I went on the road last week to tell some jokes in an all female comedy competition. Well, the car was touching the road. I was manipulating the car. I could really use some lessons in manipulation though. It’s tough! I’ve got to talk to my mom about that. She’s pretty savvy about these kinds of things.
I hadn’t really been far out of a metropolitan setting for a while, and the scenery was beautiful: cows, grass, and plenty high waisted, cinched too-tight jeans. Heavenly, really. Eventually, I came to realize that Lee jeans weren’t the only thing that would haunt me after the trip.
My mother and her two sisters came to the show. I arrived before them to meet with the competition and go over my set. The venue had a picturesque view of the local baseball stadium. The image of theshow shined proudly on the large screen over center field. As I entered the room, I imagined myself in a middle-school dance with the dim lights and music selection that hailed from circa 1991. If I’m not mistaken, it could have been “Don’t Leave Me Girl.” Drinks were cheap. I may have seen Now N’ Laters. You get the picture: I was not walking into my element. Middle school was tough days, friends! I got hit in the face with a softball once in right field. I played right field. No, I stood in the grass, waited patiently until a ball flew up in the air and landed square on my forehead. Then, I cried myself to sleep at night knowing that grass would be waiting for me the next day.
The show started and words that my mother had washed my mouth out with soap for even thinking (as a child) flew out of the mouths of some seemingly tough ladies. After my aunts had fled the scene (they lasted 20 minutes) of what was proving to be a slaughter of happiness and joy, I got on the stage and did my material. I may have used a curse word. Horror! In front of my mother! Don’t judge me: I was trying to relate to my audience. They liked it when previous performers were up there. When in Rome?
Despite my attempts to that former statement, I was not received well by some. A few nice ladies even were kind enough to show me their back boobies when I started talking. I probably should have told them that I would have exchanged my boobies for their back ones any day of the week. But instead I pointed out that one precious gem probably could keep a man, unlike me, because she had attitude. And that is what you need to make a relationship work. Except when one person is on a stage.
I live in New York City. I am prepared for hecklers, witty comebacks, and sarcasm. I’m ready for silence because my insights just might not be that funny. I don’t think yelling jokes is the way to get people to listen, but maybe I’m wrong. Next time, instead of digging from a place of pain turned humor, I’ll dig from the angry kid who remembers being treated like shit by his peers. Next time, I’ll run with that disrespectful theme. Then maybe I’ll get somewhere.
Excuse me. The grass is waiting.