Saturday, January 2, 2010

Smiley Sam, Ross Noble, And Twitter

I find myself taking full advantage of Twitter as a place to put down all those wacky random thoughts I have as the day goes on. Some of them have had many occasions to be repeated over the years, and I'm finally having a place to put them. Having an iPhone with me at all times makes it easier to save these little "gems", and I use that word wrongly, for posterity. No longer will these nuggets of insanity be blurted out and instantly lost in the ether, now they can be saved so historians can analyze them to see just how insane I really was. Por ejemplo, one of my favorites over the years has been, "Why do they call it common sense when it's so UNcommon?" Working for the Post Office, I usually have several occasions on a daily basis to utter this, either aloud or internally. Now, thru the magic of the iPhone and Twitter, I just posted it the other day. Wasn't long after that an artist whose work I've enjoyed over the years, Jill Thompson, retweeted my post, as she must have found it amusing. Always nice to have that sort of validation from someone whose talents you admire. Seeing as how she has illustrated works from the likes of Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and Grant Morrison (The Invisibles), as well as dozens of others over the years, yeah, it made my New Year's Eve pretty nice. Thanks Jill!

Fast not-too-far-forward to New Year's Day, and comedian Ross Noble, who I had mostly known for years from Just A Minute until recently, was encouraging people to make interesting pictures with his Smiley Sam The Smiling Ham (the explanation would take too about it on his Twitter page --I'd give you an actual link, but for some reason I can't seem to do that on Blogger, and I've been trying for the last 10 minutes to figure it out; it just won't let me do it, despite following their instructions). So I printed out a pic of Sam, cut out the face, and taped it to the head of a really cool hand made clown my Mom had given me for X-Mas. She makes these herself, and they get sold in the gift shop of the local hospital she volunteers at. For some reason, the orange one hadn't moved (all the others come and go pretty quick), so I had mentioned to her she should send it to me for X-Mas (she still lives in New York, while I'm coming up on 10 years out here in Las Vegas). The funny thing is, even though she makes these herself, she's a little creeped out by them. I think it's terrific, and it sits proudly on an entertainment center/bookshelf here in my home office. She knew I really liked it based on the fact that it sits next to a picture I took of deceased race car driver Greg Moore and his still alive father Ric, that both had signed for me many years ago. I even presented both with their own copies of the photo, just because I thought it was a nice shot of the close pair.

After taping Smiley Sam's ham-face to the clown's head, I snapped a picture of it (again, using the iPhone; damn thing does everything...), and sent it to Ross via Twitter. This is another thing I enjoy about Twitter. People I admire that I normally would have no other means of ever having any contact with are suddenly reasonably accessible. Ross lives in the UK, but spends a large amount of time travelling the Eastern Hemishpere, be it the rest of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and so on. He's got various travel programs available, as well as tour documentaries on his stand-up comedy DVD's (of which I have a few now, thanks to Steve!).

Maybe an hour after tweeting the picture, I see a post from Ross that says, "This Is no question the most scary thing I have ever seen." That was followed by a link, which I clicked, seeing as how I was curious as to what could have a mind as brillantly unstable as his running scared. The link caught me completely by surprise, as it led to this;

Needless to say, seeing that it was my own picture that had scared him made me laugh quite hard. I was quite pleased that I'd apparently made an impression on him. Not really sure how my Mom is going to react when she reads this, though...

When Ross does shows, at the intermission, people often leave objects on the stage, so that when he comes back on, he just starts commenting on whatever interests him. His shows are filled more with off the cuff stream of consciousness than actual material, which is his true genius. The man is just funny, with nothing prepared. He HAS very funny material, it just gets relegated behind the tangents he goes off on, which are also extremely funny, and that's why he's so good on Just A Minute. So, if he ever does any shows in the United States (and I'm not sure if scaring him like this will help...), I'm bringing the clown with me to leave on stage in the interval. Not sure if I should re-tape Smiley Sam's face on or not...

Thanks Ross, and thanks/sorry Mom! (BTW, as of this writing, Ross' posting of my pic has had nearly 4,000 hits, in less than 24 hours...lotta weirdos out there...)

Update; it's now about 5:45 AM on Sun the 3rd of Jan, and it seems Ross is still enjoying Smiley Sam The Clown Ham. A comedian friend of his, Jason Manford, was apparently distressed about gaining some weight. Ross, in an effort to make him feel better, started tweeting him pics of Smiley Sam, including mine... @Jason_Manford how about this

Twitter is so much fun...

Blog Post Soundtrack; Allman Brothers, The New York Dolls, The Doors, The Smiths, Fear Factory, Faith No More, Fu Manchu, Orange 9MM, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Son House, Corrosion Of Conformity, Prong, a track from Mel Brooks' 1968 movie The Producers, Les Claypool Frog Brigade, Clutch, Public Image Ltd.

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