Dateline: OMAHA—A lonely Nebraskan man is wistful about the many years he’s spent with no life partner to marvel at his witty remarks.
Douglas Cunningham, aged 53, is single and has lived alone in a small apartment in Omaha for decades. In all that time, he attests to having made countless amusing gibes while watching all manner of TV shows and movies.
“The worst part about living alone,” he said, “isn’t the lack of love or sex in my life. It’s that I’ve got no audience to appreciate my brilliance. I mean, I’m watching Wolf Blitzer and in any given ten seconds I’ll have fired off wisecracks left and right at his expense. But there’s no one else in the room to hear them.
“Sure, I can make myself laugh, but what sort of comedian laughs at his own jokes?
“Or I’ll be watching an episode of some sitcom and at the end I’ll have analyzed the whole show, I’ll have it all wrapped up in my mind, but there’s no one else there to nod in amazement at the keenness of my insights.
“It’s a travesty!” he added. “And as the saying goes, if no one hears a tree fall in the forest, does it really make a sound?”
For Cunningham, the most important duty a romantic partner can perform is to serve as a captive audience to placate the other’s sense of comedic entitlement.
“Sure, most men want sex or a family,” he said, “but I’m getting old and I don’t care about those things. The world’s overpopulated as it is, but there’s never enough masterful pop cultural commentary. Meanwhile, I’m firing off cutting-edge gems of criticism and they’re all going to waste.
“It’s not even a ‘pearls before swine’ situation, because I don’t even have the swine! I’d take a sow as a partner if only she’d sit quietly and bask in the glow of my analytical deconstructions of pop cultural discourse.
“So many wasted bon mots, I can’t even count them all. They just drifted into the ether and now that I’ve forgotten half of them, they’re gone forever. That’s the real tragedy here.”
Cunningham has attempted to recruit a mate by posting profiles on online dating services, but to no avail. “I can’t fathom,” he said, “why no woman seems interested in being my life partner just to help me relax after a long day’s work, sitting in amazement by the TV with me as I serve up one dazzling observation after another.”
Asked why he doesn’t try his hand at stand-up comedy or publishing a book of jokes, Cunningham said, “No, it’s got to be in front of the TV and my audience can’t be just perfect strangers. I’m not interested in making money off of my talent. That’s how selfless I am.
“I just think it would have been swell to have had a special someone who chooses to sit there with me to laugh along with my grasp of the depth of the world’s idiocy. But it seems my comedic genius will go unrequited.”