Wow. Hey, thank you. Thanks. Thank you, guys. Hey, Seattle. Nice to see you. Look at this. Look at us. We’re here. This is crazy. It’s insane. So about five years ago, pretty much everyone who I know started to get married, and that was strange for me because I don’t really believe in the idea of marriage. And that would have been fine, except I have a problem where sometimes when I think that I am right about something, it can be a real source of tension between me and the person I’m arguing with. And the reason it’s a source of tension is that I’m right. And so I remember distinctly talking to my friend Dana, and she goes, “Well, you don’t believe in marriage for you, but, of course, you believe in it for other people.” And I was like, “No, I think it’s insane, you know, for anyone.” And she said, “Why?”
And I said, “Well, first of all, it just seems doomed.” You know, 50% of marriages end in divorce. That’s just first marriages, by the way. Second marriages, 60% to 62% end in divorce. Third marriages, 70% to 75% end in divorce. That’s a learning curve.
Second of all, monogamy’s impossible, or at the very least, not a sure thing. When I say that, I think people assume that I’m implying that men are incapable of being faithful. I think women are just as incapable, but for more sophisticated reasons, you know. I mean, with men, we’re just really simple. We have a very simple sexuality. When I say that, my female friends are like, “Well, we like sex just as much as you do.” And I said, “Sure, but it’s different.” And they say, “How?” And I say, “Have you ever masturbated while driving a car?”
Number three… I’m never gonna be happy. Why would anyone want to be a part of that? I think that’s not brought up often enough. I, um, I didn’t know that would be the reaction. Oh, no, that’s the hopeful part.
The, uh… I had one ally in all this, which is my friend Andy, and he’s a comedian as well. Not only did we decide we weren’t gonna get married, we actually tried to stop other people we knew from getting married. Yeah, we were pretty good at it. Like, we stopped or put on hold three or four marriages, you know. We were… we were pretty good. I mean, we weren’t like the best in the world. I’m sure there are better in Europe. But we were… we were solid, you know. Like, so, like, for example, at point my friend Alex was about to get engaged. And so we just took him to dinner. And during dessert, we gave him a long, hard stare. We said, “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” And then we went cold to give him the sense of what it would feel like when we weren’t friends anymore.
So February 27, 2007, I’m at Andy’s house in Los Angeles. And earlier in the night, I got in an argument with my girlfriend on the phone, and it was a bad one because I knew that I was right. And Andy was a perfect person to be with in this kind of a situation ’cause he’s the kind of friend who just takes your side regardless of whether you’re right. He says stuff like, “She sounds crazy.” Like, even if what she’s saying isn’t that crazy, like, you’d be like, “She only eats whole wheat bagels.” He’d be like, “She sounds crazy!” You’d be like, “That’s not even the crazy part!” You know. So I’m telling him about his argument. And he goes, “You’re right.” I go, “I know. I’m right.” He goes, “Yeah, you’re right.” I go, “I know I’m right. I got to tell her about this in the morning.” And I get in my rental car to head back to my hotel, and I’m driving out of Andy’s small road, and I’m t-boned! I don’t know if you’re familiar with this term, uh… This is the culinary way of describing when you are hit by another car driver’s side at a 90-degree angle, like a t-bone steak. And in 1 1/2 seconds, I’m spun around, and I think I’m dead. No, wait, I’m paralyzed. And then I hear nothing. And then I hear the other car skid out and drive away. I know.
Let me tell you how this argument started. I met Jenny in St. Louis. My friend Andy and I were working for her company. They were performing for a bunch of wrestling coaches, which is really my demographic. I, uh… No, I was very nervous about this. I was actually kind of about to go onstage, and I was, like, scrawling notes on my napkin. A lot of times I’ll write kind of manic notes on napkins or hotel stationary. And Jenny looked at me, and she goes, “What are you doing?” And I said, “I’m writing my set list.” And then she goes, “I think it’ll be fine.” And I was like, “No, it won’t be fine.” And then she was like, “I think it will be okay.” And I said, “Why do you think that?” And she said, “Well, you look so nervous, I think they’ll feel sorry for you.” But Jenny has this really soft, sweet voice, like the kind of voice where you kind of get away with saying anything. At one point, she said, “It seems like you comedians are a lot funnier onstage.” Normally, I’d be offended by that, but in this instance, I was like, “You are right. That is a great point. You are beautiful, you know.” She re… she really was. You know, from the moment I met Jenny, I knew I wanted to sleep with her at least once. Stay with me. Uh, I mean… I mean that in, like, in the most meaningful way. Like, that was the most that I was capable of in my life at that point. I… I’d jus… I’d just come off a really long, difficult breakup with my college sweetheart where we were gonna get married, and… and then we weren’t. And then when we weren’t, I was so heartbroken, I just kind of swore off the idea of marriage or even living with someone entirely, you know, and… But from the moment I met Jenny, I just wanted to be with her. And I didn’t… I didn’t think it was gonna happen.
Like, I don’t have that kind of confidence. I actually think of myself as a sex maybe, which is to say that if I’m seeing a girl, she’d think, “I’d have sex with him, maybe.” You know, and I’m… I’m not ashamed of that. There were periods in my life where I was a sex never. Or a sex with self always. Yeah. And often. Surprisingly often. Yeah, I just don’t give off a great first impression. Like, I’ll give you an example. Like, this is the shirt I decided to wear tonight. Like, I didn’t… I didn’t spill mustard on the real shirt and this is the backup shirt. I mean, this is my “A” outfit. My “B” outfit was naked. I like to dress down to perpetuate the myth that I might be a fixer-upper. I’ve reached this point in my life I don’t really look in the mirror before I leave my apartment. I glance at it to make sure I’m not bleeding. You know what I mean? Like… But I don’t stare at the mirror. If I stare at the mirror, I get angry. Like, I feel like I’m complaining about a bad call a ref just made. I’m like, “Come on!” “You’re blind if you’re leaving the house like that!” And the ref is God, and the competing teams are my gut and my receding hairline. And it’s a close game ’cause my gut is large and my hairline is fast, and I’m all riled up. I’m about to charge the field. And the guy comes by with fried dough. And I’m like, “Next time.” You know, that’s how I go for fried dough, ’cause I have a problem. I just…
This is ridiculous. Can you follow me over here for a second? I’m gonna jump off stage. This is only in Seattle where someone is wearing no shoes? No shoes or socks? What? Who are you people? What is wrong with you? I would expect that behavior from this guy, but not you, sir, not you! What is this? Where do you think you are? From Seattle! Yeah, Seattle. So I’ve been going, uh, recently to a women’s exercise class. I-I’ve given up on having a traditional male physique. And so now I’m going for strong, independent woman. And, uh… It’s going pretty well, you know. I’m not as good in the class as you might think. Sometimes I’ll kind of skip whole sections of the more difficult exercises when the instructor isn’t looking. But then when she looks over, I always have to strike a pose as though I’ve been doing what everybody else has been doing. It reminds me of the Olympics. You know how they do gymnastics, how they’ll have those… The girls will do those crazy flips and twirls. And every once in a while… And I’m not saying I root for this to happen, but sometimes they’ll fall, and it’s ugly ’cause they’re rolling around like, “I’m in a lot of trouble. Like, I don’t even know how I got here.” But at the end of that, no matter what… And I totally fall for it. I’m like, “that can’t possibly be the same loser “From moments ago. “I mean, that’s a completely different person. “This person has much better posture, for starters.”
I really wanted Jenny to come out with me and Andy that night in St. Louis ’cause we were going out to one of these famous Irish pubs where no one can hear anyone speak. And so I thought that might work to my advantage. I don’t know, and, uh… I didn’t have the nerve to ask her myself, and so I convinced Andy to ask her for us. And, uh… Pfft. Which… yeah, I don’t know if that was the best idea ’cause, uh, we’re heading… We’re in the car heading to the pub, and Jenny says, “Oh, I left my I.D. at the hotel.” And I was like, “Oh, we can just swing back and get it.” And she’s like… she’s like, “No, it’ll be fine.” I was like, “No, it won’t be fine ’cause it’s St. Patrick’s day, and there’s bouncers.” And she goes, “No, it’ll be okay.” And I was like, “No, it won’t be okay.” And then we get to the pub, and it was fine. Like, the bouncer just kind of waved her through, which has not been my experience with bouncers. For me, bouncers are like prison guards. And for Jenny, they’re like birthday clowns like, you know, “What can I do to make your day better?”
You know, and that’s… We’re at the pub, and it had taken so much convincing for Andy to get Jenny to come out there. By the time she came out, she thought she was on a date with him. And, yeah, that wasn’t the idea. And so I said… I had to convince him to fall away as the night went on, like the red rockets on the space shuttle. And eventually, she realized she was on a date with me, and she was not happy about that. But, uh… But she warmed to me as the night went on ’cause she was drinking, and then, like… No, by the end of the night, we were laughing and having a good time, and we… I caught a break, which is we shared a ride back to our hotel with one of their friends, and she and I were stuffed in this little back seat together. And it was really quiet, so I could hear her soft voice. And she told me she had just come off a long, difficult breakup, and I told her about my breakup. And for a moment there in the back seat, it felt like we were holding up two halves of a broken paper heart, and… We get back to the hotel, and I offer to walk her to her room, and she says, “Sure.” We get to her door, and I didn’t want this night to end. And so I build up the courage to lean in to kiss her, and she says, “Oh, no, thank you.” Which I thought was polite… But disappointing. I mean, there’s something about a rejected kiss that is the most personal type of rejection because you’re really putting yourself out there. You’re just like, “I think we should connect mouths,” you know, and… The other person’s like, “I do not think we should connect mouths.” And those are… They’re two very different mouth agendas, you know. And then you just feel so stupid. You’re like, “I never should have suggested we connect mouths, you know.”
This is a sore subject for me. I have sort of a long history of failed kisses. Like, I… I remember growing up, like, when people started making out. Like, in my time in Massachusetts, it was in seventh grade. I remember… I remember it like it was yesterday ’cause I was shocked. I was like, “People we know are just making out with other people we know?” “But how?” You know. It seemed like an alien ritual where these two aliens just attach orifices all of a sudden. I was like, “I am not doing that.” And collectively, all the girls in my class were like, “That is fine. “You are not on the list. “You’re not exactly a first-round draft pick for our new activity.” I was like, “Perfect.” It seemed so gross to me. And it still does kind of. Like, sometimes you hear these homophobic arguments from these guys who are like, “I don’t like when I see two dudes making out in the street.” And I feel that way about anyone. Like, making out is just sloppy. It’s like watching a dog eat spaghetti. That’s how I make out. Is that right? Does anybody know if that’s right? Okay, good.
So… In seventh grade, I was like, “I’m not gonna make out with anybody.” And that was fine for a while, but increasingly, it kind of divided the class into two distinct parts. It was like, the make-out club and the non-make-out club. And these were informal organizations, of course. I mean, I would be sad if that were school-sanctioned, like, “we call this meeting of the non-make-out club to order. “First order of business, Nintendo. “Second order of business, why doesn’t anyone like us? Meeting adjourned.” I don’t know, it was a sad group, and we were losing good guys by the day. I feared… I feared that soon I would be the lone member of the non-make-out club, so I was like, “I got to try to get into the make-out club.” But it was a very intangible goal. I didn’t really talk to a lot of girls, and… There was one girl who sat in front of me in class named Lisa Bazetti who I had a huge crush on, but she was way out of my league. Like, she had many suitors. She had… I don’t… The rest of the show is in old English. Uh… She doth had many suitors! Uh, no, she had many, you know, admirers. And there were three of us, really, and I was in third place in all the trade publications, but I had one advantage over these other guys, which is she had to talk to me on the phone every night about homework, thanks to alphabetical order. Bazetti, Birbiglia. One time I said something on the phone that made her laugh, and I was like, “Oh, this is great. I got to do that more.” And one time we were on the phone, and she was laughing so hard, I remember so well ’cause she goes, “Mike, you got to stop. I’m gonna pee myself.” And I was like, “Wow.” This was the closest I’d ever come to a vagina. So spent the next 15 years trying to get Lisa Bazetti to pee. And that’s how I ended up here. Yeah. That’s how we all ended up here, in a sense.
So… uh… So here’s what happened with Lisa. One time I built up the courage to ask her to go to the carnival with me, and she said yes. I couldn’t believe it. Like, all of a sudden I thought, “Well, maybe this will be like “one of those romantic comedy montages. “We’ll go to the carnival, we’ll get stuck “On the top of the Ferris wheel, we’ll make out. “It’ll all take a minute and a half, and it will be set to Phil Collins song.” But I think that when you’re 12 years old, you just don’t understand certain things about your digestive system. You don’t know that you shouldn’t eat popcorn and peanuts and ice cream and cotton candy and then step onto a machine called the scrambler. Cotton candy being the most insane of these items. It’s basically saying, “We’re gonna take sugar, “which everyone knows is bad, but then we’ll dress it up like insulation.” And I’m like, “I’m not sure “what the selling point is there. Is it the sugar or the insulation?” They’re like, “We already sold it.” I’m like, “well done, way to move the product before the information campaign disseminates.” I don’t know if you have the scrambler here in Seattle. I imagine you might. It travels on a truck. It is a very mobile scrambling unit. The premise is very simple. You just sit on a two-person pod with the person you are in love with, and that pod goes in a circle, which is part of a larger circle, which is part of an even grander circle. As I understand it, it was originally designed as a medical device for constipated patients. It was called the “shits of pants-erator,” and it was wildly successful. And then it was co-opted by the carnival workers of America. Cwoa. And they said… They said, “We like it, but we do feel like the name is a little bit of a turnoff.” And then one guy says, “Well, what about the ‘I think I’m gonna die-erator’?” And they’re like, “That’s good, “’cause it gets across the essence of how you feel “when you’re on the machine. “Plus it has the added wordplay with diarrhea, “which is a nice homage “to the original intention of the machine, “but we still feel like the name might be a little bit of a turnoff.” And then one guy goes, “well, what about the scrambler? ‘Cause it scrambles you!” They’re like, “We get it, Frank, but who…” Frank is a maniac. This guy can’t be stopped, but every once in a while, he’s got a good idea. “But who will be in charge of this dangerous piece of equipment?” And this one guy goes, “well, I have a nephew who’s 16 years old “and smokes pot 24 hours a day. I feel like he might be available.” And they’re like, “he sounds amazing. “We don’t even need to interview him. He sounds completely qualified.”
I sit down with Lisa on the scrambler, and I’m feeling good. Like, she’s snuggling up close to me, and I’m thinking… I’m thinking like, “this could be it. “This could be where it’s all gonna happen. This is very special.” And then they put that bar seat belt down. And the bar seat belt is not a reassuring piece of safety equipment. It’s not a Ralph Nader approved item. I don’t think it’s saved lives. I think the only thing it’s ever done is in a scrambler accident, it’s just sort of held someone’s esophagus down to the pavement, making sure that they are dead and that they cannot talk about the scrambler accident. First rule of scrambler accident, don’t talk about scrambler accident. That’s from scrambler club. Well, I knew from the moment they put the bar seat belt down that I was going to throw up for sure. And I even said to the 16-year-old stoner, I was like, “hey, actually…” And then he was gone. Apparently, he doesn’t enjoy the second halves of sentences.
So then I’m scrambling, and… As I am scrambling, I’m thinking, “I need to come up with a plan of some kind. I’m not going down without a fight.” My first plan was very simple. It was just don’t look at Lisa, don’t look at any other people. I was like, “don’t look at Lisa, “don’t look at any other people. “Don’t look at Lisa, “don’t look at any other people. I need a new plan.” And… The new plan was I needed to tell the scrambler operator… That he needed to stop the ride, but… The mathematics of the scrambler are such that the window of opportunity in which one can communicate with the scrambler operator is a very limited window. So I’m like, “I got to tell him he’s got to stop the ride. “I got to tell him he’s got to stop the ride. “I got to tell him he’s got to stop the ride. Please stop the ride!” And I’m back! “I’m not sure he heard me. “I got to say it louder. Please stop the ride! “I’m not sure he’s paying attention. I think he might be smoking pot right now.” The third time I said, “please stop.” And then I started throwing up, and it was not unlike an oscillating lawn sprinkler, just… Popcorn, peanuts… Insulation. Really, insulating the pavement with my homemade carnival salsa. I did not look at Lisa. But I’m pretty sure she was staring at me because I was a spectacle at that point. I was spectacular. And we did not make out. I did not lose my mouth virginity that evening.
Two years later, it gets worse. Um… I’m at the St. John’s high school, what they call a cattle call dance. This is an all boys catholic school I attended where they would invite the girls from all over the state to our sweaty St. John’s gymnasium like cattle, which is a friendly way to describe women, you know. So… Cattle shows up at 8:00. We’ll make out with the cattle. Cattle goes home at 10:00. Then we go out for burgers. Completely separate from the cattle analogy. It was a horrible affair. It was just like this room chock-full of sweat and hormones and drakkar noir and led zeppelin and making out. At this point, I was, indeed, the lone member of the non-make-out club, but it was actually worse than that ’cause I had to lie to my friends and tell them I had had my first kiss ’cause it was, like, this really tough, all boys school. And so when they would ask, like, “oh, have you had your first kiss?” I’d be like, “yeah, like, all the time. Like, every… every week.” I always feared at some point there’d be a follow-up question like, “oh, yeah? What’s it like?” And I’d be like, “yeah, you know, it’s just like licking an ice cream cone.” And they’d be like, “no, it’s not. It’s like sucking on a rocket pop.” And I’d be like, “ah, wrong frozen dessert analogy.” I’m at the dance, and I’m flanked by my friend Sam Ricciardi. And we’re introduced by our friend Tom to these girls from his town. They were the last two cows at the dance. They were like, “moo!” And we were like, “moo!” And then Sam says one of these phrases I think we’ve all heard but is very uncomfortable to repeat. He says, “you get that one.” Which I know it’s the worst turn of phrase, but I’m comfortable saying it ’cause I know I’ve been on the negative end of that conversation where a girl says of me, “you get that one.” And then her friend goes like, “oof.” You know, or even worse… or even worse, like, “you owe me,” which really hurts thinking of someone incurring debt based on my appearance. I would hate to hurt someone’s credit score, you know. So he goes… he goes, “you get that one.” And then I’m just fast dancing with this girl, Sandra, to young mc’s bust a move. And I’m not great at fast dancing, but they had the strobe light going, so it’s only catching me one out of every five… Hey! So she’s losing interest, but at 1/5 the speed. And then I’m saved by a slow song, Stairway to Heaven, which is a classic make-out anthem. Led Zeppelin, eight minutes long. What’s great about slow dancing is you can’t really mess it up ’cause it’s just sort of a slow-motion hug. Like, the only way you could mess it up is if you just started fast dancing in the middle of it. She’d be like, “what are you doing?” And I’d be like, “I don’t pick up on social cues,” you know. But it’s such a long song, you know, Stairway, so I’m just trying not to fidget. I’m sort of a fidgety person. I feared if I fidgeted too much, I might initiate the head tilt too early. I didn’t know anything about making out, but I’d seen people do it. I could see there’s, like, a head tilt. I had heard there were tongues involved. And I could see that there was, like, some kind of space in between the two mouths. To me that was the most mysterious part of the whole thing. What is happening in that space? There is no… You know, there’s no video documentation of that area. It’s like the giant squid of making out. No one has seen it alive. They’ve only seen it washed up on the shore… Which is more specific to the squid side of that analogy, but… So I’m trying not to fidget. Then with 1 1/2 minutes left in stairway to heaven, the song hits that crescendo… All around me, kids start to make the tilt. Just a harvest of teenagers making out all around me. And I was like, “oh, no. I don’t want to be alone anymore.” And I make the slightest tilt. And then Sandra comes in strong, and then it’s an all-out mouth war. And she had artillery ’cause she had braces. It was like a dog eating spaghetti and the fork. As this oral atrocity is taking place, all I can think is, “I’m not alone anymore! I’m not in the non-make-out club!” And all I wanted to do was tell my friends, but I couldn’t because up until that point, I’d lied and said that I’d had my first kiss. I walked off the dance floor, Sam was like, “how’d it go, dude?” I had to be like, “same as always. Pretty smooth.”
As the week wore on, I started to convince myself, “well, maybe it did go well, “and I should call Sandra, and this could bud into a relationship of some kind,” but… I got her number from Tom, and those conversations ended up being very brief, you know. We didn’t have a lot to talk about. I remember just being like, “hey, you like full house? “Me neither. Cool. All right. Later.” You know what I mean? At certain points, I remember getting this vibe from her, kind of like, “why are you calling me?” And I remember thinking, “oh, I’m probably reading into that one too much,” and… And then she stopped calling me back. And I was like, “oh, yeah, I read into that one perfectly.” But I just felt so dumb about the whole thing, and the worst part is I couldn’t even tell my friends, until one day I was… I was standing by my locker with my friend Tom, and so I said to him, I was like, “hey, what’s going on with Sandra? Like, she hasn’t called me back.” And Tom has this knowing grin on his face. I was like, “what?” Tom was like, “nothing.” And I was like, “what?” Tom was like, “nothing.” And I was like, “what?” Tom’s like, “oh.” “I talked to Sandra, and she said “you’re the worst kisser she’s ever kissed.” And it was so devastating ’cause not only was it probably true, but I couldn’t explain to my friends why it was true. I couldn’t say, “that makes sense. I’ve never done that before.” So instead I had to play it off. I had to be like, “yeah, that sounds about right. “I’m a terrible kisser. That’s kind of my thing.”
So I lean in to kiss Jenny, and she says, “oh, no, thank you.” She agrees to go out with me in New York. We were both living in New York, and she gave me her number, and I typed it in my phone, and from that point on, she would be “Jen, Irish pub, nice.” A few weeks later, I took her out to a restaurant I couldn’t afford to show her how much money I could put on my credit card. We’re out to dinner, and she says to me, she goes, “everyone hates me at work,” and I said, “why would they hate you? I love you.” She goes, “you love me?” I go, “I mean, you seem cool.” I pulled it back. I didn’t want to show all my cards. Just about nine of them. One of the other things that she said of note on this date is she said, “you know, sometimes I’ll date two people at once, and that way I’m never let down by either person.” I said, “that seems like a really smart plan. Like, I’d like to do that as well.” And she said, “I’m still kind of seeing my ex-boyfriend, John, and you can see other people too, but you have to tell me if you’re seeing them.” And I was like, “all right, sounds like a plan. “Got it. Break! I got to go find some more people, you know.” And so a few nights later, I’m in another city, and I do a show, and after the show, I went out to a bar, and I ended up making out with this random girl. Then a few nights later, I’m out to dinner with Jenny, and she says, “how was your trip?” And I said, “it was great. I did some shows, “and then one night I ended up making out with this random girl.” And that didn’t go over very well in the conversation. I could sense that something was wrong. And I was like, “but I’m right about that, right? Like, I’m supposed to tell you if that happens, right?” And she says, “yeah, but it doesn’t mean “that I won’t lose interest in you.” And I said, “that’s a whole new clause! “That’s a twist! What is this, the romantic comedy version of the usual suspects?” I said, “are you still seeing John?” And she said, “sometimes.” I said, “well, don’t you see the contradiction in that?” And she says, “yes.” And it gets very quiet… Because we were falling in love.
Three weeks into my relationship with Jenny, I built up the courage to ask her to go on a trip to Bermuda. I wanted to show her how much more money I could put on my credit card. Since I didn’t have a lot left, we went to Bermuda ’cause it was the off season. You can get these great deals online. Because as it turns out, when it’s winter in New York, it is also winter… In Bermuda, and, uh… Jenny and I meet up at the airport, and she’s late, which is a big pet peeve of mine. I fancy myself as a professional traveler. I’m always two hours early, I have my pocket for my ticket and my passport, and I have laceless moccasins. I never tell jokes about bombs. And… and Jenny’s late. And then we get to security, and I’m not making this up, she doesn’t have a license or a passport. And I said, “what do you mean?” I go, “how do you travel?” And she goes, “well, “usually, they let me on the plane with my credit card and my work I.D.” I don’t like to dwell on the differences between men and women, but I just can’t imagine a scenario where a man would go to the airport with no license and no passport, and they would let him on the plane. But women get a pass on things like this that I find completely bewildering. I mean, if I were in charge of Al-Qaeda, for example, what… what I would do is I would recruit attractive women because they’re just not stopped under any circumstances. Although it would be difficult to recruit them because all they have to offer are the 72 virgins and, you know, the women wouldn’t want that, unless they’re lesbians, although there’s an idea, you know. Al-Qaeda… Al-Qaeda could recruit hot lesbians, although… then they’d have to guarantee that the 72 virgins are also lesbians. I mean, what are the odds, you know? All 72 virgins are also lesbians, unless you think of sexuality as, like, a blank slate concept where the first person you have sex with dictates your sexual identity. Like the 72 virgins are like, “I didn’t even know I was a lesbian “until I had sex with that hot lesbian terrorist. “And now that’s all I’m into. “I used to be into these Afghani guys who are so crazy, “they’d die in a fiery plane crash to have sex with me “and 71 of my friends. But now I don’t see Khalid in the same way anymore.”
The point is, we went to Bermuda, and we’re on the flight… On the flight, and the flight attendant comes over, and she puts champagne glasses down in front of us. And she says, “congratulations on your honeymoon.” And we said, “oh, no, thanks. We’re not on our honeymoon.” And she walks away, and Jenny says, “that’s so funny. I don’t think I’ll ever go on a honeymoon.” And I said, “oh, really?” And she goes, “yeah. I don’t think I’d ever want to get married in my life.” And I said, “oh, really?” I go, “me too.” I said, “is that based on a principle, “or did you have a bad relationship? Like, what was your first boyfriend like?” And… She told me about her first boyfriend Brian. It was… they were at the same bus stop when they were 16, and they would make out on the bus, and they were together for six years. And they… you know, their relationship got deeper, and they would talk about how they were gonna get married and spend the rest of their lives together. And I said, “then what?” And she said, “he died. He had leukemia.” And I said, “well, do you ever talk about this with anyone?” And she says, “no, I don’t really like to talk about it.” But these were the kinds of conversations we started having on this trip where Jenny was opening up to me, and I was opening up to her. And every night we’d be up till 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and we were so happy, we… At one point, I was like, “well, we should do this again. “We should go on another trip. And you could get a license or a passport.” Jenny said, “that sounds great, “but I don’t think I’d get a license or a passport ’cause they don’t make me get one.” And I was like, “yeah, but it’s the law.” You know. Jenny says, “yeah, I don’t think I’ll get one “’cause they don’t make me get one, you know. That’s how I feel.” That’s how Jenny argues things. Sometimes she’ll just say, “that’s how I feel.” And I’ll say, “that’s not an argument.” “Like, we’re not even in an argument right now because you don’t have an argument.” And she’ll say, “I just won that argument.” And I’ll say, “that’s not even possible based on the definition of what an argument is.” And she’ll say, “I just won that argument,” again. “That’s how I feel.”
You could see how this could be a little bit maddening, you know, uh… On our final day on the trip, we got into an argument about essentially nothing. She noticed there was a basketball court at our hotel, and she said, “we should play.” And I was like, “yeah, but not, like, a game.” And she said, “why?” And I said, “well, ’cause I’d win.” And she said, “no, I think I would win.” I go, “no. I know that I’d win, “and I know that what I’m supposed to say is that… “The guy says, ‘I’ll win,’ the girl says, ‘I’ll win,’ “and the guy lets her win, and then she likes him more. But I just don’t have that in me.” And Jenny goes, “you don’t have to let me win. Let’s go out and play.” And so we went out and played basketball, and I just kicked her ass. I mean, it was just like… It was just like… 10 to 1, you know, 11 to 1. I mean, I was having a good day, but still, I was just destroying her. And at one point, she literally said, “I’ve never met someone who’s so obsessed with the score.” And I said, “the score is what makes it a game!”
So we’re arguing this over lunch, and then, again, it comes up at dinner, and then we’re still arguing about it at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning about essentially nothing. And she said, “I don’t understand why you’re so obsessed with being right.” I go, “I’m not obsessed with it. I just am.” I said, “why do you think you’re right?” And she says, “that’s how I feel.” I said, “if you think I’m so wrong about everything, why are you even with me?” And Jenny says, “you can’t choose who you love.” Which is true, but it doesn’t mean it’s good. I remember the first time I fell in love, I was in high school, and it was that first time where you fall in love, and you’re just like, “this is it. I found her. I’m 17 years old, and I’m done, you know.” And… Her name was Amanda, and she was, like, adorable and funny. And what was really exciting for me was that she was, like, a delinquent. Like, I was like this play-by-the-rules school citizen, and she had been expelled from her previous school for dealing acid, which I thought was a really strong quality. Like, at one point, she was like, “it was totally messed up because it wasn’t even me. It was this other girl, and I was framed.” And I was just like, “awesome.” Like no one would ever frame me for anything. I just… I thought it was like an opposites attract situation. She wanted to know what it was like to hang out with someone in student government who writes for the newspaper. And I wanted to know what it was like to be cool. At one point, I was like, “do you want to write an article for the newspaper?” She goes, “I don’t want to write an article. I want to do things people write articles about.” And I was like, “good answer.”
I find that when you fall in love, you tend to overlook certain red flags. One of them was that she would say really mean stuff to me, but then she would pull it back. She’d be like, “no one likes you at all. Only kidding.” Or, like, “you’re like a nerd, but you’re not even smart. Just joking.” Can’t choose who you love.
Second red flag with Amanda was that she was a liar. And I don’t… I don’t mean that in an offensive way. Like, lying was kind of like a… It’s like a sport at the school I was at. I transferred from the all boys school to this co-ed school. There was this one guy in my class named Keith Robbins who was a legendary liar. You’d know when he was lying ’cause he would lick his finger like a bookie, and he would dart his eyes from side to side. And he’d go, “yeah, yeah, nice. Nice, you know.” And he wasn’t even handling money. Like, I don’t even know what this is about. And then he would lie about things that were sort of insignificant. He’d be like, “yeah, my uncle’s Tony Robbins, “motivational speaker. Yeah, nice, you know.” And… We found out that that wasn’t even true. But even if that were true, that wouldn’t be impressive to a bunch of high school students. But I think that’s the jedi level of lying, is you lie about little stuff, and no one notices when you’re lying about big stuff. It’s like banking.
The final red flag with Amanda was that she told me not to tell anyone that she was my girlfriend. I know. I’m in the future also. I think we can all see now ’cause we’re so smart, and Mike’s so dumb, and, uh… You know, I can also see, in retrospect, that’s a much bigger red flag than I perceived it to be at the time, but I was so excited she was even with me at all. And she said she had another boyfriend at home, but they were in the process of breaking up, but it was a bad time ’cause his parents were sick. And so I tried to be understanding of that. You know, I went along with it for a few months until she invited me to meet her parents. And I thought, “well, this is the affirmation that I need. I’m gonna be crowned as the main boyfriend.” And I drive my mom’s station wagon to Amanda’s parents’ house, and I walk in the front door, and there’s Amanda, and there’s her parents, and it’s going well. And a few hours go by, and this other guy comes over to the house, and his name is Scott. I’m assuming he’s, like, a family friend or a relative. And slowly I’m noticing similarities between Scott and things that Amanda has said about her other boyfriend. They’re both in their first year in college, and they’re competitive wrestlers, and… It’s dawning on me that I’m hanging out with my girlfriend’s boyfriend. And it’s going pretty well. I mean, he… He seemed like a nice guy. I could totally see what she saw in him. There was some consolation that when he would go in the other room to the kitchen or the bathroom, she would hold on to my hand, and she would say, “I wish it were just you and me here.” And I remember thinking, “you could make that happen.” The way she said it was as though she weren’t involved in the decision process, like, “I’d love to, but the boys in corporate…”
Well, the day took an even stranger turn when Scott suggested that we go hang out at his house. And I met his parents. It is indescribable meeting your girlfriend’s boyfriend’s parents for the first time. Part of you is angry for obvious reasons, but then part of you still wants to make a good impression. You know, you’re like… “Maybe if this goes well, she’ll see that I’m good with adults in general!” As a side note, his parents seemed in perfect health. At one point, his dad even said to me, “how do you know Amanda?” And I said, “we’re just friends from school.” And I was so ashamed, and I felt so dumb. And I drove home, and I remember thinking, “I am never gonna let this happen to me again.”
So… Ten months into my relationship with Jenny, she invites me to meet her parents. And this was a tricky time. At this point, our relationship was intense, but casual, which is a dangerous relationship cocktail, and it was a hard thing to organize ’cause I was away probably five days out of the week. And so we found a Sunday where I was coming back from a five-day stint in Texas, which was awful ’cause it was… In Texas. And I… that’s… That’s not to say I dislike Texas entirely. It’s such a large thing to dislike. And, uh… But that week it felt like Texas just disliked me, and I just kind of disliked Texas back to the point where I developed a small drinking problem, which is… which is very popular in Texas. I was performing at a comedy club. Now, comedy… I love comedy clubs ’cause they’re sort of a high-low entertainment proposition. Like, in some ways, though, they’re the last bastions of free speech and the art of spoken word, and then some of them sell dildo straws, you know. Like, there’s 15 bachelorette parties coming through on the weekends, and they’re handing out gummy penises or whatever. That’s… that’s actually a thing. I didn’t even realize that… I didn’t realize that that was part of the female fantasy of the penis was… was the gummy quality of the penis. I feel like if I were in charge of the candification of the penis, it would be hard candy. And then if… And then, if you suck it down to the gummy part, then you just sort of put that off to the side. But I… but that’s… that’s not my job. I’m… you know, I leave that to the experts, but I just… I just do the comedy part. But I was performing at this club all week, and after the late show Saturday night, I was approached by this bachelorette party that had one of these sort of novelty sexual checklist things. And… I’d been drinking all week, and, uh, I always try to be a team player, you know. So I was like, “whatever I can do to help. I don’t see how this could end badly.” And, uh… The next morning, I wake up in the my hotel room, and I’m hung over, and I’m groggy. And I roll out of bed, and I run to the airport to catch my flight. I’m still two hours early, and… I land in New York, and I get a cab to Jenny’s parents’ house. And I walk in the front door, and there’s Jenny, and there’s her parents. And there’s her other sort of ex-boyfriend, John. And he wasn’t front and center. Like, he was just kind of around, like, he was in the pool, like, wading and doing laps, like, that kind of thing. But I pulled Jenny aside, I was like, “well, what’s John doing here?” And she says, “well, he and I aren’t still together, “but when we were together, “he became friends with my stepdad, “and he’s been staying here at their house the last couple weeks.” And I said, “you know, that’s not good. I feel like that gives him the edge.” Jenny’s staring at me. And I said, “what?” She says, “you have a hickey on your neck.” And I said, “I don’t think that’s true.” And then I glance at the mirror next to me and realize that, in fact, I do have a hickey on my neck. And I say, “I’m really sorry.” And she says, “where is that from?” And I said, “there was this bachelorette party, and I was drunk.” That sentence never comes out right. I mean, there’s no way to deliver that line in a way that makes you seem even okay, and… We start arguing, and the argument follows us all the way back to the street in front of my apartment. I didn’t have a leg to stand on. I was like, “well, what about John? What was he doing there?” She said, “you have a hickey on your neck.” I said, “yeah, but at least I told you the truth.” And she said, “eventually.” And I said, “eventually is better than never!” And then she kneed me in the balls. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this before. I’m sure half of you have not. Uh… It’s like being electrocuted, except you don’t get to die. It’s like you want to die, but you can’t. And there’s a person in your face saying, “you deserve this,” which they wouldn’t even do in electrocutions. I think they would deem that as inhumane. Even in Texas.
Jenny says, “I think that we should just break up. “You know, it’s not just this. “I mean, you’re away a lot of the time. “And even when you’re here, you work at night, “and I work in the day. I just don’t think it’s gonna work out.” And I said, “okay.” And we were apart for about six months, and I missed her so much, but I kept resisting calling her ’cause I wanted to give her space. And every once in a while I’d get a glimmer of hope in the form of a text message from “Jen, Irish pub, nice.” And it would just say, “hi.” And I’d write back, “hi.” It was the smallest form of communication two people could have with one another, but I think, in some ways, kept us together. And finally, on new year’s, I caved in, and I called her, I said, “hey, I really miss you, and I want to see you.” And we got together for coffee. And we hit it off just like we used to, and we decided we would get back together. We had a great period there, you know. I took her to get a license and a passport. First, we went for her social security card, and then we took that to the D.M.V. And then we mailed all of that to the government for a passport. It was like the triple crown of identifications. Jenny was wildly identifiable. One night, she was heading back from my apartment to hers, and she stops. And I said, “what?” And she says, “I think that we should live together.” And I said, “no, I really don’t think that’s a good idea. “You know, I’ve just decided, you know, as a principle, “I’m not gonna get married or live with someone. It’s not personal.” And she said, “well, unless we live together, “I just don’t think it’s gonna work out “’cause we just don’t see each other enough, “and I don’t think that we stand a chance. That’s how I feel.”
So we moved in together. And one day, Jenny gets an invitation to the wedding of one of her friends, and she invites me to come along. And I said, “oh, no, thanks.” That doesn’t go over so well. She says, “why?” And I said, “well, as you know, “I don’t believe in marriage, and so I don’t buy into the flamboyant pageantry that goes into celebrating it.” She said, “well, what do you believe in?” And I said, “I don’t know.” She said, “well, if you don’t believe in anything, how can you not believe in marriage?” And I said, “well, first of all, “you know, it just doesn’t seem necessary. “I mean, is it… you know, “marriage is an archaic institution “invented in the middle ages based on exchanging property. “I don’t want to be a part of that. “Second of all, I don’t even think we have “a common cultural understanding of what marriage even is. “I mean, one of me and Andy’s friends “was about to get engaged, and we were skeptical, “and we said, ‘are you sure this is the person “you want to be with for the rest of your life?’ “and he goes, ‘yeah, I think so.’ “and we said, ‘well, what if she gets in a car accident, “and she’s disfigured? Would you stay with her then?’ “and he said, ‘maybe’! “That is not an acceptable answer! “Third of all, if I’m so in love, “why does it need to be written into a government contract? “And I’m not one of these like, “‘I don’t want government up in my business’ kind of people! “I think the government does a nice job “delivering the mail and suggesting I don’t eat poison, “but I just don’t understand why they need to be involved “in my personal relationships. “Then finally, if marriage is religious, “shouldn’t I believe in the religion? “I’ve been to more weddings of my friends “where the people on the altar don’t believe “in the religion of the church they’ve invited us to! “Some of them even go to classes with the priest “in advance, to more elaborately lie “about believing in a religion they don’t believe in “just to have a wedding in a fancy building! “That is insane! That’s how I feel!” So I explain this to Jenny. And Jenny says, “well, if you ever did want to get married, I would marry you.” And I said, “why? Aren’t you listening to any of this?” And Jenny says, “that’s how I feel.”
At this point, it was 5:00 in the morning, we’d been arguing all night, and we hadn’t slept. I had to catch a flight at 6:20 A.M. Out of Newark airport to Los Angeles for a show I was doing that night. At this point, I’m overtired, and I’m angry, and I’m late. I’m stuffing my things in my roller suitcase. And I walk out of our apartment. It’s 5:00 A.M., that part of the morning before the earth even exists, before they program The Matrix or whatever. You walk out of your apartment, part of the road isn’t even there. There’s a guy with a laptop going, “we need a road, stat! What’s the code for building, tank?” You know, and I get to the airport. The news hasn’t even started yet. It’s just an anchor looking around like, “what are you up to?” And I get to the kiosk, and I print up my ticket, and I bring it to the security lady, and she looks at me, and she goes, “well, that ain’t your gate.” Like, I guess they changed the gate, but the way she said it was as though I had participated in the decision of changing it. I was like, “I was not involved in this process. I wasn’t even C.C.’d.” Like, as though I had gone to the kiosk and been like, “B22. Like hell I’m flying out of B22.” And then I photoshopped my own ticket, printed it out, and been like, “this is where I’m going.” You know, I’m not that aggressive as a traveler, so I was like, “well, where is this gate?” She goes, “it’s in another terminal. You got to take a tram.” She points to the tram, and I start walking my roller suitcase, and I hear her say, “and you better run.” Like, I guess I was late at that point. So I started running. And the roller suitcase does not enjoy running. The roller suitcase was like, “I don’t want to run. I have wheels.” And I was like, “I don’t want to run either, but this is what we have to do. “I tell you what, when we get to the hotel, I’ll walk you in circles for a few hours.” Then I… I get to the tram, and it has that feature where it says how many minutes before the next tram arrives. And it says zero minutes. I was like, “perfect. That’s exactly how long I want to wait.” But the tram’s riding away. I was like, “that’s -1 minute!” Then it says ten minutes, and I’m experiencing that psychological downward spiral like, “oh, great, I’m gonna miss my flight, “and then I’m gonna miss every flight from now on, “and I’m gonna miss my family reunion. “And then I’m not gonna have a family, and then I’m gonna be a crack whore.” And it’s like, all of a sudden, I’m a crack whore just because I miss this one flight. I can feel the cancer forming in my body in real time and…
I get on the next tram ten minutes later, and I run to the gate, and I’m sweaty, and I’m out of breath, but I’m on time. And I’m so relieved that I sit down in a chair at the gate, and I fall asleep. And I wake up to the sound of the door shutting. I jump up, and the door is closed, and I am on the sad side of the door. The happy side has an airplane and a pilot. The sad side is me and the Cinnabon lady. Normally, I’d be very excited if it were just me and the Cinnabon lady. I’m a big fan of pastries the size of a baby that have enough calories for a year. I think that’s an effective use of time. But in this instance, I needed someone who could communicate with the people on the plane. And the Cinnabon lady is not very well connected in the airline community. I was like, “do you know these people?” She was like, “all I know is the white stuff goes on the cinnamon bun.” I ran up to the giant glass window. I started pounding on the window like in a romantic comedy. I was like, “Drew Barrymore’s character, come back!” She didn’t come back, and I missed my flight. I got on the next one they could get me on. There was a stopover in Texas. You know how I feel about Texas. And, uh, I get to Los Angeles late that night, and I’d missed my show. I’d never missed one of my shows before, and I’m so angry. And Jenny’s calling me, but I’m not picking up the phone ’cause I’m blaming this entire day on her.
I get back to my friend Andy’s house, and I said, “Andy, this relationship is messing up my entire life!” And Andy goes, “you’re right.” I go, “I know! I’m right!” He goes, “yeah, you’re right.” I go, “I know, I’m right! I got to tell her about this in the morning!” I drive out of Andy’s small road, and I’m t-boned. That’s the culinary way of describing it. In 1 1/2 seconds, I’m spun around, and I think I’m dead. No, wait, I’m paralyzed. And then I hear nothing. Then I hear the other car skid out and drive away. 20 minutes later I’m sitting on a curb. At this point, the police have arri… have arrived, as well as my friend, Andy, and that’s when I start crying. You know how when you drop a baby on the ground, it doesn’t… Doesn’t start crying right away because it doesn’t understand the concept of dropping a baby on the ground until it sees your face? And then it’s like, “oh, I guess I should be doing something “that matches that. Waah!” I’m crying because I’m looking at my totaled car in front of me and realizing that, in that moment, I might have ceased to exist. Like I said earlier, I don’t really believe in anything, so in my mind, that would have been the end of all things I’d experienced in my life. Every kiss or failed kiss or scrambler ride would come to a conclusion, and… The officer comes over, and he says, “what happened?” And I said, “I got hit by this car, “and then I heard nothing, and then I heard the other car skid out and drive away.” The officer points over to the light. The other car has made a right turn at the light and veered into this very skinny tree. I can’t help but think, “that’s karma. That’s a hit and run and hit.” And then the officer puts this form in my face, and he goes, “sign this.” And I said, “well, what does it mean?” And he goes, “it means you’re okay and that we can leave.” I was really shaken up. I was like, “I don’t know if I’m okay.” And he goes, “just sign it,” which is a very unattractive quality. When someone just repeats a command that you’ve just said no to, and it’s unattractive, but very effective, you know. I signed it. Andy takes me to the hospital just as a precaution, but we have to wait two hours ’cause the other driver had beat us there, and… Eventually, we’re with the doctor, and Andy says to him, he goes, “well, was the other guy drunk?” And the doctor says, “well, I can’t answer that.” And Andy says, “was he?” He uses the technique we had learned earlier, and it works, you know. The doctor says, “well, he’s heading to jail now.” And Andy and I flash each other a look like the hardy boys, like, “case closed.” A few hours later, we’re back at Andy’s house, it’s probably around 3:30 in the morning, and I have one of these epiphanies people sometimes have when they have near-death experiences. I say, “I need to call Jenny and tell her that we need to get married.” And Andy says, “Mike… Sleep on it.” And I said, “no, no, no, this makes perfect sense.” And I pick up my phone, and I dial her number. And he puts his hand over the phone, and he says, “Mike… Sleep on it.” He saves me.
The next morning, I fly back to New York, and a few weeks later, I get a call from my rental car agency explaining that the accident report had come back on the accident that I just described. And it had found me at fault and that I owed… And I’m not making this up… $12,000 for the repairs on the other driver’s Mercedes S.U.V. And I was like, “well, this can’t be happening.” I explained to the woman, “I think it’s a misunderstanding. “The other guy was clearly drunk. It was definitely not my fault.” And she said, “I’m really sorry, but unless they change the accident report, you owe this money.” So I requested the accident report, and I’m gonna show you the actual accident report tonight. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these things before… But it’s a little bit like homework for cops. And officer timson not so good with the homework. He consistently mixes up passenger one and passenger two, vehicle one and vehicle two. At one point, so badly that he says P-1… that’s me… started to go, but all of a sudden V-1… That’s me also… Came at a high rate of speed, crashing into him. Now, I’m pretty self-destructive as a person, but I would never crash into my own car with my own car, nor would I understand how you could do that. This part is even crazier. The other driver’s statement at the scene of the accident was, “I was on Venice going… uh, I’m not too sure. “I was going away from the beach. “I was driving. “I don’t know what happened. “Did I hurt anyone? “I don’t know where I was going, “but I came from home. I had a sip of beer.” Which is really everyone’s favorite quantity of beer. Just the one sip, right? That’s what they serve these days at the home/beach/pub.
So all of it’s mine. The officer makes one key mistake. He checks the box that finds me at fault. So I’m like, “I need to get officer Timson on the phone, so we can clear up this misunderstanding.” The problem is he keeps ducking my calls, and I know ’cause I’m calling two or three times a day, leaving messages, calling departments next to his department, so he knows I’m trying to reach him. And finally, after a month of this, I get him on the phone, and I’m so relieved. And I explain this misunderstanding. And he listens to me, and he says, “do the right thing, and pay for the guy’s car.” I know, and, I mean, that’s what I said. I go, “aren’t you listening to any of this?” I go, “and this guy was clearly drunk. “I mean, he nearly killed me. “Inches from where he hit, “and I would be dead right now. “And he wants me to pay for his car? “Don’t you see how crazy that is, just as one human being to another?” And he says, “do the right thing, and pay for the guy’s car.” And he hangs up the phone. And at this point, this stops being about money, and it’s just about stopping a man who has no regard for people or the law. This is Chinatown! So I started printing up Google maps of the scene of the accident and California state driving law. I’m on the phone with lawyers and private investigators. There’s only one lawyer who would consider the case. And he was an accident lawyer, and he said, “did you have any loss of income from the accident?” And I said, “no,” and he says, “did you have any loss of income from the accident?” And I said, “no. This isn’t about money.” And he doesn’t take the case, and this is when I start going completely mad.
I’m up to about 4:00 or 5:00 A.M. every night just surfing the web. I get a subscription to a site called netdetective.com, which is a great site for vigilantes who have $29.95. So now I know this guy’s name, I know where he lives, I know what he does for a living. And in my mind, it becomes like a trailer for a revenge thriller. Like, “Jim Bosworth thought he was gonna get away with this, “but Jim Bosworth had another thing coming: Mike Birbiglia.” I was like, “I’m gonna track down Jim Bosworth. “I’m gonna sue Jim Bosworth, and I’m gonna sue the entire Los Angeles police department!” At this point, people stopped talking to me entirely. My friends would call me like, “hey, what’s going on?” I’d be like, “I’ll tell you what’s going on!” I’d tell them this whole story. And they’d be like, “you should get a lawyer.” I’d be like, “this is way past lawyers! A lawyer wouldn’t even touch this!” ‘Cause he wouldn’t.
The only person who would talk to me at this point was Jenny. One night, we were out to dinner at a restaurant, and she’s talking to me, but I’m not listening ’cause I’m writing down ideas I have for the case on my napkin. I’ve drawn out a diagram of the intersection, and the angles the cars are coming from and going to and the lanes that we were in, the laws the other driver broke, and the phone numbers I’m gonna call that week. And I’m so angry, I’m writing over my own handwriting to the point where I’m ripping through the napkin. And Jenny looks at me, and she says, “what are you doing?” And I said, “well, this is my case.” And she says, “well, why don’t you work on that in the morning?” And I said, “well, which part of this napkin don’t you understand?” Jenny says, “Mike… “You’re right, “but it’s only hurting you, “and I’m just so glad that you’re alive, and I think that we should focus on that.” She only has to say it once, and I give up the case, and I pay for this guy’s car. July 7, 2007, Jenny and I went to city hall and got married. I still didn’t believe in the idea of marriage, and I still don’t. But I believe in her, and I’ve given up on the idea of being right.
Thank you guys very much. Thank you. Thank you guys so much! Thanks for coming here tonight and joining me.