John Mulaney
Long Victorian Nightgown
I don’t mean to sound down on donating. It’s good to give to charities, you know. My wife and I just gave a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. We were moving apartments, we had a bunch of clothes and furniture, so we made a whole day out of it. We made these big piles of clothes, we put the piles into these big boxes, then we put the boxes into the back of my car, and then they stayed there for four months. And then one day my wife said, “Hey, you took that stuff to Goodwill, right?” And I said, “Of course I did! On an unrelated note, I’m going to walk out the front door right now.” So then I had to speed to Goodwill really fast. It was charitable, but it was also fast and violent, because I was throwing boxes at people. The boxes were so heavy I couldn’t even say what was in them. I was like, “This one’s shirts. I got a bunch of shirts! Take ’em away!” The guy tried to give me a big receipt. He’s like, “Take this receipt for the clothing for your taxes.” How do I write that on my taxes? “Dear IRS, please deduct from my federal income tax one XXL Billabong T-shirt from youth. It was too big. My mom said it could be a sleep shirt. Please deduct this from my 2017 income.” That sleep shirt bullshit. “Well, if it’s too big you can just wear it as a sleep shirt.” No, I get that, Mom, but why don’t we just tell our relatives that I’m a four-year-old boy and I don’t wear a man’s XXL T-shirt? “Because we don’t say that when someone gives us a gift because that would not be polite.” Oh, I get it. So rather than violate these meaningless politeness rules, I’ll just go to bed in a smock like goddamn Ebenezer Scrooge. Why don’t you give me a candle for looking in the mirror and a floppy hat and I’ll tremble off to bed in my long Victorian nightgown? Was there ever even a ghost, Mother, or was the dead Victorian girl you saw just me all along? So that’s why you can’t give to charity. I’m kidding.