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With Respect to George Carlin

June 23, 2008

I picked up my first George Carlin book at about 15. My father bought it for me, and I’m pretty sure that he had no idea what he was giving me. I read the book about six times, and began spouting Carlin-isms every chance that I had. One of my closest friendships during my freshman year of high school was based almost solely on the exchange of snippets of Carlin’s comedy, along with our own admittedly poor attempts. I spent several weeks writing a “book” based on Carlin’s work, which I have luckily misplaced.

I do remember something that I wrote involving a plot by the government to place us all under mind control using orange road cones. I was of the belief that the road cones teach us to slow down and move over, and that “they” could then use the color orange in any situation to provoke similar responses. I also recall something involving grocery stores and sales, and the phrase “the entire population of rural china shows up and it turns out that tuna is two cents cheaper.” I feel like my writing and my comedy were thoroughly improved by exposure to Mr. Carlin, although I’m sure that it didn’t show at the time.

It was only when I was introduced to Mitch Hedberg that I moved on somewhat from George Carlin, and I was never entirely cured of my fever. This morning, when I learned of his death, my belief in a personal curse was revived. It seems that every popular figure which I embrace (George Carlin, Mitch Hedberg, and Heath Ledger, most recently) dies soon after I announce my undying love. My boyfriend is a bit frightened.

Ok. End sentimental and highly personal commentary and proceed with journalistic remove. I suggest that, in the next few days, each of us give out our own rendition of the 7 Dirty Words, and bit farewell to a great comedian.

“Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.”

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