June 17, 2011
“If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment – as well as the prison.” - Fydor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
It is the goal of every comedian to open up their life to the point where most people look at them and say, “Dear God! That’s reprehensible.” Don’t ask why. There is no explanation. I won’t go too deep into the cavernous recesses of my soul (Happy Birthday Mom!). Rather, I will share a confession that I think represents a microcosm of Jeff Konkle as a college student.
One’s college years are often looked back at with fond remembrance. Great friends are met; much knowledge is learned and many Natty Lights are ‘housed.’ For all the pleasant memories during that time in our life, I think we fail to realize just what massive scumbags we really were. The binge drinking, the casual relationships, the suicidal pizza consumption!! A nuanced wave of nostalgia washes those memories clean. So despite the warmth, I think we can all agree that many of our college experiences, upon reflection now, were horribly horribly shameful. Mine is no different.
Deep sigh…here goes…
I cheated in weekly freestyle rap contests between me and my friend, Nate.
In the wake of the Eminem tour-de-force “8 Mile”, you could walk into any college dorm room in the country and find a bunch of dipstick freshman beatboxing and battle rhyming one another. My friends and I were no exception. We would buy 40’s, attempt to C-walk, and then top off this lame night with freestyle rapping and consequently no girls. At the time this seemed like a cool thing to do. Thinking back, this was not the case.
Judge not lest ye be judged. Don’t act like you’ve never done the Macarena before.
Despite how retroactively ridiculous this whole thing sounds, it was still a badge of pride for an 18 year-old honky cracker like myself. I wanted to be the best. And I was.
I won consistently when battling my friend Nate. I would shred him with poignant punchlines and make loose references to literary characters I was learning about in ENGL 202. I had the streets’ essence inside me. I could flow with the rhythms of ancient man. So it seemed. But now an asterisk will forever remain attached to those victories.
I cheated. I would pre-write the raps, practice them throughout the week, and then deliver them to an unsuspecting and more-than-slightly-intoxicated Nate. He never knew what hit him. He would walk away after a 60 second rhyme-slaying slightly embarrassed, usually muttering about how he was going to play Madden 06.
The worst part was that my raps were horrendous. The verses I spit were pre-written and practiced ad nauseum. However, my lyrical skill was so poor that these self-proclaimed polished punchlines just sounded like the ravings of a drunken 12 year old. Therefore, no one in the small audience that gathered around ever suspected me of preparing in advance. It was the perfect crime.
You’ve got the blues / and you’re hair is like Tom Cruise. Wait. – Me
Did I mention that at no point were any girls ever involved in this situation? Although, I’m not sure what caused which. Were there no girls because we were freestyle rapping? Or were we freestyle rapping because there were no girls? Only Eazy-E knows at this point.
You may look at me with disgust. You may find my actions repugnant. You are right. I’m absolutely embarrassed by this. My shame has been my own prison. But you might be just as guilty as me, just less willing to admit it. Remember the words of a great man:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to that trucker hat that you’re wearing. – Jesus