16.

Weekly Listing: Tell Me A Story

Imagine walking into a job interview, and telling your hopeful employer that you like to talk a lot. Most the time that doesn’t really sit well with people, so I’ve started to tell people I’m a storyteller. Essentially what that means is that I am like a stand up comedian who isn’t really funny but is going to tell you all about the time that I went on a date with a girl but instead of kissing her goodbye, I gave her a high five (true story).

But as much as I love to talk, I love to hear about other people’s experiences. Because two situations can be so similar, but the way we experience it changes the whole story.

Like the time the girl at the sushi place gave me her number, but I politely declined because I wasn’t interested.

My dad could have a similar story of his time back home (where everyone was his neighbour or his brother. I feel like that’s the typical immigrant archetype before they immigrant. Neighbours, brothers, and some sort of convenience store that mirrored the modern day banana stand) where the girl at the roti stop gave my dad her number, but he politely declined because of his fear of arranged marriages.

Two similar situations, two different experiences.

But then there are those people who are bad story tellers. You know, that guy at the party who tells a story about the time he went skiing and hits the climax thirty seconds in when he mentions the fact that he hit a tree and an old man drinking Old E saved him but he continues you tell you the story about the old man’s past but you get so bored half way through you have to pee. A bad story is a lot like that last sentence. It runs on and ends in you peeing to get away.

But when you find someone who tells a good story, you know its going to be good. These are people who I can sit down and listen to all day long and just keep asking them to tell me more until a black person wins an Oscar for best lead (Michael B. Jordan please do it. I believe in you Black Rocky. We all believe in you).

Hasan Minhaj
FAVE STORY: Prom

I’m bias. I love listening to brown people talk about their parents because I relate on so many levels. It’s almost like every brown person with immigrant parents have the same struggle and tell the same stories and have the same confused when someone mentions that Leo won an Oscar because they know understand how Leo can win a little man.  But this guy is one of the people I look up to. The way he tells the story of being your average brown kid dealing with adversity hit home hard but the fact that he was able to find solace in the story just made it even better.

Mike Birbiglia
FAVE STORY: I Can’t Stop

Have you ever jumped out of a window because your dreams were telling you that you were at war at a La Quinte Inn in Walla Walla, Washington? That is Birbiglia’s life. That along with having a movie produced by the man whose might secretly be my dad, Ira Glass; this guy has a good time. He talks about his wild childhood like it was a walk in the park instead of the oddities around it like meeting his girlfriend’s boyfriend for the first time. After your first time listening to this guy you are going to reconsider your sleeping habits, and a career in stand-up comedy while temping at a fashion magazine because what a time to be alive. 

BJ Novak
FAVE STORY: All You Have To Do

You might remember him as that asshole form punk’d whose name wasn’t Ashton, or that awkward white guy from the Office who seemed to be oddly good at basketball and pretty fly for a white guy. This guy’s dark sense of humour will make your heart swell and check missed connections on CraigsList until you find the love of your life but just never get her name. Do you know that episode of the Simpsons where Lisa falls in love with her substitute teacher and he gives her a note that reads “You Are Lisa Simpsons”? Yeah, that guy is BJ Novak for me. I hope he reads this one day and just tweets at me saying “You Are A Brown Blogger” just to validate my existence.

Sarah Koenig
FAVE STORY: Serial (Season One)

“Hi, I’m Sarah Koenig and I’m about to cold call the Taliban.” She’s an OG. A real OG. Like she doesn’t need a glock in her rari she literally cold calls the fucking Taliban. That’s hype. And if that doesn’t make her great, I’m pretty sure my dad aka Ira Glass produces her life. That’s hype. 

John Mulaney
FAVE STORY: Blacking Out and Making Money

Nickel shot night isn’t real and I’m heart broken but the fact that John Mulaney can talk about being an awkward, small, kind of feminine male was nice. I relate. I relate because I also don’t understand how highways work in Texas. I relate because I also really like Law and Order SVU more than I should and Ice T is the only reason I can watch that show for days on end (or that one episode where the guy who plays Holt in Brooklyn 99 and Mike Tyson were in and had dreams of a B99 x Mystery Team crossover with Nick Amaro being the guy calling them in to deal with an SVU case and it just fades to black and Produced by Dick Wolf slowly rolls on to your screen). He gets it. He’ll make you laugh at him, and then a second realise you do that shit too and you’re going to laugh at yourself before drowning away at the Salt and Pepper Diner listening to What’s New Pussycat.

Honorable Mention: Ira Glass (did you see that coming?)