Honey does not care for Tina Fey

Hits: 137
October 1, 2013 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground 

 

By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste.)

Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  My daughter and granddaughter howled to her Bossypants Audiobook on their drive to Conquered.  To laugh at the lovely Fey’s humor would be, for me, like laughing at Martian jokes of there are Martians and if they tell jokes or like laughing at Turkish humor.

Turkish humor is an oxymoron like industrial parks or military intelligence or marijuana initiative.   A former colleague from Turkey – Zeynep — was funny.

Once she said something, and it was funny, and I could not breathe.  My head only got larger.  She said, “I know.  Turks aren’t funny.”  I later learned she was a Kurdish Turk.  Not any of the Kurdish Turks I met when I lived in Turkey were funny and there’s also a good chance they think the term Kurdish Turk is an oxymoron.

When I mispronounced Turkish words, no Turks laughed but only looked at me with alarm.  Who would know that the Turkish word “to squeeze out (laundry)” sounds almost exactly like the word for “to have sexual intercourse?”  Not many I bet.  It wasn’t my fault what happened next.   I also could not ever get straight whether the curse on taxi drivers was, “I jump in your grandfather’s mouth” or “I shit in your grandfather’s mouth.”

I once asked a trick question on an exam on LA history: what is a zoot suit?  An Armenian answered, “A law suit that goes really fast.” I’m open to the possibility Armenians are funny — after all, there was Saroyan.

I myself am not funny except by accident.   That is, I can’t tell a joke.  Like my mother before me, I start with the punch line and crack myself up.    I feel it is other people who are funny but my daughters say no that is not the case, especially the time when I was on the phone with a daughter and saw a Kangaroo Rat scurry across my kitchen floor.  I had not known there was such a thing, I’m very nearsighted, and I assumed, logically, it was a miniature African-American carrying a spear.

My first ex-husband is a Greek-Romanian-Chechen-Turkish person.  He speaks a number of languages including Turkish badly.   He seems to have no native tongue. His nickname in Turkey was “deli,” which I thought meant he ate at delicatessens because my experience of the word deli until I was 18 was Cantor’s in Fairfax and Billy’s in Glendale. Deli in Turkish, on the other hand, means “crazy,”which should’ve been a clue but I married him before I got a Turkish-English dictionary.  We have been divorced almost 50 years, and that’s not long enough.   One thing we agree on is that Saroyan was funny.   That’s because all the Fresno Armenians come across on the printed page exactly like my first ex-husband.

If I could make a movie of this Honey piece I’d have a constant refrain for people to think about, to repeat every once in a while.   It would be this, “The two elderly Turkish people – one male, one female — rise each morning before dawn to drive down from San Francisco to take raw meat in a Styrofoam container up into the San Bruno Mountains to feed the feral cats.  The Turks had been very handsome people when they were young but they have become toad-like in appearance.   They stagger along the rough terrain until they find the meeting place with the cats.  ‘Here, my children,’ they say and give out the carefully portioned meat. There are mountain lions in the San Bruno Mountains.”    

Twenty-three years ago, Bechtel sent my first ex-husband to Moscow to engineer a dam, which was a big step for Bechtel after what happened to the nuclear reactor plant in India.   Bechtel forgave him for that and for the monorail in Brazil with the struts that went up through the tracks so that the train, if anyone had put a train on the construction but no one did, thank God, but the monorail business took Bechtel years to forgive and the corporation officers only hired my first-husband back if he promised to shave his beard and to stop being weird.  Trying so hard not to be weird made him weirder and his head looked like a big egg without his beard and he laughed out one word incessantly, “Fuckers.”

His wife made him eat garlic for high blood pressure.  She stuck sticks of aluminum foil wrapped mint gum in his pockets to compensate for garlic breath.   He set off alarms all over the airport.  His middle name is Mohammed.  He missed the first plane to Moscow.

Sing along: “The two elderly Turkish people – one male, one female — rise each morning before dawn to drive down from San Francisco to take raw meat in a Styrofoam container up into the San Bruno Mountains to feed the feral cats.  The Turks had been very handsome people when they were young but they have become toad-like in appearance.   They stagger along the rough terrain until they find the meeting place with the cats.  ‘Here, my children,’ they say and give out the carefully portioned meat.’  There are mountain lions in the San Bruno Mountains.”   

 He wore a money belt filled with American dollars in order to traffic in illegal currency in it believing that would fool the Russians at the Moscow airport but it did not.

Fortunately, a carload of drunks stopped on the road for him.

The drunks took him up many stairs to a party of really drunk people, many of them fallen over furniture and left there, held in an apartment overlooking the city.   He stood on the balcony admiring the view when another fat man burst threw the door to the balcony and attempted to stab him.  The two men rolled around helplessly, neither able to inflict harm on the other.   My first ex-husband asked, “Why are you trying to kill me?”  (Or something: Russian is one of his many mangled languages.)  The Armenian said, “Because you are a Turk.”   After an evening spent rolling around on the balcony the two men decided they were brothers from the heart and the Armenian got my first ex-husband into a car that took him into the Crimea, and from there, two weeks later, to a fishing boat that took him to Istanbul.

Now my first ex-husband and his wife are old.   They get gloomy often mostly because most people won’t speak with them after the weird things they say although a few find my first ex-husband a noble and courageous man because he tells them that he is, and this tolerance can last for days.   They live on because of their responsibility to the feral cats.

This background may explain why I don’t appreciate Tiny Fey. For me, in spite of her Greek middle name, she does not know life as a seething bubbling antagonist-filled black and rainbow-hued pool of incomprehensibility.  She’ll have to learn that fact before she can make me laugh.

 

Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.