I am convinced someone is trying to give me a stroke. Some twisted puppetmaster is pulling strings in a dark game and their agents of destruction are customer service reps.
1) I went to see if I got an insurance discount for getting married, because I heard married guys get cheaper insurance. I called and was told I had to go online. I did and checked married to see if my rate dropped. It went up $800 a year. I was then locked out and told I have to sign paperwork to change the quote back – which is now higher than the original quote for no reason. The blood clot formed in my body somewhere.
2) I locked my keys in my car because I’m dumb. I called to get my car unlocked. “Sir, your card number isn’t a valid one.” Check the name. “Coen. It’s not in the system.” Check my address. “It’s not in the system. Please hold.” Two minutes later. “How do you spell that name?” You mean my name? “It’s not in the system. Please hold.” Two more minutes. “What was that name?” I spelled it a third time. “There it is. We’ll send someone.” How many times do I have to spell a four letter last name? Blood clot grows larger.
3) I saw two St. Bernards on the highway. I called Siri to find the Highway Patrol’s number before something awful happened. 15 tries later, Siri connected me to a police department in Cleveland, about three hours away. I began openly cursing at Siri until I called it worthless and told it to kill itself. I am positive one more this week and I will seize up and drop like a stone.
One of the most annoying questions you get asked when you get married is “When are you having kids?” One way to stop that? Have one right off the bat! A short time ago, I heard “Are you sitting down?” I haven’t been married long, but I know that usually means “No matter what your answer is, can you get something/do something anyway?” My wife came around the corner and she had a pregnancy test in her hand. Hmm, that was unexpected.
At first, I refused to totally trust it. Let’s face it, it costs $6 and you pee on it. That can’t be reliable. We went to the doctor and I was expecting a big reveal. Nope, he just started talking about a yolk sac. “Does that mean it’s officially a baby?” He stared at me like I’m an idiot, which is appropriate. I got excited at that point and decided I had better start telling all my wisdom to my baby via my wife’s stomach. Fortunately for her, we found out the baby can’t hear voices for six months. Don’t worry, junior, you’ll soon hear all the important things I know soon. Should I start with military history or just focus on my high school football accomplishments? Parenting is tough already!
I found out quickly I will not be saying “We are pregnant!” Why? First, it’s weird. Second, I’m pretty sure my wife isn’t feeling like we’re sharing the baby when she’s hovering over a toilet or smelling my coffee which she can’t enjoy. We are both very excited though. I’m sure the baby name selection process will warrant a few potential blogs soon – my list has only Abraham Lincoln Coen on it currently, boy or girl.
About a month ago, I noticed Netflix was on my TV – as in a channel type option. It was awesome. I can now access it with the remote. Never mind that I already had it on my Playstation, iPad and computer. The idea of walking to the basement or reaching to the back of the television was unbearable, apparently, because now my Netflix viewing is up 500%. I am lazy.
One plus is now I have easier access to historical documentaries my wife wouldn’t watch on the threat of bursting into flames. I did, however, have her watch Terminator 2. She hadn’t seen the original so I attempted to briefly recap. “Basically, computers become self aware and attack the human race.” “Why would they do that?” “I have no idea. It’s not important.” “That doesn’t make sense.” (We’re off to a rough start here.)
I then explained how John Connor sends a guy back in time to save his mom, but he hooks up with his mom and becomes his dad. “She sleeps with Arnold?” No, he’s the robot. She sleeps with the soldier. “How can the soldier be the dad? He wouldn’t exist in the first place.” Damnit, that’s completely accurate. This movie makes no sense whatsoever. Let me try again. There’s a bunch of guns and explosions and robots fighting people. Plot doesn’t matter. Hey Netflix, I need dumber movies to watch.
My favorite college team is Ohio State. The day after the national championship game, I thought back to the last time they won it all and realized there were some differences.
Present – I ran my open mic comedy show and thanks to the magic of DVR, there was no chance I could miss the game. I missed the pregame, but the pregame lasts for about 11 days anymore, plus there is the internet, which has 324 sites breaking down the offensive line vs. defensive line, so quite frankly, who cares after a while. I watched it with my wife rather than out at a bar so there was no chance a 7′ person was blocking my view or telling me about their life while I’m losing the ability to keep from choking them. The game was on a Monday, so I had a few beers and went to bed about four minutes after the final second ticked away. I went to work the next morning and was talking to prospects by about 8:01.
2002 – I lived with two guys and we threw a party, since they impulse bought a 65″ big screen a couple weeks earlier. I would end up with a pool table in the divorce settlement when we all moved out, it’s complicated. I sat down to enjoy the game when a buddy’s girlfriend said, “I don’t like Miami’s uniforms? Who wears green and orange? If I was there, I would make them change colors….” I heard no more, because I went into our kitchen, made a portcullis out of bar stools and refused to let anyone get food until the commercials. NONE SHALL PASS! OR SPEAK TO ME! I also had to work the next day, but since I was younger, I decided to pound shots and beers until 3 am. I had to help break up a fight at one point. At 8:01 the next day, I was driving 75 miles per hour to work because I was late. I decorated the bushes outside the office with last night’s fun between customers.
As you can see, I think I have found a way to improve the experience, although I may still patent the portcullis. Go Bucks.
One question that gets tossed around by newer comics is “How much time can you do?” There are two questions back to that. 1) How much are they paying me? and 2) Do I have to be funny? When I first started a guy told me he could over an hour. I watched his set. I had no doubt he was right, but I was willing to bet 57 minutes of it wouldn’t be worth watching.
Time is a very overrated aspect of comedy in that if you can’t kill for 10 minutes, why worry about a 45 minute set? I had a new guy come to my open mic and tell me he was working on a 15 minute set. Why? I have no idea. He then did about three and a half minutes without the mic and walked off the stage.
It works the other way too – I’ve been ambushed by venues before into doing more time than agreed to, and stupidly, trying to be a hero, I agreed. I can do a 45 minute set getting up out of bed, but anything longer than that and I need to prepare so I’m not just smashing material into a bag. I went to show at a bar once and the headliner went to the wrong city. Not wrong bar, wrong city. I was told to carry the room. I asked if I could have some time to prepare, since the show was starting in two minutes. They were very generous, they started the show at 8:03 instead of 8. The headliner showed up at 9:27. I know, because I ran out of jokes at 9:06 and had to do very subpar crowd work for 21 minutes. Thanks for showing up, dick.
The other time I got this thrown at me was at a really shitty hotel show. I was told by the owner they expected a 2 and half hour show. I told them that wasn’t in the itinerary and no drunks can pay attention that long, but he threw a fit. Fine, whatever. I did an hour as a feature act when the headliner asked me to share the burden so he didn’t get stuck with all the time they expected. He then went up, did 43 minutes, got paid way more than me and off he skipped down the road. Lesson learned again.
Last night I did the Half and Half Comedy Show, hosted by Kamari Stevens. It’s a pretty good idea. The comics do five minutes, then have to riff on topics that the crowd submits before the show. Of course, when other comics are up, you see their topics and salivate over the possibilities , then you get up and draw a blank.
I actually tried this at my open mic a couple times, to mixed results. It’s went well, but the first time I did it, the first three comedians went up and said “These topics suck!” Then the crowd that put the ideas in got pissed. Backfire. Like clockwork, the next week I did the same thing. I picked up the topics and took them up to the stage. I flipped over the first one. Topic? “Shitty comedians.” Well played, crowd, well played.