Competition has no place in the world of comedy. Right?
Wrong. Not where I come from. I started being funny because my father was an alcoholic who ignored my brother and me. We competed for whatever attention we could get, and I won by being funnier than he was, because drunks love to laugh. Every dinner in my house was a Friday Night Late Show and it was like I was the raunchy guitar act and my brother was an alternative comic. It wasn’t even close.
I grew into a skinny teenager who sucked at sports. Standing around watching the dumb jocks get all the hot girls, I eventually started making fun of the jocks. Suddenly the girls started having sex with me. Not liking this new development, the jocks beat me up. The status quo returned to normal with the hot girls settling down with an unwanted child in a bank-owned house with their in-laws renting out the attic. I headed off to the comedy clubs.
When I started doing standup in Boston I’d be allowed onstage only after the regulars had all killed. They’d strut off stage and say, “Follow that motherfucker.” It was heartless and I swore that I would teach the next wave of comics what I’d learned so they might have an easier time of it. I’d get up there in front of those drunken Mass-holes wearing Celtics jackets and mullets and get pummeled until I learned how to kill just as hard as the guys ahead of me. I remember my first early spot. The crowd was on fire and it felt so amazing that I did an extra 10 minutes just to really bury the new guy coming on after me. It felt pretty sweet.
This country is founded on competition and you can’t fight it any more.
Women can get bigger tits so they do. Small-breasted women call that cheating, but you know what I call the small-breasted women? I don’t. Nobody does, because they have small breasts. Get in the game ladies!
Darwin taught us that even sex is about competition. When I was 14 my best friend made a wager with me: whoever loses their virginity first wins $20 from the other guy. We put in a clause that the loser has a week to lose his virginity to nullify the wager. Two short years later he lost his virginity to Linda Franco. With a week to scramble and save myself $20 and the humiliation of being the Last Virgin Standing, I too lost my virginity. And I did it with 4 hours to spare. And I did it with Linda Franco. Was I ashamed? Why would a winner be ashamed? (We both caught Chlamydia).
That competitive spirit is not lost between my wife and I. When I achieve orgasm before she does I jump up and scream, “I won! I won!” And someday when she busts a nut first, I hope she will do the same. But I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I’m pretty fast.
We live in America, and like it or not we have the most vibrant economy on the planet and it’s because we compete. The weak are sidelined as the most ferocious and creative and hungry explode through. It is indelicate and it is uncouth, but it is who we are.
Every Christmas, I hand out $20 Starbucks Gift Cards to every single employee at my agency’s Christmas Party. The other clients stand around embarrassed at their thoughtlessness. Is it awkward for me knowing that these cards have no value because I swiped them up off the counter display? No. It’s awkward for the employees when they try to redeem them. That’s called being a winner.
Now I am raising my own children and although I no longer drink, I don’t want these lessons lost on them. So when I play soccer against my son I let him beat me. That way he knows how good it feels. And eventually when he starts boasting that he’s better at soccer than me, I will unleash an unholy tsunami of shots into his net leaving him crying and looking for his mother. Because it’s just as important that he knows how bad it feels to be a loser.