Bad-Joke Barry

By far the dumbest thing I ever did was laugh at one of Barry’s jokes. That was three months ago and now he tracks me like a lion tracks a gazelle, waiting until I’m distracted and then devouring me while my heart’s still beating.

“Steve-O!” he’ll say. “What did Donald Trump say to his wife after a chicken dinner?” Whatever the punchline, it sucks; yet no matter how badly it sucks, I laugh. Why? Because I’m a fool.

It was fine until Rob was hired. Rob—the coolest guy I’ve ever known, so preternaturally cool that his awesomeness shines like an aura. Somehow, he’d anointed me as “cool” too. I felt like my years of wearing Old Navy denim and drinking cheap beer would soon be behind me.

Then it happened. Rob and I were in the break room talking about the new National CD one day when Barry snuck up and belted out his typical “Steve-O!” and then laid it on me: “What’s the difference between Kelly Ripa and a platypus?”

I looked at Rob with fear in my eyes. I looked at Barry, desperate for a reprieve…

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