By Robert Simpson
Remember those formative years of our youth? They were times of great discovery, confusion, elation and crushing defeats, and also acne in places where acne should not occur. My teenage years, however, were primarily dominated not by numerous failed attempts to talk to girls or excel in some athletic competition or whatever. No, my teenage years were overshadowed by one haunting and constant reminder.
I am Chandler Bing.
You remember Chandler Bing, right? He was that character played by Matthew Perry on Friends, the last of the juggernauts of prime time sitcoms of the 90s and early 2000s. He was the sarcastic one that always had some lame wisecrack and everyone thought was gay. Now before you object, I have no problem being compared to people who may or may not be gay. A lot of people think I look like Rupert Everett. And I didn’t object to the fact that people thought I was funny. That’s a good thing, right? Being funny is a good thing?
No, it is a horrible, evil, dirty thing, because no one ever told me that I was “funny.” No one ever heard one of my jokes or witticisms or puns and thought, “What a humorous and interesting person Bob is. I would like to get to know him on a more personal level and establish a meaningful and long lasting friendship with him.” No one ever said that, which I guess is ok because if someone did say that to me I would wonder why they had no inner monologue.
Instead, whenever I made a wisecrack, this is what I heard:
“Oh my GOD that is SOOOOOOOOO Chandler!”
Now multiply that by every sentence I ever said for about ten years, and just to drive the insanity of this point home, you want to know who was the first person to ever say that to me? DO YOU?!?! My freaking physics teacher. That’s right, it wasn’t some hot popular girl that I wanted to make out with or the captain of our football team (1996-1999 Kingwood High School football record: 1-59), it was the teacher of the most boring class I ever took. I was walking down the hall of KHS, passing the biology and chemistry rooms. My teacher, who shall remain nameless because she is the devil, was standing in the hallways talking to some other dork science teacher, when I walked toward them both. I tried to avoid eye contact as to be spotted by this teacher would doom you to a conversation of inertia or yaws or whatever the hell you talk about in physics, but she stepped out into the middle of the hallway to block my path.
She grabbed me by the arm, looked me in the eye and said, “You know who you remind me of? Chandler Bing.”
She stared at me for a moment, released me, and rode off on her broomstick to kill Christians. I am not making that last part up.
At that point, the freaking floodgates opened and I could not get away from this constant comparison for the life of me. It was like some rampant virus, and I hadn’t even seen the show! I had no idea who this incredible doppelganger was who happened to be making a million bucks an episode by capitalizing on my life.
Everything I said, everything I did, even the way I looked was directly compared to Matthew Perry at all times. Here check this out:
ME MATTHEW PERRY
See any resemblance? No, of course you don’t and you wanna know why? Cause I grew a freaking beard. I grew a beard so no one would ever say I look like that bastard again. Do you know how hard it is to even GROW a beard?! Not hard.
Eventually, I started watching the show and in the end, yeah, it turns out everyone was right. I’m just like him, but you know what? I never did this:
Rot in hell, Chanandler Bong.