Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fight Club

I love a good fight.

I think we all do. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the hard-wiring in the reptilian part of our brain. It's why I find myself unwittingly glued to TRU TV. Last week I didn't get up from the couch until I had watched The World's Dumbest Brawlers, all 23 episodes.

Years ago, I worked at BBDO with some of the funniest people in the Creative Department. A good Creative Department will have funny people. If I were ever a client and needed to pick an ad agency, I would stealthily walk the halls and listen for laughter. If there aren't people sharing jokes, pranking each other or telling funny stories, you have stumbled upon an un-creative Creative Department. Not a good recipe for effective advertising.

One particular team, I'll call them Greg and Denise, had a great chemistry about them. They would finish each other's sentences like old married couples. They also had a flair for the dramatic.

Denise had a convertible and would often drive with the top down. On their many trips to the edit facilities in Santa Monica they would often find themselves in bumper to bumper traffic on Wilshire Blvd. This is where they would stage their semi-scripted, teetering-on-homicidal marital spats.

There was yelling, cursing, frothing at the mouth. It was street performance art. Only they didn't do it for coins or the hope that somebody would recognize their thespian potential. They simply did it to get a rise. And to see the looks on people's faces as they drove away. Often giggling themselves silly.

My wife and I don't fight a lot, but we're lucky enough to have neighbors that do.

Behind my house there's a 45-year old bi-polar man who likes to use power tools at all hours of the night. He lives with his mother. Not actually in the house with her, but in the garage which I assume has been turned into some adequate living quarters. Nevertheless their dysfunctional lives do come into contact and that contact often produces friction.

But unlike my friends Greg and Denise, the fireworks here are real. Naturally when the show gets going we turn off all electronic equipment, open all the windows and tune in to the always entertaining conflagration.

Last week produced the best gem.

Apparently mom was headed to Phoenix to visit a friend or a relative, sometimes the thick cypress trees make it hard to catch all the details. But she was going to Phoenix from Burbank. And she was on Southwest Airlines.

That's when in the heat of the battle, the emotionally and geographically-challenged son let loose with, "I hate you bitch. I hope your plane crashes into the ocean."

You can't write stuff like that.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Sometimes funny can backfire. At a creative department meeting to show work to the CD, who shall go nameless - Cliff Einstein - my friend presented a really funny spot. After he presented, everyone in the room laughed, except Cliff, who looked at my friend and said, "You think that's funny?", and my friend replied, "Well, yeah." Cliff said, "That's not funny. I know funny. I come from funny!" My friend said, "Well, your brother comes from funny..." My friend was looking for a job the next day. True story. I'll be here all week - tip your waitress.