i’m janet manley.
i loved your XXXXXXXXXX clips and other writing, particularly your bits on X XXXX-XX-XXXX XXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX X XXXX XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX X XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX and Ike Turner.
please look at my Tweets about jeggings if you like.”
i was crushing on eugene mirman. because he was older and famous, i didn’t expect to hear back. but then:
“thanks! sorry for the slow reply. I fully appreciated your #sluttycentralbankmoves Tweets”
“i also have a novelty video about thinning scissors.
you can check my abandoned tumblr, wordpress and web sites at zzzz.
p.s. Segways really are like expensive binocular viewers, without the binoculars. you’re totes right.”
he wrote back:
“i like your post on hipster pickup lines. how do you measure ironic distance? with cassette tape. lolsies.”
oh, i had him on the line, laughing out loud like he didn’t care who heard. i decided to pounce.
i am coming to manhattan.
i want to chase you around a restaurant kitchen, with both of us in onesies, and me yelling, ‘I’m going to tiiiiiickle you’
you’re prob not into that, but thought i’d see. life is short, whatev zzz”
“Hello — your proposal intrigues me. Would there be a man in a pineapple costume behind us?”
i typed breathlessly, “with a pickle in his hand, yes. o_O”
he wrote back, “my cell is zzz-zzzz. :/”
As my trip neared, I sent him a picture of my face Photoshopped onto a unicorn so he could see how young i looked with a digital horn on my head and the moons of Saturn in the background.
I am just watching the GIF wall of Academy Award losers’ faces. rofl.”
i guffawed. he had seen me and thought i was funny. me. a young, hot, unfamous comic.
after i landed, i texted him right away, getting excited.
“hey, yo mama is so fat, she’s worth 10 electoral college votes
and it takes $55 million to flip her.
JK, i wanna see u now.”
an hour later i saw a man get off the subway. the same man i had seen on youtube.
“you have brown hair.” i told this man who wrote funny things but was for now just putting his metrocard away, sensibly.
“I am Eugene Mirman.” he said, a bit nervous.
“we want a shrubbery!” i said to break the tension.
“do you want to run and be tickled now?” i asked. he nodded soberly.
we walked to his place, which wasn’t particularly lol, apart from a cardboard deer head mounted on the wall.
he fiddled with magnetic poetry on the fridge while we talked about what we would get carl kasell to say on our answering machines. (“it’s not a home, it’s a kasell.” or “this is carl kasell in a nutshell … help.”) he strung up “grand piano canyon” and shrugged.
“just shut up.” i reached up, took his face in my hands and whispered, “bum chin,” squeezing his flesh into a buttcrack.
he talked out of his belly button, “la la la.”
next, he put his hands on my hips and peeled down my leggings. then he cupped my feet softly, helping me into the footholes. his famous face exhaled as he pulled a red-and-white-striped onesie up my legs and then over my truffly torso. i watched his face as he adjusted the stripy nightcap on my head, thinking to myself “i can’t believe i’m here with eugene mirman.”
“it’s pretty cozy here in the chucklesack,” i said in an Irish accent as i helped him on with his onesie, “i tink i feel a facefart coming.”
we stood together, just two comedians stripped down to their farcical cotton skins. he shyly asked what my ultimate fantasy was, and so i told him: you are david brooks and i am gail collins, and we’re singing The Conversation to the score of West Side Story, on the topic of the federal highway fund.
he went “HERRRRK,” i couldn’t believe it. the asshat was laughing at me. i had never shared my fantasy with anyone.
but i hadn’t come this far not to chase eugene mirman around a restaurant with a snapping t-rex-on-a-stick while we wore onesies and a man in a pineapple costume sang the Chiquita song and waved a pickle behind us. and i knew i had to write about it. so i said crossly, ‘let’s just go.’
we walked out around the corner, for all appearances a couple. he said to the wind, “happiness is a crotch,” kinda laughing at his own joke.
we entered the restaurant just as a man in a pineapple costume arrived, huffing. we took off, lapping booths and two-tops, kicking our knees high and sashaying through the kitchen, with eugene mirman calling out “not my behind!” in a high-pitched squark and me snapping the t-rex at his bum as I followed, and the man in the pineapple costume singing “bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator, so you should never put bananas in the refrigerator” as he bumped along behind us. a chef in a toque cursed ‘fuckers’ then we burst back onto the dining floor and someone spat out a pea as they went, “ruh-ruh-ruh.” i ached to my core. my body had never felt like this. i felt so connected to eugene. a diner called out, “you’re ruining brunch, assholes.”
eugene took my hand and we skipped out the door. laughter pulsed through our lumpy comedian bodies. a look of sublime cheer on eugene’s face faded into the visage of a sortof famous, often-funny-but-now-tired man. he touched my cheek gently with his microphone hand, and said, regretfully: “i have a writing partner.”
i know. i said.
i just wanted this.