It was back in 2013 while I was in my second year of college that a friend introduced me to the jokers. His younger brother was the one behind his newfound fandom and now he was on my case.
At first I was sceptical about the show as it appeared on the surface to be just another reality TV show. Working against it favour was also the fact that by this time I had become very fastidious on my choice of Films and TV Shows, often preferring what my sister and peers found too boring. Think of stuff along the lines of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing and Boardwalk Empire just to mention a few.
Unknown to her though was that I was and still I’m a big fan of humour, especially the off-kilter variety scattered in some of the aforementioned shows or the kind in An Idiot Abroad and Penn & Teller Bullshit.
Luckily this was college and so I happened to have a lot of time to spare, especially seeing that my friend already had with him the complete first season and half of the second season of Impractical Jokers.
But before I undertook this commitment I naturally decided to take a “sneak preview” of one of the episodes on his laptop. Thirty minutes later it was evident that the preview had been eclipsed by laughs and its tear wringing fest. I was sold through and through by what is clearly the cheapest drug anyone can get off-the-counter.
For the next few weeks my “roommate” and I suppose my immediate neighbours next to the porous single-room wall we shared thought I was mad. I tried my very best to muffle my Homeric laughs in these impractical nights, but it was inevitable that their fate would be no different to that of silenced malodorous farts.
It later turned out into a herculean labour that would define my latter years in college, though to the dismay of the gods I failed every time. But never has failure been relished as it was by this victim.
Soon however I was back to the confines of my four walls at home and it’s here the labour got turned into self-indulgent Bacchus rituals. The wine had however been spurned in favour of the sober potent drunkenness squeezed from the grapes of laughter.
A reckless maenad at night I had become. In my drunken frenzy I tore the silent night limb to limb and left its dismembered remains to wash up on the shores of my sister’s curiosity. Soon she had had enough and resolved to set sail along this calm sea next door to find the source of her brother’s awakening.
Suffice to say, I made a convert of her though in retrospect not a very loyal one. She’s one of two unlucky victims that have since caught the impractical joker fever from my slipped “off the sharts” deuces. More are in the way now that I’ve decided to spread this infestation using efficient robotic spiders traversing an invisible web.
That absurd idea was summoned by the nadir of low spirits that had gone to find solace where they knew best – in laugher. Binging on these episodes every day in what I coincidentally christened “impractical nights” a few paragraphs above, I surely found many things.
I found relief for my aching through well intentioned aches and found those brief raved hours tucked away in the underbelly of ravenous daylight hours. But most of all I found kinship and its unbreakable threads interwoven across a comical attire spanning six seasons of priceless fabric.
I unearthed where I had unwittingly buried months and years ago and of such treasures I took great pleasure in finding a chest for. And for that I’m eternally grateful to these brave four men and the noble legions behind them in this strange brand of unsung heroism. On this battlefield, that enemy called insipidity never stood a chance.