Absurdly Existential Standup

Welcome to our new feature, Interviews With Famous Dead People You Probably Never Heard Of But Would Have If You’d Only Paid Attention In School Instead Of Screwing Around And Becoming A Bitter Disappointment To Your Parents Who Did The Same Exact Thing When They Were Young And Had Fertilizer Between Their Ears.

Today’s guest is dead jibber-jabber philosopher Albert Camus

PMcG: Is it true your last name does not rhyme with famous?

PMcG: In the opening sentences of your novel “The Stranger,” your character, Mersault, says “Mother died today. Or maybe it was yesterday. I can’t be sure.” She didn’t make much of an impression on him did she?

PMcG: Left completely unmentioned in that book is Mersault’s pony. For instance, did he have a pony? Was its name Jimmy? Did his mother ride it to the store? Side saddle? Did she ever race Jimmy against other ponies? Did she have a bookie? Did she smoke? Is that why she’s dead? When did Jimmy die? Did Jimmy smoke? Is Jimmy still alive—because that would be one really old pony, even though it’s just make-believe.

PMcG: You say very little about Mersault’s sister Summersault beyond her biting riposte “You are a very sick poodle, Mersault.”

PMcG: Is it true that you and the famous French mumblebore Jean-Paul Sartre were once friends—until he wrote you a letter that began “Dear Camus, you botulism spewing son of a drain spout.”

PMcG: Did you spew botulism or something that may have just looked to Sartre like botulism? By the way, did Sartre’s name sort of rhyme with Star Trek? Did his friends call him Jackie-Paulie Sartre?

PMcG: I have read that you were an alumnus of the School of Absurdism. Where is that school? Do they give tours? Didn’t they have a basketball team with the cheer

Ism Ism
in your eye


PMcG: You once wrote “The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.” Not to sound absurd or anything, but what is the second truth? By the way, are all truths numbered? If so, where can I order a wallet-sized complete list of truths? (Would make a great stocking stuffer.)

PMcG: What about hair growing on your palms if you were naughty with your body parts? Is that absurd or is it a truth? Should we still carry hand clippers just in case?

PMcG: Speaking of absurdity, your ex-pal Sartre wrote a snore called “Being and Nothingness.” Did the man ever have a thought of less than 400,000 words?

PMcG: Don’t you think “Being and Nothingness” sounds like the title of a sit-com? Like “Big Bang Theory.” Get this: Several dorky philosophers hang around their apartment talking about nihilism, and Pinkleman’s theory of stupidism and the worship of technology versus the worship of absurd sex. They snap off clever lines like “I think my life is of great importance, but I also think it is meaningless without gravy.”

PMcG: So, their girlfriends go back and forth between wanting to kill themselves and rejecting that as anti-breathingism, not to mention boring. They begin to wonder why these dopes are their boyfriends. They start dating sailors and get tattoos, making their boyfriends even more convinced of the dualism that life sucks the big one, unless it doesn’t. Is that what Jackie-Paulie had in mind?

PMcG: Just between you and me, did any of that stuff ever really make sense to you? Or was it like, just a gig and, well, a gig is a gig and you play the cards you’re dealt?

PMcG: In your writing, you espoused a strong belief that happiness is ridiculously improbable and that our main purpose in life is to be hit by a speeding bus. Other than that, did you enjoy your miserable existence?

PMcG: Oh, can you get me a sweatshirt that says “Property, School of Absurdism?” Size Extra Existential. Will I pay you back? Don’t be absurd.

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.

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2 Responses to Absurdly Existential Standup

  1. Tom says:

    Great piece Patrick. Famous Camus has a nice ring too it. I will be sure John Powers reads this as he reads Camus like I read Dilbert . . . regularly.


    • PMcG says:

      Thanks for the note. Big Al has long been a favorite punching bag. I’m sure that wherever he is (or isn’t) he understands.


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