference for who not to emulate is not Paul Reubens, but rather my second Octorhinolaryngologist who repaired my deviated septum.

The city where I grew up hired college boys in the summer to work at the Service Garage. We were given various manual labor tasks, one of which was working on the garbage truck. Working the garbage truck was not fun, but it wasn’t awful, either. You hang on to the end of a massive machine as the driver, who would laugh if you fell off, goes way too fast. The truck stops at a house with trash, you grab a trash can, drag it to the machine, and dump it; go to the next house and repeat.

One of the houses placed a stack of 4×4 timber on the lawn, and Paul, the regular (i.e., non-college kid) worker, dragged the first of them to the garbage truck with his back to me. I was busy emptying a trash can when Paul, without looking at me, said, “Heads up.” I turned to look at him.

Paul had dragged the timber because it was too heavy to carry, and decided the best way to get it in the garbage truck was to swing it one-hundred and eighty degrees into the truck, essentially throwing this forty-pound piece of wood. He didn’t mention that. He also didn’t say look out, duck, back off, or get away. He should have said, “Warning Will Robinson, Danger, Danger!” but he only said heads up.

When I turned my head, the end of that timber struck my nose and deviated the hell out of my septum. One more inch closer and I would have lost an eye; two more inches closer and he probably would have killed me. He explained later on that it was heavy, and that he had said, “Heads up.”

The first nose guy I went to see, a Dr. Smith (if his name was Zachary Smith I would continue the Lost in Space reference, but, alas, it was Robert), must have failed at whatever he tried because for the next three years, one nostril flapped shut whenever I breathed through my nose. It was really annoying.

I went to a plastic surgeon in Farmington Hills, Michigan (near where I worked) for a rhinoplasty. This guy was a bore and a twit, but he fixed my nose (but just back the way it was–no need to improve upon perfection). I really admired him at first: he surrounded himself in his office with beautiful women as if he had gone to the Hugh Hefner school of hiring practices. The receptionist was gorgeous, his assistant was a knockout, and the billing clerk was beautiful. As the good doctor (I can’t recall his name) met me, examined me, and explained the next steps, he kept making comments to the women, explaining the obscure references he used, and would say things in French, translate them for us, and then explain why he was using French instead of English, and what the reference was getting at, two levels deeper. He was a one-man Wikipedia, back when the Internet was the ARPANET.

There I go again, making an obscure reference. So I’m a bore, but would it make me a twit to surround myself with three beautiful women? Actually, it would probably make me a eunuch.