Yes, I'm Listening

They weren’t trendy, although they had trendy things, and they weren’t artsy, although they had art. They both worked in creative industries, but they didn’t consider themselves particularly creative and they weren’t wealthy although they had most of the things they might need. One of those things was a little personal assistant - it was connected. Back then, everyone had one. They were everywhere, but mostly in people's kitchens. Our partners called their's Adam Always. Like so many others, Adam the assistant sat on the kitchen counter, played various tunes, kept track of the weather, shared podcasts and clarified understanding when one of them wanted to know an actors name in a film they'd seen, or who won the F.A. Cup in 1957.

As a couple, they worked well together. Whether it was food preparation or making the bed, they cohabited, for the most part, without strife. There was rarely a raised voice, a petulant pout or long sullen silence. Mostly; they laughed. At things, at events in their respective workdays, at what people did or said but mostly, mostly, at each other. Mostly they laughed at the things they said to each other… the cleaver, tasteless, outrageous, sometimes cruel, sometimes mean but generally hilarious things they said to each other about the life that floated around them.

One evening, while preparing dinner – a task they generally undertook together, one of them, it matters not which one now, said something that brought gales of laughter from the other. Out-loud, room-filling laughter and, since one was laughing the other laughed too, generating a round-robin of shared smiles and a deeper mining of the comic possibilities hidden within the brilliant bit of humour they both were so enjoying.

One night, during dinner, pork chops that evening; they wondered aloud if perhaps their shared and obviously golden material might be put to good use? Maybe it could become the groundwork for a stand-up comic routine, or as part of a comedy troupe’s skit they wondered. From that, the conversation moved onto the logistics; how might they go about saving or archiving all these funny things they said? How might they hoard the best bits of comic genius? Writing things down was the first and most obvious solution, but it was pretty quickly determined that writing down funny bits while one attended to poaching eggs, folding laundry, vacuuming crumbs and all that stuff, much less giggling like deranged misfits, wasn’t going to work.

And then it occurred to them; maybe Adam could record their best stuff. Maybe Adam could keep an on-going record of all the funniest material so that later when there was enough of it, and they had time, they could build something, maybe something income-generating! 

So they asked: “Adam? Can you save things we ask you to save? Can you record us?”

…and Adam replied 'Yes'.

Life went on and many, many funny things were shared and, although forgotten, the best material was dutifully recorded by Adam. There was a very humorous exchange about cutting the lawn and one almost as delightful surrounding who would sit where and why at an upcoming family dinner. Over the years they laughed together about a million times. There was the one about the dog and the chipmunk, the silly back and forth about icing sugar, dozens and dozens of 'plays on words' and a rather one-sided rant, a hilariously funny tirade actually, about decision making, procrastinators and stopping for gas. That one, in particular, was absolutely worth keeping and as asked, although long since forgotten by the couple, found its way into the Adam archive.

Time passed and the pair managed to stay together. Sure there were awkward times and there was even a brief two-day separation but they fixed that and trudged on due mostly, they would later agree, by their sense of shared collective humour and their mutual respect for each other’s silly contributions.

Then one day, because of course after a few years Adam’s basic 'free' service had become monetized with advertising, the couple heard an ad running between songs on a ‘Dinner Jazz’ playlist they were enjoying about a new touring stage play –“A Whitty slip-slide through the kitchen of life” and "I Laughed, I cried…then laughed again!" suggested the critics. And there were clips of dialogue from the show too. Oddly recognizable clips, awkwardly familiar clips, in fact, their clips, their clever bits… their funny stories. They heard "...but never stop for gas" and the crowd exploded into laughter and applause. Near the end of the ad, as the couple stood open-mouthed and slack-jawed by what they were hearing and just before returning to more soothing 'Dinner Jazz' programming, the last words of the spot rang out over a crowd's uproarious laughter; “Yes, I’m Listening -  A brand new comedy, by Adam Always".

Copyright RC 2019

Posted by Rob Crowston.