At a friend’s urging, I bought and started reading the book Radical Honesty. Now, before you jump to conclusions and think it’s like someone talking up the merits of soap every time you come around or offhandedly offering you a breath mint, I have to disclaim that this friend had just read the book and found it a profoundly upsetting and worthwhile endeavor. So last night I’m reading it in the bathtub and thinking how great it is. “I’m ready! Bring it on! Wow, the truth IS the only way out of the maze of permanent adolescence (nevermind I seem to be stuck at age two)!”
But so this honesty thing has been going really well all day. I woke up smiling. (honest dreams?) I told my roommate’s cat that its farts smell like a trucker at his first diner stop in 13 hours. The cat meowed. I felt great. I told my car that its headlights are misaligned and I feel angry that it’s running down and polluting the environment, and I would like a Prius a lot better. Later in the evening, I was driving my not-Prius down to San Mateo and telling myself (in an act of radical honesty) how great a driver I am, that I can talk on speaker phone, drive with my knee, and eat granola all at the same time. Again, I felt great. Tomorrow, I’m going to try being honest with… people!
But then I was thinking about how the last time I performed at this place, the show sucked. It put me in a sour mood. I’d like to break it to you all: comedians don’t always want to be funny. Sometimes we want to eat chocolate mousse and listen to The Cure. Or is that women with PMS? Anyway, I get to the show, and something really wonderful happens; it’s a small crowd, but all of us comics have a great time on stage. And the benefit of honesty is that I let go of my preconceptions about the show sucking last time, really enjoyed myself, and made people laugh. (cue sappy happy music) I’m going to take another bath and read the next chapter.