I don’t want to ruin it by telling the joke over here, but Irwin has written a line about my book that should be on the front cover. Go read. Then come back.
(Ned-Voice) First of all (normal voice), that’s a very flattering essay (so thank you, sir).
But to give you an example of this fragile head I’ve got, when Irwin said to me that night, “There’s a lot of jokes,” here’s the rapid-fire dialogue my brain had in the three seconds between when he said that, and I said, “What does that mean?”
“There’s a lot of jokes.”
1. He hated it.
2. He said “Jokes” with quotation marks. You heard quotation marks, didn’t you?
3. Because he means you’re trying to be funny. That’s what I meant by quotation marks. You know that’s what I meant, right?
5. Seriously, if he wanted to compliment you on the book, he would have said, “I liked your book.” Not: “I finished your book.”
6. Leave him alone.
7. At least he didn’t read it until you didn’t share an office with him every day.
8. Have you even said anything yet?
“What does that mean?”
He really puts up with a lot of my crap. I don’t know why he does it, but I appreciate how he does. This is a man who doesn’t tolerate most foods, but he tolerates me. I’m better than soup! And I do remember that day he realized I wrote for Television Without Pity. Within seconds we’d figured out he hadn’t read a single recap of mine, even though I did Making the Band AND Popstars, so I don’t know what he was busy reading. (Yes, I do. Stee’s recaps. And Miss Alli’s. And everybody else’s.) That’s probably good, too, because if he had been a Gilmore Girls fan, we’d never have gotten any good redneck jokes written. Irwin’s quick and funny, and has absolutely no problem telling me when my jokes suck, which is really important in this job.
And then he’ll come in wearing a spacesuit!
So he’s the Weird Al of the show, and I’m the one who’s Weird. Somehow it all makes sense.
I brought a copy of the book to the coffee shop this morning, because I wanted them to know I thanked them, as I wrote most of the thing sitting at this very table. The girl was confused and flattered and then took the book and gave me my coffee for free. See? I’m already getting royalties on the new novel. Sweet!