Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ever Since I Was A Young Boy, I've Played The Silver Ball

Why it's not hard to make me laugh, volume 317:

I don't know how many people have seen or are familiar with 'Tommy', the rock opera by The Who featuring the song Pinball know, that deaf, dumb, and blind kid....sure plays a mean pinball! If this isn't sounding familiar, or you haven't at least heard of the song, you might as well stop reading here. Actually, just a heads up, you might want to stop reading regardless, I will probably be the only one laughing by the end of this post.

We went and saw this play performed during some middle school field trip (unfortunately not by The Who) and my friends and I were all floored by the scene where Tommy plays pinball, and begins freaking out and essentially has a seizure while he plays. You know, since he's a pinball wizard and all??? Totally makes sense.

Soon after that fateful day, Ike began doing his Tommy impression, during which he would calmly put a quarter in a pinball machine, make his neck go limp so he's facing the ceiling, roll his eyes into the back of his head, go into entire body convulsions, and rattle and shake the shit out of the machine, while everyone else in the place stares at him in total disbelief. Eventually, as we got older (but, sadly, not more mature) he started pulling his Tommy routine on vending machines, ATMs, jukeboxes, basically any machine in a public setting where you had to insert money. And every single time, I would ignore everyone staring and pretty much fall over laughing; Ike usually has that effect on me.

(The second dumbest thing he used to do that made me pee my pants laughing: when a red light would turn green at a busy intersection, he would start to accelerate, then suddenly jam on his brakes, pound his truck (an automatic) into neutral, kill the ignition, then restart it up, and repeat the process over and over. As traffic would start passing us while we lurched down the street, all the while flipping him off or otherwise showing their disgust, he would lean out the window and try and apologize for just learning how to drive a stick shift. In many ways, we were a perfect match: he loved doing nonsensical things for cheap laughs, and I'm about the cheapest laugh on the planet.)

So anyway, I'm in the drive thru for the bank this morning, and 'Pinball Wizard' comes up on the shuffle for my ipod. As I drift into the childhood memory, I gradually start giggling, and before long I'm full on laughing; alternating between slapping my steering wheel and holding my belly thinking about Ike's seizures. Suddenly I realize that the bank teller is staring at me through the window, and had been trying to tell me to 'have a nice day' for an unnaturally long time. I thought about trying to explain myself, then thought better of it and just took my deposit slip and left.

She had the same look on her face that most of you probably have