Lord Carrett: Of Human Bondage

By | December 10, 2006 at 2:04 pm | No comments | Features | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lord Carrett: Of Human Bondage
I’m new to Manhattan, and the first Christmas in a new city is always strange.

My first Christmas in Los Angeles, my finances wouldn’t allow me to head home for the holidays, and by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I was “over” Christmas.

I decided to have the least Christmas-y Christmas ever, so I rented Leaving Las Vegas. When you rent a movie about a guy who goes to Vegas to drink himself to death — on December 24 — you expect a strange look from the clerk. “You’re not going to live to see tomorrow,” was written all over his face. I half expected him to say, “Why don’t I just charge this movie to your credit card now, and save your estate the price of a couple week’s rental?”

The flick turned the trick, and I was quite happy with my unorthodox Christmas. Years later, I was still living in L.A., and planning a tour of Europe when my future wife (a producer and comedienne) and I became acquainted through an interview I’d done. Within six months, we co-produced two shows, fell in love online, got married and I prepared to move, which is no easy task when you’re a record collector with 4,000 vinyl albums.

I sold a third of my stuff, so I’d fit into a smaller Manhattan apartment. As I was still touring constantly, it took me three months to pack. I sold my car to finance the move, and drove 3,000 miles to start our life together.

I spent three more months unpacking and, one day, my wife said, “You can’t KEEP BOXES in New York. Nobody KEEPS BOXES in New York.” So, I threw away $200 worth of packing materials. Four days later, she says to me, “You’re a good guy, you’re a GREAT husband, but I want my life back. I said, “I want my BOXES back!”

I was in a bad situation. I couldn’t go back to L.A. I’d had going away shows. I was under a moral obligation to go away! I’m not The Who! And, even if I wanted to move thousands of pounds of records again, I couldn’t afford to.

Part of the problem was that I married a woman 17 years younger than me. You know what you get when you marry someone 17 years younger than you? A lot of text messages. Blaine Capatch sent me a one-line email that pointed to where I went wrong. It read: “Never date comics.”

But, I learned a lot from this relationship. I learned that they won’t sell you a hand gun if you’re crying.
Ninety days is an awfully short time under one roof to give a marriage — unless you’re Cher. Knowing it’d look like sour grapes but feeling it was my last obligation as her husband, I spoke to my wife’s mother about her precarious mental state, which went over like “Cat-Shit Lip Gloss.”

The second thing I learned from this relationship is that you can’t save a rainforest that doesn’t want to be saved. I was sitting in our former apartment, on Christmas, writing this, and I decided to do what worked well for me years before. I’d find the least Christmas-y movie imaginable– the new James Bond flick! The closest I expected to come to being reminded of my wife, would be if 007 got attacked by a barracuda.

If you haven’t seen the flick, you may not want to read further. After an exhilarating first hour, Bond’s situation began to mirror my own!

Bond falls in love with a double agent, resigns from Her Majesty’s Service, and leaves his life behind. The object of his affection, the lovely Vesper Lynd, betrays him and bolts– only to be trapped in an old-fashioned cage elevator in a rapidly sinking Venetian building.

James swims to her. It was the first time I’ve ever truly identified with Bond; our lives normally being so disparate (laser beam wristwatch aside). I thought, “Save yourself James! Swim to Los Angel… errrr THE SURFACE!

Vesper locks the door, backs away and begins inhaling water (Yecch! I’ve been to Venice, and the water’s disgusting!) Bond fails to save her.

It’s said, “Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” Johnny Carson once joked about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the audience groaned, and Johnny said: “Too soon?”

The longer I live, the shorter the turn around between comedy and tragedy gets. I was in the darkened theater, feeling melancholy, and I heard myself chuckle at my own expense. If it were happening to you, dear reader, I’d think it was hilarious!

Things are never as bad as they seem. I love Manhattan, and I’ve made amazing headway here. I’ve got my health and, unlike 007, no one’s hit me in the balls repeatedly with a knotted rope. You have to be grateful for the little things.

James Bond will be over his Vesper by the next time I see him, and I’ll get over mine.

Lord Carrett is a stand-up comedian and writer based in New York City. For more information, check out www.lordoflaughs.com.

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