Category Archives: humor

interview with chris

Chris is someone I met when I was in college. I interviewed his brother Dan earlier in my series. Some of the best memories I had in the college church group was with Dan and Chris laughing and telling pickle jokes. Dan and Chris play off each other’s humor really well-they make each other laugh with their distinct comedic timing.

One day, Chris just disappeared to Colorado, and now we all know why…

JM: Tell us a little about yourself.

CH: I am 5’11” tall.  I wear size 12.5 shoes except for chucks, I wear 11’s.  Chucks have always made me feel bad about myself in that way.  If there weren’t so friggin cool I would boycott on principle.

I will be married to my first wife 10 years this July.  We have two darling children, Emily (five going on 18), and Evan (three going on ninja).  I know a lot of people are biased and say their family is the best, and their kids are the best looking, etc, but truth be told, they are lying.  When I say it, I am not.  My wife and kids are amazing.  I had no idea how good it could be to have a wonderful wife, crack up kids, and get them all at the same time.  I know plenty of people that cannot say the same of their life, and I am in no way trying to brag because it is all through the grace of God that I have been this blessed.

I have a bad habit of new hobbies.  The good news is, I can do a lot of different things.  The bad news is, I am not very good at most of them.  Here are some things I like to do: Fly Fishing, Fly Tying, Play/Coach Volleyball, Video Games (xbl gamertag: nakedjed), play the ukulele, shoot archery, shoot pistols, shoot pool, shoot craps (not really), I love making digital art via illustrator and photoshop and I design and create shirts, stickers, decals etc..  I love doing new things.  But I can get a little obsessive about getting proficient at doing new stuff, maybe a character flaw of mine…

JM: How did you end up in Colorado?

CH: I ended up in Colorado after I met my wife for the second time… It actually sounds much creepier than it was at the time. I was living in the mighty PHX and just living the bachelor’s dream: work, come home, eat ramen, play computer games, sleep, repeat.  I would mix in church a couple of times a week as well as swing dancing on Tuesday nights…… Something was missing…like, A LIFE.  Anyway, I had dated my wife, Kim, in college very, very briefly.  Like 3 weeks brief.  I hadn’t talked to her in years.  I always wondered what had happened to her, so I decided to find out. I, like any interested friend (or skilled stalker), called the alumni association at our school and told them I was trying to get a hold of her.  They gave me the last address they had on file, which was her parents, and I sent a letter.  She had just returned from living in Venezuela for almost a year and just happened to be living at her parents when the letter got there.  She called me the next week, we played the whole AOL chat game for a while and then I came out here (CO) for a visit.  I made up my mind that I wanted to move out and pursue Kim.  It worked out for me…..  🙂

JM: Tell us a pickle joke.

CH: What’s big and green and always blurry?

Pickle Foot -or- Big Pickle (which might sound bad.. or be taken the wrong way… that’s what she said kind of thing…) -or- the abominable snow pickle?  -or- the abominable pickle man -or- the pickleable snow man.  Take your pick.  The point of a good pickle joke isn’t the joke itself, its more about being up for like 30 hours straight and inducing some kind of sleep-deprived, caffeine and sugar fueled hallucination.  Hard to describe unless you’ve been there.

JM: You’re a P.E. teacher, yes? How’d you find yourself on that path?

CH: I was sitting in Pre-Calculus my sophomore year of high school hating the class.  I remember thinking, “You know what?  I really hate math.  What could I do that would require me to do as little math as possible…hmmm….Oh, yeah, I could be a p.e. teacher! yay!”

Then I found out how much work it actually is.  Which is fine, because at the end of the day, I am still teaching and playing games, sports, activities, etc.  But more than anything the thing I love about my job is the ability to talk to high school students about their lives, choices, struggles, etc.  There is something about making a high school kid feel normal in such a world of awkwardness.  I don’t just teach “gym” though, I teach a rhythm and dance class, an adventure education class, sports medicine and strength and conditioning class.  I love my job.  I honestly never want to do anything else ever again.  I would be fine working until I die at this school.

I have a whole other laundry list of reasons I enjoy p.e. and how it benefits kids, but most of it kinda goes without saying.  I do not have my students play dodge ball. Or pick teams themselves.  Or go shirts and skins.  It is not how we all grew up, its evolved into keeping kids interested in activity for life, so they won’t suffer the fate of their grandparents, parents, etc.

I actually took two cracks at it too.  I dropped out my first trip through college, then went back and got my Bachelors.  I was hired after my first interview, and a few years later got my masters in P.E.

JM: Tell us more about Rhythm & Dance class and Outdoor Education Class.

CH: Rhythm and Dance was a new class for me this year.  I was the only male teacher who had taught a dance unit in a regular p.e. class, so somehow that qualified me to teach an entire year of it.  Imagine me, in all of my fat oldness trying to teach hip hop dance to a bunch of high school girls who would rather make fun of me than actually dance.  EVERY DAY.  Actually, it works out, I teach jump rope, tinikleing, yoga, swing dance and some line dance.  I really enjoy dance class, but in all honesty, without boys in the class, it nearly eliminates or at least makes hard teaching dances that are lead-follow based.  Like swing, waltz, salsa, etc.  At the end of the day, we have a good time though, and as long as they are learning, we are good.

Outdoor education is where my passion lies, however.  I teach all types of “alternative” sport activities.  Things like, archery, disc golf, geocacheing, fishing, hiking, orienteering, etc.  It’s all the stuff that “regular” p.e. classes don’t typically teach.  Fortunately, it is all the stuff I love to do.  My favorite thing is that it’s an evolving class; we keep adding more stuff to do, like wall climbing, paintball, horseback riding, etc.  It is, in my opinion, where p.e. is headed.  The era of sports based p.e. curriculums are coming to an end.  Teaching kids how to stay active after their high school years is becoming the focus.  Finding ways to keep people moving after they have given up on becoming the next Michael Vick is no longer on the horizon.

JM: Would you like to share an internet link?

CH: Wow, there is a lot out there… maybe a couple… youtube classic.  I almost snot every time I watch it.

Anything these guys do is worth watching… An interwebs sleeper.  Sick cheap one time offered shirts.  I own several. In fact, I went to verify the address for this interview and ended up buying a shirt. <3 Look this one up.  It is probably the best way to mess with someone on the internet.  It’s been around a while, but if you can find someone who doesn’t know about it, It can be simply epic.  You may want to google how it works first, as there is a trick to it.. but holy crap is it fun to jack with people….

Thanks Chris for participating in my interview series! Ask him your questions in the comments below!

Follow him on Twitter @nakedjed

interview with dan

My latest in the interview series is my friend Dan who I’ve known for about let’s say twelve or so years. I have no idea. I am sure we met sometime in college when we went to the same college church group. It sure feels like a lifetime ago. I used to hang out with Dan and his brother-they are two really funny guys. Some of my best memories of them are wandering around Magic Mountain. And telling pickle jokes. More on that later.

JM: Tell us a little about yourself.

DH: Name:  Daniel Ryan Hunt

Age:  33 years

Hair:  Reddish-brown, short

Eyes:  Blue, two

Ears:  Yes

Height:  5′ 10″

Weight:  Plenty

Distinguishing features:  Large sideburns, glasses, sardonic wit

Likes:  Martial arts movies, video games, reading, writing, making people laugh, the spotlight, listing vague things like ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ as things I like to sound smart and/or creative

Dislikes:  Unsolicited career advice, listing my previous work history, the word ‘douchebag,’ when Wikipedia is seen as a valid source of information

Favorite breakfast cereal:  Cracklin’ Oat Bran

Outlook:  Stoic, mostly

Demeanor:  Pretty middle of the road

Marital status:  Married to Sarah Hunt, going on 4 years

Highest education level:  Some college

Current occupational status:  Fledging stand-up comic, cab driver

I have been diagnosed with: schizoid personality, gout, 1 cavity

People think I have:  Asperger’s syndrome, a sadistic streak, encyclopedic knowledge of computers and GPS-level knowledge of the Phoenix area, including locations of every building, everywhere

JM: So…you can’t just drop a completely unknown (relatively huge) fact like you have been diagnosed with schizoid personality on me without any details.

Can I ask you about it “on the record”?

Can you explain what it is?

When did you get diagnosed with it?

Did the diagnoses come with any emotions or a sense of clarity?

DH: You never knew…?  I coulda swore… Okay.

From my understanding, being schizoid is where a person (me) levels out their emotional experiences.  Lower highs, higher lows.  The affected also have difficulty expressing emotions, having meaningful relationships, and other social awkwardnesses.  I was diagnosed with this in my early to mid 20’s when I went to a therapist to seek help for depression I was going through.  Well, it was the result of this test I took, SAT style, complete with bubble fill in sheet and #2 pencil.

When it comes to things like being schizoid, or depressed, or anti-social, or even things like possibly having Asperger’s Syndrome, I shrug it off.  I’m okay with me, and I’m at a point where I realize all the crap that happened so far was for a reason.  I am the person I am, and I can not, will not, nor want to be anyone else.  I feel that there’s a certain beauty in sadness, when you think about how bad a thing (whatever) is, you realize there is another thing (whatever) that is, to quote Teen Girl Squad, SO GOOD that not only does it make up for the sadness you feel, it surpasses that sadness, and all the other sadnesses that you’ve had or will have.  I get sad.  It happens.  I also get happy.  Sometimes the sadness in my life outweighs the happiness in quantity, it never comes close to it in quality.  I guess the ultimate question here is, where does that happiness come from?  How can it be better?  One word: Christ.  Knowing that all this (living life in this world) leads to something greater (eternity with Christ) nullifies all the crap this life can throw at me.  Sometimes I forget that for a while, but I always come back to the security I have in Christ and the Father.  The Spirit, too, even if I have a hard time understanding It.

That, and the Keebler Elves released a line of cookies that are versions of the Girl Scout’s Samoas that are available all year round.  How can that NOT make someone happy?

JM: Thanks-you saved a lot of people from looking that up on wikipedia. Speaking of happy, tell us a pickle joke, and give us the background on pickle jokes in your family.

DH: Who’s green, Egyptian, and married Marc Anthony?  Cleo-pickle.  Who’s green and was shot nine times?  Pickle Cent.  What’s green and hangs above a baby’s crib?  A mo-pickle.

I come from two large families.  Mom had five brothers and sisters, Dad has six.  The vast majorities of these large families lived far away from where I grew up, mostly in Portland, Oregon and various parts of Oklahoma. A lot of childhood memories I have involve riding in cars on long road trips for family reunions.  Going to see the extended family was always a treat for my brother and I.  Well, when you’re ten hours into a 20-hour road trip with no stops, people get tired, and random things get hilarious.  Pickle jokes were born out of these late night/early morning drives, and they are part of those random things that get hilarious.

JM: Why do you find yourself drawn to stand up?

DH: I like laughing and I like making people laugh.  I was doing improv, which qualifies, but I think I’m drawn to stand-up now because I get to control everything that comes out of my mouth (in theory).  So if it’s funny, it’s funny that came from me and wasn’t dependent on something or someone else.  That’s not to say that I’ll never do improv again, but now is the season for stand-up (again).

My foray into stand-up started a lot earlier than I realized, when I stop to think about it.  Back in the fifth grade, I asked my teacher if I could tell jokes in front of the class during lunch.  She let me, and I proceeded to bomb day after day for pretty much the entire school year.  Fast forward about three years, and while I was attending middle school, I was put in the gifted/accelerated class with the other nerds.  One of the things we did every year was a career assignment, where we would pick something that we were interested in doing when we were older, then we would be paired with someone who did that for a living, and we’d spend time with them as they did their job.  I selected to do stand up one year, and I was paired with a comic whose name I no longer remember.  I tagged along while he did a corporate gig.  He gave me a video from one of his open mic nights that he hosted, and I remember all the comics either being filthy or extremely bad.  To wrap that assignment up, we had a ‘career night’ where we had presentations of what we learned.  I did about three minutes of material that I ripped out of a joke book.  I remember everyone was polite about it.  Since then, my desire to get on stage and make people laugh has manifested itself in various ways, like being the ‘announcement guy’ at VI, or doing improv at a theater in Scottsdale.  Around the end of September last year I happened upon a class for stand-up comedy taught by one Tony Vicich, comedian who was prolific during the stand-up boom of the 80’s.  I took the introductory and the advanced classes, and was in two showcases, one at Dave and Busters up in North Phoenix, and one at the Tempe Improv.  Currently, I have an open-mic night coming up on the 30th in Scottsdale, and a set at ToSo’s up in North Phoenix on the 4th.  Maybe it’s the 5th.  I should probably find out.  I’ve been told that I’m ‘edgy’ for whatever that’s worth.

JM: What would be the ideal comic “job” for you?

DH: As fun as it would be to be a touring comic, I think that would take me away from my wife and soon-to-be daughter too much.  I’d be perfectly content to work a singular city like Vegas, LA or New York if I could provide for my family doing it.  I also wouldn’t argue with acting, voice acting, or directing.  But not producing.  Maybe gaffing.  That’s a ways off, though, I’m still working my way into the shallow end of the comedy pool.

JM: Who are you influenced by comically?

DH: I am influenced by any comic that can make a room full of people laugh without resorting to excessive swearing or crude/sexual/scatalogical/racial material.  It’s a mistake to think that doing clean comedy is talking about rainbows and kittens and peaches.  I actually pulled off a joke in which there is a baby that is on fire.  You can be dark and edgy without dropping an f-bomb.  Or an s-bomb.  Want examples of who I am inspired by?  Sure!  In no particular order:

Demitri Martin

Brian Regan

Eddie Izzard (I said excessive swearing)

Jim Gaffigan

Ken Kaz

Donald Glover

Christopher Titus

Steven Wright

Ritch Shydner

I’ve also had the joy of being able to learn from good comics, both veteran and not-as-veteran.  Tony Vicich, like I mentioned before, along with Emily Galati, Kevin Odea, Joleen Lunzer, Mike Gillerman, Dave Thurston, Jim Bambrough, Mike Bengoeceha… lots of people named Mike, all said and done.

JM: Would you like to share an internet link?

DH: As much as I think that the internet is nothing more than 99.99% filler and a horrible time suck, here are a couple things I like looking at: – One of the two funniest non-episodic webcomics ever. – The other funniest non-episodic webcomic.

If you’re curious to see what I’ve done in stand up:

Shameless plug, I know.

And if you’re curious about stand-up classes, you can go here for more information:

Thanks Dan for participating in my interview series! Feel free to ask him any questions you have in the comment section below!