Kyle Kinane: I Liked His Old Stuff Better (2015) | Transcript

Kyle Kinane reveals the key to happiness, discusses how to make pistachios a lot more fun and marvels at receiving pickled eggs as a gift.
Kyle Kinane: I Liked His Old Stuff Better (2015)

Kyle Kinane: I Liked His Old Stuff Better (2015)

Filmed at the historic 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, Kyle Kinane’s special delivers wonderfully grim anecdotes filtered through his own optimistic lens. In “I Liked His Old Stuff Better” Kinane chooses to marvel rather than rue such experiences as falling in the shower and receiving pickled eggs as a token of love. It is his second special for Comedy Central.

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[cheers and applause]

male announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, Kyle Kinane!

Thank you. Oh-ho. Thank you very much. Ah! Thank you, 40 Watt, I appreciate it. Thank you for coming and spending your evening with me. It’s very kind of you. Most of you probably know me from my TED Talks, so… You know the popular one, the Monster Mash: a great song regardless of season. I’m still trying to permeate that wave of thought out there. No, thank you very much for coming. I really, uh– I cannot say thank you enough. I’m glad we’re all here. We’re celebrating life. I had a weird week, and I had– this is–I don’t even know if it’s a joke yet. I just–it was a weird week, and Monday I had to walk to my show, and I decided to walk through a graveyard ’cause let’s be brooding and artist, buh, and I– I walked, and in the graveyard, it was just– it was, like, two homeless guys splitting a 40, playing Frisbee golf, using the gravestones as points. I was like, as a metaphor, that’s even fantastic, but I’m seeing it for real. Just, like–just, like, playing Frisbee golf on your grave, man. Living life free. They’re like, “All right, I feel better about things. I’m not gonna get bummed out.”

I can’t– I don’t get bummed out, I feel good, I’m happy, and I know that’s a weird stance for a comedian to take: Well, I enjoy life. Um… I’m happy because I discovered one of the keys to happiness, and it was simple. One of the keys to happiness– all you need to do is redefine what a miracle is for yourself. That’s all it is. Just loosen up your definition of what a miracle can be. We always–we’re all working with this top-shelf idea of miracles. Miracles are always very, like– this exquisite, unattainable thing. Like, “What’s a miracle? Oh, like, a statue that cries?”

We’re not the Pope. We don’t get crying statues. We’re regular people. We need to turn it down a little bit, loosen up your expectations. How much do you want out of this world? All a miracle is is the world letting you know it can still surprise you. That’s all it is, plain and simple, and if you adhere to that, you get to experience miracles all the time. I get to have them all the time. Recently, I experienced a miracle, and the miracle I experienced was I burnt my laundry. That’s it. And it’s something that should’ve just pissed me off, but I didn’t even know you could do that. Just sat at the Laundromat, holding a meteorite that used to be my favorite T-shirts, but instead of getting pissed or angry, I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and curiosity about the world. Instead of being mad, I’m just yelling out at everybody, like, “Did you know this could even happen? “I put the same coins in the same machines as you all did. “You got fresh laundry. I created a new element for the universe.” Spent two weeks just calling myself “the alchemist.”

I took it serious! I have been chosen. I can start wearing a cloak. Only problem there is I don’t know how to wash a cloak. I do feel good. I got to do an interview for Hustler magazine. That was– [crowd cheers] Yeah, that’s a weird– no, you’re right to act– to have mixed emotions. Some are like, “Mm, yeah, okay, yeah.”

And some–some whoos. I think if I was younger, if I was a teenager, it would have been a whoo. – Yeah. – Yeah, thanks. [laughs] [giggles] “Sure would be, Kyle.” Appreciate it. Well, that’s the thing– I don’t know– like, because at 15, it would have been a whoo, because, like, yeah, it’s Hustler, but then, to be in it in an interview, that’s a weird, like– because then I would just be whooing, be like, “Yeah, my friends are gonna see my face while they’re holding their dicks!” Like, that’s– So I don’t know how–that’s a weird thing to be excited about. But I did it because, still, like, you know, “Okay, comedy’s going all right, and a publication wants to interview me. So I’ll do it. Any press is–it’s press.”

And, uh, so I did it, and I didn’t think anything because it’s only–it was only going in the print version too, and who–I don’t know who would even acquire a print copy– I don’t know who that’s for. They just put out five of ’em a month and get four sent back ’cause somebody spilled, like, a Code Red Mountain Dew on one of ’em, so that’s… Like, I don’t know who’s still buying– just anybody that doesn’t have access to technology, like–like a hobo whose entertainment fund is a sock full of nickels finally overflowed enough, like, “Time to get us something fun for around the garbage fire, boys.”

Or… Or it’s just some new version of hipster that’s over vinyl and is just really into analog porn now. Just some new type of dude hanging around. “It just has such warmer tones to it, you know? “It’s just got– there’s a subtlety to it “that digital’s just never gonna capture. “Plus, it’s just so nice “to hold something in your hand, you know? To feel the weight of it, it’s great.”

So I did it, and, like, it was out there. And I didn’t think anybody would see it, but my–my mom found out. Uh–’cause my mom’s my biggest fan, which is sweet till you realize, by definition, that means she Googles my name every morning, which that’s what stalkers do. And my mom. So I had to have that– that phone call, which I never thought would ever happen in life. Which was, I mean, if you can be your own mom going, “What’s this thing in Hustler that you did?” And I–and I panicked. It was a new panic too. It wasn’t even like, “I got this situation,” but it was just like, “Oh! Ah! No, it was– “It was an interview. Words. “It was words, and I didn’t do– “There was no pictures. I didn’t– “I didn’t do pictures. It was words. It was for comedy! It was for comedy, and it was–” and she goes, “I know you didn’t do pictures.”

And then it got weird because I’m like, “Why, you don’t think I could do pictures?” Like, “Whoa, that’s a corner of your brain “you don’t want to enter right now, Kyle. Leave that shit alone.” But once that– like, at that point, I was ready for her to probably be disappointed or let down and say something, you know– it’s your mom and if she finds out you’re– in any context– I’m thinking, like, “Well, Kyle, sometimes you do some things, and I don’t agree with them,” and I was ready for that. Not that I want to disappoint her, but I was ready for that generation gap. But instead of disappointment, what I got was her saying, “Oh, I know it was just an interview. “It’s just, your father and I have been driving around “trying to find a copy. We don’t know where to go.”

Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Such a worse feeling. Such a worse feeling. Oh, Mom knows how to crank up the dial. You’re probably disappointed. No, it’s just, “Your father and I “have just been bursting into liquor stores and porno shops “all over the western suburbs of Chicago. “Going to the guy behind the counter, like, “‘Hi, do you have any Hustlers here?'” Which I can see that guy being stunned, like, “Wow, you’re the oldest perverts I’ve ever seen. “But coming in as a couple, heartwarming. “Heartwarming, you know. “Way to keep it spicy in the silver years. “And, like, let’s see what we got here. “We got Penthouse. That’s sort of along the lines. “Probably don’t know how the computers work. “That’s why we’re going print. “Okay, we got Jugs over here. “That’s a little more something for the fella, “but, you know, hey, I don’t– I’m not gonna judge you guys where it’s at.”

At that point, it’s probably when my dad’s just getting frustrated ’cause they’re wasting time, pushes my mom out of the way, and just goes, “Nah, we need Hustler. That’s the one our kid’s in.” Like… [groans] But to be optimistic about it, that could mean that maybe my parents put some porno shop clerk back on track. Maybe there was some, like– you know, like, 20-year-old dropout or something in there like, “Yeah, man, I’m fine. “I’m–I’ll deal with the scum of the earth. “I’ll write a novel about it. “Bakowski did this kind of shit. I’m on that level,” and then my parents rolled in… Looking for–and that’s the point where the kid’s like, “I gotta put my two weeks notice in, man. “I can’t–like, I thought I enjoyed seeing the creeps, “you know, but that was too much. “The pare–the parents looking for the porn their kid’s in. “I don’t need to know that’s out there, man. “I don’t– I didn’t need to know that. “I’m probably gonna– I think I’m gonna get my GED. “I think I’m gonna do that ’cause I can’t see– “I can’t envision this being a future anymore. Even artistically, this is too much for me to handle.”

I’ve been settling down with, just, I mean, just everything. Settling down– “Nurturing” is too strong of a word. But it’s definitely– things have mellowed out. Like, I do–like, I look at pet adoption websites more than I look at pornography online now just because that’s, like, a more attainable fantasy. Like, that’s something– that’s a situation I can see actually happening in my life, and that’s what makes it attractive now. It’ll just be late night, in the middle of the night, online, but it’s just like, “Ah! Two blondes gobbling my knob. “Never gonna happen. “Look at this little Chihuahua mix over here. Me and this guy are gonna solve mysteries.”

Like, that– “I’m gonna wear matching shirts with a Lhasa apso. Take it easy, sluts!” And I don’t want to refer to them as sluts. I don’t feel good about that. Like, this is where I’m at socially. If–to explain where I’m at on the social spectrum, I recently said “God bless you” to a cat. Like, I was alone in a room with a cat… for a while. Like, not even just a brief moment, like an incident. Like, this was a whole afternoon. Not my room. Not my cat. But I was fine with this arrangement. Like, this is what I can handle. Me and somebody else’s cat, both of us just staring at walls, looking for answers. And the cat sneezed, and then it was quiet. And that’s what made it worse. Because if it would’ve just sneezed, I would’ve been like, “Oh, God bless you,” and then, “h, you don’t need that. You’re a cat.”

We would’ve laughed. It would’ve been funny. But instead, there was a sneeze, and then it was just that moment of just me sitting there, like, “How do I play this right now? Do I say something?” I was raised right. I have loving, porno-shopping parents that instilled values in me. I was like, “Yeah, but it’s a cat. Fuck it, I’m going for it.” So I turn to it… said, “God bless you, cat.” I didn’t even know its name. I was just opening up for once. Said, “God bless you, cat.”

And the cat turned and looked at me, ’cause that’s what cats do, they look at the origin of sound. But they have very judgmental faces. So everything in that cat’s expression was just like, “Why would you say that?” “You know I don’t have a belief system put into place “that requires blessings from deities. “Let me ask you something. Did you say ‘God bless you’ “because you want me to be blessed after this sneeze “or because you just put on this outward parade of politeness? “Because you know deep down inside “you think you’re a bad person. “But if you wear this mask of kindness “with ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-yous’ and ‘God bless you’ to cats, nobody will get close enough to realize that you think you’re a bad person. “Am I right? Of course I’m right. I’m a cat. I can see your soul.”

“Did you know I was worshipped “as a god already in ancient Egypt? “Look at a sphinx, dude. That’s me. “I’m already a god. “That means I get to bless myself. “That’s one of the benefits of being your own god. “It comes in handy. “I’m covered in cat hair, and I sneeze all the time. “I might be allergic. “You think comedians don’t like themselves? “I’m a god that made myself in my own image, “but I made myself allergic to myself. “Why don’t you explore self-hatred “when I can’t even stand to be “in the same room with my physical body? I got so caught up, I’m just like, “You go fuck yourself, cat!” If you were just a fly on the wall in that room, you saw a grown man go, “God bless you, cat. You go fuck yourself, cat!” And that’s why I’m not running around striking up conversations with people, because this is where I’m at with the animal kingdom right now, and it’s not going so smooth. It’s either–or I don’t know how to keep my enthusiasm in check. Like, I get too excited and I don’t know, and I just turn into, like, Lenny with the bunnies, and I just don’t know how to handle things. People are like, “Lovely weather we’re having.”

And I’m like, “You want to be a friend!” I just p–I just pulverize it… before it can blossom. I have been–I’ve been trying to reel it back. I don’t–I don’t drink as much as I used to. I don’t–I never thought I was an alcoholic. I drank a lot– I’m drinking now– um, but I never thought I drank a lot. I lived with an actual alcoholic. Like, a true, like, “Oh, you’re just asleep naked and that’s my bed. All right, this is interesting.” Um… And it was weird because that gave me perspective, which is–perspective’s the most manipulated concept in the world. ‘Cause perspective for me is like, I don’t drink a lot ’cause look at this guy. Meanwhile, everybody else on this side of the scale is like, “We don’t drink as much as Kyle at least.” But because I had one other guy over here, I felt fine about it. He was interesting. He was an alcoholic that would still insist on using drink coasters in his house, which I found kind of endearing. Like, “[bleep] my liver, this is teak, dude.” “Okay.”

It’s a– it’s a curious way to go through life, my friend. But I f– no, I fell– back in December, I fell. I fell real bad as I was, uh– I was at home. I fell in the shower. I was drunk. I was drinking in the shower. I drink in my shower. I drink in my shower, not like I need to drink so much that it carries over. I wait for the shower. I choose to drink in the shower because everybody deserves a spa day in this world, and–

[crowd cheers]

I’m glad you agree with me. Why is it perfectly acceptable, oh, drive out somewhere and go to a spa, and if you lay down in their establishment with rose petals and champagne, that’s fine? But I do it vertically in my own home with a six-pack on the back of the toilet for easy reaching, I’m some sort of scumbag all of a sudden? I don’t appreciate that double standard you’ve put into place. Enjoy a drink in your shower if you never have, It’s a cold beverage juxtaposed with the warm water, It’s just a refreshing clash. Everybody deserves it. Everybo–it’s the one– it’s the one room you can be alone and naked and have a cocktail in, but I don’t know why that that– every other room in your house has a drink appointed to it. “What are you– are you on the porch? Have a mint julep on the porch.” “Oh, what, are you in your living room? Have a sophisticated scotch or a snifter of brandy.” “What, are you in the garage, tinkering around with your motorcycle? Have a beer in the garage.” But, “Oh, I’m gonna have something in the bathroom,” like, “You should probably go to meetings.”

No, man, I don’t agree to that. I don’t subscribe to that thinking at all. I set it up. I have an event for myself. I have the drinks on the back of the toilet. Don’t bring them in there with you. You don’t need them that close. I have a waterproof Bluetooth speaker for the shower shelf. I put the iPod on shuffle in the other room, and I let Steve Jobs DJ my mood from beyond the grave. And he gets it right! “All right, DJ Steve. “That’s the 160-gig model, 35,000 songs. “I got about nine ex-roommates’ libraries on there. What can you do for me?”

Five Motorhead tunes, then three Lionel Richie jams. Shit. Are you gonna tell me that’s something called “random”? Bullshit. That’s either robots are becoming sentient or ghosts are real. That’s it. Athens, there’s only two paths and those are it. Pick one of ’em. – Motorhead. – So you get into it. Motorhead’s playing, what do you do? You’re guzzling the beers. You’re living life. Flashdance your problems away! You earned it! Then the Lionel Richie tunes kick in. Ooh, downshift! Time to get introspective. Maybe throw an arm up on the shower wall. And let the water just drizzle over you… like a athlete that just lost the big game. But kind of on purpose… ‘Cause he doesn’t know how to tell the coach he just wants to dance. So I’m in there, and I start taking the lyrics to heart, start thinking about what Lionel and the rest of the Commodores are singing to me about. It’s usually something like love, sweet love. All right, let’s think it. Have I ever been in love? Not the way they sing about it. That’s an epic, once-in-a-lifetime way to represent love. It’s always like an anvil that falls on your head or a bus that hits you. This undeniable, one, strong, violent, cartoonish thing. And that’s it. That’s it. Once in a lifetime, that’s the girl. Then they sing Sail On, which is about divorce, so that’s contradictory. But so I start to think, I’ve never had that giant feeling. I’ve never had that one epic feeling, and fuck, if we subscribe to that being the only way you can fall in love, we’re gonna be a lot of depressed people. If it’s only one giant event and if you miss it, you’re shit out of luck. Some of us have had that and I’m glad that you got it. I’m glad somebody’s like, “15 years old, we saw each other, that’s it. “We’re just, you know–that– we’re going down the road together.”

Good for you. I’m glad you found it. But for the rest of us, we’re shit out of luck. Why would we–what– but maybe– why do we have to subscribe to that one definition of love? Why does it have to be one big event? Maybe it’s not an anvil for some of us. Maybe for some of us, it’s just a feather. It’s just a feather, but it comes by every day for a little bit, for a little tickle, that’s it. Just–just, “Ba-la-la. Little bit for you.”

You’re not gonna get grandkids out of ba-la-la, but you just get to be reminded like, this is in here. You got this. It’s gonna keep working. And that’s all you need, those little moments. You’re just in line at the bank. You’re making a deposit. Good for you. Money’s going in that day. It’s not coming out. Stand up straight. You belong there that day. There’s a woman in front of you. She’s in a pantsuit. All right, not really your thing. But you appreciate her. Finally, somebody’s got their shit together. Somebody didn’t fuck around at a liberal arts college for six years. Like the rest of us assholes wearing flip-flops at 4:00 p.m. So already, you’re just, “All right, we got differences. Maybe we can make them work.”

She’s at the teller. She finishes up her thing. She goes to put the pen back in the little penholder. Who does that? [whispers] Nobody. You know who does that? Good people. And there’s not a lot of them left. The rest of us, we’re just pissed. “Overage fee? You son of a b–” and you just– But not her. No, “Thank you,” and then back in the little holder. So you’re paying even more attention. Aw, she’s got it all. But then she misses that penholder, and the pen drops. Oh, no. What’s gonna happen? “Just leave it. You’ve done enough.”

But she’s not gonna leave it. She’s all heart. She’s going for it. It’s not on the floor, it’s dangling by that little chain, and she’s going for it, but she can’t reach it, limited mobility in that pantsuit. A slight bend and she’s just swatting at it like a kitten, just swatting, trying to get it, for too long! For too long. Like, 45 seconds. Just going for it, to the point where the guy behind you in matching flip-flops as yours just goes, “Ugh!” And you turn around, and you go, “You shut the fuck up! I love her.” And you don’t know where it came from, but it was real. And that’s all you need for that day to just walk around and feel good. Don’t creep her out. Don’t act on it. It wasn’t anything. You don’t follow her to the parking lot, like, “I like the way you went for that pen!” Don’t do that. Don’t do that to her. Just walk around going, “This thing still works. “Good. I still got– there’s still capabilities– I still got it in here.”

If that’s the case, then I know–I’ve had those incidences. So I know that’s out there, and I’m capable of it. I remember I was on a date, lovely young lady, we’re on a date at a bar, uh, not much going on. We’re at the bar, and a fight breaks out over on the side of the bar between two women. And I know it seems like, “Ooh, chick fight.”

I don’t believe in any of that. Two women fighting’s the most passionate, violent thing you could ever see. It’s real, and it’s terrifying. And you don’t celebrate it, and it’s not– the only reason they were pulling hairs was bringing faces quick for hockey punches. It was a real– it was a real thing. And I did–it’s like, you don’t, like, gather around like, “Ooh! Ooh! Look, chick fight!” You push your buddies away, you’re like, “Tuck everything in! Tuck it all in!” ‘Cause one loose drawstring, and you just get brought in, and just ground beef comes out the other side. It’s like a wood chipper. And the lady I was on a date with, sweet young lady, just looked over at it, it registered with her, and her response to it was to, uh, calmly turn back to me, remove her hoop earrings, and as she pushed them across the bar to me, just said, “I don’t know what these bitches want to get into.” Mm. Mm. Ooh. And it wasn’t love ’cause she did that, it was love ’cause how I responded. ‘Cause my response– I didn’t judge her, and I didn’t try and stop her. I just held those earrings like a war bride. That’s all I could do, just, like, “This means you’re coming back to me. I will write you letters.”

And the relationship didn’t work out, but I got to have that. I got to have that moment, and that makes me happy, you know. Even more recently, I was on a second date with a girl. This was a second date, and she showed up to the second date with a jar of pickled eggs. Just showed up, she’s like, “The bar I was drinking at before this sold these. They made me think of you, so here.”

You figured me out that quick? This is a second date and you unlocked this puzzle? Not–it’s just three pieces and they’re all squares, but still, the second date, you’re pulling some “he went to Jared’s shit” like this on me? I’m gonna find out if this bartender’s been ordained online. Let’s do this right now. She’s like, “There’s a couple missing ’cause I ate them in the car on the way here.” I’m like, “I’m gonna put a baby in you.” So this is what I was thinking about in the shower. Then I heard my front door open, and I knew it was my friend coming over. He told me, like, “‘m gonna be coming over.” And I was like, “Bro, I’m not gonna rush through my spa day.” I was just like, “I’ll leave the door open. “I’m having some moments in the back. Just–you do what you do.”

So he came in, but at that point, I’d drank all the drinks. I was feeling like a good host, I was feeling hospitable, so I leaned out of the shower to be welcoming. Like, “Come on in.” You know? Just–you wanna be a good host after drinks. “Welcome to the home,” and I tried to– I wanted to point to the fridge like, “Get some drinks.”

Like he doesn’t know how to get drinks or where they live. Like, I point to the fridge, and I had to lean out kind of far ’cause my fridge is around– ’cause, like, I’m not rich, but I’m not poor enough to where I can see my kitchen from my bathroom. That’s all it is. I’m not saying that that’s a level– I just don’t want to be able to see where I eat from where I shit. That’s all I want in my life. That–I’m not saying I need floors or rooms. Just a corner I can duck behind. Just a corner. But I thought I could lean around that corner with my enthusiasm and point to the fridge, and I went for it and I fell real hard. Like I th– it’s like I threw mysel– I didn’t even fall in the shower, I fell out. I threw myself out of the shower onto the floor, and that–it’s funny… But it’s not as funny as it should be because I’m 37. It’s still funny, but it’s not like if I was 17– if it was 20 years ago, that would have been funny, like, where you’re a champion of life where if somebody just saw you and you were laying there, it’d be more like, “Yeah, but fuck it! “We’re gonna live forever! “Just carry me on your backs naked to the next occasion. I am a lion!” Like, that’s… but–so it’s funny, but at 37, it’s, like, that chuckle. Kind of like… [chuckles awkwardly] You’re just naked and drunk on your floor. The remnants of a Commodore’s song playing in the background. So it’s not that celebration. It’s just a… [laughs awkwardly] “No.”

It’s so much partying as it is tailgating your own funeral. So my–my– Closer to the end than we are the beginning if you think– if you think about it. At some point, it’s just gonna be me in the back of a hearse with a pony keg like, “Hurry up “and help me finish this thing for the deposit. I gotta go get in that box.”

[coughs] Ugh. Ugh. I don’t know, man. I’m not– you can’t–you can’t fear aging. It’s not– it’s an unavoidable thing. I’m not scared of catastrophic aging. I kind of look forward to that. Like, when you just go to some doctor’s appointment, they’re like, “You need all metal bones now.” “Yeah. Awesome.” [chuckles] “Sounds cool.” [laughs] “We need to put a pig’s heart in you.” “Fuck yeah, that sounds metal. “Put in two, man. “Rodney James Dio this shit. Throw–load it up. “Give me as many pig hearts as you can. Got any other pig parts you want to put in here?” Good story. I don’t like the little stu– like, just the weird stuff, like, where you pee, and you’re done peeing and you put everything away, and then you just pee a little bit more. That’s what I’m scared of. ‘Cause that just– psychologically, that just ruins your whole day, and you can’t even explain to people why. You just stand around like, ugh. “I don’t even want to go to the movies anymore.”

[clears throat, chuckles] That’s the stuff– [stammers] There’s some physical things I’m fine– like, I know, like, when I wake up in the morning, my bones sound like the last 15 seconds of microwave popcorn. Like, I got– I’m used to that now. That first walk to the bathroom is just like… Pe-pe-pe-pep. Pip, pip, pip, pip. Pip. Pip. Shake the bag a little bit. Pi-pi-pep-pep-pep. [sighs] Think we got ’em all. We got ’em. It’s just the–it’s, like, the mental slippage that starts creeping me out. Just the weird… I just read signs out loud. Just that weird bored dad [bleep]. Just dri–just alone in the car, silent. “Chipotle. “Why? I don’t even want that right now.”

Then my brain is just running diagnostic checks. I’m like a old space shuttle that’s going in for one last flight, so they gotta make sure everything’s going all right. You know, and so I just walk around like, “Hey, can you read that? “Good. Can you say it too? All right, all systems go. Wheels up, baby.” But I realize it does that ’cause the system still breaks down. That’s what upsets me is that the system can still break down at any time. Like, I’ll still bite my tongue, which is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable for any living creature past the age of four, and I don’t even get mad, I just get disappointed in myself. I bite my tongue, I’m like, “Come on. “It’s been in there the whole time.” “You’ve had your tongue longer than you’ve had your teeth.”

And we let us drive a car?? “Quick. What does that say?” “Chipotle.” “All right.”

I threw money in the trash. I don’t know how old you have to be to have Alzheimer’s. I threw money in the garbage. That one creeped me out. I was driving, and I wanted a snack. I wanted pistachio nuts. Already an old-person snack. Senior citizens, they love shelled nuts. It’s one of the last things that’s gonna put up a fight. Put ’em up, protein. Eh! That’s why I like them too. Pistachios, that’s– Like, that’s the closest I’ve ever come to hand-to-hand combat, is the two seconds it takes for each pistachio nut. Each one gets its own scenario. You’re like, you tell me where she is! I fight each one. Where’s the briefcase, Mendoza? I just get at them. Especially the ones that are closed all the way up. Oh! Those sinister fuckers, the arrogant ones. They rely on your own laziness for their survival. Like, you’re not–you don’t have the time for us, Kyle. Just push us aside. They’re like the smarmy criminals, like, you’re not gonna get me. You’re not gonna get the secrets out of me. And, fuck, I get those guys first. I line them up on my dashboard. I hit them with the back of my phone. That’s what I do. I can do that because I got insurance on my phone because that’s what you do when you’re older, you get insurance for your temporary electronics. That’s all it is. You got disposable income. “How much? 8 bucks a month? Awesome, that just turned this into a hammer.”

Boom. Smasha-smasha-smash. My phone, I stir soup with it, I don’t care. New one every month. Keep them little Chinese hands busy. Let’s go for it. That was it. I was walking out of the gas station. I had pistachio nuts in one hand. Change and pistachio nuts in the other hand. Walked by a garbage can. All of a sudden, my head has a thought. It goes, sometimes you put stuff in those. Before the thought is complete, I’ve already released the contents of my right hand. It was that easy, just a Jedi mind trick on myself. Just hypnotized-grift myself right there. Sometimes you put stuff– oh, sometimes I put stuff in these. And I just stood there. You ever do something so dumb, you just stand there? ‘Cause you know it’s dumb, but it didn’t even compute. It’s like, “What’d you do? “Look at what you just did. “What did you– “This is why you find your car keys “in the freezer sometimes, Kyle. Shit like this. Analyze what happened.”

‘Cause I heard it hit too. I knew it was the change. And it wasn’t even like– “I’m gonna go get it.” I don’t have a choice ’cause it wasn’t even pennies or nickels. It was quarters. It was laundry money. I need that. That’s my science money. I got to go make more shirt meteorites. But I realized I can’t even go get it because the guy from the gas station has been staring at me this whole time ’cause he has no idea what he’s seeing. First off, I’m the youngest guy to ever buy dusty pistachio nuts from him and then also whisper to the package, “You’re going down.”

And now he sees me walk out and throw money in the garbage like I’m some sort of weird, eccentric debutant. Like I’m a– I’m some sort of millionaire who lives on a mansion on the hill, but I still get all my meals at the ampm station twice a day. Like, I just come down in a top hat and tails, like, “Oh, no, only folding money for me, my good man. “I throw my coins into the rubbish barrel. “That’s where the peasants will be trolling for scraps anyway. “It’s actually quite charitable on my part. “It certainly is. A-ta-ta!” It’s–it’s either that– [applause] Thank you. It’s either that, or I’m somebody who’s never been fully explained the concept of wishing wells to because the idea of them got me so excited, I could only sit through half the lesson, you know? Like, I never got the end of the fairy tale. Somebody’s like, “First you want to get some coins.”

Like, “I have so many coins!” “Then you want to put a wish on those coins.” “My head is filled with wishes!” “Then you want to take those wished-upon coins. You want to throw them into a very specific”– “I can’t even wait any longer!” And I’ve just been spending the rest of my life just running around, like, I wish no babies go hungry today! Poof, poof, poof. In the garbage! You’re welcome, babies. Peace on earth. Like– [grunts] This–it’s a weird reason to think that I’m getting older, uh, or “maturing” maybe is the word: I don’t, like–I don’t hate all the cops anymore. I don’t really like any of them. But I don’t hate all of them. You understand? Like– Like, at some point, if you live a peppered enough existence in this world, you will deal with a variety of police officers, most of which you did not call. And eventually you’re gonna deal– if you deal with enough of them, you’re gonna deal with the one cop that was almost you or somebody you know. And that’s a weird moment that does happen, if you’re out there getting into enough shit, that one part where you’re like, “I’m gonna fight them all.” And one guy comes around and looks at your T-shirt, like, “I like that band. I saw them in ’97.” You’re like, “That was a good show.”

Oh, my emotions! Like– There’s not a lot of them, but there’s a couple out there ’cause some of them just need jobs, that’s it. Some of them are like, “Who’s hiring?” “The police department.” “Whatever.” And to some of them, it’s just a job. And at the worst, it’s a customer service job where the customer hates you all the time. And you know there’s a bunch of them out there, like, “Why’d you become a cop?” Like, “Oh, well, I was bullied as a child, “so I just, uh, repress that anger, “and now I can take it out on society “with the protection of a badge. And you’re like, “Yeah, you fuckers are ruining it for everybody.”

But then you know there’s a very, very small fraction of them, if you’re like, “Why’d you become a cop?” They’re like, “Oh, well, it pays 10 more dollars an hour than the post office, and I get a gun!” Like… “I get you. I was almost you.” I remember the first time I dealt with that type of cop. That, like, just party cop that should be doing something else ’cause he’s bad at it. I was at my first adult party. I was maybe, like, 20, 21. And the first adult party– not adult party like some lascivious, coked-out orgy or anything. But that first– just that first party you go to where it’s like, the host is trying to make that transition of, like, “We’re not just gonna be psychos tonight.”

It’s when, like, you get there, and there’s, like, dip on the table. And it’s not just like, “Oh, I got snacks.” It’s like– it was like it was symbolic. It was the host going, “Nobody’s gonna light themselves on fire “or jump off the roof. I got snacks.” And you just realize what that means. Like, it’s over. Your youth is over, and you just, like, put the two fingers in it. I think we went to somebody’s house because they, like, they bought a new couch. That’s why we were having a party. “You going to Tony’s?” “Why? What’s up?” “He bought a couch.” “What, with his money? Shit! “That’s a big move, man. Couches are free. “You drive around, you get a couch. “You want to get real ambitious, you go on craigslist. He bought a couch? Somebody’s doing well.”

So we went over to his apartment. It’s like, you couldn’t even–like, you just– the couch, again, that’s symbolic. It’s not just a couch, that’s somebody going, “I’m gonna have a career and a family. That’s why I buy new furniture.” And you have to treat this as such. That’s a baby, basically. You don’t– You can’t smoke or drink or do any drugs around it. You just have to compliment it. “It’s a good couch, Tony. It’s a nice couch.”

And everybody’s got to go out on the back porch to get in all their nefarious shit. So this whole party just walks through: “Cool couch, bro,” and then goes in the back. And it’s a Chicago apartment. It’s about three stories. We’re on the back deck. Each apartment has its own back deck connected by fire escapes. We’re all out there. And nothing too crazy. Like, you know, underage drinking, everybody had a lot of pot, which, back then, you could get– you could catch a charge– it’d be, like, a pain in the ass to deal with. So there was a reason to get creeped out. Couple kids, you know, huffed something they found, so a few wild cards running around. You know, party, it’s a party. The untouched dip in the kitchen. So we’re all just out there lamenting the fact that age has befallen us. And a uniformed police officer descends from the upstairs balcony, and that’s not how cops break up parties. Not from above. And especially if, like, you’re, like, messed up and partying and stuff, and you see that, you already assume the SWAT team just zip-lined through the front windows. So panic ensues, like, “They’re coming in from everywhere!” Just panic on the whole porch. You just got the pothead smart enough to hide the pot, not smart enough to put it out, just jamming it into cargo short pockets. And then 30 seconds later, like, “Ah, shit, shit! Which pocket?” And then, you know, you got a 17-year-old who’s just grenade tossing beers out of a 30-pack, over the railing, with the 22-year-old who bought them next to him, like, “I can have those. They’re mine.”

And he’s just like, “I’m not taking any chances!” But nobody can go anywhere because we’re just all stuck on this porch, so it’s just a bunch of broken video game characters stuck between worlds. But the cop that came down was just affable. Like, just straight-up friendly, like I’ve never even seen. Like, friendly to the point where at first we all thought he was supposed to be an undercover cop, but he forgot to change into street clothes. Like, that friendly. He’s like, “How’s it going, you guys? “Oh, smoking a little doj, man, chilling. “I love it, I love it. What’s everybody looking at? What’s going on? What? What?” “Did I forget to change?” “Son of a bitch.”

He did, he just came downstairs and was just, you know, “Love it, man. “I love this. Party on a Friday, man! “I miss it, man. “That was my favorite night to party, Fridays, you know? I can’t anymore, you know. I got to work.” “Did he just point at his badge like we were unclear on what he did for a living?” So he’s hanging out on the porch, and he’s just like– There’s music playing. He’s like, “I like this band! I heard these guys!” And he’s tapping his foot. And he’s looking into the apartment, and he’s just checking things out through the window. We’re like, “Oh, he’s investigating. “He’s looking for drugs. Do we have drugs? Do we have drugs?”

And we’re, like, looking around, like, and we’re like, “Oh, maybe he’s waiting for backup, ’cause we’re a hostile group.” People just frozen. It couldn’t be that. And we realize, he’s looking in, but he’s not even, like, just– He’s looking in there. He’s like, “Ah, man. “What is that, guacamole? I love that stuff, dude. Look at that new couch! All right, man!” “Where’d you get that from? You bought it?” [chuckles] “Who does that, man?” [chuckles] And he’s looking in there, and he’s tapping his foot, and he’s listening to music, and we’re all trying to figure, like, why is there a cop at our party? It’s such a weird thing to have to ask. Like, “Does he want some guacamole? Do we offer it to him?” So he’s just tapping his foot, but eventually we realize, “Oh, we got to self-incriminate ’cause we got to find out why he’s here.” Like, how do we say, like, what– “Is it this pot that you’re here for?” Like, somebody’s like, Ask him if the music’s too loud.”

We’re like, “Oh, good one. All right, music’s too loud.” So we just got to kind of, like…[clears throat] “Uh, officer?” And just nothing, just… “All right.” [coughs] “Officer!” And he finally–we get him, but even him turning around wasn’t even, like, cop-like. He just goes, “Huh?” Like… “Come on, dude. “You’re on duty. You can’t surf cop us right now.” “What’s up?” Like– So we ask, we’re like, “Um, so music’s too loud, right? “You’re here because the music’s too loud, and that’s why you’re here.” His response, he just goes, “Ha-ha! Aw, no, man. You guys are cool. Guy died upstairs.” “Man, you suck at being a cop right now.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten the best news and the worst news in the same sentence before, but that’s emotionally taxing on your heart. That’s not even an emotional roller coaster. That’s just an emotional elevator that does that, of just–and even he could tell what he did, because the whole party just gasped and then shrank by 6 inches, like–[gasps] And just– and even he was affected ’cause you could see him try and backpedal, like, “Oh, uh, no, no! It was natural causes. It’s all right. It’s natural causes.” That’s when somebody in the back of the party goes, “That means it could happen to any of us at any time!” Best crowd control I’ve ever seen. Unintentional crowd control. Was just like, “You guys having a good time, yeah? You’ve been dancing” underneath your own mortality for four hours.” Party’s over. He goes back upstairs, still, like, apologizing, like, “Shit, man, I didn’t mean to bum you out.” Like, “Just go back to the post office, man.”

And he goes back upstairs. Party’s over, nobody– You can’t keep partying after that. Everybody’s walking out. We all got to walk to the front staircase there, going through the apartment. The whole party’s leaving at the same time that the coroners are carrying the body out from upstairs. So all this traffic is merging on the staircase like the most awkward New Orleans jazz funeral you could ever see. Just everybody in the front, instead of like, “Celebrate life!” It’s just like, “Oh, God, is it behind me? “I think it’s behind me. I’m not gonna look, you look! “Oh, my God, the bag touched me! I think the bag touched me.”

Everybody in the back is quiet, like, “Should we hum a tune? I don’t know how this works.” But we got out to the street, and the best thing that happened: we all got on the street– all the partygoers and coroners and everything– we’re all out on the street, and I’m jealous of anybody that can have confidence in awkward situations, you know? I already told you the cat story. I have– I’m jealous of anybody that can just not worry about anything, like the guy that’s working at a fast food restaurant at night with a sun visor on, under lights, but still calling women beautiful to their faces– I love that guy. I love that guy. That’s not sexual harassment when you also have to serve fries to somebody. “My number’s in one of these. I’ll let you ladies figure it out, okay?”

I love that guy. I love him. Just going for it. And the high-water mark of that personality type was set that night when one of the coroners was just hitting on girls leaving the party. Just hand on the rung of a body bag, just, I don’t know, he’s just like, “What, are you guys leaving now? “Come on, man, it’s early. It’s Friday. “Where you going? Party ain’t over now. “Party ain’t over this early on a Friday. “Oh, you guys going to another club, that’s what you’re doing. “You going to a club? Where you going? You going to a 4:00 a.m. bar or a 2:00 a.m. bar?” ‘Cause there’s two liquor licenses in Chicago. “You going to a 4:00 a.m.? Go to a 4:00 a.m. “You got to go to a 4:00 a.m. “Well, ’cause I can’t make it to the 2:00 a.m. “I can’t–I got– “Well, I got paperwork. You go to the 4:00 a.m. “You guys should go to that 4:00 a.m. “Meet you over there. Yeah. “What’s your name, huh? What? “No, the blonde one. Yeah. “Tracy, yeah, it is! “You got them eyes like a Tracy. “You got them Tracy eyes. “Told you she got them Tracy eyes. “I told you. I told you. “Tracy, give me your number right now. “I got to meet up with you guys. I need somebody– “Give me your number right now. Come on. “Don’t think about it. Come on. “I got stories. You got stories. “Tracy, let’s be some storytellers. “Come on, Tracy. Come on. “All right, shit, I don’t have a free hand. “All right, take down my number. “Tracy, Tracy, take down my num– Tra-Tra-Tracy!” “You know what they say, Tracy? Life’s short, baby!” That guy. I just want to be that guy. Just one night, I want to get the gold medal in the “I Don’t Give a Fuck” Olympics. [clears throat] I moved to Los Angeles from Chicago about 11 years ago, and much respect for both cities. One of the things that was new for me to move to Los Angeles was– I think it was just the self-help scene and that people seemed to go to casual therapy. Like, they just would go– they just go, and that was new to me. And I’m not harping on it. If you need to get, you know, somebody to take a peek behind the curtains up there, go for it. Get it done, and get it worked out. We all get everything else fixed. For me, it was just a new thing because, from the Midwest, you didn’t go to therapy– or at least the culture I was brought in. So it was weird to just be out at lunch in L.A., and somebody openly, in public, just be like, “I was at my therapist the other day,” and my response would be like, “Shut the fuck up. “That means you’re crazy. Now they’re gonna take the knives off the table.”

‘Cause I just wasn’t used to that. Like, it always had to be some epic thing, ’cause from the Midwest, you don’t go to therapy. You just take your problems, and you stuff them down. You just push them, you just stuff them, you just push them down. Then you drink all the drinks, all of the drinks, and that holds them down for a while. That holds them down. Maybe in ten years, one of them bubbles up, and that’s the day you punch a picture of your family for no reason. You don’t even know why, you were having a good day, and you love them, but that just happened to be the day– Like, “Remember this thing?” “Like, I do.” Bang! “Whoa. Now I got to go buy a new frame. It was–it was always spoken about in, like, hushed tones, like, [quietly] “Your aunt Renee is coming to dinner, “and you know she’s in therapy, so don’t do– “move your hands a bunch, “and try not to use very many consonants “because that’s aggressive-sounding. “And don’t flip your napkin out at dinner “because I think she had an affair with that bullfighter, and that might set something off.” So it was a– it was a new thing to just– And also, like, I felt bad. Like, friends would tell me, like, “Yeah, I go to therapy.” And I felt bad ’cause as a friend– this is a wrong emotion, I know, but I felt bad. I’m like, “I’m your friend. You can come talk to me.”

Like, that’s why you have friends is that you got to– if you got to, you know, get shit out of your system, you can talk to your friends. I was like, “Man, why are you going to some–” And the explanation was like, “I just go ’cause it’s a stranger, “and they won’t judge me. So I can go, and it’s just a stranger.” I’m like, “I’m not going to judge you.” They’re like, “Yeah, but I just go to this stranger, and it’s like, they don’t judge. It’s, like, $200 an hour.” I was like, wha– Like, “You could’ve bought me a burrito. “I’ll listen to your bullshit all afternoon. “Guess what, now I am judging you. “I think you’re fucking crazy. That’s ridiculous. But I’m like, “I’ll go give it a whirl.”

Why not–it’s no way to live life closed off from experience. I’ll give it a try, but at the time, I did not have $200 to just toss at, you know, this idea I wanted to try out. And somebody explained to me that you can go to the university and have students that are studying to become therapists work on you for a lower rate ’cause they’re not there yet, and so that’s what I did. And having done that, I’m gonna tell you, pay full price, pay– spend the money. Spend the money. This is one of those things where you spend the money. You know, a lot of other situations, you can get away with that. You know, you got crummy teeth, and you don’t have the money, you got to go to a dental college. It might be a little janky, but it’ll get you through, you know, to when you got some decent paychecks. Bad haircut from beauty school, that’s going to grow back. You’ll be all right. But when you want to hire a brain wrangler to get in there and lasso the bad thoughts, get a real cowboy, that’s all I’m saying. Get– don’t go hiring a ranch hand. Get a real cowboy. ‘Cause you don’t want to get stuck in the situation where, at the end of an hour, where you’re just unloading your deepest and darkest stuff off on some 20-year-old, at the end of it, they’re just looking at you like… [laughing] “Wow, man. That was a dream?” [laughs] “With who– you did that to– “Wha– Aah! “Man, that’s, like, cra– “Oh, they told me I can’t do that. “That’s so– Ugh. For me to deal– Aah.”

“That’s– Sigmund Freud– “No, I didn’t read about him. “No, I–No, I didn’t even read these books. “No, I’m changing my major next semester. “Sports medicine, sports medicine ’cause this is too much– eh– for me to deal with. But good luck to you. Good– “Good luck. My prognosis is good luck.” That’s–my notes say for you to have good luck.” “I prescribe that to you.” “That’s gonna be 26 bucks.” [chuckles]

Like, I mean, so– I’m sure there’s some great ones out there. But people go, and they’ll find out about repressed memories in therapy, and I know, like, that’s still, like, a tested thing. They don’t know if that’s real, but you find out about– Why would you want to find out about repressed memories? That’s your own brain going, “Man, that sucked, right? Let’s forget about it.”

Like, that’s– That’s your own brain going, “Man, let’s take that shit. “Let’s put it in a box. “Let’s push that box in a dark, dusty corner of the attic, and let’s never look in that box again.”

And people are just spending $200 to be like, “I wonder what’s in this box. Nightmares! Oh, no!” Stop looking in those boxes. I wish I could have repressed memories. I have the opposite, where I’m reminded of every horrible thing I’ve been privy to in my 37 years usually by breakfast. That’s how I work. It’s just that everything in my life is just like, “You remember? You remember? You remember?” “Yes, please, stop”! That’s all I want. Just waking up for me is like doing 500 miles an hour down a highway, and every terrible thing is just a billboard zipping by that I just got to read. Just waking up, like, “Today’s going to be great. I can feel it.” “No, it won’t ’cause of that time when you were six and you dropped a brick on a frog.”

Oh, oh. Mm. [sighs] “Remember that, Kyle? “Remember that time you killed an animal when you were little? “That’s what serial killers do. “Remember the time you did the same thing a serial killer does? Speaking of cereal, enjoy your breakfast.” “Okay, maybe lunch will be that money meal. Lunch, I can feel it. Lunch is going to be great.” “No, it won’t ’cause of that time when you were 22 and you got the blow job from the underage girl who had the brain damage. Ah.

[crowd groans and laughs]

Ooh, ooh. Oh, what happened, 40 Watt? Somebody found a chili pepper in the candy dish! Oh-ho-ho! Wash me in your judgment. I’m going to explain. I was 22. It’s a despicable age. You’re not even a man. You’re just a creature. I was at a ska show in the suburbs, in case you weren’t sure how white I actually am. There, enjoying a show, young lady approached me, seemingly very drunk. [crowd ohs] Oh, don’t jump ahead. Hate for you to ruin the surprise. She told me she attended the local community college. Then she gave me her phone number. That’s it. That’s three for three. That’s all I need. You know, likes the sauce, great. She’s pursuing higher education, albeit incrementally. She said she did not have her I.D. on her, so we couldn’t go out for a drink. So we went on a Kyle Kinane hot date special, just drive around, smoking pot, listening to mix CDs. DJ Ghost Steve was not on the job back in the day. I pulled my finishing move, which was to park at a grocery store parking lot. That was a safe bet for me because it’s safe. It’s well-lit. We can just sit there under the bright lights. We’ll go inside. We’ll get some snacks. We’ll giggle–that’s what’s fun to do when you’re stoned. The option for going around by the loading docks for making out is there. She was aware of that. She chose that option. Okay. Went around, did some making out. Through the course of making out, I felt comfortable enough with my new companion to address some obvious facts. I said, “So you’re drunk right now. You’re a drunk person.”

And that’s when she explained to me that she was not drunk. She wasn’t drunk. It was a speech impediment. It was a speech impediment that she got because she was in a car accident the year before that was so violent, she just recently got to stop wearing a helmet as part of her treatment. And before she gave me the same amount of time I’ve just given you to process that information, yeah, slowpoke went in for the beejer, yeah. Oh. What do you do? What do you do, huh, guys? What do you do? You don’t know ’cause you weren’t there! Why don’t you fold that judgment up and put it in your pocket, and I’ll finish the fucking story? You know what you do? You know what you do? You freak the fuck out, that’s what you do. You freak out. You know why? Because first off, this is the second blow job you’ve ever gotten in your entire life. That’s right, age of 22, and this is the second time this has ever happened. First one came the year before at the age of 21 when I lost my virginity to a stripper who had a bunch of bad dragon tattoos over her body. Yeah, anybody else ever fuck a doodle pad? All right. That’s the sensei this kid got the black belt from. What do I do? I put my hands on the roof of the car. I am frozen. I don’t know what to do with the entire situation. My hands are stuck to the roof. I don’t know how to politely opt out of a blow job. What do I do? Do I tap the back of her head? That could seem like some sort of light encouragement. “Good job. Way to go.”

Plus, she just told me that story about the helmet. I could hit the one bruise on the peach that sends her off. It’s a delicate situation, literally and figuratively. Nothing about me is enjoying it. Nothing about me likes what’s happening. I’m just frozen and terrified and just going over everything in my head that blow jobs are supposed to be just high fives and smiles, but for me, up to this point, it’s like, “Why is it always like this?” “Why aren’t these ever nice?” Nothing about me is enjoying it, except for old fucking boner in a hammock down there because that doesn’t know the difference at 22. You’re 22, and your dick should just be laying there like, “Man, this is rad!” It’s just betrayal. I’m just frozen and wondering why my body is not getting along with my brain. So she can tell I’m not participating other than the basic biological reaction, and so she stops. Uh, and she stops, and she says to me, to break the tension, she goes, “Oh, I lied about going to community college.” “You–you mean because you’re in grad school, hmm?” [chuckles] No, it was because she was a junior in high school.

[crowd gasps]

[gasps] Oh, oh, oh! Yeah, felon. I’m a felon. And I know I was raised right by two odd porn-shopping people, but they instilled me with morals, and they were good people. And I know I have good character, and I have good morals. And in my mind and in my soul, I know that I’m not a bad person. And so I knew what to do with the situation, except then my body just jumped in the way and made my mouth look down at her and say, “You better hurry up, then.”

Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Yeah. Oh, you get to repress memories? Tell me how, magician. I just want one trip to the mall to buy shoes where I’m not reminded of my life. Just one trip of, like, “Remember when you killed animals? Remember when you killed animals.” “I sure do, but okay, let’s give that a break. “Okay, do you have this in a size 9? “I wear a size 9. It’s in the back? “You’re going to check in the back? “You better hurry up, then. “God damn it! No!”

That’s the end of it. Thank you very much, Athens. I appreciate it.

[cheers and applause]

Madam, your brains.

[cheers and applause continues]


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