Through out various times in my life, tact was not be in the list of words that one would use to describe me. I’ve always dreamed of doing stand up comedy and I’m constantly cultivating routines in my head. The only problem is, I don’t think I’m that funny. Others may disagree.
Take this morning for example. I walked in to my pharmacy, waited in the infuriating line that is always composed of about 28 people. 16 of them want to know where a specific vitamin is, 8 have secretive questions about sexual enhancement, 3 are trying to drop off prescriptions at the pickup counter and me, actually trying to just get my medications. I waited patiently and happily for my turn and stepped up to the counter. As I did, an epic one-liner popped into my mind fresh from the nefarious regions of my brain.
“I need to pick up my Heath Ledger practice kit, please”, I said to Kayjan. He is a wonderful little Lebanese man that I was sure wouldn’t appreciate the off taste request.
He asked for my name, date of birth, etc. and grabbed my bag of ready to be picked up medications. Out comes the paperwork and he scans in Schedule 2 Narcotic opioid number one. Then the second. Moving right along, he moved to the third, still looking a tad befuddled. Finally, he scans in the last prescription, a Schedule 2 Narcotic benzodiazapene (it was Klonipin, OK?) and the joke hits him.
Kayjan has a very distinctive laugh, as well as a very reserved one. I’ve never heard more than a chuckle. As he pieced together that I was picking up a cocktail very similar to the one that contributed to the accidental overdose of a beloved actor who died very tragically, he leaned in to a full on belly laugh.
And then he called another girl over and asked me to repeat the joke.
Within a couple minutes, the whole pharmacy staff was laughing, much to my delight (again, I’d love to be involved in comedy if being humorous wasn’t a requirement). It was all smiles and runny noses until the gentleman behind me, freshly separated from the tender embrace of the tree he had been hugging, told me I was a dick.
To his credit, I can be. I really doubt the deceased hold any grudges towards the living poking fun at them. I loved, do love, will love Heath. His loss was deeply felt and not just because of how great he was as The Joker. He was a classy guy in Hollywood, something that is also in short demand.
Today, he was also the fuel of the most important thing any comedian (which I’m not) will tell you is the greatest element of a well delivered joke. Timing. So for that, and so very much else, Heath, I salute you and you’re memory is just a little bit brighter today in the minds of a half dozen people in an upscale pharmacy in Salt Lake City.
Thank you for your service.