Remembering Carlin humor

Jan. 1, 2020
I miss George Carlin. I really identified with his type of comedy.

I miss George Carlin. I really identified with his type of comedy. Granted, the 'moral' at the end might be a little jaded, but if you change up a few words, almost every bit he used was applicable to everyday life. I'm going to highlight a few of his comedy routines by telling you three stories of my own that mimic my favorite Carlin bits.

People and their stuff
Carlin talked about how people like to accumulate 'stuff.' Well, here's my take on that. Sometime ago, during the week before Christmas, a lady came into our store and requested a set of brake pads. She was very put together — hair done just so, manicured nails, meticulously applied make-up, outrageous amounts of jewelery and perfume and driving a Cadilliac Escalade that was arguably a $65K vehicle. I brought out a name-brand set of brake pads that were in the $60 price range. The woman exclaimed, "Wow, do you have anything in the $25 range?"

As I explained the differences in the $60 brake pads versus the $25, she just rolled here eyes at me and further insisted on the $25 set of pads. During my trip back to the shelves, Ms. Escalade went through the collection of Christmastime knick-knacks we always have each season and selected three Super Flying Monkeys, two wind-up flashlight/radio/cell phone charger combos, some fuzzy dice, an ice scraper with a fur-lined mitt, a dancing hula-girl and an air freshener shaped like
Cinderella's slipper. The total of the transaction: $112.50.

She merrily paid, took her stuff and said, "Merry Christmas to all," as she drove out of sight. In an attempt to accumulate more stuff, she threw safety out the window.

My wife witnessed the whole thing and said I should be glad I got rid of some of that stuff so that we could make room for the New Year's Day stuff, the Valentine's Day stuff, and the St. Patricks Day stuff. As my eyes crossed, I implored that this is an auto parts store, and should be full of car parts, not stuff. I wondered if I should change our signage to include the words 'and Stuff.'

Seven deadly words
Carlin also did a famous bit about seven swear words that early TV and radio censors absolutely would not allow. As most were four-letter words, they are not allowed here either. They are used frequently in most auto parts stores and garages, however. In fact, without these words, the entire automotive aftermarket industry would crumble, or we would develop an entirely new language chock full of disconnected sentences and grunts as a result of the void that would ensue by censoring these words from our vocabulary.

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Ask any mechanic, and they can say these words with such flair and reverence that a small tear will well up in your eye. That's why I think Carlin was secretly a mechanic or an auto parts store counterman because he said them so fluidly. Usually a comedian will have only one choice word of the seven. Chris Rock has one. Richard Pryor made one in particular very famous. Jackie Gleason had two that he made into catch phrases during his stint starring in Smokey and the Bandit.

My father combined five of the seven into an amalgamation of verbiage that he took great pride in uttering everytime he'd skin his knuckles. It was very similiar to something Yosimitie Sam would say, but if us kids listened closely, we could pick out all five of the words. My brother used to whisper them individually in my sisters' ears on long road trips fully knowing that she would tell on him. This was a clever attempt to get my father to uttter the phrased word aloud, as only he could say it. These words aren't deadly or dirty. In our world, some might say they are necessary, or we'd all be on some sort of mood-altering drug.

Cool cat
This was a bit about how cats must be the coolest of animals, seemingly unaffected by the trappings of everyday life. You know, the cat always lands on its feet even if dropped from a rooftop. But when the cat is alone with no one to witness its otherwise avant garde displeasure, the feline exclaimed "*%@!ing meow."

This comedic routine is actually a good example of how countermen and service advisors need to conduct themselves at work. A calm and cool exterior belies the torture we actually go through when dealing with a shop that guessed a vehicle is a 1995 model when it's really a 2005 model and a 20-minute trip back to our warehouse to get the correct parts. How about when a customer drops a car off for service, parks it in front of a garage bay, locks it up, but doesn't leave you a key? It's good to remain calm when a customer comes in trying to warranty a headlamp that they have clearly installed with a 5 lb. ball-pein hammer.

As a manager, it's good to remain centered when your new delivery guy just crashed the delivery truck into the rear of a Jaguar driven by the your local prosecuting attorney whom insisted he was OK, the damage was minimal and convinced your naieve delivery guy that a police report wasn't needed.

Remain cool, because when the time comes, you can use a few or all of the seven deadly words to blow off some steam, and you have insurance, procedures, policies and stuff to overcome almost anything.

I wish George was here.

I miss George Carlin. I really identified with his type of comedy. Granted, the 'moral' at the end might be a little jaded, but if you change up a few words, almost every bit he used was applicable to everyday life. I'm going to highlight a few of his comedy routines by telling you three stories of my own that mimic my favorite Carlin bits.

People and their stuff
Carlin talked about how people like to accumulate 'stuff.' Well, here's my take on that. Sometime ago, during the week before Christmas, a lady came into our store and requested a set of brake pads. She was very put together — hair done just so, manicured nails, meticulously applied make-up, outrageous amounts of jewelery and perfume and driving a Cadilliac Escalade that was arguably a $65K vehicle. I brought out a name-brand set of brake pads that were in the $60 price range. The woman exclaimed, "Wow, do you have anything in the $25 range?"

As I explained the differences in the $60 brake pads versus the $25, she just rolled here eyes at me and further insisted on the $25 set of pads. During my trip back to the shelves, Ms. Escalade went through the collection of Christmastime knick-knacks we always have each season and selected three Super Flying Monkeys, two wind-up flashlight/radio/cell phone charger combos, some fuzzy dice, an ice scraper with a fur-lined mitt, a dancing hula-girl and an air freshener shaped like
Cinderella's slipper. The total of the transaction: $112.50.

She merrily paid, took her stuff and said, "Merry Christmas to all," as she drove out of sight. In an attempt to accumulate more stuff, she threw safety out the window.

My wife witnessed the whole thing and said I should be glad I got rid of some of that stuff so that we could make room for the New Year's Day stuff, the Valentine's Day stuff, and the St. Patricks Day stuff. As my eyes crossed, I implored that this is an auto parts store, and should be full of car parts, not stuff. I wondered if I should change our signage to include the words 'and Stuff.'

Seven deadly words
Carlin also did a famous bit about seven swear words that early TV and radio censors absolutely would not allow. As most were four-letter words, they are not allowed here either. They are used frequently in most auto parts stores and garages, however. In fact, without these words, the entire automotive aftermarket industry would crumble, or we would develop an entirely new language chock full of disconnected sentences and grunts as a result of the void that would ensue by censoring these words from our vocabulary.

PAGE 2

Ask any mechanic, and they can say these words with such flair and reverence that a small tear will well up in your eye. That's why I think Carlin was secretly a mechanic or an auto parts store counterman because he said them so fluidly. Usually a comedian will have only one choice word of the seven. Chris Rock has one. Richard Pryor made one in particular very famous. Jackie Gleason had two that he made into catch phrases during his stint starring in Smokey and the Bandit.

My father combined five of the seven into an amalgamation of verbiage that he took great pride in uttering everytime he'd skin his knuckles. It was very similiar to something Yosimitie Sam would say, but if us kids listened closely, we could pick out all five of the words. My brother used to whisper them individually in my sisters' ears on long road trips fully knowing that she would tell on him. This was a clever attempt to get my father to uttter the phrased word aloud, as only he could say it. These words aren't deadly or dirty. In our world, some might say they are necessary, or we'd all be on some sort of mood-altering drug.

Cool cat
This was a bit about how cats must be the coolest of animals, seemingly unaffected by the trappings of everyday life. You know, the cat always lands on its feet even if dropped from a rooftop. But when the cat is alone with no one to witness its otherwise avant garde displeasure, the feline exclaimed "*%@!ing meow."

This comedic routine is actually a good example of how countermen and service advisors need to conduct themselves at work. A calm and cool exterior belies the torture we actually go through when dealing with a shop that guessed a vehicle is a 1995 model when it's really a 2005 model and a 20-minute trip back to our warehouse to get the correct parts. How about when a customer drops a car off for service, parks it in front of a garage bay, locks it up, but doesn't leave you a key? It's good to remain calm when a customer comes in trying to warranty a headlamp that they have clearly installed with a 5 lb. ball-pein hammer.

As a manager, it's good to remain centered when your new delivery guy just crashed the delivery truck into the rear of a Jaguar driven by the your local prosecuting attorney whom insisted he was OK, the damage was minimal and convinced your naieve delivery guy that a police report wasn't needed.

Remain cool, because when the time comes, you can use a few or all of the seven deadly words to blow off some steam, and you have insurance, procedures, policies and stuff to overcome almost anything.

I wish George was here.