My best friend, Private Alexander Jasper, is leaving for Afghanistan today. Over the course of the next year, he’s going to jump out of planes, shoot guns, punch terrorism in the face, and capture the enemy flag. I haven’t seen him since last summer (he was in Salem around Christmas, but there was a blizzard so I couldn’t make it down – thanks, benevolent and loving God!) and over the course of the next year he won’t have phone contact with the outside, non-shitty world in which I live.
Alexander has always had absolutely horrible taste, which would explain why he was such a huge fan of this blog. Thus, as a sort of “Good Luck Stormin’ The Castle” gift, I hereby dedicate this update to the crazy shit Alexander has done in the eight years I’ve known him.
This one time, Alexander…
…came to school dressed as Chewbacca. It was our sophomore year, so I guess the third Star Wars prequel movie had yet to come out, but that wasn’t for months. Also, it wasn’t so much a Chewbacca costume as his father’s gorilla costume (Mr. Jasper is the sort of man who both needs and frequently uses a gorilla costume) repurposed with a Wookie-style bandolier. When I asked him why he was dressed as Chewbacca, Alexander looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Uh… It’s Thursday?” And he was right – it was Thursday.
…almost killed me with a slingshot. About three months after I’d first met him I was over at his house, which was on several acres of mud and weeds outside of town, and wandering around in the backyard. Alexander, about 50 feet away, put a marble in his slingshot and fired it at me, intending to have it hit my ass. Instead, a marble whizzed right past my ear at probably a thousand miles an hour. The damn thing could’ve killed me. Alexander just laughed, because he doesn’t really believe in death.
…didn’t show up for a movie on time. No, actually, this is inaccurate – Alexander has never once in his life ever made it to a movie theater on time. Shitty one-horse town that it is, Salem only has two movie theaters, one of which is nestled among the meth addicts and garbage of downtown, the other nestled among the meth addicts and crack addicts of Lancaster Boulevard, on the outskirts of town. Whenever we’d agree to meet at one of these theaters, Alexander would always, always wind up going to the other one. It was like he had their names mixed up, and maybe their physical appearance, too – I could say “Let’s see Hot Fuzz at the DOWNTOWN theater, the one covered in graffiti, across from the abandoned parking garage!” and then, 20 minutes later, I’d be waiting around at the downtown theater when I’d get the call: “Where are you? …Wait, what theater were we going to?” Once, in middle school, we went to see Monsters, Inc. He left to go to the bathroom during the previews, and just didn’t come back. After the movie we found him waiting in the lobby – turns out he’d gotten lost on the way back from the bathroom and gone into another theater playing Monsters Inc. that had started 20 minutes ago. He just sat with some strangers for the entire movie.
…gave me fiber advice in front of our entire Wellness II class in high school. The class was a joke, taught by a man who I feel certain was literally retarded (it makes sense – he was the wrestling coach, after all) and on that day we were, as usual, all sitting and quietly reading from our books. Suddenly, in the silence of the classroom, Alexander looks up and says, “Hey… Hey, Truman!”
I looked up, as did everyone else in the room. Alexander, sitting at a desk on the other end of the class, was pointing to his book.
“It says here, ‘To ensure soft and bulky bowel movements, ingest at least 5 grams of fiber per day.’ So, uh…” He shrugged. “I guess, if you’ve been having trouble with your bowel movements, maybe you should do that.”
Everyone just stared at either him or me. It was one of the most embarrassing and awkward moments in high school. You magnificent bastard.
…was trying to fart silently during his math class during a test. He did all of the necessary acrobatics with his sphincter that come with this sort of thing, and then attempted to let the gas out silently. Evidently he’d gone wrong somewhere in the process, because what ensued was a magnificently loud burst of flatulence, made even louder by the extreme silence of the classroom. Pandemonium ensued, during which the girl sitting at the desk in front of Alexander turned and looked at him, “like I’d just killed her dog or something.”
…jumped into his car in the parking lot of a bowling alley at 1:30 AM and fired up the stereo, which started playing “Safety Dance.” This was on Prom Night, senior year – and my senior prom was without a doubt one of the largest unmitigated disasters in the history of unmitigated disasters – when all I wanted to do was go home, set fire to everyone in my class, and maybe have a little cry, too. But it was there in the bowling alley parking lot, before we all parted ways, that Alexander started playing what was then our favorite song, and so he and I and Brent, the third member of our party, danced like asshats in an empty parking lot, being gawked at by meth addicts, hobos, and meth addict hobos. It was a great end to one of the worst nights ever.
…yelled, in a highly effeminate voice, “HEEYYYYY JOOOOOSSSHHHH!” to a classmate of ours in the middle of a crowded mall during Christmas shopping season. Josh gave him a dirty look and left. When Brent and I chastised him for yelling in such a way at our recently outed gay classmate, he looked shocked and said, “Josh is gay!? I was just… Y’know, doin’ that for the hell of it!”
…held an entire conversation in pantomime out of pure spite. During a party at my house, Alexander was having an animated discussion with another of my friends when Andrew, as self important and pretentious a jerkoff as ever has lived, asked them to quiet down so he could continue his conversation. Alexander’s response to this was to hold an elaborate pantomime conversation with his friend (this included miming fellatio and pretend-pissing on Andrew) which ultimately commanded the attention of the entire room and garnered a round of applause, completely obliterating whatever stupid shit Andrew was trying to say.
…went head to head with one of his peacocks. Alexander’s family owned a flock of four peacocks, which Alexander dubbed “The Skexies.” They spent most of their time walking around in a tight cluster and hooting at anything that struck their fancy. Every time I’d see Alexander he’d have a new story about The Skexies, namely, the exploits of Crackers, who Alexander fondly referred to as “The Stupidest Peacock in the World.” Crackers routinely got stuck on the roof or lost in the woods, forcing Alexander to go out in the rain and cold to get him back. Every time we nerds convened at Alexander’s house, he’d point out Crackers to us and say, “That’s Crackers – the Stupidest Peacock in the World!”
After about a year of this, we arrived at Alexander’s house to find that all of the Skexies except Crackers had had their wings clipped. When we asked him why this was, Alexander said, “Oh, yeah, I had to chase down all of the Skexies and clip their wings so they wouldn’t try to flap over the fence onto the neighbor’s property.” When we asked why Crackers wasn’t clipped, Alexander looked at his shoes and muttered, “He… He outsmarted me.”
…threw ranch dressing at a complete stranger. After a train trip with his family, Alexander was in the stall in the train station bathroom when his younger brother, William, came in and started doing everything possible to ruin the experience for him, namely throwing all available toilet paper rolls and handfuls of lather soap over the stall door in an attempt to hit him. His work done, William ran out, cackling, and when Alexander had cleaned as much soap as possible off of himself, he returned to find his family eating fish and chips in the train station food court. Seizing the opportunity for revenge, Alexander grabbed his Mom’s little container of tartar sauce and threw it at William, who Matrixed out of the way at the last second. The tartar sauce instead hit a complete stranger sitting at the next table. In the resulting chaos, Alexander’s mother tried to apologize to the bystander with the words, “Sir, forgive my son. He’s an idiot.”
…made me laugh harder than I ever have in my entire goddamned life. The facts are these: We were gathered around the cafeteria table one lunchtime when my friend Michael related that his father, a fireman/paramedic, had been summoned to a retirement home the previous day where there was an outbreak of the norovirus. Michael was worried that his father had brought the virus home to him, as he had heard that the norovirus causes violent and uncontrollable diarrhea and vomiting.
Hearing this, Alexander’s eyes widened with awe and glee. “Oh my God!” He exclaimed. “If you had both at once you’d basically be on the floor spinning in circles!” To illustrate his point, he spun his finger around on the table, yelling “Auuuuuuuughhh!” to mimic the situation Michael was potentially facing.
And it was the funniest thing in the world. The funniest thing. I laughed for 20 minutes, until my stomach hurt and my eyes ran out of tears and my lungs burned and I started to hyperventilate. I have never before in my life laughed that hard at anything, and I doubt I ever will again. Being as peripherally involved with comedy as I am, I’ve made mockery out of quite a few things, but I have never laughed more hysterically or fully than I did that day, at the thought of one of my friends lying on the floor being spun in circles by the sheer force and violence of vomit and shit. At that time and place and mindset, that was hands down The Funniest Moment In Human History. And of course it sounds lame and juvenile now, laid out in black and white text on a page – you had to be there. That’s the beauty of Alexander: he truly is the king of You Had To Be There.
I get that this update probably wasn’t terribly interesting to the bulk of my readership. Understandable – you had to be there, and you weren’t. But with all due respect, this update wasn’t really for you. It’s for Alexander, the single funniest motherfucker I’ve ever met.
Give ‘em hell, old chum.
Truman Capps has improved his fiber intake now, thank you.