Friday, May 05, 2006

Friday Morning: The Lake of Thoughts

7 a.m. day #3. I’m on page 38. Remember how I said you usually come to the middle and something doesn’t add up? I wouldn’t call it an impasse, but I had to stop and watch basketball and think. This morning I see the path ahead. If you’re a writer the shortest length of time in your day should be from the moment you wake up to the moment you hit the keyboard. These are the most valuable times you have. Take a minute for the mouthwash and toothpaste of course, but don’t stop to check the Huffington Post or anything else. By the way, have you noticed Portland’s own Tom D’Antoni is writing for the Huffington Post? He interviewed me for an Oregonian article one time. In other Portland news, comedian and friend Dwight Slade is in Afghanistan. Apparently he didn’t realize there’s a war going on there and just went on vacation. No, Dwight is entertaining our troops. Good show, old boy. Hopefully there'll be no hecklers from the Taliban.
Darn it. See how easy it is to get diverted? Race to the keyboard in the morning, when your mind is a lake: flat and clear. Swim in these waters, before the cares of the day stir them up.
By the way, there is always concern that I will check out from the other comedy gigs while I’m writing one of these scripts, so I was glad to have a second joke on this week with you-know-who. The first one I actually dropped on Jack Bog’s site as a comment: If you don’t think gas prices are affecting everything, wait till this month’s running of the Indianapolis 400. A comedian friend said it should be the Indy 250, but that doesn’t work as a rhythm. Leno dropped it down to two hundred. See, the lesson? In comedy there aren’t a hundred widgets. There are ten million widgets.
Last night’s joke went over really nice: President Bush warned that global warming is coming on even quicker than he thought but then they told him it was just Spring. That joke is flawed because – if anything – the White House is playing down global warming. Maybe that’s part of the humor – the idea that President Bush would address this topic with urgency.
The joke got a nice laugh because it makes Bush out to be a dumbass which is what is known as a shared belief. Or at least it should be. To the 32% who are still onboard this administration: Nice work. Would you like grape or raspberry kool-aide with that? Don’t do any heavy thinking today. You could pull something.
One concern: The joke immediately following mine bombed. That means mine was not a momentum builder. The best jokes rock the crowd and turn the following two or three into winners no matter what. It is bad luck to be too close to a joke that bombs even if yours did well. It’s like flying in formation and having the plane above you get shot down. You don’t want to get hit by the wreckage.
I admit there was a little case of stale brain yesterday afternoon. You want to write while your head is in a state of amused joy. It is the morning and it’s time to tap the waters of the lake. Someone call the metaphor police. I’m having trouble getting out of this.


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