Why do fish like worms?
I heard Bill Engvall, an American comedian, pose this question the other day. It was a good question, it was a typical Spaz question, a question of the sort that my head is full of but doesn’t serve a greater purpose. He posed this question in one of his on stage performances, part of his comic routine. And the audience was laughing.
I was too flabbergasted to laugh. Laughing would have meant laughing at myself. This wasn’t one of the usual ‘we laugh because we recognize ourselves in what you are saying’. This was a clear ‘we laugh because you are so silly/stupid/such a loser and since we are attending a comedy show, we are allowed to laugh at you publicly’ laughing.
He explains further: “I have these odd questions all the time, they pop out of nowhere and I just have to ask them out loud. My wife and I could be talking about something and out of nowhere I will ask ‘ why do fish like worms? Worms are found on land, fish are in found in water.”
Bill has this smile in his eyes that just confirms that this is not just some personification of someone who has these thoughts. I recognize the smile in the eyes, I can feel the smile in his eyes. He has these thoughts. – Too.
And the ‘bastard’ has taken it into the public and is getting people to pay for hearing him share them. Why didn’t I recognize that these damn thoughts of mine aren’t just a nuisance but a gold mine?
Here I’ve been spending most of my life holding down the lid of the ‘stupid thoughts’ pressure cooker, making sure that they don’t whistle unless I am surrounded by good friends who love me enough to love my ‘stupid thoughts’. And it’s not that I haven’t noticed that people generally are amused rather then annoyed when the one or the other does escape. And it’s not that I haven’t realized that most people have this craving to laugh out loud about people they find silly/stupid/are losers. After all, the thought of having an edge over someone, as ‘un-noble’ as it might be, is liberating to most of us but to think this thought through and see the dollar bills sweep in – that would have actually been a good thought for once, and as just documented, I am a master of stupid thoughts, not the good ones.
Bill of course had an answer for why fish like worms. And the audience laughed at that one too. Meanwhile I can think of 9 more answers that nobody is ever going to hear or laugh about. Well done Bill, you win this one. Either way thanks for showing me that even people with stupid thoughts have them for a reason – and if combined with one smart one once in a while can actually make a living from them. I am inspired.