Last weekend I once again traveled home to Rhode Island to visit my family. In this case, it was a celebration for my father, who in a feat of chronological and mathematical wizardry, has managed to turn 39 yet again. The best part about being a Jack Benny fan is that you never age. (Sadly, the worst part about being a Jack Benny fan is that you realize nobody born in the past few decades has even heard of him.)
Since Jack Benny is no longer touring, we instead celebrated by seeing a performance by the Blue Man Group. For those unfamiliar with the Blue Man Group, it is a group of men whose faces have been painted entirely blue.
People sometimes wonder how they came up with the idea. I'm pretty sure it was a process of elimination. They probably had to reject a lot of other ideas because they sounded too racist, like Red Man Group, Yellow Man Group, White Man Group and Black Man Group.
I suppose technically some people might object to Blue Man Group, but these people would largely fall into two categories. The first category of possible objectors is depressive people, but although they might dislike when people make a silly show out of feeling Blue, it's not as if depressive people have managed to stop Students Against Drunk Driving, aka SADD. (Which, according to a quick web search, has retroactively redefined their acronym as "Students Against Destructive Decisions." And yet they don't stop other students from taking out massive college loans.) My point is, they're not going to stop the Blue Man Group.
The other possible objectors would be physically blue people, but aside from Smurfs, this consists mainly of people who are being asphyxiated, who tend not to say much in the way of complaint. And Smurfs certainly aren't going to complain; even if they write a strong letter to the editor expressing their disappointment with the anti-smurfitic racism inherent in the Blue Man Group performance, it would probably read something like:
"To the Editor:
I was smurfed to hear that the smurf smurf Group has continued to smurf in the manner that really Smurfs our smurf. As a smurfing community whose members care about smurfing smurf and not supporting smurf with our smurf, we clearly must smurf this smurf. Smurf you for smurfing this smurf."
And then it would just be run as a counter-point (Conte-point?) in the latest debate over school funding.
So, with nobody to stop them, the Blue Man Group show went on. I won't try to describe it, save to say that since there was no intermission, many people had to take a Blue Man Poop after the show. (I know, that's a crappy joke.)
That night after the show, I raided the basement pantry -- infamous in our family for my mother's habit of keeping food long past the expiration date. After throwing out some crackers that had long since gone from stale to rancid, I found a rum cake that was passable enough to eat.
When I mentioned to my mother that I had eaten it, she was mad that I had eaten the gift her friend brought her from an island vacation. She was slightly mollified when I mentioned that the expiration date was 2010, and she remembered that her friend's trip had been many years ago.
Frankly, it's a wonder my father has made it to the ripe old age of 39.
Seth Brown is a humor writer, the author of "It Happened In Rhode Island," and is sorry for eating your cake, Mom. His work appears weekly in the Transcript and weakly on RisingPun.com.