Monday, August 11, 2008

Essay: I Am (Will Be) Legend

My friend, Ryan Waning and I have made a deal to try our hand at writing some humorous essays and see what comes of it. Being stand-up comics and english majors both, we thought we were pretty capable. Now we shall see! Here is my first in what I hope are bunches:

I Am (Will Be) Legend

People always (never) ask me, “Ray, what is your plan to become Legendary?”
I always (never) reply, “The Plan.” This usually confuses people as my response is really just a restatement of the initial question. The reason I keep the answer vague is two-fold (three-fold);

1. It’s complicated.
2. I don’t want them to steal The Plan.
3. People rarely have the innovation and imagination and… -ation to recognize the amazing genius behind The Plan. (The genius is me.)

The Plan is quite simple and 100% (0%) fool-proof. The key to becoming Legendary is this;
Become famous, grow a beard and die.
You’re amazed.

This process has worked through out history in creating legendary people and it is time to take it, use it, make it mine. That’s right, everyone (My Mom) is going to realize they were wrong when they said Ray Harrington will never be anything. No longer will they say, “That’s Ray. He’s not legendary.” They’ll say, “That’s Ray. He’s a Legend.”

You may be asking yourself (You’re not), who has benefited from this Plan in the past? Well, let me answer your question with another question; Have you ever met a Legend? You haven’t. Because they’re all dead. Allow me to enlighten you (Make a list).

Abraham Lincoln

Jim Morrison

Jesus Christ

What do they have in common? Aside from being the obvious (Awesome beards), they’re all dead and Legendary. You can’t argue with greatness and that is what these men were. Great. Ness. After extensive research (45 seconds on Google), I have discovered that nearly all (Eighteen) Legendary men have beards… and are dead. Now the only question left to answer is, “How Legendary do I want to be?”

I could go full on Legend like Jesus, but I lack a lot of the key elements of his Legendary-osity (I am real). It seems most God-types, while mainly being arrogant, also follow the Beard-Dead Rule. Moses is another Judeo-Christian Legend but let us not forget Zeus and Poseidon. Two stunning beards and also dead, literarily speaking. No I think I will refrain from the supernatural and focus on more Earthly Legends. The mystical has always been lost on me, though Confucius had a pretty rocking beard. And he’s dead.

Perhaps a more artistic approach is needed for my goal (Destiny) to be achieved. John Lennon and Jerry Garcia, both bearded and dead, seem likely candidates, however I would need to learn an instrument to play and be able to write lyrics and what-not. And while being worthy of the title of Legend, I am not musically inclined (Love ABBA). Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway are both Beard Legends but again, I don’t want to have to develop similar traits (Like talent, skill or alcoholism).

It seems that historical political Legends could be the way to go as they really don’t have to do anything particular other than speak eloquently (I speak SO good). However, upon further research (Another 30 seconds on Google), I find I lack the necessary mindset and achievements necessary to qualify as a political Legend. I don’t have anything in common with Abe Lincoln (I didn’t free black people), Robert E. Lee (I don’t hate black people), Frederick Douglass (I’m not black), or W.E.B Du Bois (I don’t know who that is).

I suppose a more sinister Legend can be achieved by becoming ominous, but to be honest, I just don’t have the dedication. It takes a lot of time to cultivate the proper level of “sinister” that say, Rasputin had (Not to mention his quite impressive beard). And the more academic ominous-ness-osity of say, Nietzsche requires more writing than I wish to do and I don’t incline to do any. Besides, he really didn’t have a beard, just a HUGE mustache. I also ruled out Osama Bin Laden for obvious reasons (His beard is rather unkempt).

No, the route I must take will be that of the consummate entertainer. Even Shakespeare is a Beard Legend, although I will not be following his example (Again, no writing, and I’m not Gay). The list is short in this field and I have it narrowed down to two Legends:


“Uncle Jesse” From Dukes of Hazzard

You might be saying (You’re not), It’s obvious! Go with Santa! But folks, its not that simple. Sure, Santa is much more Legendary than Uncle Jesse, but he also has a bitch of a time during the Holidays (And Jewish people think he’s a cunt). After some difficult debating (Thought about it for a few minutes while I was in the bathroom [I was pooping {not that its any of your business}]), I have decided that the only recourse in this endeavor is to embrace the Bearded Legend that is Uncle Jesse.

He fits all the requirements of Legend;

Beard – Check

Famous – Check

Dead – Sadly, Check

So it is to be, I will take up the mantle of Legend in following Uncle Jesse’s guiding light. Upside? Sweet car. Downside? Johnny Knoxville and Jessica Simpson. And Sean William Scott. And the fact that its Dukes of Hazzard. But to focus on the negative is to invite defeat (Defeat is not invited). I will embrace the call to Legend and will delight in the day when everyone (Mom) says, “I knew him when” (Because I will never talk to her or any one I know after I am a Legend). Will it be a hard road? Yes (Not really). Will I persevere? Yes (No). Will I take full advantage of my status with the ladies? Yes (Yes).

After reading this, you may scoff or jibe or mock or deride or gibe or jeer (All taken from a thesaurus) at The Plan, but ponder this query (I didn’t look that up, I just knew it because I’m smart):

Is it better to be nothing in life (No), or to be Uncle Jesse from Dukes of Hazzard, Legend (Yes)?


Anonymous said...

I like this even more the second time around. I often wonder what you would look like with a beard. Nevertheless, a legendary beard....

Jesse Hearts said...

This is great! I am a bearded man, maybe I could become legendary. Maybe one of those dead bearded artists?