Friday, August 7, 2009
BUG LIFE: CLOWN FACE
oil on linen
Back to work and Bug Life. Feelin' better. I'm carryin' around a little stuffed chocolate lab I bought a few years back. He reminded me so much of Dev that I stowed him away for just this occasion. His name is ARFOD—A Reasonable Facsimile of Devlin—and I'm happy to say he's helping very much.
Isn't a clown face appropriate? I love to smile. To laugh. And it feels so good when its genuine. From the heart. The gut. In my experience, a genuine, bonafide case of the "HAs!!" is rather rare.
The most memorable case I've had to date transpired years back, driving to work. My car called in sick that day, so I hitched a ride in with my board buddy. This was back in the day, when graphic art was done in the physical world. Elizabeth was one of my closest friends, however she always kept me at arms' length, which I think, is why she still is one of my closest friends. "Familiarity breeds contempt!" she would always say with a knowing smile.
Anyway, she's a talker. An incredibly animated, gifted, and hilarious talker. So, as she was driving, the hands are going every which way, we're making fun of our boss at the time (yes, another tyrant), the scenery's going by. Discussing his outbursts and paranoia, we were relieved to be on schedule for on-time arrival at work. We were told that we had better be on time that day, no excuses would be accepted.
Then about a mile and half from work, it was a 35 mile round trip, the car began to sputter. My friend's eyes opened wide, she looked apprehensive and began a slow, tortured and perfectly metered chant of "OH NO!"...with a little tick of time in-between the OH and the NO, giving it more gravity. The car's sputtering increased right along with the "OH NO!s," until it finally gave up the ghost, right there on the parkway, as we rolled onto the shoulder. "What?" "OH...NO!" "What? "OH...NO!" "WHAT!!!"
Now I'm thinkin', hell he can't get in our faces because of car trouble, we're cool. In fact, I was quite pleased we broke down. It was Friday, a little drama, in late, bagels waiting, so what's wrong? "Engine trouble huh?" She looked at me and slowly uttered five little words..."I ran out of gas!" That was it! Nothing else. She didn't deliver the line in any particularly clever way. She just said it. And I lost it. Completely. I lost it so badly I couldn't breathe. I laughed for at least five minutes, full tilt boogie, never stopped. She opened the car door, my body spilled out onto the grass beside the parkway. And there we were, the two of us, writhing and laughing uncontrollably. Our boss was furious. Had to interrupt meetings to get someone to pick us up. He's yelling, face red and all it took were those same five words for us to lose it again. Good thing he liked our work.
Not a very funny story. But, sometimes, a really great case of the "HAs!" is all about timing, circumstances and just letting go. Obviously, we both needed to let go.