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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

You Had to Be There

Last night was wonderful. I beat The Handsome Prince at cribbage (well, one out of three) and then watched a couple hours of television with THP and his boyfriend (The Math Whiz). We hung out in my bedroom watching Big Brother and The Amazing Race. I gave them my bed so they could cuddle because I am the kindest best friend in the world.

At one point, a commercial came on for Wendy's new kids menu. The commercial, if you haven't seen it, features little tikes trying to make up their minds about what side order they want with their burger. At one point a little kid says, "I'll have mandarin oranges..." and the voice over announces proudly that kids now have a choice between french fries or mandarin oranges with their burger.

THP and I started laughing hysterically. We couldn't stop. There is no way to translate this "had to be there" moment - but it was truly blissful to laugh until my stomach hurt at a stupid television commercial.

THP and I (both actors) started improvising our own commercial script.

THP: Sweetie, do you want chocolate milk? Or plain white NON-FAT milk?

TODDY: Mommy, I don't want a Chocolate Frosty Milkshake. I'll have Wheatgrass juice!

Commercials are so much more fun when shared with friends.

The last time I laughed so hard at a commercial was in the early 1990s. I was living in Washington DC with a roommate, Charis. She and I were always poor and could never pay all our bills every month. Once I bought groceries using my gasoline charge card. We would go country dancing a couple times a week and spend no more than eight dollars for a night's entertainment. But we laughed a lot and didn't need much money to have fun.

One night at the apartment, we were watching a commercial for a very affordable Nordic Track. The voice over announcer stressed the bargain price of this machine. He raved about the low price, and he bragged about the easy payments. Finally, he announced the price. 10 monthly payments of $99. Charis burst into laughter. Then I burst into laughter. Then we started laughing about the fact that we were laughing. We were so broke that $99 seemed like a ludicrous amount of money. We laughed for a good 20 minutes. We kept choking and laughing and saying, "Wow! That is SO affordable..."

And, again, "you had to be there".

While I love those "had to be there" moments, they are such a disappointment. When you try to recount a location joke, it's always a letdown to you and your listeners.

This morning THP and I sat in The Vortex drinking coffee. "I have nothing to blog about today," I told him. "Could you please do something funny? Fall out of your chair or something," I ordered him.

"French fries or mandarin oranges," he replied.

"Okay, but I know it's one of those 'had to be there' jokes," I said.

Then I told him the Nordic Track story, and he didn't crack a smile. "You had to be there," I said.

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