Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Demetri Martin is a Criminal Genius; OR 'How Palindromes Ruined My Day'



Demetri Martin, for the uninitiated, is a standup comedian who features a wide array of props in his sets. He points out simple figures of speech that can be made hilarious with one small change, one misplaced vowel or by simply adding 'ladies' to the end of any sentence. Go ahead and try that last one out, I'll wait. See? Didn't adding that last little bit just make whatever you were saying infinitely creepier? No? Did you say 'ladies' like you were Mel 'The Velvet Fog' Torme? Go ahead, try it again...

'Mmmm, noodle soup... ladi-i-ies.'

But I digress --Demetri is a brilliant guy who has no problems shooting from the hip with surgical precision, lacing the air around a metaphor or homonym with verbal buckshot. I, on the other hand, get thrown out of places when shooting from the hip for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I take things too literally and firearms make people nervous.

"Shoot Me a Letter" - You're doing it wrong...

Despite my verbal handicaps and an inability to see beyond the most ham-handed of metaphors, at times I still fancy myself something of a wordsmith --not unlike Taco Bell fancies themselves a center for epicurean fantasy, I imagine. That there is what we in the industry call 'self deprecation'; I looked it up.
Now recently I have begun to have a tad more energy. This could be for a number of reasons, but the most likely culprit is the bionic looking C-PAP machine that now adorns my bedstand. For the uninitiated, C-PAP stands for... something about breathing and forcing air into my lungs. Wait, hold on --Continuous Positive Airway Pressure--that's it! Anyways, the crux of the situation is that I have, according to my Cardio-pulminologist Dr. O'Connor, 'severe obstructive Sleep Apnea'. Short version: I stop breathing a lot when I sleep. A lot, a lot. They've done studies --with doctors and scientists and everything-- and my level of Apnea registers an 892 on the 'Reggie White Chance of Dying in Your Sleep Scale of Abstract Numbers'.



"What, too soon?"
The long and the short of it is that of 330 minutes of measured sleep I stopped breathing over 450 times for an average of 20.5 seconds. Do the math on that --I'll wait. Did your TI-83 catch on fire? Mine crunched numbers for 30 seconds and then spit out an x/y axis graph that looked like an '82 Cutlass --I may have done something wrong, but the end result is the same: my apnea does not make for good math. Nor, apparently, does it make for restful sleep. Back to Dr. O'Connor, who's deadpan delivery borders on British, and the results of my sleep test: I spend 2/3 of my total 'sleep' volume in stage II sleep and never truly reach stage IV slow-wave/REM sleep. This means that I don't dream, I don't heal properly, and, most importantly, my brain never rests. Apparently my body hasn't gotten the amount of sleep that a normal person needs since the Carter administration.


"Though I am sad that I apparently sleep-walked through the era of this gem..."


But no more!! Now I have my trusty C-PAP machine propping my airways open with humidified air at the small price of looking like some half-naked fireman while I sleep --the footie pajamas only increase the 'Road Warrior meets Children of the Corn aspect of it'. With my ability to finally get to stage IV sleep came two things:
1) I now not only dream, I dream about really weird shit. Apparently my brain is cramming together all of the dreams that I was supposed to be having with all of my new dreams into some decade-spanning VH1 mashup of nonsense imagery. With clowns. It's f#$%*d up.
2) I have a ridiculous amount of clarity and energy now, which brings us back to my original point: Demtri Martin and his comedic ability. Was that segue jarring enough? I think I lost a tooth from the side-impact.

This morning I was putting my new found energy and rested brain to one of its most efficient uses: multi-tasking with extreme prejudice. Or, to at least not feeling bad about the primary action items that I was shoving to the side of my brain while Wiki-scaping and attacking someones vampire on facebook. Either way, I was getting more useless/time-wasting/ebay purchasing/porn-scaping stuff done. So while I was staring at the ceiling wondering what the f#%& I was doing with my morning answering email this morning I decided to cruise my favorite link-dump, reddit.com. It was whilst traipsing through reddit that my morning was brought to a screeching halt, my lunch break was accordioned by an 18-wheeler and much of my afternoon was carried off on an overly-used and poorly thought out metaphor all thanks to Demetri Martin.

"I write sentences good --and think them good too!"


What I found blew my ever-loving mind: it was a poem entitled "Dammit I'm Mad" is 224 words long and reads the same backwards as it does forwards; an insanely long palindrome, if you will. Ridiculously long in fact... la-a-a-dies.

Wow, that really does sound creepy

In dissecting one man's genius with my own dull-witted and imprecise brain pan I began to feel akin to an old buggy driver whipping a braying mule while getting dust shot in my face by a horde of passing Ferraris... Ferrari... Porsches. Or, because I'm lazy you're retarded and need visual cues, something like this:

Hint: I'm the one in the foreground --not the full-sized one--in this visual-metaphor.



In any case I was not about to take this challenging of my manhood --for it was a challenge-- laying down. Nay, I would construct my own Palindrome Poem that would shake the very foundations of literature, linguistics and, yes, facebook. "This would be easy", I thought. "I know what palindromes are and I know what letters are; I'll just sit here and construct one long stream-of-consciousness War and Peace-length palindrome out of known palindromes and other letters." Child's play, yes?

4 hours later -- "Poop, Radar!; Poop!" is all that I had... Things were not looking up.


"Um, Hawkeye? Can you not shout that at me?"

Well, this was going to be harder than I thought. As I began to shake my C-PAP machine like a magic 8-ball, screaming increasingly hostile questions at it, an idea came to me:

"Why not unleash the power of the internets, the all-knowing horde-of-hordes hive-mind, on my problem?" I screamed into the intake nozzle of my inanimate, unknowing breathing device.

So here's what I came up with:

Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas

(A Palindrome's Odyssey)

Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas.

Nipson Anomimata Mi Monan Opsin.

Ma, I so resign. It's all a poet air. Ben is, I see, so Greek, (in?).

Was I a gateman? Eh? Spit a diaper. Mood's mode; Pallas, I won!

Diaper pane, sold entire - melt til ever!

Revel, little merit Ned? Lose, nap: repaid.

Now is all Apedom's doom -Repaid a tip, she; Name tag, a, I saw.

Nike ergo sees! Is inebriate opal lasting? Is Eros? I am!

Nipson Anomimata Mi Monan Opsin.

Satan oscillate my metallic sonatas.

Ah, the sweet smell of success. Suck on that, Yalie! Wait, isn't this a Nickleback song? F&*$! DAMN YOU DEMITRI!!!!






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