#811: A Metal Helmet + Naked ≠ Funny. Who Knew?

  1. Today is the last day for my most fabulous guest bloggers. You must go send them internet love through the links above this entry before they're taken down tomorrow.

  2. I keep salt at my desk. It is not the glorious vegetarian and kosher Bacon Salt, but I muddle through.

Now that the important stuff is out of the way, I have a confession to make: my sense of humour does not always jive with other people's senses of humour. It also does not always swing dance or jitterbug. On occasion, it has even had its own personal, arhythmic drummer. In fact, sometimes my sense of humour has simply trod all over another person's dance number and left it for dead. Thankfully, my thirties have put me in a far more mature place that has me less likely to commit personally shameful acts of the funny. I think that is why I still have friends and a cubicle to call my own.

Do you think I am joking? I was the kid who thought it was funny to cut earthworms in half and swallow their wiggly ends whole like squirmy pills to the utter disgust of my Barbie-loving neighbours. The first time I did it, I laughed so hard that I fell over on the lawn and skinned my knee. The Barbie-loving neighbours went home with their freckled noses in the air and dorky little sun hats atop their sensitive heads.

My last major error in humour judgement occurred while I was dating my first post-Starcat boyfriend. Due to the fact that one of my new seven roommates had turned out to be a roofie-carrying date rapist, which is a whole other story unto itself, I ended up primarily staying at my boyfriend's place with his brother. It seemed to work out quite well. He dealt with the fact that I was a freak of nature who occasionally shot him with bolts of electricity while we slept (which is also a whole other story unto itself), and I dealt with the fact that he insisted on making me listen to the Thursday night small town radio polka hour with him, because nothing says party like hearing Stan Wolowic & The Polka Chips play "The Too Fat Polka".

As I was there so often, I came to think of the place as my second home. I slept, showered, and ate there, and I had my own set of keys. When I was sick with the flu, I spent three days on his living room floor alternating between ska music, daytime soaps, and vomit stops in the bathroom. As a result of this homey feeling, I thought nothing of hanging around the apartment naked for most of the few days that his brother was away on a trip.

One afternoon, while skipping university classes and wondering what I could do with all of my no money, I hung around naked and started playing with things around the apartment. My boyfriend's brother had this thing about being a spy and did some undercover work on the side, so he often had interesting gadgets lying around. The brother and I had spent one evening taking turns dodging around the apartment with sensors stuck inside our shirts that could only be seen with a special camera, and I was hoping that there was something like that I could fool around with.

I picked through the kitchen drawers and ran my fingers along the bookshelves, but nothing really jumped out as being any fun until I glanced up. The brother had a collection of old military helmets that he kept lined up on top of the bookshelves. Touching them was generally verboten, but, hell, he was not even in town, and what could it hurt? Besides, they were made of bloody heavy metal. It was not like I could break them.

I got up on a chair and lugged a Pickelhaube helmet down from its dusty display spot. It was about eighty years old, so the interior leather pieces that held it to a person's head looked well worn and kind of disgusting, but I was having a bad hair day and tossed the thing onto my head anyway. I went into the bathroom to have a look at myself.

There I stood in the mirror, completely naked but for my glasses and a Pickelhaube helmet. I looked awesome. I worked up a little soft shoe and jazz hands routine. I took a bath. I made rice and beans. If you know how heavy a Pickelhaube helmet is, then you are now fairly impressed with the strength of my neck to hold my head and that helmet up through all of that activity.

After cooking up some lunch, I sat down to watch television and lost track of the time. It just did not occur to me to either put on any clothes or to remove the helmet, so at around 5:30 p.m., when the boyfriend cracked the door to the apartment open, I was still so stupendously outfitted. I thought this was the most hilarious thing ever. I leapt up from the sofa and started in on my soft shoe/jazz hands routine that I had developed earlier so that I was already going great guns when he entered the living room. I shuffled around in a circle and wiggled my bum beneath that helmet's mighty spike. I shimmied my shoulders at him.

To polish off the number, I sang out an airy cha-cha-cha!, gave my jazz hands an extra shake, and wore the widest of grins. He did not mirror my enthusiasm. Instead, he stood completely still. His face went blank, and then it went very white.

What are you doing? he asked.

I'm doing a naked dance in a Pickelhaube helmet. Can't you tell? I threw out a few extra side kicks. I laughed.

Are you trying to be sexy?

No, I said. I'm being hilarious. See? This is funny. I pointed at the helmet's spike and then at my butt and jiggled around enough that the helmet jostled back and forth on my head.

That's not funny, he said.

It's not? I asked from underneath the helmet where it had fallen forward to rest on the bridge of my nose.

No, he said, it's not. Take it off.

Never had the words "take it off" been less sexy. I took off the helmet, went to the bedroom, and threw some clothes on.

Later, when I was replacing the helmet in its original spot, taking care to line up its edges with the dust marks beneath it, the silence in the room broke me. My boyfriend had not spoken a word to me since the incident, and I was sick of pussyfooting around what had happened.

Why aren't you talking to me? I asked.

Because I can't stop picturing you naked in that military helmet. It's wrong.

It's not wrong. It was funny, I insisted.

No. It wasn't. I don't think I can have sex with you now, he said while staring at the television.

Big loss. You were just making me so hot, I thought.

That's ridiculous, I said.

Then I'm ridiculous, he said.

Not surprisingly, our relationship did not weather the test of time, but it did teach me two very important life lessons: anyone who cannot appreciate the humour of my naked self jiggling while wearing a ridiculous Pickelhaube helmet is not fit for a life with me, and also, it is in my best interest to choose my audience wisely if I must jiggle my naked self while wearing a Pickelhaube helmet.

If only I had known that when I was a kid swallowing worms in the yard. I would have picked that kid with the perpetually dirty face down the street who laughed at fart jokes to be my target market.

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