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What a title, am I right? If this was written in print, your eyeroll would have turned the page. I get it. Nobody wants to read about the feeling of racism. It is uncomfortable at best. So why write about it? Because I want you to know a feeling that people face and I swear at best I will try to make it as comfortable as possible. I will be like a grizzled medical technician who has to draw blood from you but has done it so many times that you will be wondering if you even felt the pinch. Clearly I had blood drawn this week. So let me get my rubber gloves and let us begin…

In September of 2017, my girlfriend and I went to Iceland. Full disclosure, it was her idea not mine. It’s not that I hate traveling, I don’t care for it. I travel enough to do standup so my idea of vacation are shades drawn, tv on and meeting a random dude at my door to relieve them of various take out orders like well planned drug deals.

The plan was to drive around the whole country, stop by various waterfalls and small towns to experience all that it had to offer. Even though I do not like to vacate, I make up the difference by being a solid travel companion. My mood is always chipper and I am down for anything.

We saw many waterfalls (they call them foss(es)) and we even drove through a wild storm. In fact, we drove through a category four storm. The foss we were planning to see was closed because the tourism board deemed it too unsafe to hike. We spent our time waiting till the storm passed and made our way to the next town.

We were three fourths of the way into our trip when we reached the second largest city in Iceland, Akureyri. The town has a population of almost 19,000. The plan was to go whale watching. A routine that my girlfriend and I developed was to visit the local gym/hot pool and relax in their hot tubs. The perk of living in Iceland is that the volcanic rocks provide easy access to heat. You can be in sub zero temperature while sitting in a 40 degree Celsius (104 degree Fahrenheit) hot tub. After driving for a few hours, it was a great way to unwind.

Outside of Reykjavik, Akureyri felt comfortable to me. I like cities. I was born and raised in New York City so any place that this hustling and bustling is great to me. Even though nineteen thousand is a small hustle, the bustle was enough. We got to the local gym/pool/hot tub and checked in. One of the requirements is that you shower extensively before entering the pool/hot tub area. Some places are very strict about it. One small town even went as far as to come out of the office to tell a woman that she did not wash her hair and that she would have to go back to the locker room to make sure she rinsed her hair out. It was impressive.

Akureyri went a step further by having someone watch you shower. Of course it was weird but there were a lot of people showering so I could at least have the comfort of knowing I was not the only one he was watching. I resisted the urge to yell “enjoying the view!”

We got to the pool/hot tub area and decided to head right to the hot tubs. The drive that day was storm free but long. We found a hot tub that did not have many people in it. My girlfriend got in first. It is at this point that I should mention that she is white. She is Latvian by birth but could easily be in an Icelandic tourism brochure. I am Indian by birth till you hear me speak. After that you’re wondering if I was born in a hospital or in an auto shop.

The hot tub had we approached four people in it so with us two, it was six. It was equipped to seat ten comfortably. Two of the four people were happily talking as we entered. The woman who was speaking suddenly stopped. It was because she was looking at me. Even though we were in a hot tub, there was no warmth in her face. No brief smile flashed across her face as several had done before in various hot tubs across the country. It was blank. She was not happy. She stared at me for what seemed like a long period of time. It wasn’t long at all. I tried not to make eye contact with her but it was impossible. It was as if I had blinders on and all I could feel was her dissatisfaction with me. She got up and left.

That moment is always so brief. It is like your whole worth is determined in an instant and everything you have ever done means nothing. She reduced me to a creature whose skin she did not like. She did not know I was a good person who cared about my family or friends. She did not know I was a comedian who wanted to bring humor to the world. She did not know I was an awesome travel companion. Shit, she didn’t even know I drove through a category four storm. I was an animal she waived off. When she got up and left, I kept staring at the space she occupied.

Racism is a feeling in which you relive that moment for a little bit relooping it over and over again in your mind like a tape recorder. You don’t stop at the same points but analyze it from different points that you stop at and you feel like that person took something from you. You feel robbed of humanity and since it isn’t tangible, there isn’t anything to get back. You let that part go missing until the rest of you makes up for it.

It’s not something that is my go to. I don’t assume everyone that gives me a dirty look and leaves my presence is a racist but this feeling is something different that people of color know all too well. In fact, I always try to think it might be something else so when I exhaust my mind figuring it out, it’s with a saddened due diligence that I came up to this conclusion.

My girlfriend and I got out of the hot tub and went into the steam room. We then went into the pool. I wasn’t talking much. When your scope of the world narrows, you spend less time talking and more time focusing on how you manage with such limited sight. She noticed something was wrong. I told her. She was upset. She wanted to find the woman and confront her. It was a sweet gesture but unnecessary. It’s not that having a white woman champion my experience wasn’t nice but rather the moment had come and gone. It was best to move on.

We went whale watching the next day. The rest of the trip was lovely. My memory is really bad so recalling moments from previous years can be difficult but this feeling is something I can paint vividly years later. There are moments that are unforgettable like the northern lights and seeing whales for the first time. Also, driving through that goddamn storm. It all comes with the price of that feeling. Sometimes the cost of admission is unpleasant and if I had to do the whole trip over again knowing that it would go down that way, I would still go.

The good memories outweigh the bad because I let them. I think you have to let them or else it becomes too difficult to manage. Some people can’t let the bad memories go and it is so heartbreaking to think that it is how others live their lives because they do not have a choice or it happens too often. Some people’s lives are a consistent category four storm. I hope it was not as painful as you thought it would be but even if it was, you will live. After all, the rest of us have to.

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A few years ago, I had been going back and forth via email with some producers that saw me perform at the request of another comic. They wanted to put me in their movie. Some of you are thinking, “was it porn?” No. I never turn that down. Also, no one offers.

Unfortunately, the shoot dates happen to coincide with my tour dates. I asked if they could send over the script so I could see my part. Maybe I could make it worth my time to fly back, shoot the scene and get back on the road? Here was the script. My character’s name was Rufka:

I sat back and laughed out loud. This is what I had been patiently waiting for? I thought it could not get any worse but it did (cool that I had more than one line):

I had to entertain the idea of taking this role because I wanted to know how much they were willing to pay me to sell out other cultures along with my own. Also, they said they felt this role was perfect for me. What about me said “likes to bang goats?” I didn’t ask. Sometimes the satisfaction comes in not knowing.

The producer said they would pay SAG minimum plus a little more. The total would be a whopping $300. I politely declined. I went on tour. I didn’t come back with $300 to my name after the tour but the experience was priceless.

I had heard of comedians/actors being offered these kinds of roles but I didn’t think it still happened. I was never mad the comic or the producer for the offer because they didn’t know any better. Also, I have a tendency to believe that people are good in their intentions but it made my wonder why they weren’t so forthcoming with the script. It didn’t matter.

I heard the movie tanked.

Anyone get any offers like this? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

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This is Bruce!

Last July, my girlfriend and I got a dog from the local shelter. He was brought in from a kill shelter in Texas. Kill shelter sounds sadly contradictory. It’s like they are saying, “we got you… but don’t get too comfortable.” Anyway, the non-kill shelter got him out and we took him in. It has been almost a year since we got him and I learned a few things that I thought were worth sharing:

DO NOT COMPARE YOUR DOG TO A CHILD

I love our dog but he is nowhere near the bond between a parent and a child. Kids are birthed (some act like they were hatched) We essentially bought our dog. That also means that a dog is NOT comparable to an adopted child. Try to watch a parent talking to someone comparing a dog to having a child. Watch his or her face glaze over with pinch of disdain. You can abandon a dog. You cannot abandon a child. I mean you can, but Johnny Law does not look too kindly on it. Even though abandoned children do incredible things (Moses, Jesus, Steve Jobs) Either way, stop it.

BE AWARE THAT YOUR DOG WILL EAT YOU

It is so easy to believe that your dog loves you for you. That is not totally the case. Also, this is not a Blessed Union of Souls one hit wonder. Nobody will get that deep cut reference and I will be content with it. Your dog loves you because you feed it. If you were to die in your apartment with your dog, s/he will eat you when the time comes. It will be a while before they do but it will happen. Take solace in knowing, you will taste better than dog food.

YOU MUST SERVE YOUR PET

Nobody should own a pet if they have a full time job and cannot provide full time care. My mom wanted to get a dog while working full time but she lives alone and the dog would spend a lot of time by itself. You may like your home but if there aren’t activities for your pet, it can feel like a prison. Imagine if your apartment did not have a TV or the internet. Could you sit there and do nothing? Exactly.

BE THE LEADER OF THE PACK

Famed dog whisperer Cesar Millan’s constant catchphrase “you must be leader of the pack” is a real thing. My girlfriend feels that we are both the alphas but I know my dog knows different. As a result, he prefers her company more and I am okay with that. I would prefer that he acted proper with me but cuts loose with her. Discipline is what prevents your dog from acting up. I have so many friends whose dogs act like idiots. I hope they read this and ask me, “was that about me?”

ACCEPT THE DOG IS LOVED MORE

There was this viral video where some guy was asking people if they would sell their dog. No one said yes. Not one. It was hilarious. If my girlfriend had to save me or the dog, I know she would choose me. However, I would never hear the end of it about the dog that I would have preferred she chose the dog. Also, she would be pissed I got us into that situation. Accept you are second place. It is fine. As a result,  you won’t be jealous when she gets back from Miami and wants to hold the dog instead of you (or whatever) Also, I am pretty sure my friends seeing my dog over seeing me. That part really stings.

These rules make pet ownership more realistic and as a result, you develop a better relationship with your pet. Your partner may also like you more. Did I miss anything? Leave a comment to tell me you read this.

 

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The perfect wedding? Sounds almost nuts. How can someone never married even begin to write an article in staging someone’s perfect day? Easy, I’ve been to countless weddings as a victim of circumstance. After watching family members get hitched, my older brother’s friends tie the knot and my own friends take the plunge, you learn a few things. Here are my notes:

Let’s begin by getting rid of that old bullshit that this special day is for one person (usually the person who wanted it more) A wedding should be looked at as a show you are putting on for your friends and family.  Your significant other can be the star but he or she must acknowledge that the wedding is the show and it must go on despite it’s setbacks.

Once you do that, follow these simple steps and you can be attending a wedding of everyone’s dreams. 

God Awful Songs: 

Couples ready to marry often provide a list of music to be played. Sometimes, they can even afford a band to play said songs. If you are too broke to afford a band, tell the DJ to avoid these songs:

Lyric: “this woman is my destiny, Shut up and Dance with me” – that band I didn’t even bother looking up but you know what song I’m talking about. If you don’t, google it and I’m sorry. That song sucks. 

Lyric: Masel Tov, La heim – by the Black Eyed  Peas. That is definitely not the song’s name but it might as well be because Jews love to play it at every Bar/Bat Mitzvah. That song stinks to high heaven.

Electric Slide – that song stinks. It comes with a dance that everyone should know? This isn’t She’s All That and the DJ sure as shit isn’t Usher. Also, that reference is also old so don’t think hypocrisy isn’t everywhere. Absolute trash song.

Anything from the 50s-70s. Even if you’re a fan of music from that decade, it’s inexcusable to annoy your guests. This is a day of celebration, not a listening session in your room. 

Leave Your Diet Out the Wedding!

Nothing worse than attending a wedding where the bride and groom’s lifestyle permeate nay.. stink up a wedding. You’re a vegan? Offer vegan OPTIONS. Don’t make the guests eat leaves and almond milk. Every wedding should celebrate love by eating something our waist will hate. Holding your guests hostage at your wedding to eat grass may just be as cruel as the animals being killed to be turned into appetizers but these people took the time out of their day to celebrate your stupid love, something they would never do otherwise. Don’t make them suffer for it. 

Lame Traditions

So many traditions have become standard in  weddings from all backgrounds. The ones that have made it to the top are the daddy daughter dance and speeches. 

The bride and father of the bride dance: 

NOBODY WANTS TO SEE THE BRIDE DANCE WITH HER DAD. It’s weird and boring. You got some old man dancing with his daughter like she’s 7. She’s a grown ass woman and he’s an even more grown ass man. Every daddy daughter dance reminds of when you see gold diggers with their reptile looking husbands. Guuuuuuhhhhhhrrossss. 

Speeches:

This is one part of any wedding I almost look forward to because of its potential to be terrible. Nothing greater than listening to someone bomb at a wedding. It is puzzling why weddings are the one time where we allow family and friends to have a vocal opinion. If you’re going to let someone speak, it should be the person funding the wedding. He or She should be allowed to talk because they earned it by giving you, your dumb family, and friends a place to blow his or her money. If you decide to let someone who didn’t fund the wedding talk, make sure they are prepared. Prepared means having something somewhat memorized and ready to speak into a microphone. You have to keep in mind the person speaking is part of the show. If they stink, people talk. If they are hopeless, I will help them for $50. $100 if we have to meet in person. I have helped countless best man speeches go from shit to absolutely unforgettable. Hit me in the contacts

The Ceremony

Nope. Go to City Hall on a Tuesday and do that shit with the rest of the weirdos who want to get married. 

There you have it. Follow my advice and you should be good to go. Leave a comment to let me know how wrong or right I may be on all of this.

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artists

This title intrigued you because you are probably an artist looking for something to share that a relative can read that will help them talk to you with all your sensibilities. Look no further (and read no further) because this article is for them. Send it to your Aunt Cheryl’s Facebook wall. Email it to your step-dad, Karl. Tweet it to your little cousin, Jermaine. 

I even implore you to email ALL your podcast listeners. I got you.

PLAY UP (belittle) an Artist’s side jobs

Most artists have to work side jobs to afford their dreams. That is dumb because if they were good at what they did, they wouldn’t need a side job. Anyway, it’s pretty funny that sometimes they will be on stage in front of a bunch of people and then they have to go work at a deli to spoon chicken salad into plastic bowls for teenage girls. If you know an artist with a side job, be sure to ask them about that as the first thing you say to them. Be sure to add an appropriate amount of snark. Here is a little play for that scenario:

So Cory, still (insert unrespectable job like: waiting tables, walking dogs, nursing, moving furniture, nannying)? OOF.

Cory: *starts crying and saves us time by NOT talking*

NEVER Learn the Lingo

Artists love when you don’t use the right lingo for their work. Comedians call a collection of their jokes a “set” but feel free to use the term “skits.” If an artist paints, call them “drawings.” If a sculptor sculpts, call them “lego buildings.” Most artists don’t make much money so feel free to remind them that your taxes are higher than their earnings. Be sure to throw the word “little” before referring to anything they are doing. Examples includes:

  • I saw your “little” commercial. 
  • I heard your “little” song on the radio but I wasn’t pay much attention.
  • I can’t believe you live off such little “little” money. 

Artists LOVE Criticism

The problem with artists today is that NOT enough people are telling them what to do with their lives. You can change that! Tell them what they are doing wrong with their work. You haven’t even see their work? EVEN BETTER!

Compare artists to highly successful people. Know someone who paints? Compare them to Vincent van Gogh (pronounced Cough with a G) Know someone who sculpts? Sculptors should be compared to the scene in Ghost. Comedians should be compared to another comedian that is wildly successful. However, do it by race to add that extra knife twist. Know a white comic? Compare them to Louis CK. Know an indian comic? Compare them to Russell Peters. Know a black comic? Compare them to Aziz Ansari. Hell, you can even compare them to a funny video of a dog being unable to catch a ball in it’s mouth. Same difference. 

You don’t have to respect anybody. It’s your freedom as an American to treat people based on your mood for that day. If any of these weirdos have a response, tell them you’re comfortable calling their parents and telling them that their little artist is spending most of the money they are receiving on drugs. It doesn’t even have to be true but that should shut them up and get them back to filling up people’s waters or bagging dog poop. 

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pickle-spearsThe Midwest has plenty of hidden gems. However, it is not in the terrain, it is in its people. The people and the lives they lead are its jewels. However, I saw something during my standup tour that I think needed addressing. It a love for this singular thing (which consists of many of them) that troubles me deeply. It is an atrocity that plagues the Midwest and I believe it should be eradicated in its entirety. They are Fried Pickle Spears. 

A little background about Fried Pickles. They come in only TWO forms. Fried Pickle Chips or Fried Pickle Spears. Fried Pickle Chips are pickles sliced (ideally) into 2 millimeter thin rounds and fried after being put into a batter to create the perfect balance of pickle and batter. They are ideal for single dunks in a variety of sauces. No double dips and no slippage.

Fried Pickle Spears are whole pickles lazily sliced twice and thrown into batter to be fried to create this unholy monstrosity. It is an absurd amount of pickle to batter ratio; so much so that one bite results in the pickle sliding out of the batter casing and sitting on your plate like an old pickle kept in the rectum of a man who enjoys hot pickles. To those who say, “but I love Fried Pickle Spears!” I say, “Please be better.”

You want a hot messy pickle experience? Microwave a whole pickle till it explodes and eat out the chunks like the savage that you are. 

The mere thought of a Fried Pickle Spear disgusts me. Anyone who enjoys these devil fingers probably falls into one or more of these categories: 

  • People who use their phones during movies and keep the brightness on full blast.
  • People who cut people off when driving alone but claim they would never.
  • People who pay for their portion of the meal but ALWAYS forget the tax. 
  • Men who pee in women’s restrooms but don’t put the seat up then down.
  • Owner’s of pit-bulls who perpetuate the stereotype. 
  • People who love focusing on “all the good Hitler did.” 
  • Women who flush tampons knowing damn well they should not.
  • People who see money drop from someone’s pocket but keep it.
  • Every one involved in the housing collapse. 
  • Rapists, definitely. 
  • People who spit on the ground while visiting cemeteries.
  • Anyone who overheard Kitty Genovese dying.

So BEWARE of people who love Fried Pickle Spears. They may claim to be a regular person but in all seriousness, they are hiding a deep secret nastier than their disgusting love for Fried Pickle Spears. 

Photo by Joe Klein

UPDATE* – My girlfriend told me she likes Fried Pickle Spears. I have to rethink everything about her. 

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So they say if you swish a tablespoon of oil (sesame or coconut) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes a day, you will see a ton of health benefits. They call it Oil Pulling. I wanted to see what this Oil Pulling was all about. Would I become a superhero as a result of it? I decided I would try it for 30 days and document the changes I would go through.

The Challenge:

Swish oil in my mouth for 15-20 minutes a day. I chose coconut oil.

Initial Thoughts (and important info): The jar looked absolutely menacing. The consistency of oil in your mouth is disgusting. Also, it turns out I hate really hate coconut… and trying old school new age ideas. I’m supposed to swish this in my mouth for 15-20 minutes? 15 minutes it is. 

As you continue to swish this, it is more manageable because saliva gets mixed in and you feel like you are swishing water as opposed to oil. I have to start reading or something because wandering around my apartment with oil in my mouth only makes me think about how I’m wandering around with oil in my mouth.

I got through 15 minutes and spat this in the toilet (because you don’t want to clog your sink as I was told). It looks like I took a massive cum load in my mouth. I took a picture of my teeth and they don’t look any brighter. I can’t fly or shoot fireballs. One thing is for sure, my patience is terrible

Days 1 – 30

Beginning Expectations (day 1-7)

The only thing I have to show for this is a small sense of superiority I feel I have over other people because I decided I would gargle oil for 15-20 minutes and spout hearsay as gospel that I read on the internet. Another day, another tablespoon I suppose.

If I don’t get the ability to lift and throw cars, I might have to quit. KC smash bottle of coconut oil into garbage? More to come…. like a potential gym memberships and smarter food choices.

Quitter of Oil Pulling (around day 7)

The oil tasted terrible this morning. My girlfriend tried oil pulling and she clocked out at after six days. I can understand. Who wakes up and actively starts the day swishing oil? It’s insanity. I promised myself I would do this for 30 days so I am going to stick it out. At this point, I started to believe maybe my teeth were getting whiter.

Western Medicine and Oil Pulling (around day 14)

I know doctors have a skewed perspective to believe that conventional medicine is the only cure and when something alternative starts to work, they can also hide behind the placebo effect. Maybe my doctor is right? I have to see this through myself. As I stated before, this might also be because of my lack of patience. I grew up in the “gotta have it now” mentality. It is a product of being from NEW YAWK FUCKIN CITY BRO! My teeth have NOT improved overall in color. I believe my skin looks clearer.

A look into the past with Oil Pulling (around day 20)

If this was an ancient healing method, it makes sense why it was long forgotten. Here is a little screenplay I wrote about oil pulling.

Guy 1: Dude we have to oil pull today.

Guy 2: Nah man, that shit is gross.

Guy 1: Think about the health benefits?

Guy 2: I’m just gonna play this one out…

Guy 1: True, that shit is nasty.

*Both die of dysentery* I’m definitely losing my mind doing this. My skin does not look any clearer.

Oil Pulling After Eating (around day 25)

I swished oil in my mouth after eating two meals. I do not recommend it. It is extremely disgusting. I can only assume since my taste buds are more open, I can feel the oil more.

The Results (end of day 30)

Did it improve my allergies? Nope.

Did it improve my overall health? Nope.

Did my teeth get whiter? Nope.

The only improvement I could say is that I felt my mouth felt fresher. I can attribute that to the fact that I swished something in my mouth for 20 minutes. As for my skin and teeth looking better on some days as opposed to others, I believe there are too many factors that influence how they appear on certain days.

Overall: Not Worth Your Time! Also, what the hell am I going to do with this terrifying jar of coconut oil? We live in 2014. You want whiter teeth, go to a dentist. You want to be healthy, do the work. There are no shortcuts to health.

What 30 Days of Oil Pulling Did for Me?

Jack Shit.

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