Listen, I’m well aware of my age. Just because you aren’t doesn’t mean I’m not. It’s also no big secret that for the first time in my life I’m hiding my age from the public. This isn’t some kind of midlife crisis or some ruse to fool myself into believing I’m forever young.
I do this because I have a deeply rooted belief that Los Angeles is an ageist city. I firmly believe that this city will look at your age before your talent. I have no proof of this other than a few interviews on NPR and some articles in the paper . . . and the lack of old people here. It’s like Bizzaro Florida.
There’s also the fact that I’m running a race with kids who are much, MUCH younger than me. While I was idling my days in grad school, playing the penniless improvisor in Chicago, these kids were watching Pokemon in their basement while dreaming of one day having a beer. This is the life I have chosen . . . so I do my best to take every advantage I can; IE hiding my age.
This age difference is laying at the forefront of my mind because tomorrow is my birthday. Well, it wasn’t at the front of my mind until the miracle of Facebook made inappropriate questions a socially acceptable thing. Here’s the ditty: In the past few weeks, I have accepted Facebook friend invites from many of the interns at Conan. Why not? They’re good people and I enjoy their company. They are younger — much younger, but why should that matter . . . Until last night. I was sitting at my desk, catching up on some work, when I get a Facebook message from one of my fellow interns. NOTE: I have hidden my birthday year from anyone viewing my page. Here’s the chat . . .
THE TORTOISE AND THGE KID WHO LOVES JEGER BOMBS
A Play In .25 Acts.
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: r u really [AGE HIDDEN TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT]?
TIMMY: Um, I can not confirm or deny that claim. [And i’d like it to remain that way ;)]
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: HA
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: wow ooook
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: you def did not seem that old
TIMMY: now you’re calling me old?
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: well you were graduating COLLEGE when i was 8
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: and you’re my coworker
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: so………
TIMMY: In all honesty, I don’t tell people how old I am just because it’s a weird taboo I have with Hollywood
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: true
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: i hear ya tho
TIMMY: Plus, then Jason thinks he’s the oldest
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: jason??
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: ooh one of the other monologue interns?
TIMMY: the other mono intern
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: got it
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: is he older thaan you!?!!
TIMMY: no – he;s [AGE HIDDEN TO CREATE SOLIDARITY BETWEEN OLD PEOPLE]
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: oh
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: well yall still seem much younger
TIMMY: How old did you think I was?
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: so no worries
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: 25-26
TIMMY: We’ll just say that then :0
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: ha oook
TIMMY: Well, gott write some. Later dude. See you tomorrow.
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: kk
21 YEAR OLD INTERN: cyaa
As you will see, this kid went to some great mathematical pain to figure out my age. The only way he could have guessed my age (which he did correctly) was by looking at my graduation year from high school and doing the math. Also, not once did it occur to him that his line of questioning was a little rude. You can almost fell the depth of the pit he’s digging getting deeper and deeper. I mean, who opens a conversation with, “Are you really X years old?” Just a little blunt and without any panache. Can’t wait for tomorrow! Happy birthday Timmy; The old guy in the Conan kitchen.