Please vote for me in the Macmillan Dictionary Awards. Voting closes at midnight GMT on 14 February – so you only have a couple of days! Click here to vote for me. Thanks! If you’ve already voted – thanks a lot! In this episode I shut up about the competition after 9 minutes, and then just improvise, while using the words ‘stuff’ and ‘thing’ as much as possible.
I also talk about a few other things in this episode, including quite a lot of stuff about working for the secret service, drinking coffee and setting the world to rights over a few drinks. So, do listen to all of the stuff and things I say in this episode ;)
Here’s George Carlin talking about stuff (transcript below):
“Stuff” by George Carlin
I would’ve been out here a little bit sooner but they gave me the wrong dressing room and I couldn’t find any place to put my stuff. And I don’t know how you are but I need a place to put my stuff. So, that’s what I’ve been doing back there. Just trying to find a place for my stuff. You know how important it is. That’s the whole… that’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it? Try and find a place for your stuff. That’s all your house is. Your house is just a place for your stuff. If you didn’t have so much goddamned stuff you wouldn’t need a house. You’d just walk around all the time. That’s all what your house is, that’s a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You see that when you’re taking off in an aeroplane. You look down and you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. Everybody’s got their own pile of stuff and if you leave it you’ve got to lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They don’t bother with the crap you’re saving and nobody’s interested in your fourth grade arithmetic papers. They’re looking for the good stuff. That’s all your house is, it’s a place you keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. Now, sometimes, sometimes you’ve got to move. You’ve got to get a bigger house. Why? Too much stuff! You’ve got to move all your stuff and maybe put some your stuff in storage. I mentioned that. There’s a whole industry based on keeping an eye on your stuff.
Enough about your stuff. Let’s talk about other people’s stuff. Did you ever notice that when you go to somebody else’s house you never quite feel 100% at home? You know why? No room for your stuff! Somebody else’s stuff is all over the place! And what awful stuff it is. Where did they get this stuff? And if you have to stay overnight at someone’s house, you know, unexpectedly, and they’ll give you a little room to sleep in that they didn’t use that often. Someone died in it eleven years ago and they haven’t moved any of his stuff! Or wherever they give you the sleep usually near the bed there’s a dresser and there’s never any room on a dresser for your stuff. Someone else’s shit is on a dresser. Have you noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?! Get that out of there!
Now, sometimes you go on vacation you’ve got to bring some your stuff with you. You can’t bring all your stuff, just the stuff you really like. The stuff that fits you well that month. Let’s say you want to go to Honolulu. You want to go all the way to Honolulu and you’ve got to get two big bags with stuff plus your carry-on stuff plus the stuff in your pockets. You go all the way to Honolulu, you get to the hotel room and you start to put away your stuff. That’s the first thing you do in a hotel room is to put away your stuff. I’ll put some stuff in here. I’ll put some stuff down here. Here’s another place for stuff for you. I’ll put some stuff on here. You put your stuff over there and I’ll put my stuff over here. Here’s another place for the stuff. Hey, we’ve got more places than we’ve got stuff! We’re going to have to buy more stuff! And you put all your stuff away and you know that you’re thousand of miles from home and you don’t quite feel at ease but you know that you must be okay because you do have some your stuff with you. And you relax in Honolulu on that basis. That’s when your friend from Maui calls and says – Hey, why don’t you come over to Maui for the weekend, spend a couple of nights over here? – Aww, shit, no! Now, what stuff do you bring? Right, you’ve got to bring an even smaller version of your stuff. Just enough stuff for a weekend on Maui. And you get over… And you’re really spread out and now you’ve got your shit all over the world! You’ve got stuff at home, stuff in storage, stuff in Honolulu, stuff in Maui, stuff in your pockets so, supply lines are getting longer and harder to maintain. When you get over to your friend’s house in Maui and they give you a little place to sleep. There’s a little window ledge, some kind of small shelf and there’s not much room up there but it’s okay because you don’t have much stuff now. And you put what stuff you do have up there. You put your important French toenail clippers, your own readers with that 45-day guarantee, your cinnamon flavoured dental floss and your Afrin 12-hour decongestant nasal spray. And you know you ‘re a long way from home. You know that you must be OK because you do have your Afrin 12-hour decongestant nasal spray. And you relax in Maui on that basis. That’s when your friend says – Hey, I think tonight we’ll go over to another side of the island to stay at my friend’s house overnight – Oh, shit, no! NOW, what do you bring?! Now, you just bring the things you know you’re going to need. Money, keys, comb, wallet, lighter, hanky, pen, cigarettes, contraceptives, vaseline, whips, chains, whistles, dildos and a book.