My daughter turned six months old just yesterday. Six months/six years/six minutes. If you have a kid, you know what I mean. If you don’t, I’M BETTER THAN YOU. Here’s some thoughts.
My wife is an absolute machine. If I sleep less than six hours, I have to do rails of Folgers at work like I’m a roadie for Fleetwood Mac. She can hold our daughter in a blizzard for 45 hours straight before she asks me to step in so she can pee.
My daughter is a bruiser. She loves to be raised into the air, rolled, flipped and generally run ragged. With that energy level, I have to make sure she doesn’t learn home improvement skills or my ass is out on the street. My wife will replace me with her for construction in two seconds. But I can duct tape anything!
I can entertain a child! Yay! I have no breastmilk. Boo! That sums up my value to my daughter in a pinch.
Hey, is there some kind of Star Wars movie out? What year is it? Soon I will be asking people if they’ve seen hot new shows like Happy Days or Leave it to Beaver.
Well, I actually fell asleep typing this sitting straight up. I think that’s all I have. Happy half bday, peanut.
Bar shows are pretty common and I’ve done hundreds at this point. In fact, if you tally up all the comedy clubs, lodge halls and conference rooms, I’ve still probably done more bar shows. Most are good, but it’s tough and here’s why.
TV’s – Turn them off. I forgot to have the TV’s turned off recently and Japanese pro wrestling came off. The sound was off, but I dare you to pay attention when a guy in a white sequined jumpsuit and fake blonde hair is stomping another guy’s guts in. I did a show in Cleveland the night LeBron came back to play as a member of the Heat for the first time. I could have lit myself on fire and had no chance.
The drunks – You may want to sit down for this one. People talk more, and louder, as they drink. My favorites are the ones that talk for 15 minutes, then turn around and notice comedy for the first time. Even better? When they turn around, notice comedy and yell, “You’re not funny!” when you don’t make them laugh in four seconds.
The little things – Some places forget you need things like a microphone, lights or a stage. I did a show once where they had what could only be the batsignal without the bat. I had spots in my eyes for an hour afterwards and couldn’t see a single person. One venue forgot the mic…and the speakers…and the wires. “Don’t you have all that in your car?” Yes, it’s right under the wooden stage in my trunk.
I am running through all this because someone went onto the Facebook event page and trashed the show I did. Another patron had some harsh words for this wonderful human who posted the comment either uncaring or ignorant of the fact all the comics were on the event page. I told her that busy crowd bar shows are tough and as for the dirty nature of the show, it was a bar on a Friday. I mentioned I did a clean show where five people told me afterwards they wished I had cursed. You can’t win sometimes. I reflected upon how mature and reasoned my answer was. I then sacrificed a chicken and wished a blood curse on her and all her descendants as I danced around the fire. That’s more like it.
Charity! “Would you like to give a dollar to earthworm research in Bolivia?” says the cashier. Sure, whatever, here’s TWO dollars, screw it. “Wikipedia survives on small donations, please donate a dollar.” Go to hell, Wikipedia. (Despite using Wikipedia regularly and not giving a squirt of piss for earthworm research.)
Politics! “I hate politicians. They’re useless, I wish they would all go away and leave us alone.” Did you hear the Senate is on a two week break? “They better get back to work!” (2 weeks later) They went back and passed more regulations. “We’d be better off if they didn’t show up!” Repeat. See also – “I love when a politician speaks his or her mind.” They speak his or her mind. “Oh my God, they’re not fit for office!”
Video games! “I love video games. I’d play all the time if I could.” Why do you have a broken controller? “Oh, I got stuck on a level and smashed the controller in a fit of rage.” Sounds fun, good hobby.
Comedy! “I can’t stand political correctness. I love it when comedians tell it like it is.” Comedian says something about the one topic that person is sensitive about. “I’ve had about enough of this offensive material. Disgusting, really. Why do have to talk about _____?”
One thing I learned pretty quickly in comedy that really surprised me was that it is easier to perform in front of bigger crowds than smaller crowds. The first time I did any real stand up was at the Columbus Funny Bone in 2007. The local morning zoo DJ’s also were up that night, so it was sold out. 300 people. It wasn’t that bad. Of course, I had drank seven beers in an hour and a half, so that helped.
Less than a year later, I was asked to do a 20 minute (or so) set at a bar in West Columbus. One of the comics no showed or was abducted by aliens or was smart and did it on purpose, so I was left to entertain the patrons. There were four. They had heard a comedian from Zanesville was there – yay! They thought it was my buddy Camp, not me – boo! The owner told me if I didn’t do 45 minutes, I wasn’t getting paid. He must have stupidly thought crowds would line up down the street to see a headliner who a year before didn’t have three minutes of material. The four superfans of mine found out I wasn’t Camp and got up to leave. I appealed to their good mercy – “I’m pretty funny too. Camp is one of my oldest pals. If you guys leave, I have to do a show for the bartender and owner, who is angry.” They stayed. They didn’t enjoy any of the show whatsoever. I could see the annoyance on their faces brighter than the sun.
Then of course, there’s no one at all. My wife is doing a show Feb. 12 where the gag is the non-comics in the relationship do the comics’ material. I just recorded my own self for her to get a refresher, doing five minutes…in our dark basement…to no one. I felt like a couple psychopath. I had to start over three times and forgot all my material. Well, problem solved – I’ll just do huge sellout crowds like usual. When I get an agent in five decades, I’ll let him or her know that.
Well, it was bound to happen, and thus it did. My daughter has taken interest in Sesame Street. I don’t care how organic or modern tech-free a lifestyle you try to raise your kids in, once yours starts getting mad, you would consider A Clockwork Orange in the background if it works. Here’s what I’ve noticed.
– One episode I watched had both Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage. I got excited because I thought for sure they’d engineer a violent death for Murray. Turns out they beheaded Elmo. OH I’M DONE WITH THIS SHOW, HE WAS MY FAVORITE. Sorry, I went into angry Game of Thrones “I’m done with this show every other week as I post spoilers on Facebook and ruin everyone’s night.”
– Oscar the Grouch is just the best. He called Abby the fairy a sparkleface and told her to mind her own business, then told her his goal was to make everyone angry with an ugly art display. He reminds me of Donald Trump, but more human. Way more human.
– Everyone here is really happy. Then I noticed the adults don’t know how to understand basic concepts. Example: One lady couldn’t squeeze mustard out of a squeeze bottle. It was too tough. This just proves my age old theory that the dumber you are, the happier you are. Why worry about things, stuff is shiny!
In fairness, this show’s not that bad. I’m finally learning the alphabet and it’s not Yo Gabba Gabba. Now if someone can tell me how to get my daughter to take interest in World War II documentaries and Van Damme movies, I’m going to be one happy dad. R is for roundhouse kick! 4! Van Damme has four slow motion yells after he kicks a guy in the face and flexes!
This past weekend my daughter took her first swim class. She absolutely loves bath time (maybe like her OCD dad loves showers), plus I have a webbed toe, so I need to pass on our long line of amphibian heritage to her…or is it possible inbreeding? Whatever.
Of course, I also realize a baby just under six months isn’t really going to pick up a mean breaststroke or flip turn. Not the first week at least. There was a lot of general assimilation and not surprisingly she had a blast. The wimpy 8 month old next to us was crying the whole time. Take that, 8 month old – my daughter is a bad ass!
The only down part to the whole thing was when I realized I had to remove my shirt. Six months of dad bod and the complete absence of sunlight on my body since mid-July were suddenly just out there. Luckily, I’m getting hairier by the hour, so…oh wait, that’s not good either. I think I am going to pick up a scuba suit for next week.