To: Sworn enemies. Return address: Unknown
It is dynamite. I love it. I'm on page 178. I like it so much better than Steve Martin's stab at the same, Born Standing Up.
Both talk a lot about their early lives and stand-up. Last Words, though, actually includes pieces of material written out, including how the pieces changed over time. I'm finding this way more enlightening as a comic. Both are good stories, though, and worth reading.
One part of Last Words has kept me laughing since I read it. George Carlin starts the book with all that David Copperfield kind of crap (sorry, Holden Caulfield). In the section about his maternal grandfather, he begins to talk about his mother, Mary Carlin:
Mary was the first of his six children, all born in either Greenwich Village or Chelsea. She was frail as a kid and among other things was given a glass of Guinness stout each night to build her up. It worked. The physical strength she ultimately developed was matched by mental toughness. When she was ten she sent a box of horseshit to a girl on her block who had neglected to invite her to a birthday party. She was small, vivacious, made friends easily, played piano, was a great, dancer, laughed loudly ... and you didn't want her for an enemy.I read this aloud to Scott in bed. I said, "Can you even believe that? She was 10! Incredible!" and he replied, "I can't believe you've never thought of sending anyone a box of shit."
I really hadn't. And once he suggested it, I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it either.
We proceeded to talk about how a person, in this modern age, might send shit through the United States Postal Service without being detected. A ziplock bag would not be enough. Tyvek? Maybe. But under no circumstance should a person include his or her return address or apply his or her handwriting to the box. Certainly, the box would be full of his or her DNA, but the federal government has bigger fish to fry than to run a DNA test on a box full of feces. And anyway, even if they did, they'd have to have another sample of his or her DNA to make a match, and they wouldn't, so he or she'd be home free!
My god! It almost seems too easy!
We got ourselves laughing so hard about this that I had to get out of bed and cough vigorously while Scott shook quietly in the bed making his laughing-really-hard face.
I guess there are a number of points here. The first is I wish I had the courage to shit into a box and mail it to someone. Incidentally, I can't think of a single person I want to mail my shit to. And what if I thought of someone, but then I changed my mind after it was mailed? It's just mortifying to think of - and at the same time hilariously funny.
Another point is that when I met Scott, I couldn't possibly have foreseen that we'd both find shitting in a box and mailing it to another person so hilarious. We are so perfectly suited to one another that it probably makes people want to hurl a little bit. And I can't blame them. If it was four years ago and I saw a happy couple like Scott and me, I would barf a little bit myself - a jealous and angry barf, certainly, but barf nonetheless. (Would it help the barfing people to know that being happy with another person takes work and often involves the help of a qualified professional? Because it does.)
Finally, if you have delivered - or if you plan to deliver - a Mary-Carlin-style box of feces to another person, I kind of want to know how it went/goes - just so long as you're not sending it to me. I promise I won't tell (unless a subpeona is involved).