Big Boy Underpants
This may come as a surprise to most of you, but I wasn’t that popular in high school. (Maybe that’s why I’m here. How do you like me now? Still no? Ok.) I wasn’t a loser, I just didn’t care about all of it. Which is the worst kind of unpopular. If I had died in high school, nobody would notice. They’d be like “Andrew Rivers? I think I had homeroom with him.” I didn’t like school because I felt I was smarter than everyone. I knew I was never gonna use Algebra and as soon as teachers pulled out that little chart like “All of these jobs use math.” I just decided “That’s great. I just won’t do any of those jobs. I’m cool with that.” but apparently that’s not cool with them. I loved challenges and puzzles but as soon as I figured them out I was bored. Surprisingly the challenge of attaining straight A’s and making my parents proud never appealed to me. Sorry about that, dad.
I was also small and didn’t hit puberty in the 4th grade like all these other kids who were drinking the wrong kind of hormone milk or whatever. Luckily I grew up in the days when they didn’t make you shower with your classmates. I remember I had one pair of “grown man” underwear that kindof bulged out to support a real man. I remember thinking it made my junk look big in them. So I liked to wear them in gym class because even though nobody got naked, people still got down to boxers and changed pants. I felt like people would notice. I’m not sure what the logic was. “All these people don’t like me because they stare at my junk through my boxers in the locker room.” “I’ll show them.” My plan didn’t seem to be working, people still thought I was annoying. One day I went up to a kid and tried to make up some reason to talk to him while I was still in my “big boy” underwear. He kind of stared at me (in the face) and told me to put some pants on. Luckily other people don’t seem to dwell on these memories as much as I did. As he and I had a decent friendship throughout the years. We weren’t good friends or anything outside of school, but basically he didn’t kick my ass. My expectations were low at this point.
I had a great group of friends in high school. A couple of them were probably losers. but they thought I was cool. That pretty much kept me sane through the years. There was just a couple of us in a “crew”, but they thought everything I did was funny and made me feel good. I’m still really good friends with one of them. I think he and I are the only ones to escape to a somewhat normal adulthood as acceptable additions to society. One guy was a butcher for a while, I think one is a mailman and married some girl we went to high school with. He posted naked pictures of their baby on facebook and it took me a few weeks to get the image of a baby vagina out of my head. Not in a gross way. I just don’t think I was prepared to see what they look like at a young age. It’s weird when you start clicking through people’s photos like I wonder what he’s up to, click, click, OHHH JESUS! Anyway. Now all the google bots are gonna flag me for child porn or something. That will be interesting. Comedian gets arrested for child porn on his blog. “My dad told me to write and not be funny. It’s not my fault.”
Part of the problem was my sense of humor. I grew up in a house where dinner time was open mic. My life was broadcasted on the radio and anything embarrassing that ever happened. You either get over it or cry about it because that’s how Daddy makes the money. So when I got to high school and there’s all sorts of different levels of maturity and ego’s and assholes. Not all of them have a sense of humor. I almost guarantee it has something to do with puberty. Once guys are out to impress females and that becomes %100 motivation. All jokes stop. In middle school, I wasn’t popular but I wasn’t outcast. I was a funny guy. I had a couple girlfriends. It was normal. but like I said. I had no concern for girls for a long time. All I knew was make fun of people’s flaws to make myself feel better and be the funny guy that ribs on everyone. I think I got a rude awakening to high school. It started out as kindof a joke. Things ended up getting out of hand. I got beat up a few times here and there. Generally the schedules line up to keep the big kids away from the tiny kids. but all bets were off in PE. (physical education). They had mixes of all ages and sexes. It didn’t matter. I had a morning PE class. We had outdoor activities while it was still “dewey” ? One day we played football and the kid on the other team at QB threw the ball and kindof muttered “the ball is wet, my hand slipped.” I said “yeah yeah. Excuses.” Nothing more than some friendly sport trash talk. He took it personal and said something about I was lucky he was 18. I guess referring to if he murdered me, he would be tried as an adult.
That’s another thing I want to touch on. When do you start learning about those kinds of things? A couple weeks before your 18th birthday do your friends all get together like “Yo, you better get your murdering in before the 17th of next month bro! Don’t wanna be tried as an adult.” Do your parents sit you down? Is it a different “birds and bees” talk? “Listen, Johnny, we know you have some anger issues when the cafeteria lady says they’re out of pizza, so if you’re going to kill her, just do it before you turn 18.” You’re still going to prison. It’s just a less shitty prison. and you can still be tried as an adult if you’re under 18. They just have to determine that you acted in full will and knew the consequences of your actions and there’s no hope for you. Which I’m pretty sure a statement like “I can’t be tried as an adult because I’m 17” means you know something about that law. Right? I digress…
At one particular point the PE teacher came over to me and said “I can’t stop these guys from killing you.” whoa. Buzzkill. What is she even there for at that point? The whole point is she’s authority. I’m sure she can’t physically pull them off me if it gets that far, but if there’s one person a high schooler loses all of his power to it’s his teacher. So I had a few bad experiences there. A few years later, we had school spirit days. One was “Visiting Vegas” day and you were supposed to dress up like a “Tourist”. The punchline here is that I dressed up as a “terrorist”. I know. “I’m in the future ALSO.” (C) Mike Birbiglia. One of my teachers openly admitted she was racist in class and I don’t mean subtly treating me different. I mean, she told me she was offended and another kid said “Are all people who look like that terrorists?” “yes” okkkkk. I went to the principals office. They were like “Do your parents know?” I’m like “Who do you think helped me with this?” What I should have said was “Look at my grades, sir. Do you think I’m capable of putting ANYTHING together?” lol. Everything is my parents fault.
Now that I’m a comedian, it’s interesting because nothing else has really changed. I still make jokes at inappropriate times. I’m used to hanging around comedians. We’re desensitized to the most horrifying insults. I was looking at renting a room in a house from craigslist recently and I called the guy. I told him I was going away for the weekend and I would call him monday to look at the room. He said “Yeah, just call monday. Say ‘hey, it’s andrew, from craigslist to look at the house…'” before he could even finish his sentence and I could stop myself I said “As opposed to all the other guys who call you from craigslist…” there was a long pause and I was like “ah shit.” Then he goes “ok ok. You got me there man. That one was pretty funny.” I thought I survived. Monday I called for the house, he claimed he didn’t remember who I was and then told me the room was filled. I’ll learn one day.