Joe: The A-Hole We All Need
March 12, 2021
“And tell everyone how cool I am. Without telling everybody how cool I am.”
These are the words spoken to me by my ace-in-the-place, my one-and-only-like Sony, my best friend.
He told me to say all that.
His name is Joe. He’s an ass.
Like any ass in your life, Joe is one of those people that has a super annoying way of remembering the shit you clearly don’t want to be reminded of. Like embarrassing moments. Or ultimatums that you vow to keep while drunk. Or when to shut up and do your work.
See, I came up with this great idea for a podcast (All by myself, too. Joe didn’t help out at all, no matter what he tells you). And Joe, because he is an ass, reminded me that I have been thinking about producing it for the better part of a year, and that he’s grown quite tired of my shit. This banter is our process. He pushes me to stop wishing and start working. I push back to get him to turn our ideas and pop culture-related rants into scripts and videos that have become the dozen sketch comedy shows and cabarets that we have created together. He wanted to work around artists, so I brought him around my theater troupe. I wanted to do gigs on my off nights, so he brought me to his band. We’ve developed this symbiotically creative relationship that grows deeper with every new project. Neither one of us makes a move if the other doesn’t think it’s funny. We trust each other. He’s still an ass, though.
So Joe tells me to stop bitching and get this brilliant podcast outlined so that we can start pulling material together. I told him, “Fine! I will!” Right then I knew I was caught. The MINUTE I say I’m going to do something, he holds me to it. He asked for a deadline. I told him I could have it done by Wednesday. He said, “Cool. And if you don’t, your next blog post is about me.” Well, I KNEW I wasn’t about to let that happen, so I doubled down with another “Fine!” I could hear him smile through the phone.
Thursday morning, my phone rang while I was making breakfast. It was Joe, calling to get into one of our signature riffs that artfully waste time. After my detailed monologue on the importance of Voltron (or something like that), my friend, the ass, made his move.
“Say Brandon, I didn’t see that run sheet hit my inbox yesterday.”
“Shit,” I said.
I hate war. And mayonnaise. But not as much as I hate losing a bet. Joe knows this too, and I think he played the long game pretty well this time.
Some friends share heart necklaces, or get matching tattoos. I’ve asked Joe to do both, and he has politely declined. Even though he’s no fun, he keeps reminding me that creators create, and all the talk in the world means nothing if you don’t get your ass up.
Look for our podcast, “This Could Have Been an Email,” later this spring.