One of my lifelong pursuits -- I have about eight or nine of them -- is to make the Late Show With David Letterman weekly online top ten contest.
Here's how it works: Each week, they post a new category. Anyone is free to enter. Their "judges" then choose the ten "best" submissions to make the online top ten list. Winners get a free Late Show t-shirt and have their joke published on the website.
For the past two or three years, I have been trying to win this top ten contest. Oh sure, not every week. That type of dedication and persistence would be so unlike me. I probably enter about once every month. OK, every two months. That's not the point, though it probably should be.
In this time, my entries have run the gamut of the comedy hierarchy. Yet they have all had one thing in common: they have all not been selected.
I will admit there have been a couple that seemed side-splittingly hilarious to me at the time, but now -- eh, not so much. For example: "Top Ten Things Dumb Guys Think WikiLeaks Is." Bone's entry: "Another one of them Palin kids."
But there have also been entries whose failure to make the list continue to befuddle me even to this very day, and will until the day I die. To wit: "Top Ten Little Known Facts About Santa Claus." My response: "Doesn't believe in HIMSELF."
Come on! That's gold, Jerry! GOLD!
I was so sure that one would make it that I'd already started shopping for plaid shorts to match the soon-to-be-mine Late Show t-shirt. Are you telling me there were ten better entries than that? "Thinks it's funny to answer misdirected fan mail for Carlos Santana?" Please. That's a horrific insult to comedy itself. I'm beginning to wonder if David Letterman is reading my entries at all.
My latest failed foray into cyber comedy was last week in the category "Signs Your Neighbor Has March Madness." My entry: "Named his kids Bracket and Gumbel." Decent, I thought, only to wake up Saturday morning and find myself disappointed yet again.
All I want is for my first name, last initial, and hometown to appear on the Late Show website beside my joke, my (as I'm sure you will agree by now, well-deserved) Late Show t-shirt, and for Letterman himself to write me a letter saying something to the effect of "you really should have pursued a career in comedy, and it's the world's loss that you didn't." His words, not mine.
Until then, the pursuit continues. Intermittently, of course.
Don't want to get burned out.
"You got your spell on me, baby, turnin' my heart into stone. I need you so bad,
magic woman, I can't leave you alone..."