- And Ritalin is speed,which is awesome.
So we crush upthe Ritalin real quick
and we're snorting Ritalinand eating mushrooms,
and then we decide,"You know what?
"Let's just steal the car.
Let's steal the car."
[dark electronic music]
- Welcome to"This Is Not Happening."
I'm Ari Shaffir,
and tonight the topicis "Bloodline."
[cheers and applause]
He wrote his own book.
You guys willabsolutely love him.
Please give it upfor Mr. Moshe Kasher, you guys.
[cheers and applause]
- I did write a book.I did write a book.
'Cause I had a--I had a wayward childhood.
I had a problematic childhood,and I wrote a book about it,
a childhood memoirof my problems growing up.
It's--my name is Moshe Kasher.
It's called"Kasher in the Rye," and...
Some people laughing
'cause there'sa similarly titled book.
Is that right?
"Catcher in the Rye,"is that the one?
Yeah, yeah,it's weird coincidence.
I found out about itafter I wrote my book.
I checked it out.
I read "The Catcher in the Rye."
Mine's a fucking banger,so check it out.
It's a real good one.
But it is about the problemsthat I had growing up.
I had problems growing up,
and this is a storyabout some of those problems.
There's somecontextual information
that you need to know
in order to understandwhere this story goes.
First of all,I have two deaf parents.
Both my parents are deaf.
They're super into hip-hop,both of them.
I--I'm from Oakland, California.
That's where I'm from.
[imitates machine gun]
I like makingthat little gunshot noise,
but, like, due to the effectsof gentrification,
it's making decreasing senseevery time I do it.
Now, it's more like,
"I'm from Oakland, y'all."
[imitates espresso machine]
So I'mOakland, California, kid,
two deaf parents,raised on welfare,
getting into so much troublewhen I was a kid.
I got arrested a thousand times.
In and out of rehab five timesby the time I turned 16.
Been in mental hospitals.
I've been through a lot,
and I rolled witha crew of other kids
that had been through a lot.
Other white kids that--
you know those white kids,right?
I see a couple of youhere right now.
You know the white kidsthat get on the bus,
and you're like, "Oh, fuck.
These fucking white kidsare here?"
Do you know whatI'm talking about?
Like, we call--okay,to put it into context,
we were in a gangcalled the P-A-G.
"The Pure Adrenaline Gangsters."
What's up, y'all?
You guys confused?
I get that--I know how I lookphysically now.
I know that my look beliesthe gangster I once was.
I know that I look like theonly gang I've ever belonged to
was the 1920s gay,French naval submarine gang.
But at at the time,I was thuggin', right?
So I got two deaf parents.
I'm a fucking thug, right?
Super gangster.Oakland, California.
That is the context from whichwe will spring this story.
I'm in so much trouble.
I've been arrested so many times
that my mother tells me,
"If you get bustedone more time,
"you are going awayfor a long time.
"I'm sending youto a group home,
"and that's gonna be that.
"That's curtains for you.
You're gonna get sent awayfor a long time."
And then they were like,
"Also, we're leaving townthis weekend,"
which feels likemixed messages to me.
What am I supposed to do?
They're leaving the houseto me and the other
Pure Adrenaline Gangsters.
What do I do?
I invite all the gangsters over.
I'm like,"Let's have a party.
Mushrooms--let's do some mushrooms."
Does Ari Shaffir's crowdlike mushrooms?
[cheers and applause]
How about 14-year-oldsdoing mushrooms?
How do 14-year-oldsdo mushrooms?
Of course we dothe logical thing.
We go to the liquor store.
We buy some chilepicante-flavored corn nuts
to break the mushrooms up intoso we can mask the taste.
It's a very classy experience.
There's no better wayto start a psychedelic trip
than with chilepicante-flavored corn nuts.
That's how the ancient Mayansused to do it.
So we do.
We're downing handfuls
of chile picante-flavoredpsychedlia.
And then somebody elsebusts out, he's--
my friend David's like,"Yo, I got some Ritalin."
'Cause it was '91;everybody had ADD.
Everybody was on Ritalin,
and Ritalin is speed,which is awesome.
So we crush upthe Ritalin real quick,
and we're snorting Ritalinand eating mushrooms.
And then we decide,"You know what?
"Let's just steal the car.
Let's steal the car!"
And I'm like,"This is a great idea."
My parents had this1970/1971 Bug.
It was not two cars.
It was one car that had been
sort of "Frankensteinian-ly"slopped together
to create a horrible eyesoreof unparalleled proportions.
It had no floorboards,
so you could start it kind of
It had a button in the back
that was the ignitionfor some reason.
It was so ugly, I guessmy parents left it there
assuming that it would be toougly for me to dare to enter,
but little did they know,
the mushrooms I would be eating
would make that carlook exactly like a Transformer.
And being a 14-year-old boy,I loved Transformers.
So we did that,we all jumped in the car,
I press the button,and we drive off.
We're 14, no licenses,who cares?
So we drive to this oneliquor store in town where--
that will sellkids our age alcohol,
and we go in and we buya bunch of forties.
All of us--you know,the mushrooms
are starting to kick in.
The Ritalin is speeding me up,you know?
Speed and mushrooms to make thecartoons play faster, right?
So we go into the liquor store.
We buy a bunch of forties.
St. Ides, purely;I don't fuck with Mickey's.
That's white boy alcohol.
I ain't about that life.
All right,so we get all the forties,
and we jump back in the car,
and we drive to the weed spot.
We buy a 20 bag, and we--
we jump back in the car,
and we drive upinto the hills of Oakland
to this place calledTilden Park.
It's like a wilderness reservein the hills of Oakland.
People don't knowthis about Oakland,
but we have,like, redwood trees.
We have forests in Oakland.
They forests, but they gangstaat the same time, right?
So we're driving through thefoggy night up in Tilden Park,
and we're lookin' for a spot,you know what I mean?
We're looking for a spot.
You remember--you ever do that?
Like, you got some weed,you want to smoke it,
you got to find that spot.
We got to find a spot,chill out,
you know, park at the spot.
Look out over the--over the city.
We're gonna get to our spot,
we're gonna--darkness in the spot.
We'll pull over,we'll suck each other's dicks
real quick at the spot.
So we're driving,looking for the spot,
and we pull up onto this earthenhill for some reason to turn--
"Well, maybethe spot's up here."
The car literally startsto tip over backwards.
We all jump out ofthe car like this insane
sort of Chinese fire drill
trying to coaxthe car back onto the ground.
Let me explain who's in the car.
There's so many peoplein the car.
There is me, and thenthere is my friend Joey,
and then there'smy friend David,
and then there'smy friend Donny,
and then sittingin the backseat of the car
is my "friend" Carlos.
Now, Carlos was so impressive
that we had himin our friendship circle.
Carlos was a huge gangbangerfrom East Oakland.
He was from X3,the world's most dangerous gang!
X3, hanging out with us,
the world'sleast dangerous gang.
Carlos was a gangbanger,and we loved having him around
'cause he legitimized us,you know what I mean?
He was all in blueand all, like--
every time he'd be like,"Orale!"
We'd be like,"Us? Thank you!" or whatever.
We loved it so much that wewere willing to ignore the fact
that Carlos was ridiculouslyaddicted to methamphetamine
and very mentally ill.
So that's the squadwe got in the car that night.
We got the squad,and Carlos is in the back,
and we're all--
the car almost tips overbackwards,
and we say, "You know what?We're a little scared.
"Let's forget about the spot.
"We're a little high right now.
"I feel like God is touching me.
"Let's not look for the spot.
"Let's pull overright where we are
and smoke the weed right here."
So I do; I pick up my pipe,and I light--
I light the--I flick the lighter.
I can see the flame pop out,
and then all of a sudden,
the lighter becomes more light
than I could have anticipated.
There's light in front of me.
There's light behind me.
I'm fully illuminated by light,
and I'm like,"These mushrooms are awesome.
"Nope, the copsare behind me for sure.
"The cops are behind me.I'm in a floodlight.
This doesn't make sense."
I'm like, "Oh, no,if I get busted one more time,
"I'm going away forever,what do I do?
I got to get ridof the evidence."
So I'm in a spotlight,
but I figurethis'll do the trick.
I roll down the window,put my hand out the window,
drop the weedin full illumination.
That takes care of that.
I hear a door shut behind me.
I hear cop footprints get up.
And then this cop, who's doingthe closest thing to a joke
a police officer can do,
leans down, picks up the pipe,hands it back to me,
and says, "Here you are.I think you dropped this."
And I'm like,"Wow, what is this?"
He's like,"Oh, you mean the weed pipe
"that I just saw yousmoking from
"and also throwing on the groundin the spotlight?
"Is that what you'reasking me about?
You want to maybe tell me whatyou kids are doing out here?"
And I'm tryingto think of a story,
and I'm on speed, so I'm ingood shape for a story, right?
I'm like, "Okay, officer,here's the thing.
"I'm a bit of a mechanic.
"I'm a teenage mechanic,kind of a prodigy.
"Anyway, I put togetherthese two cars.
"These two--the 1970 and 1971Bug out of two disparate cars.
"Doesn't have anyfloorboards right now,
"but it's really in good shape.
"Anyway, I've gotan ignition button,
"which is really awesome,and I just thought, you know,
"just like a boatneeds a maiden voyage,
"so too does the car,so we all jumped in the car,
"we went for a little drive,we almost tipped over,
"but anyway, I think it's timefor me to go home, though,
"now that I see you here,
"so I want to thank youfor pulling us over.
We're gonna get goingright now."
And I'm thinkingI am doing great right now...
when, behind me,Carlos the gangster,
the thug-est of the thugs,leans forward,
looks at the cop, and goes,
"Uh, he's lying to you, officer.
Yeah, he just stolehis parents' shit."
We're like, "What the fuck?
Carlos, you were supposedto be gangster!"
Even the copis looking at Carlos like,
"Dude, snitches get stitches."
So he says, "Why don't youtell me what's really going on?"
I say, "Well, officer,
"uh, God damn it.
"I'm sorry;sorry about the swearing.
"I swear a lotbecause my mom can't hear me.
"Yeah, that's right.My parents, they're both deaf.
"Both of them deaf.
"It's hard having deaf parents,I'll tell you what, but...
"I get into a lot of trouble,
"and I'm in a lot of troubleright now,
"and my mom saidif I get busted one more time,
"I'm going to a group home,but you know what?
"That's up to you.
"It's your call, officer.
"You can bust me right now.
"I can--I can get sent offto a group home,
"slip into the cracksin the system,
"slip into crack,catch AIDS, and die.
"you could let mecall my sister.
"She could come out here,pick up the car,
"take it home.
"If you'd let me call my sister.
It's up to you."
And the cop goes,
"Okay,let's call your sister."
This is amazing, man.
This is incredible.
I'ma get out.I just got to call my sister.
I do not have a sister.
Bit of an issue.
I've got a half sister.
She's eight years old
and lives in Brooklynat the time,
so I don't thinkshe can make the trip,
but I'm not gonna letthat kind of detail stop me.
I say, "Great, officer,tell me what to do."
He says, "Start the car.
"Follow me down the road,and we'll get to a pay phone."
Pay phones were a technologythat existed back then.
"And we'll call your sister."
So we start the car up,and we start to drive.
Let me put thisin context for everyone.
A licensed officer of the law
allowed a car full of drunk,high, unlicensed children
in a stolen vehicle
to follow him down a foggy road
in the middle of the night.
How much did this guyhate paperwork?
So I follow him down.
I get out of the car,I see the pay phone,
and I'm like,"I don't know what to do,
"but God, if you're out there,
maybe twice in one nightisn't too much to hope for."
I pick up the phone.I put a quarter in.
And I call the number of thislocal girl that I know,
just this chickfrom around the way,
and I can hear it ringing.
A sleepy voice, an angel.
I'm like, "Sister!
"Sister, sister, sister.
"Oh, the girl with whomI share parents.
"It is I, your brother.
"Anyway, listen,I need you to come.
"I'm in a little bitof a situation right now.
"I need you to comepick up the car
"and take the car home.
"Pick the car up,take the car home.
Do you understand?"
I can hear the gearsturning in her mind.
And she goes, "Is therea fucking cop there right now?
Are you calling meto get out of trouble?"
I'm like, "Totally, sis!"
She's like,"You better fucking get me high
if I come out there."
I'm like, "I wouldlike nothing better.
Right on, officer."
She says she's coming.
She says she's coming!
I turn to the guysin the car behind me, I'm like,
And the guys are like,"Yeah!"
Like we won the fucking lottery.
20 minutes later this girlpulls up in her boyfriend's car.
She gets out; she walksright up to the officer.
She says, "Oh, I'm so sorryabout this, officer.
"I was fast asleep,and I didn't even hear
the boys take the car out."
She's just, like,riffing at this point.
She should have wonan Academy Award
for such a performance.
And the cop's like,"No problem."
And he looks at hera little inquisitively,
looks at me, looks at her,
blonde hair, blue eyes,Hitler's wet dream.
Looks back at little Jewish me,
like, "Ehh, deaf parents."
He goes, "You know,you guys look exactly alike."
Was that sarcasm?
Who was this cop?
I got away, man.
I got away.
Sometimes, you know,there's only one set
of footprints in the sand.
That's when God carries you.
I got that magical luckof a drug addict,
but drug-addict luckalways runs out.
And a year after that,I was back in rehab,
back in a mental hospital,
and in much more troublethan I'd ever been before,
and if you want to know more...
please check out my book,"Kasher in the Rye,"
Thank you guys so much.Appreciate it.
[cheers and applause]
[dark electronic music]