♪ Now the time is right ♪
♪ Bright city light ♪
♪ Turn it up a little louder ♪
♪ Calling out your name ♪
♪ To come out and play ♪
♪ Before the midnight hour ♪
♪ Ooh ♪
♪ Everyone getting all dressed up ♪
♪ Nothing’s gonna stop us now ♪
♪ We’re bringing on the night ♪
♪ We’re taking on the town ♪
♪ We’re shining like the stars ♪
♪ Tonight is our night ♪
♪ Yeah ♪
Thank you very much.
You look great.
It looks like you lost weight. Good for you. You look nice. Sincerely, many, many thanks. It means a lot that you’re here. A big round of applause for the Tom Papa dancers. Thank you so much. Really means a lot. It really does.
Here’s why I don’t like the Chinese. Not some of them, all of them. I’m scared of the Chinese. I’m scared of the Chinese. And I know fear comes from ignorance, and I am ignorant of that culture. But I’ll bet most of you are ignorant of the Chinese culture. Go to Chinatown, and go to a grocery store, and look at what they consider food. And you tell me you understand the Chinese. Bags of salted squirrel faces. Baby alligators this big, this big. I’ve never seen an alligator this big. Not on the Internet. Not on discovery. Not in a museum. It’s like they don’t exist. Go to Chinatown, there’s boxes filled with them with scoopers like you’re getting gummy bears at the fair. There’s always a fish tank out front with black water in it. You think nothing’s in it. You come up, tap on the glass. Something comes up, spits at you, yells, and goes back down. Was that a fish or a man? Are they selling it or does he work here?
All right, all right, what other culture has buckets of live frogs out front of every storefront? Who? And not just the food store. The bank, the electronics store. Everyone in Chinatown is in the live frog business. Well, let’s educate ourselves. Let’s not be so ignorant. Let’s learn a little bit. We’ll take six, please. Give us six live frogs. They bag ’em up for you. You get ’em home to your place. What’s your next move? How are you killing six live frogs on your own? Are you just gonna get little pillows and put ’em over their face? Let it go, froggy. Let it go. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. Who you gonna ask for answers in those stores? Who’s there to help you in those stores?
One 2,000-year-old woman sitting on a milk crate chewing on a bat wing. A Bengal tiger in a hammock just swinging behind her, eyeballing you the whole time. You go to the register. No people at the register. Just cats. Cats working the register. Smoking cigarettes, playing scratch-off lottery games, eating fig Newtons with no labels on them. Scary, scary people. And we owe them $4 trillion.
Gay men scare me. Gay men scare me because they care about the same things that women care about, but with the aggression of men. It’s a dangerous combination. Like if my wife sees a friend of hers who’s gained a little weight, she’ll rip her apart but be very tactful about it. You know, “looks like Barbara “might have put on a pound or two. Bah, bah, bah, bah.” Our gay friend’s like, “please, she’s a walrus.” “Look at her whiskers.” Like, women will redecorate maybe a room or two. Maybe a half bath if they get excited.
Gay men will redecorate an entire city if they don’t like it. I live in Chelsea here in town. It was a hellhole. It was rat-infested, graffiti-covered. And when the gay community finally moved in, they got to Chelsea looked around and said, “hell no. This will not do.” And they dressed up like construction workers in jeans and work boots… Suspenders and no shirts. And they tore that place to the ground. And what has emerged is a pottery barn heaven. Everywhere you go it smells like candles. Gay men make everything better. Yeah, that should be their slogan.
This is a pretty amazing time to be here. It’s probably the greatest time to be on this planet. It really is. We are very lucky people. But we don’t always feel that way. We always feel freaked out all the time, ’cause we’re the first generation of people who’s had to watch news 24 hours a day. No other human being has had to watch a nonstop horror show of other people’s problems. It’s too much. You gotta turn it off. It’ll make you sick. You gotta treat the news like a call home to your parents. Shorter the better. Right, you call, you make it short, like, they tell you something weird your dad did with a jar of mayonnaise and… “I love you. I love you.” You hang up. How are they? They’re good, they’re good. They’re doing just fine. Because it skews our thinking.
This is an amazing time to be here, you know? We’re the people of the 21st century. The 21st century, that’s a pretty amazing thing. But we have to own it. We have to own it. We gotta let the past go. We gotta make some changes. No more post office. It’s time to shut it down. I can send a picture of my testicles to all of Russia from my phone. Shut it down. Who’s communicating like this anymore? I’ve got to get a message to my friend in Virginia. Get me some paper and my writin’ sticks. “Dear Mortimer, send help immediately.” How we gonna get it there? I know, let’s give it to the weirdo in the blue uniform who wanders the neighborhood and stares at the children too long. He’ll know what to do with it. Shut it down. Have you been inside a post office lately? Even the people who work in the post office can’t believe it’s still open. It’s like a haunted Scooby Doo warehouse at this point. Everything’s covered in spider webs. Old machinery run by enslaved Oompa Loompas. You get to the front of the line, they look at you like you’re selling something and you just walked into their apartment. “What the hell are you doing here?” “I wanna send this to my Nana.” Then they go into a list of stuff they can’t do for you. “Well, I can’t send it wrapped like that. “I can’t let you pay with that credit card. “I can’t make eye contact with you when I’m talking to you. I can’t stop eating Funyuns when I’m at work.” Shut it down.
While we’re at it, no more change. No more disease-infested coins. It’s 2013. I can go to Starbucks with my iPhone and buy things like Captain Kirk with a phaser just pointing at stuff. I’ll take a latte. Pew! I’ll take a scone. Pew-pew! Why are we walking around like leprechauns with pockets filled with golden trinkets, jingle-jangling down the city streets, teasing the homeless. Why? You run your errands, you have to wear a belt just to keep your pants up from all the treasure you’re gonna accumulate from your magic Mario Brothers adventure, ’cause they love giving it out. Nothing ends on the dollar amount, right? 5.15, bling, bling, bling. 6.29, bling, bling, bling. You ever get 99 cents change? That’s a big F.U., isn’t it? ‘Cause you know they don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do it. You’re gonna do it? Aren’t you hilarious. Thank you very much. This will be all over my bedroom floor when I take my pants off tonight.
21st century. I say we give NASA one more year. One more year to make space travel exciting again, and if they can’t pull it off we close them up and give the whole thing to Red Bull. Right? How dare you make space travel a snoozefest. You land on Mars, and you make it so boring that we’re more interested in watching Antiques Roadshow. “Wow, I didn’t know they had an ice cream scooper “in the 1700s. “Maybe we should look in grammy’s attic and” “did you hear we landed on Mars?” “I don’t care.” ‘Cause after all these years, they blow it. We don’t land on Mars. They land a remote-control car on Mars. You ever been at Christmas and someone gets a remote-control car? It’s fun for one person, whoever has the remote. That’s what’s happening now. There’s one guy in Pasadena at the controls. “I’m on Mars! This is awesome! It’s mine, all mine!”
They call it The Rover. The Rover. What kinda lame-ass name is The Rover? Don’t you have a marketing department or someone under the age of 96. The Rover. Rover’s touching down. Explore away, Rover. Godspeed, Rover. Why isn’t anyone watching Rover? Because this is America. Redneck it up a little bit. Call it “The Planet Crusher.” Put some flames on the side and some naked chick mud flaps. You land on Mars, a big laser gun comes out, just starts firing. Bwhowm! Bwhowm! Make up some stories about space creatures. How are we gonna know you’re lying? They’re green and they’re fast. They’re everywhere. Bwhowm! But we’ll get ’em. We’re NASA, “nuking asshole space aliens.” And have the whole thing sponsored by Budweiser and Hooters.
But it is an exciting time to be alive. It really is. Things are getting better, they say. They say things are getting better. They say the economy‘s improving. I don’t know, ’cause I don’t understand it. Apparently nobody does. You know, even the people who run it, even the people who report on it have no clue on what’s going on with the economy. You wake up at 9:00 in the morning, they’re like, “everything’s great.” By noon, “we’re all going down!” What did they say? Why? And I try, I read the articles. I’m not an idiot. I read every day about the economy. It’s like drinking Jagermeister reading these articles. It’s like two paragraphs in, I’m just passed out on the kitchen floor. I wake up six hours later with no pants on. “Who’s Dow Jones? I feel weird.”
Nobody understands it. That’s why the whole occupy Wall Street thing fell on its ass. They didn’t even know what they were fighting for. “We want it now!” “All right, what do you want?” “I don’t know! “Maybe a tent and a razor for my girlfriend. I don’t know.” I would pass it all the time with my daughter. We’d be walking through the park, she was like, “what’s going on? What’s this crowd?” And I was like, “well, look, there’s a great economic disparity “between the really rich and the really poor, and they’re protesting against it.” She’s like, “well, what does that mean?” I said, “that means we have to get really rich really fast “and get with the winning team. “Or you’re gonna be playing hacky sack in this park for the rest of your life.” My brother-in-law was like, “that’s not cool. The poor are gonna get you.” I’m like, “well, they’re not gonna get in my gated community, “so I don’t know how that’s gonna happen. “I’m not giving them the code. Are you giving them the code?”
Twitter built that movement, and Twitter killed that movement, by the way. It worked great for six months. It was a good way to organize. And then the cops were like, “why aren’t we following them on Twitter?” And then they start showing up, like, an hour early. Everyone come in the park, “how did they know?” And I know this is how it ended, because I’m a white guy and I can totally walk up to cops in the park and be like, “what the hell is going on here?” And they have to tell me. It’s awesome. “You better fix it.” “We will, sir, we will.”
It’s a good color to be if you wanna mess with the man. It’s… we don’t look that great, we’re pasty, and we burn easy, but the man doesn’t really mess with you. Same when I fly, my friends are like, “how do you deal with security all the time? It must suck.” Are you kidding? You should see the look of relief in the TSA’s face when I get to the front of the line. They always pull me out for the search. It’s not even a search, it’s like a meet and greet. We take pictures and exchange phone numbers. I point out all the weirdoes behind me who I think might be trouble. “I’ve never seen a hat like that before, I’m just saying.”
Also 99%, 1%, that killed that movement too. We don’t like to be pit against each other. Also we don’t like to be clumped all together. 99%, we’re all the same. Not in this country, no, no, no. I was just in Alabama doing shows not long ago, and if you do the math we’re supposed to be part of the same 99%. We are not. You’re not either. I mean, maybe we’re not rich. We don’t eat food with our feet. There should be, like, a 40% that we can be a part of, you know? You can make a little money, you spend it on things like shampoo and belts and birth control.
Look, the world’s always stressful. There’s always problems. We all have our problems. We have problems. There’s a lot of problems. But I’ll take our problems over any in history. Really, I think we just didn’t get everything we thought we were gonna get. You know, it’s, like, I wanted everything in the pottery barn catalogue. I only got a couple pages. Wah! Really? Tell that to some people who lived through World War II. 14 million people dead. Hitler running around Europe. Yeah, but I can’t download movies as fast as I want to. Keeps rebuffering, I hate that.
I don’t think I would have survived any other time in history, I really don’t. I don’t think I would have made it. Could you? Civil War. Could you have lived through the Civil War? No way. The Civil War. Brother on brother, stabbing each other in the guts. All before band-aids, by the way. Yeah, back then you got stabbed, you took wood chips and shoved ’em in your hole. You laid in a field, played a rusty flute and waited for help. “Is that you, Walt Whitman?” ♪ boo ba doo, ba doo, ba doo ♪
Just little stuff I couldn’t have survived without. Electricity, the little things. Refrigeration. Could you have survived with just that, no refrigeration? We lost our power for a week, we were almost eating each other. No refrigeration, forget it. No frozen burritos for you, no, no. No ice cream. No ice cream! Why even live, right? Why be on the planet? You got cream back then. It came out of a smelly beast that lived outside your non-air-conditioned shack. Could you imagine? That’s your dessert when you’re a kid. You choked down your turnips, you dad would line you up on the lawn, grab an udder and squirt it in your face. “Thank you, father. Can I have some more?” “You sure can, Jacob. You’re a good boy.” “We’re so lucky to be alive.”
There’s always gonna be stress. You could turn off everything. That’s why you gotta enjoy it. You gotta take every moment you can. I mean, this is it. This is the good… This is primetime. This is it for us. This is as good as it’s gonna get. It’s not gonna get better. This is it. You’re gonna get old and weird really soon. This is it. This is primetime. You gotta take whatever you can get. That’s why I don’t understand people just… What are you waiting for? People that shit on the holidays, why, what? The cookies, the music, the smiles? What’s the problem? What, what do you think is going to happen? You think fireworks are gonna shoot out of our ass eventually? No, it’s not gonna happen.
So whatever you gotta do to make yourself happy, do it, do it. Some people like to drink. Good for you, good for you. I’m one of you. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I’m a grown-up who drinks. Yeah, I have a liquor cabinet now. A liquor cabinet, yeah. I didn’t build it. I just had a cabinet filled with other stuff, and I slowly moved it out and replaced it with booze. The liquor cabinet shows you how evil alcohol really is, doesn’t it? Think about it. It’s just a hot box. No refrigeration, no ventilation. Just a hot square box. You take a thing of whiskey out, take a drink, put it back, come back five years later, it’s fine. That’s evil stuff. Put a ham sandwich in the liquor cabinet. You come back five years later, there’s gonna be a baby pig man living in there. Grown out of pork and mold. “Hey, hey!” But he’s in a liquor cabinet, so he’s classy. Probably a suit and fancy shoes. Baby pig man, another advantage of drinking.
Yeah, some people drink, some people tickle strangers. I like putting my balls on a marble countertop. I can’t even say it without smiling. There’s something so refreshing. It’s not even that they’re that heavy, but something about standing and not having to carry them for a brief moment… It’s so… And that cold dark marble. You could do it too, ladies. Let the girls out. Put the hot under part on cold marble island. Anyone comes in, just tell ’em your back hurts. “I’ll be right with you.” Whatever you gotta do.
Some people like to smoke pot. Some people enjoy that. There they are. I always love that clap. It’s always very proud, and then they realize it’s only, like, five people. “Now I’m really freaking out.” I have a reminder on my body from those years when I used to get high, and it’s just a reminder of how stupid I was at the time.
I don’t wear shorts anymore because of it. It’s a bad tattoo, and I just picked it off a wall in New Jersey. I wouldn’t pick a t-shirt off a wall in New Jersey. I’m like, “I want that on my body.” Like a moron. It’s a gnome. It’s a gnome! I wish I was kidding. I am not. He’s got a hat, a red hat, and sparkles around it, and a big lame beard. And on the wall he was watering a pot plant, and even high I was like, “no, that’s going too far. “I see him as a magical creature. “He should have a walking stick “for when he goes through the forest and talks to the other gnomes, I guess.” And this tattoo guy was like… “Like that?” “No, but yeah now.” Forever and ever. I need some big tube socks now. Don’t do drugs, kids.
I also got kids around too. That’s another thing. You don’t wanna be high when you got kids around the house. They always know. They always know. I made that mistake once. My friend was getting high watching football. “You want some?” “Yeah, okay.” I was flying, I hadn’t done it in so long. The whole time walking home I’m like, “I hope they don’t notice. I hope they don’t notice.” My little one came right up to me, “you look different.” “I am different. I’m a loser. You look different too. You’re so little. What’s it like to be so little? Look at your hands. They’re like paws. No wonder you always drop stuff. You have paws. Why do you have pockets in your little pants? Seriously? Where are you going? You don’t have money or keys. Why pockets?”
I love kids. I like kids a lot. I’m in a good spot with mine. I’m finally done raising them, which is awesome. Yeah, they’re nine and six. I made it. It took a long time, a lot of ups and downs, but I am done. I’m not even kidding, I… Really. They don’t even need me anymore. You should see their Christmas list. It’s not even toys. It’s, like, appliances and furniture. I think they have an apartment in Detroit I’m not aware of.
You know what it really is? I just can’t discipline them anymore. I can’t do it. I can’t fight with little people and their little problems, I can’t. I got big stuff I gotta deal with every day. I can’t fight with you and your socks and not wanting to pick them up, I can’t. This is my parenting technique now. I go, “you brush your teeth.” They go, “I don’t want to brush my teeth.” And I say, “fine,” and I walk out of the room. “I tried to help. You don’t want my help. I’ll let life take care of you.”
That’s what life does, it disciplines you. It corrects you when you’re wrong. Walk down the street with no pants on. Life’s gonna let you know it’s not a cool thing to do. Look, who’s gonna make her brush her teeth more, me saying it over and over or a bunch of eight-year-old girls cornering her in the locker room and calling her “shit mouth”? That happens once, she’s gonna brush her ass off for the rest of her life. She’ll be 50 going, “don’t call me shit mouth.”
Can’t do it. And, look, how long are we gonna live with each other? What, another eight, nine years tops? Why all the tension? Let’s enjoy ourselves, you know? Let’s have a good time and go our separate ways as friends. I want them to look back and be like, “you know what? That guy was fun. I like him. He was a little weird, but he was kinda funny. I like that guy.”
They’re not gonna say it about their mother, so they might as well say it about me. Well, look, there’s a good cop and a bad cop, right? And she’s the bad cop. My wife’s amazing. She does everything. But she’s not very popular in the house. Well, she’s fried. She just wakes up pissed off. She doesn’t even have a fuse. Soon as she opens her eyes, “did everybody do what they’re supposed to do?” “What was I supposed to do? I was asleep. Was I supposed to get something from sleepy town or… I’ll go back. You want me to go back?”
And I know we’re supposed to show a united front. You know, right or wrong, as parents, you back each other up against these little people who are trying to kill you. But she’s so off the charts, I can’t do it. I’ll lose all my credibility. The kids and I just roll our eyes all day long. She’ll be like, “everybody get to bed!” They’re like, “dad?” “I know. It’s not like it gets better when you go to sleep. Trust me. I’ve got four more hours of this. She’s making you go to sleep. She’s making me stay up.”
And, look, I like the whole thing. I love the chaotic mess that it all is, I do. I fought it for years, I tried to keep it clean. That’s not fun. Life is about a mess. Make your life a chaotic mess. Yeah. I’m not saying you need kids. You don’t need kids, but get something. Get some hermit crabs, get… Get a three-legged dog. That’ll be good stories. You’ll have a lot of laughs with that. Get something. Make it a big chaotic mess. Do it, really. Just make it a big thing. I do it all. I do it all.
I go to dance recitals now. If that doesn’t show I love you, then nothing will. I go to dance recitals. Always on a Sunday, when I have a much better offer, and I have to say no and carry hair products and tutus through the city and go to dance recitals. And, look, I don’t want to sound like an idiot. When your kid goes up there, it’s amazing, it’s amazing. You know, I didn’t even know they were learning something all year. No idea. I just dropped them off. “Someone else is watching them for an hour. Let’s get a drink. You want a drink? Yeah, let’s go. We got time.”
And then they waddle out there on the stage, and they do a little funny dance, and they kinda stumble, and it’s heartwarming, and you get choked up and misty-eyed, that lasts for, like, 30 seconds. And then you have to sit through 4 1/2 hours of other people’s useless bags of garbage. And the only people who are honest in the entire auditorium are the little boys that got dragged there against their will.
There was this… At this last recital, there was this chunky monkey in a leotard stomping her way through a solo. I don’t know how much money her father gave to this school. She shouldn’t have been outside in the daylight, let alone on stage in a spotlight. And out of the darkness you just heard this little boy yell, “make it stop!” “Somebody stop it!” I wish I had the balls to be so honest that grown men have to carry me out of the auditorium into the lobby, ’cause you know that was the kid’s plan. As soon as he gets out there, “anyone get a light? That’s a horrible show. Am I wrong? That’s terrible entertainment.”
My new thing now is I skate. I’m skating. I skate, ice skate. Put on clothes in the winter and go on ice. Because people wake me up at 6:00 in the morning saying they’re bored. Can you imagine? The sun’s not even up, and there’s a little face saying, “I’m bored.” If a roommate did that, you’d punch him right in the face. “Well, now you got something to do. Go ice that down.” But society doesn’t let you punch little girls in the face. So I get up. And we make unicorns with glue sticks and glitter and stuff, and we run out of activities by 7:00. So now we skate. And I know what you’re thinking. “Tom, do you even belong on skates? Do you know how to skate?” No, not at all. That’s not the point. Does a bear belong in the circus on a unicycle going around in circles in a party hat? No, but he does what he’s told, and they feed him when he’s done.
And I’m the best skater in the family. That’s how moronic this activity is. I can’t do it at all, and I am the leader. So I go out and people attach themselves to me, and I just try and keep them up. And they fall off one by one like discarded Christmas trees. And eventually we all crawl to the edge for safety. And we get up, and we’re hungry, and we’re wet, and then we move as a pack into the city and look for food. And we sit in a diner, and we buy pasta for, like, 50 bucks, and get ripped off and spill stuff on each other and make a scene, and eventually we warm up and forget how miserable we were and plan our next skate. And this is my life now. I do weird stuff with people I make. I used to do weird stuff with people I met in bars. Now I make people, and I do weird stuff with them.
Now we’re living their lives for them. We’re on top of them. We’re taking their tests for them. We’re planning their playdates. We’re in their life all the time, and it’s failing them, it’s failing them. Kids are showing up at college… There’s reports of kids showing up depressed ’cause they don’t know how to do anything, anything. They’re just like, “my bed isn’t made again today! Why is this happening? I used to wake up, my bed would be made, and there’d be Mickey mouse pancakes. Now nothing.”
We’re failing them. All their test scores globally are in the toilet, in the toilet. We kicked ass when we were little. You know why? Our parents didn’t care. I’m going to school, you go to work. We’ll meet here at dinner. Don’t screw up. And we got our little book bags, and we’d head out of the house like little businesspeople, and we got stuff done. You had meetings at your lockers. You bought Cliff Notes off the black market. You forged signatures if you had to. And we were number one in the world. Number one.
It’s arrogance. It’s arrogance of the parents that think you’re so important. You’re not that important. It’s easy to make a kid. It’s really easy. And then your job really is when they’re little stop them from waddling into traffic, electricity, or a weird uncle. That’s it. That is it. Other than that, get out of their way. All the best people on the planet didn’t even have their parents around. Steve Jobs was an orphan. Albert Einstein left home when he was 15. Abraham Lincoln, when he was six years old, cooked and ate both his parents. Yeah, little-known fact, but it’s true. Wasn’t in the movie, but it happened. That’s why he was 60 feet tall. Human bone marrow.
We all show up on this planet with our personalities already intact. As soon as you’re here, you’re made, you’re made. And you’re either allowed to flower, or you’re stomped out by the grown-ups in your life. My kids are exactly the same as when they got here, exactly, and I had nothing to do with it. Nothing. My little one is tough as nails. She has a back like Michael Phelps. She eats rocks. She’s a killer. We’re all scared of her, all the family. We’re at the airport, I was like, “where’s the luggage?” She has it already. “Let’s go.” “Hurry up, she’s getting in the cab.” “Where’d she get money?” “I don’t know.”
And she was that way immediately. She came out of my wife. They put her on that little baby bread warmer shelf. She immediately started getting up like she had somewhere to go. “Argh!” Nurses were passing out. They never saw a baby do a push-up their first five seconds on the planet. “Agh, let’s get out of here.” I can’t control that. I just have to watch her and hope she doesn’t turn evil. That’s all I can do.
And the other one is smart. She’s always been that way. She wants help with her homework now, I can’t do it, can’t do it. Fourth grade math, I’m out, I’m out. It’s fraction time. Good night, I’m out. I get nervous when the pizza guy comes I have to do the change and the tip in the moment. I just hold up balled-up money like I’m from a small town in Belgium. You need more of this? You want more?
We infantilize these kids. No one talks to their kids the way we do. You gonna put on your jammy-wammies? You gonna get all cuddly-wuddly on the couchie-poo? You have a big day tomorrow. You have your S.A.T.S. Yes, you do. Yes, you do.
Other cultures, the kids go to school and work immediately. These little Chinese kids putting together our iPhones, kicking ass over there. Seriously, they go to school for, like, 50 hours. They bicycle home 500 miles. They give their ancient grandparents a sponge bath, one piece of seaweed, off to the apple factory for the night shift. And they’re happy for the benefits.
Our kids go to school for, like, three hours, then waddle around all night looking for candy. “Mahh! There’s gotta be some Skittles somewhere.”
Every generation is smarter than the one that came before it, right? You were smarter than your parents. So these kids, with technology, it happens so much faster, so much faster. Just think about their phones. Think about the amount of pornography they have in their pockets 24 hours a day. You know what I had to do when I was eight years old to see a picture of a naked lady in a magazine? I had to run an underground railroad for porn. A series of meeting points and backpack drop-offs and swapping out bicycles in abandoned garages. Get it through the woods, into the house, into the basement, into the crawl space. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! We’d crawl back through the dirt with a book of matches.
Could you imagine showing a Playboy to an eight-year-old now? They’d be like, “no, I was into that in preschool. More into feet now.”
I’m raising girls. It’s all girls in my house, all girls. Whenever I say I’m raising girls, women always go, “it’s gonna suck. “Wait till they go through puberty. Your life is over.” Really? You want a boy going through puberty with what they do around the house? “Where are all our tissues? “Why are we going through so many tissues? “Why do I only have one sock? Where are my socks?” Some hairy Gollum crawling down the hallway, taking a shower for an hour and a half, coming out all sweaty, “aghh.”
You can have it. I’ll take a girl anytime. Love girls. But I know there’s a limit, there’s a limit to how much I can teach them. At a certain point, I gotta just back off ’cause I don’t know it, and my wife takes over. ‘Cause there’s certain things that women know that you only know from other women. You only share it with other women. We don’t really know it. It’s like this weird martial art. It makes you so strong and cunning. It’s like this lady karate. Very devious. One of your master strokes is making us think that we’re the powerful ones. I really thought it for years. Well, the whole game is set up that way, isn’t it? “I’ll ask her on a date. I’ll ask her to marry me. I’ll give her my name. Agh!” And women are very smart, they go along with it. “Okay, maybe I’ll hyphenate it, but all right.”
And then she does something one Sunday afternoon. You realize, my god, she could kill me in a second. So much more cunning. Women will get rid of a lifelong friend just from an eye roll at dinner. “Did you see how that bitch looked at me?” And she’s gone. You’ll never see her again. Gone, like old time Russia. Out of the contacts. Out of the picture frames. Disappears. You know how scary that is to a man, to know that everyone in your life is on a giant roulette wheel of death? And that we’re on there too at double zero just going around? It’s not gonna land on me, right? What are the odds?
It’s a terrifying concept to a man, ’cause we never get rid of our friends ever, ever. Right? You meet a guy in kindergarten. If he’s your friend, he’s your friend for life. He could be the biggest jackass on the planet too. He could become an alcoholic drug addict, Rob a liquor store, go to jail, come out ten years later, come to your house, pee in your pool, hit on your wife, you’re like, “that’s Don. He’s crazy, right? But you gotta love him, you gotta. Look what he’s doing to the mailbox. Hilarious, dude!”
And you think the closer you get to a woman, the safer you’ll be, and you’re wrong. You’re in more danger. ‘Cause you’re being manipulated in ways you don’t even know. Think about it, every guy who’s married is fatter than when he started, every one. You think that’s a coincidence? You think men are just so overjoyed with matrimony that they’re just walking around with chocolate Sundaes. “Wow, my life turned out so much better than I thought it would.”
No. The common denominator is that you’re married to a woman. And when you marry a woman, you think she’s gonna love you and care for you and Cherish you, and you’re wrong. Her first instinct is to keep you. She’s a nester. The woman is a nester. She makes the nest, builds the nest, wants everyone in that nest all the time. And guys are always trying to leave the nest, always, just to look for worms or do loopty loops. Sometimes check out another nest. “Who’s in that nest? I’m just looking.”
And women are aware of this, and they want to prevent it from happening by feeding you all the time, essentially making you too fat to fly. So if you ever try and leave, you land on the ground and waddle in circles like a fat duck. And then all the pretty birds look down, “he’s funny. I’d never have sex with him, but he’s hilarious.”
But you should be more powerful. It makes perfect sense that women are strong, ’cause your lives are so much more difficult. You have so much more to deal with. It’s amazing. You have a lot more to deal with. Just the makeup alone. Just this never-ending art project you’re involved in. Carrying luggage around your entire lives, filled with art supplies. Brushes and pencils and paints. Just painting the same face over and over and over. You’re like a crazy Van Gogh with an etch a sketch.
I don’t even know why you do it. Who are you doing it for? It’s not for us. We don’t care. All we care is that you’re not a dude. That’s all we care. It’s for other women. It’s that woman-on-woman hateful competition. It’s nasty. You ever see women say hello to each other? Nasty business, right? It’s all smiles up here. “Hi.” “hi.” Then they give each other that slow look of death up and down. Find a weakness, hang on it until she knows that you notice. “Sorry about that. You can get that taken care of.”
Brutal. You should see the moms at my kids’ school trying to out-hot the other moms hilarious. 7:00 in the morning. They show up dressed to kill to out-hot the other moms. Are you high? No kid wants their mom to be hot. You just want a mom. You don’t want a hot mom. You just want a flowered house dress and wobbly bingo arms. Right? Big, sloppy mom boobs. You curl up in her like a cinnamon-scented beanbag chair. That’s a mom.
And I got news for you, if you are the hot mom, the other moms aren’t calling you hot. They’re calling you a whore.
The products that women get tricked into buying. They told women it might help their ass if they buy these Skechers shape-ups. Have you seen these orthopedic moon boots? They’re like sneakers attached to Frankenstein feet. They’re walking through the mall like Cirque du Soleil on stilts. “How’s my ass?” No one’s looking at your ass. We’re looking at your feet, afraid you have scoliosis.
The whole idea of what it is to be a woman in this culture is demented. It’s demented. All right, every image of a woman, it’s something you can’t be and it’s something we’re not interested in. Right, every ad with a woman, she’s 6’8″, emaciated, little boy boobs, and bubble lips. Just scowling at us through black mascara. That’s not a woman. That’s nice on a billboard. What would you do with that if you got it into your house? That’d be like having a live giraffe in the living room. Knocking over lamps, hiding behind the piano. “What do we do with it?” “I don’t know, give it more cocaine. It seems to like it.”
That’s not a woman. You want a woman, a partner for the rest of your life? Get a strong woman. Get one with a big back, help you mow the lawn once in a while. You don’t want a cool, skinny chick. They get sick easy. Get a strong chick. Stands at the stove and stirs for hours. “Welcome home! Children play in playground. We not have playground. I build it. They play now.”
That’s a woman, especially in a family. Right, that’s another burden of the woman. The whole thing falls on you, the whole thing. You know, we thought it was gonna be different. We were gonna be the first generation of guys who were gonna pitch in, 50/50. Anything you do, we’re gonna do too. 50/50. Our dads didn’t do it, but we’re gonna do it. 50/50. Didn’t work out. It can’t be 50/50, ’cause we don’t like these kids half as much as you do.
It’s a lot of work. The whole thing’s a lot of work. A lot of work. I haven’t slept in nine years. Nine years, no sleep. No sleep in nine years. I knew the baby part, I knew that. I didn’t know you don’t sleep for the rest of your life. Did not know that. You lay down like you’re sleeping. You close your eyes like you’re sleeping. But you’re listening for trouble 24 hours a day. My little one threw up off the top bunk bed. All I had to hear in my sleep was, “” she doesn’t even know what’s happening yet. And I’m running like a marine in his underwear, grabbing anything that looks like a bucket. A cat, the pillow. You don’t find anything, just go with your hand, just do it, just do it. I’ll catch it, I’ll deal with it. Just do it in my hand.
But that’s the whole deal right there, right? Your kid gets sick in the middle of the night. You do more chores in ten minutes than you did in four years of college. Bagging stuff up, carrying bodies, doing laundry. It’s like you’re working for FEMA in the middle of the night. They come down the hall naked, stuff in their hair, “am I okay?” “Go stand in the tub. Stand in the… Get her out of here. She smells.”
And the only thing we have to clean in my house is all-natural cleaners. My wife wants to save the planet with orange peel mist. She’s like, “it really works.” No, it doesn’t. They wouldn’t have invented all these other products if orange juice did the trick. Your kid throws up, you don’t care about the planet. You wanna see Mr. Clean. You want that bald bastard just smiling at you. His tight shirt and an earring. You don’t know if he’s gay or straight or a pirate. Just looking at you like, “yeah, I might kill your cat, but I’ll leave this place smelling like lemons.”
That’s what you’re supposed to do. I guess that’s what life is. Just get it and go and go. I don’t want to get old though. Looks creepy. Doesn’t it look like it hurts? Seriously? You ever look at an old person on the street looking at a curb they have to go up? They’ll do, like, five dry runs before they go for it. Grabbing onto strangers. “Hey.”
That’s another amazing thing about the time we live in. Science is moving at such a rate, we’re gonna be able to stop the effects of aging. How amazing is that? There’s gonna be no aging at a certain point. But the real bummer, we’re gonna just miss it. We’re gonna be the last generation of old people. How awful is that? They’re gonna look at us on the sidewalk like, “eww. “Remember when that used to happen? Look at their necks. They’re like testicles.”
Now we’re at the weird stage where people are just hanging on. The doctors are just kinda working out the kinks. They’re just kinda make us last longer. Like, “get a load of this guy. “He shoulda been dead years ago. I filled him with batteries and Jujubes.”
I don’t wanna just last. Do you wanna just last? People always take pride in that. Just… people in their family just keep going, especially if they’re a degenerate. Then you hear that story. They love telling that story. “You know, my grandfather ate bacon every morning, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, drank whiskey every night. Lived to 98 years old.” Yeah, and I’m sure he was a real treat to hang out with. Big bacon bag of bones with a racist ashtray for a mouth. Permanently attached to a vinyl recliner, sucking on an oxygen tank like he’s scuba diving in the living room. Can we agree on that? If you need an oxygen tank, maybe it’s time to wrap things up. Seriously, if the planet doesn’t have air for you anymore and your best friend is a nickel slot machine, one more lap and hit the showers.
And, look, we can’t just keep living on. We can’t, we really can’t. It’s getting too expensive. Social security, Medicare. We don’t have the money. We can’t afford it. We can’t afford to keep the old people. We need a plan. A secret plan. Don’t tell the old people about it. We’ll communicate through computers and whispers. We’ll just agree not to kill them, exactly, but not to work so hard in saving every one of them. We gotta treat it like a trip to the vet. We know you love muffins, but it’s gonna be really expensive. There’s a lot of other muffins out there.
And, look, I wouldn’t be so scared if I knew what happened after. Is this it? We just die and that’s it? Nothing more? Nothing more? Or do we get to go to some place even greater. This is a great party. You wanna keep the party going. Ooh, it’s… yeah! But if there is some place magical and better than this, how ’bout a text? How ’bout an email? Nothing. Nobody’s said… We search all the time, and nothing.
My little girl wanted to go to church for the first time, and we don’t go to church. I believe, but I don’t believe enough to ruin my Sundays. I can’t totally not believe, ’cause I was raised catholic, and I’m terrified all the time. If you were raised catholic, you know… you can’t shake it. You’re just… no. My wife was raised catholic. She has the balls to completely not believe. She’s like, “the church is a patriarchal system to keep women down… It’s bullshit.” I’m like, “yeah, I’m with you.” But then on the side I’m like, “dear God, I’m sorry I live with this devil. “I don’t know how this heathen got in my bed. “If we die at the same time, “I’m totally cool with splitting up. “Send her where you gotta send her, big guy. I’m coming with you.”
But my little girl wanted to go, and it makes sense, ’cause the church is the coolest building in the neighborhood, isn’t it? It’s got spires and rainbow windows and bells ringing. She’s like, “I want to see the show that goes on in there.” I was like, “all right, let’s go. “Let’s get dressed up and go to church. I’ll take you.”
It felt right. Like when I was a kid. So I put on the suit and tie. She dressed up like a little girl’s version of a woman, which is hilarious… Little lipstick, you know? Everything’s poofy. Poofy dress, poofy socks. Little heels this big. She can’t even walk. She’s like a Billy Goat on ice, just… But she thinks she’s hot ’cause she’s carrying a purse filled with chapstick and pennies, you know. And I feel great too, ’cause I’m walking with the cutest puppy on earth. Everybody that comes by, “she’s so cute.” And I milk it, I’m like, “I know. “We don’t have time for this. We’re on our way to church. We’re filled with goodness.” Every Sunday.
And we were having a great time. We were having a little date. She’s yapping. We’re holding hands. It’s a great time. And she gets up the church steps. The doors open. She freezes. Starts digging into my hand. She’s shaking like a leaf. She’s looking up at the giant, bloody catholic Jesus hanging from the ceiling. And I realize we never told her the stories. She’s looking at me like, “this is a haunted house.” And we sit in the pew, it’s all creaky and old, and old people are petting her. “Hello, little girl.” She’s holding her purse like a roller coaster rail. Just two eyes. Terrified. And it is a haunted house. You look through her eyes, and the rainbow windows from the outside tell the story of how he died, so it’s someone being stepped on and stabbed. And big thing where they christen the babies. “Daddy, what’s that?” “That’s where we dunk babies underwater their first time here.”
Then this old lady gets up and starts crossing the altar on the way to the organ. I was like, “no, not the organ. This is not gonna go well.” And to say she’s old is a compliment. Shoulda been dead for years. It was like a wicked witch made out of beef jerky. She gets up to that organ. She reaches out her old lady talons. The veins are coming off like she’s been attacked with silly string. She hits that organ. Bom bom! All I hear next to me is, “I wanna go now. I don’t like it here.” Minnie Mouse is losing her marbles. Bom! I start laughing, I start that uncontrollable, you’re not allowed to laugh but you’re laughing, so now you’re snorting. “Let’s get out of here.””” Bom bom!
Then the headliner comes out. The priest comes down the aisle. I swear to you, he looked like Dracula. Long head, the hair all greased back, and he’s in his robe, so it doesn’t even look like he’s walking. He’s floating down the aisle. They’re doing the whole smoke show in front of him, he’s… He gets to the microphone. “Velcome, everybody. Velcome.” I fall out. I am laughing out loud. I’m laughing. She’s crying. People are turning and shaking their heads. We gotta go. We gotta go now, before this gets any scarier. Before he starts talking about drinking the blood of Christ, let’s beat it.
So we go running out the aisle. We get outside. Outside, birds are chirping, sun’s shining. We sit on the steps, look at each other, just start laughing like, “what the hell was that?” And, look, I don’t know what god is or that spirit thing that we’re always chasing, but whatever it is we were so much closer to it on the sidewalk together than whatever was going on inside that haunted house.
But we’re not giving up. We’re going to a black church next time. ‘Cause that’s where God really lives.
Thank you guys so much.
You guys were a wonderful crowd.