INT: A COMEDY CLUB
Jack, a man in his late twenties, is standing at a microphone, performing stand-up comedy.
Hello hello hello, Auburn! My name is Jack Aston-Vanderzanden. Most people find that name difficult to pronounce, so they just shorten it to "Jackass." Joke's on them, though, that is actually my full first name. What can I say? Labor was difficult on my mother.
And, hey! Not every "Jack" is a shortening of the name "John." Jack's not even shorter than John. It's not easier to say. It's not like everyone is going up to these guys and saying, "Jaahan? Yon? Joan? You know what, man, your name's too difficult to pronounce, just pick a card, any card from this deck and-voila-that's your new name!" Could've been worse. I could've walked up here calling myself Clubs Aston-Vanderzanden, which is my DJ name.
(Confused response from audience.)
That was a weird joke, heh, sorry about that. So, um, right. Anyway, I'm pretty excited to be here in Nebraska, because this will definitely be the last place to go underwater when global warming finally hits the fan. I feel safe.
Right. Global warming jokes in the Midwest, not my brightest idea. It's okay, though, because you know, liberal or conservative or whatever you are, we all have the same initial response to global warming. I don't care if intellectually you're like, "Oh no! We have to change our evil ways!" or if you're like "It's just the earth going through another Ice Age only the opposite, I dunno, I never really watched the movie because Ray Romano can't be any more bearable as a woolly mammoth." I don't care which camp you're in. When you first read that the world might drown itself by 2075, your first thought was, "Cool, I'll probably be dead by then."
(Laughter. He warms to it.)
How bonkers is that? How often in your life do you think that way? I get sad that I'll probably never get to see people land on Mars. Or live long enough to see the release of the final Game of Thrones book, probably. Most of the time I'm hoping I get to live to be ninety or a hundred years old. Most of the time I hope that science has invented immortality before I get too far along.
But as soon as global warming comes up?
(Whistles through teeth and makes neck-slicing motions.)
Nope, done, too much work. I hope I'm dead by fifty. Let my kids deal with it, not me, those ungrateful little hypothetical monsters.
Hey, what can I say, I'm a stand-up guy. Eh? No? Okay. Let's move on.