Stumbled over this picture and it really tickled me. “I don’t care what you say, Daddy! I love my Tusken Raider!” [Cue: "He's A Rebel (And he'll never, ever be any good)".] It inspired me to share a little sad personal Funny Business.
I have a lengthy sketch I’ve written about a woman who’s dating a Tusken Raider. She’s not dating him because she’s a sand-person-perv or because she’s particularly desperate, per se. She just is. Everyone with whom she interacts stands in as the audience’s interlocutor, recognizing the bizarre fruitlessness of what she’s doing in various situations involving her dating a Tusken Raider, but to her this is all perfectly normal.
In developing this idea, I had to ask myself some questions along the way, which is the way I prefer to work — I think of something I think is funny and then ask myself questions that will help me expand on the kernel of (usually weird) humor. In this case the one question that truly lit the lamp which shed light over the whole bit was, “Can they talk to each other?” It shed light because of this:
First, I tried to picture them sitting in the Olive Garden and her saying, “This is nice. I’m glad we came, I haven’t been here for awhile.” And him hooting and waving his walking/beatdown staff around (yes, he always has the gaderffii, including at his job as an accounts payable clerk for a cafeteria supplies vendor), his bellows unintelligible.
Would she then nod and say, “Of course, they’ve changed the decor. New sconces! You’re right”? Mm. No. Not funny enough. Not right.
How about he hoots and waves the gaderffii and she pretends to understand him? “Wawawarr! Baahh! Garghh!” “My day? How sweet of you to ask. Pretty good. How about yours?” Deluded and a little funnier, but no. Still not right.
Finally, I made a writing choice: No, they absolutely cannot talk to each other. At all. Their words are totally meaningless to one another’s ears. Everything they do together is a case of tandem solitude, parallel behavior uncouched in any deeper meaning, more like comfortable coincidence than love.
“This is nice. I’m glad we came, I haven’t been to the Olive Garden for awhile.” “Bluloodoomarr! Grah! Waahh!” “Do you want to split an appetizer?” “Barrgh. [stamps gaderffii] Aroo!”
You know why that was just right on my funny meter? Because it demonstrates the frustrating absurdity of attempts at human connection. In the same place at the same time and full of totally different thoughts, dreams, and ideas of what it means? Just noising at each other in context but taking no notice of the content? That’s dating.*
You and me and everyone we’ve ever fucked is a Tusken Raider.
Unpleasant truths: now that’s Funny Business. Barrgh. Aroo.
*Unless you find that special someone, blah blah blah. Not knocking those who’ve made, or think they’ve made, it work. Just observing.