Better Than Pickleball?

I’ve invented a new sport. Joggling.

It’s very easy to learn. Basically, it’s when you jiggle when you jog, which is imperfectly OK.

So what there’s just a little more tummy than there used to be? Fine. You’re out joggling. So what you had beer with breakfast? So did my grandma.

Point is: If you’re joggling, you’re taking decent care of yourself. Win the day — or at least a solid 10 minutes of it. Sure beats those dreadful Oscars.

While you joggle, please tune into my podcast. Actually, I don’t have a podcast. You’ll have to imagine my podcast, as you would imagine kissing Bradley Cooper, or snuggling Margot Robbie. Seriously, the things you think about sometimes…

Maybe you’ll simply hear my voice faintly in the back of your head, as you do your mother’s voice from childhood. “Is that the way we wash a dish?” “If I have to pick up one more sock!”

That’s my podcast. Like your conscience. Like a distant and outdated moral guidepost. Like something you can now ignore.

In any case, I hope you enjoy joggling. My dream is to start a club, or one day see joggling in the Olympics. Sure, it’ll never replace pickleball, but it won’t take over your life the way pickleball always does.

Honestly, once a week, someone invites me to play pickleball. I decline, because I prefer to be in control of my emotions. I shun pickleball the way I shunned canola parties in college. It just seems slippery and dangerous and something I might like a little too much.

Pickleball is played mostly by wiry women with conquest in the eyes, which is another danger I’ve been avoiding since college.

Besides, I’m not a joiner. I’m a joggler. Just look at me now, a nondescript man in a nondescript suburb, blending in with the storefronts as I joggle down the boulevard. If I were any more nondescript, I’d be an attorney.

OK, let’s pause here to list the people I’ve just offended. Jiggly ones. Pickleballers. Wiry women. Attorneys. Myself.

And please don’t get me started on nurses and nuns.


As you might imagine, I don’t find humor the least bit funny. Oh, it used to be. Laughter used to feel pretty good, in fact. Medically speaking, it released 12-packs of serotonin across your fragile psyche, broken like a bicycle.

At one time in my life, laughter was the best natural high, along with sex and Clint Eastwood movies.

“Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing,” a comic once said.

So there you have it. We’ve quickly rank-ordered the five things that give us more pleasure than anything else in life:

  1. Laughter
  2. Joggling
  3. Margot Robbie
  4. Pickleball
  5. Bradley Cooper

Remember the ’80s? Let me remind you: Life was perfect.

Back then, standup comedians ruled the world – Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, Robin Williams.

Now, it’s impossible to be funny because the very people who should be laughing – or at least out joggling – are instead pounding their keyboards in total outrage over something innocent someone said in passing, and they are spit-choking on their own self-righteous bile, because as they would say, “Some things just aren’t funny, OK?”

Here’s the only advice I will ever offer: Don’t ever watch the Oscars.

Advice No. 2: Everything is funny, at least in some tiny way. And serious people are the funniest of all.

Mel Brooks – an audacious comedy god – once wrote a dance number called “Springtime for Hitler.” He knew, as most people once knew, that the best way to tear awful things down is to laugh at them.

Now, there is no more laughter. If you find a funny bone, please let me know. Because the funny bone has been Darwined out of today’s disenchanted scolds. Funny bones are like vestigial tails they no longer need.

But do they ever.

Look, who am I to give advice? I had one goal as a kid: To play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Did it happen? No. Why? I simply wasn’t tall enough. Or funny enough. That thing with the bucket and the confetti? I could never pull that off with much panache. Comedy is 70% panache, which is why I hate it so much right now. Plus, I’m not tall enough.

So, pardon me now while I go out joggling. I have some serious thinking to do about humor.

Please honk if you spot me.

Honk if you’re happy.

Honk if you’re sad.

Honk if you love corndogs.

Honk if, like me, you’ll always love the Harlem Globetrotters, even though they crushed all my dreams.

And if you can give me a lift home, please honk twice.

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19 thoughts on “Better Than Pickleball?

  1. I rarely agree but pickleball like the words woke & libtard really need controls. It’s a cult. Attend any parks board meeting & you will be engulfed in 2 hours of arguments as to why we need to turn every tennis court in the stare into a place for that noisy overgrown ping pong game. (It was ok when it was the game of firefighters in shorts tho)
    Oscars–I teared up a bit
    Mel Brooks–King
    Clint Eastwood–really?
    Oh, & never honk.

  2. Now I feel cheated that I never attended a canola party at UC Irvine. I agree that political correctness has gone too far when we can’t laugh at our foibles as the comedians you named have done. Mel is the best. Who else could make Frankenstein hilarious? I’m sure making fun of Igor’s hump and the monster’s “Abby normal” brain would draw angry social media protests today. Honk if you love adorable little granddaughters!

  3. I love medieval vlogs & dystopian vlogs and my two worlds recently collided with disturbing videos that, when the SHTF, historically speaking, we just … might … turn cannibal. That stick Cooper would turn on me in a nanosecond. No, since it’s total fantasy, I want one of those young whipper snappers that makes the news defending himself & others. Kyle Rittenhouse could fend off a hungry mob. Or that kid in the mall who pushed his girlfriend aside and fired on a mall shooter a football field away. You might not want to kiss these two beforehand, but you’ll definitely want to kiss them afterwards.

  4. Chris you are so spot on. Maybe if we just shared laughter a bit more we wouldn’t be so divided as a nation. Speaking of Mel Brooks, I remember watching “Blazing Saddles” in a packed theater and thinking how could he get away with all the outrageous dialogue and scenes throughout the movie, but the whole theater was was filled with uproarious laughter from start to finish. I will never forget that experience.

      1. The eating scene in “Tom Jones” – hardest laugh ever.
        Met Mel Brooks in a parking garage in Santa Monica years ago. We did the entire “2000 Year Old Man” – word for word – together. Great guy!!

  5. You have me, here. I know not what to say; except…stream Parenting, which I did the other night, never having seen it. The script is brilliantly funny—so many lines and little asides that come and come and keep coming at you, so powerfully amusing because they are as true as truth can be. If you have ever been a parent, see this. If not, still view it. This is Steve Martin et al, at their finest. Just crazy funny, and right down the pipe for those of you who love our Don Of Domestica; or cannot wait for Spring.

  6. Great column, Chris.
    “Don’t ever watch the Oscars”…wonderful advice. Studies have shown that not watching the Oscars makes you 24% happier. But I do hope the participants all win nice shiny prizes.
    Pickleball? I thought I was the only one who keeps getting asked to play. And I don’t even like pickles.
    Is there anyone out there besides you (and me) that doesn’t have a podcast?
    “Some things just aren’t funny, OK?” The easily offended are trying to tear down comedy so the rest of us are as unhappy as they are. Recently saw a George Carlin special and was reminded that even though I agreed with most of what he said, I didn’t agree with all of it. So what? He was hilarious.
    Laughter, man do we need that more than ever now.

  7. Did you know that in the south they have joggle boards on their porches? The first time I saw one was in Charleston, South Carolina. Google it. 🙂

  8. Maybe you should have left Mother’s voice out of the list, but you’ll probably feel guilty about that anyway. Just continue to keep teachers out of the list. When I see that picture of your Granddaughter, I just melt. She looks like she owns the world, and why not. Blessings on you and your family.

  9. So many great Mel Brooks films. Go watch High Anxiety a spoof/homage to Hitchcock starring himself, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn. Hilarious. Honk if you love Mel Brooks.

  10. Watch “Parenthood” (not “Parenting” though it has a lot of that in the film) and leave at its end with the warm fatigue and delightful ache continuous laughter about real visceral experience can create. This is Genius writing and comedic filmaking by Ganz, Mandell, and Howard. It looks so easy, but is so hard to achieve.

  11. “Wiry women with conquest in the eyes” has to be one of the best descriptions ever! 😂 I’m wiry but lack the conquest which is why I quit pickleball. So very funny 😂

  12. Honk! Honk! I’ll have to say that the 80’s rank at the top of the 7+ decades I’ve been on this merry go round. My son was born in ‘83 & my daughter in ‘86. They still make me smile & proud! Without them the past 23 years would have been impossible.

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