Petty irritations and sitcom humor

Over breakfast at McDonald’s this morning, John went on and on, ranting about how the cashier overcharged him on his order, how she charged him for coffee separately when it was supposed to be included in his meal, how the manager had to be called over to explain to her how it was supposed to be done… and I was getting annoyed because he wouldn’t shut up about it…

…and then I burst out laughing.

“Know what this is? This is a Seinfeld episode! Or better yet, an episode on Curb Your Enthusiasm! You know who you are? You’re Larry David! He does the exact same thing on his show!”

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the book Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. It goes into detail about how plots on the show were based on the petty irritations and other absurdities in the real lives of various standup comics and sitcom writers alike.

I think that’s the secret to life. Treat it all as an adventure. Or as an exercise in absurdity to be laughed at.

Just from reading the book, I’m starting to think like the show’s writers and looking at everyday incidents as a gold mine of “material”… heh.

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Before going out to breakfast, I had to help John with a little project that he thought might take a full hour — or even two — but we lucked out and finished in less than fifteen minutes. I had to move some stuff away from his bedroom doorway so he could reach into that room with mile-high messes and hand me some bags of clothes which he then intended to go through and pick out items to be washed today before his upcoming Australia trip later this week.

He got lucky and found the items he was looking for right away. Which means I got lucky too, and didn’t have to be occupied with this task until noon or even later.

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Last night John was mean and cranky. We went out for Thai food at a restaurant two to three miles from home… John wasn’t ready to go until much later than initially planned, so it was pushing 9:00 by the time we got there… and earlier that day he had heard “news” from his long-distance, er, “friend” in Australia that upset him. It seems an old flame has come back into his life. John read me the entire texted exchange — which he has an annoying habit of doing all the time these days — but I thought what was shared was more ambiguous, and the guy could’ve been merely talking about an old friend. Anyway, John was rather unpleasant company last night, for the first time in quite awhile, and it was really getting on my nerves.

The one good thing about going out to eat with John is that he always insists on picking up the check… and I just go with the flow… I don’t even make a show of protesting anymore. Helps me out and I’m OK with that.

But after the Thai meal, when we stopped off at Malley’s on the way home for a late ice cream treat, I felt a little guilty about his always paying for everything, so after we finished and he was in another part of the store browsing for candy, I sneaked up to the cash register and paid the ice cream bill without his knowing. Afterward, when he found out, he said, “Oh, you didn’t have to do that,” to which I replied, “Too late, it’s already done now.”

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Back to this morning’s breakfast. Carl was bustling about the dining room, wiping down tables and mopping and taking out the trash, and I quietly pointed him out to John. “Is your gaydar going off?” I kept pressing him. John insists that Carl is straight. Although I hate to admit it, he’s probably not wrong.

John was clearly underwhelmed with Carl’s looks. “I don’t like his mouth,” he commented. He also said that Carl’s speaking voice, which I find enchanting, “irritated” him.

All this after his declaring Patrick “effeminate” and “anorexic” a couple weeks ago. I guess our differing tastes are a good thing, as it means we likely won’t be fighting over anyone… heh.

John also observed that Carl smokes. He saw him outside smoking at one point while Carl was on a break. John made a point of telling me, to which I replied, “Yes, I know.”

I debated silently on whether I should tell John I have something of a smoking fetish. Nah… I’m going to leave that one alone.

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Another brief “How’s it going?” exchange with Patrick late this afternoon. I was entering the library just as he was leaving.

A young woman was leaving with him. Sigh. Apparently I’m batting a thousand here.