DOWN THE FOXHOLE...

ALWAYS LIGHTEN YOUR TRAILER

     I don’t go out of my way to write in capital letters. If the computer does it I’ll be okay with it. But if not I’m not going to slow down to hit the shift key. I wonder if it’s a financial reason? Less ink to print a document without capital letters.

     I will start a paragraph with an indentation though. It helps break up a thought for the reader. Also, the amount of paper saved for half a word I can live with.

     I’m connecting words for a few reasons right now. The main reason, I like people. I like to engage with humanity. Also, I’m noticing more and more people visiting my website. And out of respect for their effort and curiosity I’d like to make it worth their search and click.

     It’s Friday November 21, 14. I just went for a dip in the pacific ocean. At the foot of Law Street in pacific beach. I have jumped in the ocean at this spot three days in a row. it’s magic to me. The water isn’t even cold. It feels refreshing on my sore back. I need to stretch more. We all do. But this swim was special. Special because I met someone on the way to the water. There is a slight hill to reach the sand. At the bottom of the hill was a man organizing his bike trailer. The bike looked good. This was not an old operation.

     “Getting ready for an adventure?” I asked.

     I’m not afraid of talking to strangers. You never know where you are going to find the answer.

     This guy was tall like me. It was his birthday. He was 49. He had been evicted yesterday. The adventure was beginning today. He had slept on the beach last night.

     “Nothing wrong with that. You got to wake up on the beach.”

     Everything I said to this man was positive. Nothing he said didn’t have my response being anything other than how lucky he was to be beginning this adventure. I meant everything I said. He woke up. He was ahead of the game.

     “I’m just not sure how this trailer is going to hold up. I have a lot of stuff.”

     I told him that as his journey continues he will dump the shit he doesn’t need. We leave this world the same way we came in. With nothing. If you lighten the load along the way it makes the exit that much easier.

     He wondered if he could still find a woman now that he is homeless.

     I told him he wasn’t homeless. Look around. This world is your home. You just have to find a girl that wants to go on an adventure.

     At the end of our talk he was suddenly excited about his adventure. His name was Chris. He just turned 49. I walked away. After about twenty steps I returned.

     “One more thing,” I said.

     “Are you going to tell me not to talk to strangers?”

     “No. talk to strangers. Talk to everyone. You never know where you are going to find the answer.”

     And then I told him the story of my father. Bamboo Ben. And his morning trudges on that same beach. The story of RIA. It’s air backwards. It’s the last thing we let go of when we die, and the first thing we take in when we’re born. I told him as his journey progresses there will be times when you feel down and alone. When that time comes, wherever you are, just take a deep breath and reach your arms for the heavens and let out a “rousing ria.” Open fingers. Never negative.

     Remember, we are all on a journey. Some people are on bikes, some people are driving a 2003 honda civic hybrid. I then went for a swim in the pacific ocean. When I looked back Chris was gone.   His adventure had begun. Happy Birthday. Stay hydrated.

3/4

they say that 3/4 of the earth is covered with water.  that’s a lot of water.  today i visited the ocean.  i’d say i battled about a hundred square feet of that 3/4.  i was alone.  i stood looking out at the pacific ocean.  i was in san diego.  pacific beach to be exact.  the beach was not a stranger.  growing up it was my stomping ground.  but with age the stomps have become less frequent.  i live in Los Angeles.  i still have family in san diego so my rare visits must always include a hello to the ocean.  nothing feels better to me than jumping in the water.  today it was 67 degrees.  before i walked in i had a dialogue with myself.  i pictured a camera pointed at me.  this is what i said out loud  before i started for the sea. 

“I’m aware that I may not return today.  But the ocean calls.  There are sharks.  A rusty ship wreck that could sever an artery if I’m not careful.  If I swim far enough I will encounter pirates.  I’m not good with geography but I’m pretty sure the dangerous waters off the coast of Africa could be reached if I swam straight and did not stop.  Not sure how long a 2000 mile swim takes.  I have not eaten today so I will put the pirates out of my mind.  If my trajectory is slightly north I will hit the freezing waters of the north pole.  But like africa I will not think too hard about a possible encounter with a Polar Bear or angry Sea Lion.  Today my mind is on the 67 degree water off the coast of Pacific Beach, California.  I see that a few surfers are entering the water in full wetsuits to protect them from the elements.  I have no board or rubber.  I’m wearing tennis shorts.  That is all.  My fear today is shrinkage and possibly stepping on a sharp shell.  But I will not back down from this challenge.”

And then I walked in.  And it was very nice.  Pleasant actually.  There were no waves.  But I did take three dives.  Fully submerged.  I was under the ocean.  Under that ocean that had taken a life that day.  Somewhere in that 3/4 of ocean a life was ending.  Somewhere a shark was eyeing a splashing limb.  Was it my limb?  Doubtful.  67 degrees is not a sharks wheel house.  But after about 4 minutes I walked out of the water victorious.  No pirates today.  No polar bears.  Not one shark.  Today I only encountered shrinkage.  But as I type these words and reflect on my swim, I begin to wonder what dangers will present themselves as I contemplate a shower.  Wish me luck.  

she possibly lives in there

I’M SORRY MR. FOX

she possibly lives in there
she possibly lives in there

     Time to string a few words together. I know I said I would water my website every Sunday. That sure didn’t last very long. My site would already be dead if it was really a flower. But I’m going to throw a little water on it and hopefully it can find enough sun to grow stronger. But at the end of day, there’s only one thing to keep a website alive, fresh content. At some point if you’ve seen everything you stop going. So here are some words.

     You can learn everything you need to know about someone by their patience with children. I was in line for coffee a few days ago when I was shot in the back of the calf. I say shot because that’s what it felt like. I immediately spun around to see a small child preparing to kick me again. I’m going to say she was 2. I’m not very good with ages but she was probably two feet tall. I’ve attached a photo so you can get the idea.

     “Hey!”

     The girl put her foot down before she could finish the second kick.   I looked at her father who was on his phone.

     “Your kid just kicked me.”

     Without looking up he said, “I’m sure it was an accident.”

     Do we ever really know if something is an accident? It sure didn’t look like an accident. Especially when she was preparing for the second blow to my calf.

     “How about an apology?”

     Now he looked up from his phone, “I’m sorry.”

     “Not from you. From her.”

     “She doesn’t even talk yet.”

     “I’ll wait. And her first words better be I’m sorry Mr. Fox.”

     He gave me a long look. I held his gaze. He couldn’t tell if I was serious. I was. I had no problem waiting a year if I had to.

     “Next customer,” the barista chirped.

     That was me. I turned and ordered my coffee.

     I gave the girl a look and as I headed off I leaned into the father, “get that kid into soccer as soon as you can.”

     Now was this an accident? No. She knew what she was doing. She was possibly just an evil child. A few minutes later I watched her open up a cabinet and calmly walk inside and shut the doors. A moment later the father looked up from his phone and couldn’t find his daughter. He looked right at me. I stared him down. I could have just left but that would have been too mean. I pointed to the cabinet and he opened it up. She didn’t want to come out. Part of me thinks she might live in there.

     Bottom line. If you have kids, keep an eye on them. Put the phone down and talk to them. Because it turns out if a child is left on their own they might just start kicking me in the calf. And yes, one day I will see her again and remind her of the day she kicked me and get that apology. In a year I will open that cabinet and see if she does in fact live in there. If she does live in there, she will still be two feet tall. And just as mean as ever.  

 

TO PROTECT AND SERVE AND VOLLEY

     I was asked today what I would like to do if I wasn’t a comedian. It was a pretty easy answer. I said I’d be in law enforcement. But the problem with law enforcement is there is lots of paperwork. I’m not a big fan of paperwork or uniforms. Then I thought if there was a way to be a detective and wear a cool suit I’d be into that. But then I thought back to last year when I was the host of a TV show that required me to wear a suit. I felt a little constricted in the suit. I even suggested that I wear a sweat suit. That didn’t go over too well. I didn’t have to wear a tie though. I’m not very good at ties. My neck is small and I don’t think it’s built for a tie. We even had to fix the shirts so they didn’t look so big. I didn’t make a lot of demands during “The Test.” I always wanted some bananas backstage and a turkey sandwich nearby. In my mind I wanted to have the strength to make it through the shows. We did four a day. That’s a lot of work for a guy who has spent most of his life trying not to work. My other request was that the security was close. So those were my demands. Food and protection.

     Back to the topic. Law Enforcement. Officer Kirk Fox. It does have a nice ring to it. The picture at the top of this blog is from a TV show I was a part of a couple years ago called “The Last Laugh.” Or maybe it was “Last Laugh.” Crazy. How can I not remember? Oh well. I’m not going to look it up but it was one of those. I should know. I should know a lot of things. I do know it was on TBS and it was a prank show. I think Ashton Kutcher was the producer but when I ended up sitting next to him at a Dodger game recently he seemed to not really remember me. I did all the pranks so I figure he would have possibly seen one of them. But the first day on the set I was a cop. Right up my alley. The prank was pulling people over and then finding drugs in the car that had been placed there earlier by a friend of theirs that was in on the prank. Sounds like fun. But as they were dressing me up in my police uniform I slowly began to notice a problem. Everything I was wearing was real. Except for the gun and the bulletproof vest. My brain didn’t like this. Aren’t those the two things that should be real if I’m pulling over people? Even real cops are nervous during a routine traffic stop and they have a real gun and vest. But there was nothing routine about what I was about to do.

     The first car that was pulled over was a black escalade being driven by who I actually thought was Suge Knight. We were on a side street and when the car passed we were told to pull in behind it and hit our lights and direct them to an empty lot across the street. I looked at my partner in the patrol car and said, “You want to take this one?”

     “Are you kidding? This one is all yours.”

     He saw that the driver looked like Suge Knight. We thought that maybe we were getting punked. We were about to approach a black escalade and pull out Suge Knight and then find weed in the back seat that we had placed there. And just when he thought he was going to jail we all laugh and run out with the cameras. And the friend that was the passenger laughs and we have some great TV. But as I was walking to the driver’s side window I slowly realized, the only real gun in this scene might in fact be in the car I was walking up to. As I got closer I instinctively began to take out my fake gun and I slowly dropped it and raised my arms up above my head. The driver got out, it wasn’t Suge Knight. But it could have been his brother. He was scared. Unarmed. And hadn’t seen me drop my gun. I told him, “Get back in the car. Did I say get out of the car?! Put your hands where I can see them.” And then I picked up my fake gun and slid it back into my holster. The prank went as planned. Success. No one got killed.   I would also like to note that I would have done the same thing no matter who I pulled over. It was a scary prank. You never know who you are pulling over. I was just aware that Suge Knight had a history of being around violence. And I have a history of avoiding violence. That’s the reason I wanted extra security on “The Test.” I’m fragile.

     The point of this story is just to answer the morning question. Yes. I would be a cop if I wasn’t a comedian. But only if I could carry a real gun and wear a real bulletproof vest. And have comfortable shoes. And a banana and turkey sandwich always close. Next to the shotgun. Maybe I’m too high maintenance to be a cop. Bottom line, if I wasn’t a comedian I’d be a tennis pro. And a cop. “To protect and serve and volley” would be my motto.

     And I just remembered the show.  “Who gets the last laugh?”IMG_0062

that guy

THAT GUY

     It is Sunday September 7, 2014. This is my weekly blog. I only say that because this is the third week in a row that I will have posted words to the world. I almost didn’t think I would today. And then I realized this is the perfect day to reflect on a week. A week that tested my brain. There are lots of brain games out in the world these days for people to test their brain speed. There are lots of apps and websites all ready for you to show off brain speed. My brain test was last night at the Lobero theatre in Santa Barbara, California. Last night I stood onstage in front of mostly strangers and tried to be funny for an hour. An hour is a long time to be funny. Last night there were cameras pointed at me. That makes it even harder. I shot my first hour special of comedy. I filmed a half hour of jokes for Comedy Central in August of 2007. Not sure what I’ve been doing since then. But judging from last night I’ve been accumulating a lot of jokes. I wasn’t sure I even had an hour of material. When I finally walked off the stage I had stood there for 90 minutes. At 48 minutes I felt for sure like I’d been talking for three hours. I know this because I stopped the set and asked the producer “how long have I been up here?” “48 minutes. Keep going.” I kept going. Toward the end I even stopped in the middle of a joke and said, “I’ll be right back. I’m about to pass out. I need some orange juice and cranberry.” I walked offstage to the shock of all backstage and simply went to the green room and had a few sips of an orange juice and cranberry drink I had sipped before I went on. I needed sugar. I then went back out, said hi, and started the joke again. The crowd was so wonderful it was as if they had walked offstage with me and walked me right back to the microphone.

     And then it was over. I had taped my first hour special. It’s a big deal for a comic. I feel good. I feel great. I feel that a chapter of my life has been chronicled for the world. I didn’t know if I could do it. There’s always a voice in the back of my head whispering “you might forget everything.” I didn’t sleep Friday. I wanted to. I went up to Santa Barbara the night before. I wanted to wake up there. Didn’t want to drive the day of the special. It didn’t matter. I was so tired yesterday that my brain must have thought I’d driven from New York the day before and not LA. I wanted to sleep Friday night. I went to bed early. And tossed and turned the whole night. I usually sleep like a baby. A baby that sleeps. My brain wouldn’t shut down. I just kept running the set in my head. I didn’t want to. But my brain clearly was running the show. And then yesterday I tried to nap. Nope. But in the end, it turned out to be a good thing. I was so tired during the day that I had no energy to stress out about the special filming at 6pm. Yes, still light out. But Santa Barbara showed up. They filled all those seats. And when I stepped on that stage my brain came to life. It started working like it had been asleep since August of 2007. And 90 minutes later, my special, “That Guy” was over. And now my brain starts work on the next hour special. Because I want another one. I want to put this brain back to work. After I sleep of course. Bottom line, when we think we are the most tired, might in fact be when we are the most awake.

collect nothing

This blogging seems to be harder than I thought.  It sure makes me appreciate writers who actually sit down at a certain time and write.  Last Sunday I said I would try and put words on paper every Sunday.  Well, it’s Sunday once again so let’s take the fingers out for a little run.

I just had lunch with a 73 year-old woman who when she told me to guess her age I said 50.  It’s not so much that I’m bad with numbers but she looked 50.  Age came up because she works at Bristol Farms and she said she only works a few days a week because of her age.  I was having lunch at a table near the dumpsters and she asked if she could join me.  She said she had five minutes.  Tables are for everyone and I have never once in my life said “no” to someone asking if they could join me at a table.  We’re all in this together.  They can always join, now talking is a whole different ballgame.  She said she watches the test on the mornings she doesn’t work and she said I was very good.  That was nice of her.  I told her the show has been cancelled and she said, “that’s okay.  Something else will come along.” 

Amelia left Russia in 1973.  Moved to Israel with her husband and stayed there for seven years.  She learned their alphabet in a month.  I was impressed.  I’m still working on ours.  Then they came to America.  She used to work in the cheese department at Bristol but now she is in the deli.  I didn’t know there was a separate department.   You learn a lot by letting people join your table.  But here is the key to this blog.  I asked her why she looks so young and she said it’s because she never held onto anything.  If she had something to say she said it.  Never holding onto something that made her unhappy.  If something or someone bothered her she would get it out of her.  Collect nothing is the key to life.  Let go of things that are bothering you.  At least get it out so it can be discussed.  I’ve held onto things before.  And she’s right, it aged me.  

Then John Mulaney and his new wife walked by.  He introduced me to her.  They seemed happy.  Still newlyweds.  I told John that if he can’t find anything in there to let me know and I’ll have Amelia get right on it.  They went in. Amelia continued talking.  A few minutes later John and his wife came out and walked by again.  I told them they looked happy and that I should get married.

Amelia told me that I don’t need to get married.  And then she said that getting married is easy.  Staying married is hard.  And then she got up and said it was nice talking with you.  What I just wrote about took five minutes.  No more, no less.  That’s how long her break was.  It was my first lunch with Amelia.  I’ve seen her in Bristol Farms for years.  She always gives me samples.  She takes care of me.  But I now know if I ever have a cheese question I’m going to Amelia.  

Also, watch Mulaney this fall on FOX.

 

An Attempt

I have decided to put some words on paper today. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. I haven’t ventured into the foxhole for quite some time. This will be a simple post. Not too complicated. I’m not a fan of labels but I guess some will consider this a blog. They say in order to conquer the Internet you have to post with some sort of consistency. People need to know that on a certain day they can go to your website and read or look at something new. Maybe I will post a blog every Sunday. But then they would have to be interesting enough to make people want to return every Sunday. But then I would need to be entertaining or at the very least educational. People don’t want to waste their time anymore. I think in the past they didn’t mind wasting their time. They may have thought they had much more of it to waste. There was less to do in the past. Now, you can find thousands of things just a click away to waste your time. There are people that spend their whole lives living in virtual worlds on the Internet. Simulating the actual world we live in. I’m a big believer that we should conquer this one before we move into the fake worlds in a computer.

So what will this blog be about? Maybe it’s already about something. It’s a little reminder that we should spend more time outside. Go for a walk. Look up at the clouds today. We spend so much time looking at our phones that we forget there is a whole world around us. We take so many pictures we forget to actually take a look at it through our own eyes. That’s it. That’s the blog for today. It’s my first blog on my new website. I’ve ventured down into the foxhole. It has been a few years. I forgot how much I like it. Clicking the keys. Seeing words connect.   Imagining a stranger reading the words and possibly finding something I’ve said of value. That’s really all anyone of us want. To be heard. And once we are heard, to say something of value. Add some importance to the world. Educate. Entertain. Make someone think. And in the process, make ourselves think. This blog has made me think for a moment. I have stretched my brain. I have completed a task. A simple task. And yet, it has taken years for me to sit for a moment and throw words against paper.

And now I stop. Because I’m suddenly reminded of a past feeling. If I don’t stop writing I could simply go on forever. Clicking the keys. Living in this world of imagination. Just writing forever and forgetting to go outside and live in that world. The trick, combining them. Write some words. Go outside and find more things to write about. I will talk to you later. Thinking that I have to wait till next Sunday to write to you again is not appealing. What if I want to write something sooner? Is that wrong. Is that the wrong way to connect with people? There is no wrong way to connect. If you are attempting to connect, you are making the effort. And that’s what I just did. If you read this, we connected. Have a good day. Now go live it while you can. Kf.