THE MOST FUCKED UP THING I’VE EVER SEEN: Jon Glaser

So very: in which the
comedian and Adult Swim (“
Delocated”)
star ponders pricking babies and campers.

 

BY JON GLASER

 

When I was asked to write this, nothing immediately popped
to mind. My first thought was to be thankful that a lot of seriously fucked up
things weren’t flooding my memory bank. My second thought was slight envy that
I hadn’t experienced at least a few more profoundly fucked up – and thus,
probably cool – events that would stand out. But as they say, you can’t choose
your parents, you can’t choose your children, and you can’t choose the fucked
up things that happen to you.

 

Any-hoozies, I took a look at some of the fucked up things
that have been written about in this magazine. I read stories that involved
death, blood, fire, guts, or a combo of those things. I thought of going the
other way with it and writing about the birth of my son. Not the obvious bloody
part where my bloody son came out of my wife’s bloody vagina. I’m talking about
the part where he had to have his heel pricked a few times to draw blood to put
on a piece of paper that went to the New York Department of Health. The part
where the nurse took his one day old foot and his one day old shin in her hand,
pricked his heel, and squeezed the foot and shin together. As in, the foot was
pulled back towards the leg so the toes
were touching the shin
(or pretty close, I can’t remember exactly since I
was in shock). Try doing that right now. You can’t. I understand babies are
very flexible, but it was a horrible thing to witness. It was also horrible to
stand helpless as my son screamed and cried. I watched in horror as the nurse
did this several times. It was like she was trying to break him. I tried to
control my tears (I’m trying to control them right now just writing this and
thinking about it) and trust that this was something nurses did every day with
every baby. It was next to impossible to stay composed. I had to call our
midwife for reassurance. Finally, the nurse finished. My son stopped crying as
soon she stopped squeezing. It was one of the most fucked up things I’ve ever
seen. But it’s not what I’m going to write about today.

 

I’m going to write about something I saw when I was a camp
counselor for 9 year old boys. I was a junior counselor, actually. Which meant
that I wasn’t in charge of my own group of kids. I would rotate from bunk to
bunk, taking over when a counselor either had a day or hour off. Before I
proceed, I need to explain a TV commercial that was airing at the time. It was
for a lotion called Keri. The commercial had a husky male voice-over say “Keri,
is so very…” It would then cut to a woman gardening. She’d finish his sentence,
“…concentrated”, and then say a few more nice things about Keri. Then it would
cut back to the man’s voice, “Keri, is so very…”, and then cut to another
woman, this one in her photography studio, and she’d have another word to
describe Keri, and have other nice things to say about it. Several women in all
would describe how very (insert description) Keri was during each ad. But the
best part was the guy saying “Keri, is so very…”

 

Back to the story. There was one kid, Evan, in one of the
bunks, who was really mean and really funny. There was another kid, Cary, who
would be otherwise unmemorable except for the fact that he happened to have a
name that coincided with the airing of a TV commercial for a woman’s lotion
that sounded exactly like his name even thought it was spelled differently.
Evan, being the 9 year old hilarious asshole he was born to be, would
constantly ask Cary if he was so very. I would have to pretend to be mad when I
asked Evan to stop saying that. But to this day, it is one of the funniest things
I have ever heard.

 

God or karma or whoever didn’t find it so funny, because
that summer, Evan was stung in the face by a bee. Which brings us to the most
fucked up thing I’ve ever seen. Skin pink and puffy, cheeks, chin, forehead,
all bloated, Evan’s entire face swelled up like a balloon. You could barely see
his eyes they were so swollen over. It was completely grotesque and utterly
fascinating. He looked like a freak. It was hard to look at, yet impossible to
look away. This was in the days before the internet and millions of images at
your finger tips. I had never seen anything like it. In short, it was so very.

 

 

Comedian Jon Glaser’s
hit Adult Swim show
Delocated returns
for a second season on August 22. Also check out reruns of his other A/S show,
Stroker
and Hoop
, airing now.

 

 

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