Secret Pop

Jan 27, 2008

Hangover F. Tompkins

I don't actually have a hangover. But I probably should. I sure drank a lot last night at the renaissance of The Paul F. Tompkins Show at Largo. It was cold and wet outside, so it was easy to seek comfort in glass after glass of Irish whiskey. I don't need excuses. I don't know why I should pretend to operate within the coolness of the shade they provide.

I was so (selfishly) glad to hear that Paul was bringing the show back. It was Martín's and my standing date the last Monday of every month for years. And then it ended in late 2006. After a period during which I had had to miss many of the shows anyway. So there has been a dearth of this tradition, and I'm terribly pleased to revive it. I've gotten to know so many people who work on and come to the show that it's like a reunion every time. And this one was all the more rewarding, as I've not seen many of these people since October of 2006. The most missed of which was Paul himself.

Have you ever had that feeling when you can't laugh hard enough? There is that scene in Scarface when the guy is about to get chopped up with a chainsaw, and his mouth is taped up, and you can see that behind the duct-taped silence, he's screaming as loud as he can. I don't know where that instinct comes from, but I do think that horrible things are altogether more horrible if you are robbed of your ability to let everyone nearby know it. That happens to me in dreams sometime. Also the thing where you can't run fast enough and you actually try and make yourself go faster by pulling on the edges of buildings. Like swimming. Anyway, my point is, sometimes I feel that way when something is so very funny, that I can't seem to get the relief(?) that laughing typically provides by merely laughing. This happens a lot at The Paul F. Tompkins Show.

Oh, my god. I almost accidentally watched Norbit. Crisis averted. Relief. Empire Strikes Back is halfway over but still. How are the whites of Yoda's eyes so white? No amount of Visine affords me that luxury for very long. It's dusk in Cloud City. What was I saying? Oh, right.

Sometimes Paul is so funny that I'm appalled at my inadequate ability to express amusement. Having expelled all the air in my lungs and heartily slapped my knees, having made eye contact with friends and established visually that we both think that was a good one -- it almost seems cruel for someone to be so funny that I'm left to evaluate my own impotence. But maybe this is more my problem than his.

Sometimes I think I like traditions. And sometimes I think I don't. Sometimes having a standing appointment with a good time feels like an oppressive obligation. And sometimes, saying such things makes a person sound like a sociopath. I remember having a standing appointment with The Paul F. Tompkins Show. And I'm glad it's back on the calendar. No matter how many Largo entrées I have to pretend I've eaten.

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