The Dalai HaHa of Comedy
It was hardly a secret that my humor writing career had been in the crapper. I had very few readers, didn't get many blog comments, and the last time I'd gotten a "like" on Facebook it had been to a post about my recurrent genital herpes. Clearly something drastic had to be done.
And that something drastic suddenly materialized right before my very eyes in a conversation with fellow humor blogger Monroe Firth.
Author of a blog entitled Firth's Frivolities, Monroe was often very funny but had failed to find a significant audience on line, much like me except for the being very funny part. Monroe called me to say he was about to be going away.
"Myrtle Beach?" I asked.
"No, Perry, I go to seek the illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy."
"The Dalai HaHa of Comedy!" I repeated in an awestruck manner even though I had never of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy, but then again I had never heard of Taylor Kitsch either.
"The Dalai HaHa of Comedy," said Monroe "is the one and only Grand Master of the Comedic Arts. He knows the secret to Perfect Comedy, and he also validates parking."
"Where does he dwell?" I asked. "Perhaps we could meet him for lunch?"
"He dwells in a place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions."
"Then dinner maybe?"
Monroe explained that he possessed a secret map to the dwelling place of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy which he would bestow upon me for safe keeping. In order to make sure it remained strictly confidential, I posted it on Facebook with pictures of a bunch of kittens. Meanwhile my writing continued to suck so badly that I was declared eligible for Federal disaster relief by FEMA.
I decided finally to use the map to undertake my own personal quest for the illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy!
First I flew to Tibet and boy, were my arms tired! (That joke alone ought to show you how badly I needed the Dalai HaHa.) Next I took a small commuter plane to the desolate and isolated town of Rudner at the foot of Mt. Ted McGinley, a tiny frigid outpost of 55 villagers whose favorite past times consisted of starving to death, carving ice sculptures in each other's breath, and ballroom dance.
It was there I secured the services of the only guide willing to travel to the distant dwelling place of the Dalai HaHa of Comedy, a rough-hewn mountain man known as Shecky.
"Know this, my master," said Shecky, "that many seek the path to the Dalai HaHa, but only a few survive the journey. However, remember also that a journey of a thousand miles begins with just a few steps."
"That's reassuring, Shecky," I replied. "How far do you think I'll get?"
"A step or two, give or take."
Shecky and I set out on dog sled traveling through blinding snowstorms with temperatures well below zero. At night we would keep ourselves warm by setting fire to each other and comfort ourselves with thoughts of a better life being torn apart by packs of crazed wolves. After weeks of arduous travel we arrived at the place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions.
"It is here I must leave you," said Shecky.
"You mean because it is only fitting I complete the pilgrimage to the Dalai HaHa of Comedy alone?"
"No, because I haven't gone to the bathroom in six weeks."
Before me lay a Golden Temple with huge intricately carved oaken doors. That actually turned out to be Applebee’s, but next to it was a tiny hovel with a sign that read "The Dalai HaHa of Comedy - Grand Master of the Comedic Arts. One Flight Up."
A bearded gentleman in white robes sat on small divan. Around him were fresh flowers and the aroma of sweet incense.
"Yes, my son," he said warmly.
"Oh, illustrious Dalai HaHa of Company: Why are some comedians funny and then there is Bob Saget? Who do you like better, Amy Shumer or Louis C.K.?; tell me why in 25 words or less and make sure at least 8 or 9 of them are dirty. Will there be another season of Curb or can I finally stop paying up the wazoo for HBO? And finally, oh illustrious Dalai HaHa, I long to know....
"What is the Secret to Perfect Comedy?"
The illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy closed his eyes and began chanting in some strange unknown tongue. After what seemed to be at least seven or eight hours, he opened his eyes and stared straight at me as if he'd known me all his life. Then he spoke.
"Pie, my son."
"Pie. As in the Three Stooges."
"Pie is the Secret to Perfect Comedy?"
"The Stooges, watch them carefully. Especially Larry."
"Pie?! Four thousand miles for pie???!!!"
"Tell me, oh illustrious Dalai HaHa of Comedy, is "pie" the same advice you imparted to another who made the quest here to the place shrouded in mystery, veiled in secrecy, and wedged somewhere between the sofa cushions, a man named Monroe Firth?
"Yes, Dalai HaHa of Comedy."
"Monroe Firth did not ever arrive."
"Didn't arrive! My God! Do you know what happened to him?"
"He said something about Myrtle Beach."