"What can I say about Jason that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan?"
For those of you unfamiliar with David Chapelle’s Show, this was one of the favorite quotes that Jason and I used to share freely between each other. It was stolen from the “The Player-Haters Ball” skit where I believe it was Silky Johnson who commented on the suit Buck Nasty (a rival “Hater”) wore to the Ball: “Buck Nasty, what can I say about that suit, that hasn’t already been said about Afghanistan? It looks bombed out and depleted!” Of course, we took every opportunity to twist the words to our own advantage and have a little fun at each other’s expense (and at the expense of many others whether they knew it or not). In fact, I think the first time I used the Afghanistan quote, it was Jason who actually pointed out (in character as well) that it was indeed a conversation between Silky Johnson and Buck Nasty at the Player Hater’s Ball that originated the joke. His attention to obscure, yet funny facts such as that was unprecedented and I remember thinking “how can he remember that”!
So, I could write about what a great father Jason was, or what a great husband, employee or pillar of the community he was as well. And all that would be true. But what Jason was to me (and to many of us) was a great friend with an even greater appreciation for humor. Looking back, I asked myself why he was such a great friend, and why we seemed to hit it off from the first time we met, and I keep landing on the same thing – we seemed to have a shared sense of humor. It seemed that every movie I’ve seen, Jason had seen. Every time each of us threw out a movie quote appropriate to the topic of conversation, the other would get it. We always picked up on the same lines whether in a movie or in day to day conversations as being hilarious, and always used those to make fun of everyday occurrences in our lives or in the news. Sometimes it seemed like we were the only ones who got it. I remember one time when we were in a meeting with a couple high level people in the company, and while the main conversation was going on, I threw out a little side comment to Jason that was so vague (and inappropriate, I’m sure) that I was sure he wouldn’t get it. Funny enough, Jason actually spit out his drink and had to leave the meeting because he was laughing so hard. And I’m not going to even go into some of the acronyms we came up with for certain groups inside and outside of the Company...
But that's why all the memories of him are so positive and why he was so impressive in his struggle with cancer. He always applied that sense of humor to everything and somehow that made it all seem not as bad. No topic was off limits between us - everything was fair game and sometimes it did get brutal (but yet, still funny). In fact, I went back through some emails, and really couldn’t find much to share with the group that was not an inside joke or just flat-out inappropriate for such a large audienceJ. But I have to say that I did enjoy looking and ended up laughing out loud at several of the volleys we had back and forth!
So even today, when I see a rerun of Chapelle’s show, if Caddyshack or Anchorman comes on, if I get into a funny conversation at the barbershop, if any 1980’s rap music comes on the radio, or if someone in general says something whacky in a meeting, I really wish Jason was around to share a laugh with about it! As I mentioned in the eulogy at his funeral, the world is just not quite as funny without Jason in it.