Brian T Shirley Comedian/Writer/Actor/TV Show Host

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Life/Road stories

Explaining "Earl"!

Posted by briantshirley on March 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM

 I'm sure my whole family will get a kick out of this post when they read it, but it's been a long time coming. I'm going to "out" myself to the public.

I'm very SILLY!

There, I said it. I was an extremely silly child, who grew into a silly teenager and just when I thought the silliness would end it didn't.

One of the silliest things I ever did was come up with a hand signal to denote a person's name that cracked me up and that name was "Earl". I'm not sure why I got a kick out of that name, but I would curl my index finger down to my thumb to form a circle, leave my other three fingers extended close together and search out a victim. Once I found someone I would thrust my hand forward parallel with the ground and shout "Earl"! I'm sure to the average person, my friends and my family this was rather strange behavior. I think it started when I saw a damaged sign for a flooring company that we would drive by all the time called " Earl Smith Floors". The "r" and "s" had fallen off so it read "Earl Smith Floo". That was just the thing my silly little brain needed to get started on years of "Earling" people. My grandfather actually took me into that flooring store to meet old 'Earl Smith Floo ' ( I pronounced it 'Flow") and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I can't remember if I "Earled" Earl or not, in my mind that may have been sacrilege.

Of course people that did not know me that well thought I was crazy or "special". One time I "Earled" a man my mom was seeing, he had come over for dinner. He was sitting on the couch and my mom was in the kitchen. I walked up and gave him one hell of an "Earl"!! He yelled at my mom "Teresa, your son just gave me the finger!!" She replied " No, that's just his little thing he does."

They never got married, I think "Earl" may have had something to do with that.

Now, I do realize there's a sitcom called 'My name is Earl" and if would have came out 30 years ago I would have peed in my pants laughing. But those days are gone, I have not "Earled" anybody in years, but you never know. I'm kind of scared to do it now because it could be seen as some sort of gang sign and I would get shot.

If you ever see anyone doing a hand gesture that kind of looks like the "Okay" sign and they yell "Earl" afterwards you know where it came from. I bet you'll laugh!

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