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Posts published in “Day: February 17, 2010

Andy Richter has written one of the saddest jokes I’ve ever read.

And here it is.

A salesman is sitting in the reception area of a big corporation, waiting to give a presentation to some of the people there. He is kept waiting almost 40 minutes beyond the time of his appointment, and then he’s finally ushered into a conference room. He goes in, and sitting around a big table are two Jews, an African-American woman, and a gay guy of Chinese descent. The salesman goes into his pitch, for software or a phone system or something, and it’s pretty evident a couple minutes into it that these four people couldn’t care less, especially the younger Jew, who keeps checking his BlackBerry. But he plows through the presentation anyway, and when he finishes, everybody shakes his hand and thanks him. He goes out to his car and starts to drive home. On the road, his cell phone rings and he answers it. It’s his wife, and she asks him to pick up a couple of groceries on his way home. He says OK. She says, are you OK? And he says, yeah, I’m fine. She says OK. He hangs up, and this commercial for anti-itch powder comes on the radio, and it’s got all these country-sounding old people giving testimonials about how this powder completely improved the quality of their lives. And the salesman starts crying. Big choked sobs. He shades his eyes with his left hand so that the other drivers can’t see that he’s crying and says, “And I don’t even fucking care about this shit!”

Seriously, this really gets me for some reason. It comes from “Jokes” by Andy Richter on McSweeney’s. Check out the rest of them. His other 4 jokes in the article are similarly awkward and deliberately not jokey, but this salesman one is just miserable and makes me sad, not because it’s badly written, but because I feel for the pathetic salesman. Just horrible.

Funny how such a small bit of text can be so affective.

Thanks, Andy Richter. Real cool.