With moving comes changes, so I’ve been trying to think of solutions for the real world. Here are some practical ideas for those, who like me, would rather be rolled in honey and tossed onto an ant mound, rather than home improvement projects.
“I love this new back yard. The dog can run, it’s so open.” Wife: “We probably should mow today.” 2.5 hours later – “We’re turning this back yard into a cockfighting pit or covering everything with putt putt green and windmills.”
“The trash is tomorrow; each bag has to have a sticker that costs $2.90. Should we buy bigger bags?” (Spends rest of night researching fake stickers and driving around, looking for easy access dumpsters; as a back up, plans on dumping trash into neighbor’s bags at midnight.)
“We need a shed for all these Christmas decorations.” (Converts to Judaism, tosses 15 totes of Christmas decorations, mostly into dumpster behind Wendy’s before being chased off by assistant manager)
Finds tree former owner forgot to plant, still in bucket. “We should plant that over there, make a nice tree line.” (Gives neighbor tree on condition he helps me find fighting cocks or big clown mouth putt putt obstacle.)
- I had no idea I had this many shirts. I also, until I tried several on, no idea how small I used to be or large I am now. It was the most depressing thing I’ve done in five years.
- I realized we have used about 15% of the crap in our kitchen. That’s it. Let’s face it, you use the same bowls and plates, every once in a while a pan, skillet or cooking tray and that’s it. I have woks, odd pots, lids that don’t match anything and enough glassware to open a retail store.
- Don’t move anything until your wife approves. Found that out after thinking the Christmas decorations should go in the attic – turns out the shed is the correct answer! (Back throbs with regret)
- I’ve been playing a fun game of where in the hell is my stuff? The other day I finally found my shoes in the bottom of a huge trash bag. I pulled out each one and it took me 15 tries to find the right ones. I did however find my wife’s magnifying mirror and realized I have the eyebrows of a 60 year old Greek man. I have eyebrows where none should be. Time to throw away the magnifying mirror or just accept I am undergoing the slowest werewolf transition in history, real or imagined.
The Coen family moved into a new home this weekend. It was awful and terrible and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. I’ll save that for another blog, but if you’ve ever moved a piano you know hasn’t been played since 1943, you know how bad moving sucks.
No, let’s focus on the positives, because I am a ray of sunshine in the fog of life. Oh wait, I’m the fog, but anyhoo, I did find something amazing. The rich people grocery store. Well, it’s mostly a regular grocery, but it’s a marketplace one. I walked in, grumpy and seeking to avoid eye contact like normal. All of the sudden I realized this nicer part of town had a fancy schmancy grocery store. THEY HAVE A CANDY STATION! Oh man! THE LUNCH MEAT IS PRE-SLICED AND YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO TALK TO PEOPLE TO GET DELI MEATS AND OH BY THE WAY, THEY SPELL OUT DELICATESSEN, NOT JUST THE WORD DELI! Oh glory be! No human contact! THEY HAVE SEVEN SOUPS! Not just an old veggie soup with pond scum on top like normie grocery stores!
It got even better, they had a new salad dressing made from Avocados, Snickerdoodle Hummus, and more! I don’t even know what this crap is! I was skipping along, pushing my cart. Cleaning supplies? Meh! I’m rich now! Those are for poor people. Everything I touch is clean now! Finally, I rounded the corner and found A BAR. IN THE STORE. Well, I’m squatting here. Hell with the new house, it’s time to live at Giant Eagle Market District. I’m going to the nut crusher/custom nut butter stand and making Cashew peanut butter while I’m waiting on the bartender to change to fresh keg. That old keg is like four minutes old. I just have to stay away from the Busch Light dirty 30 pack or they’ll sniff me out and boot me out faster than that time I got kicked out of a party for cannonballing the hot tub.
*UPDATE – I saw my receipt. I’m going back to the poor people grocery store Saturday. 🙁
Monday night, I had a show at the Columbus Funny Bone called the Last Realtor Standing, where five realtors get paired up with comedians to try comedy for the first time. A series of emails went around culminating in me getting matched up and arranging a meeting with my protege. I ended up meeting him at a dive bar, when I walked in, he was eating pizza and drinking at 4 pm. It was like staring into the future. I was happy because he had done a ton of writing already, so I was able to pare down the material and organize it. There were a lot of references to body parts and functions away we went, organizing, cutting and crafting an ideal set. After an hour, I felt pretty good with his jokes.
I then focused on stage presence, timing, making a cheat sheet for the stage and practice, practice, practice. I think the number one most underrated part of comedy is preparation. If you don’t know your material, it doesn’t matter what do onstage, you’ll sound unprepared. I checked in to make sure on gameday and he sent me a list, which was waaaaayyyyy different that the set we talked about. Oh well, nothing to do now!
The show went well for all and we were closing. I brought him up with a crack about were and how we met and he took the stage. He brought up a bucket (it was never used, not sure where that fit in) and went totally off-script. He had a woman in the front monitor his time and asked her to flash him when his time was up and kept checking with her until she stood up and fake flashed him. The crowd loved it. He actually had really good timing and stage presence, although I had literally no idea what he was going to talk about. He mentioned a white sheet (crowd gasps) that lead a story about him trying to scare the horses on his farm and getting kicked in the head (that’s why we got matched up, I see). Horses don’t like Casper. Then he did a series of jokes referring to his package. After a series of crowd work jokes, he then ultimately did a head stand (he’s probably 20 years my senior) and ripped his shirt off, whipping it into the crowd, exiting the stage shirtless to raucous applause.
I had to follow the shirt removal, but it went very well and then we had a grand clap off. He sealed it when he repeated the head stand and clapped with his feet for himself. We were champions…or something.
So I had coached a winner, who did exactly one joke that we talked about (as a throwaway line). The lesson, apparently, is to do exactly the opposite of what I say and you will win. I saw my student from two years ago also and she congratulated me – I wanted to tell her she should have done a headstand and fired her top into the crowd, but alas, it was two years too late. Well, maybe I’m not the greatest coach, but I am a winner, thanks to Bill Briggs and I’ll have this toilet seat picture for all times, just like I dreamed about as a young boy. Great job, Bill, you are the Last Realtor Standing, aka the shit, and I’m working on headstands now for my new closer.
It just so happened that I had another concert gift for my wife that hit again this week: Ed Sheeran. We decided to Uber instead of drive and holy Toledo, was that much better than driving and paying for parking and screaming obscenities at strangers (at least from the car). James Blunt was the opener and I knew one song of his, which I don’t really care for, but he was up to it and put on a good show with a lot of energy. I still can’t name any of his songs except that one I mentioned earlier.
The real show began between the acts. Some young guy, a lanky, goofy bastard, sat down next to me and stomped when he laughed. He laughed a lot. I planned on punching him, until I heard the guy behind me. Some upper 40’s loudmouth saying things like, “Well, I slept with her and it was fine, but I didn’t see it progressing.” He was telling another woman this. Smooth. At one point, he said to her, “I really didn’t see myself marrying her.” I leaned over to my wife and said, “She probably didn’t see herself marrying him either.” I think he heard me, because he shut up, which is what I had hoped for. Then across the aisle, some young girl got up over 9 times, I noticed because she was squirming through the railing that said not to lean on it. She wasn’t drinking, so I can only guess she had early onset restless leg or the runs. Turns out she was trying to sneak a friend down close and got busted.
Ed Sheeran came out, and to my surprise, he played the whole concert alone, save one song, all on guitar. He was looping riffs on his foot pedal and was quite impressive, especially overcoming his disability – being a ginger, that is. I knew about six of his songs because my lady played a lot of his stuff to help our daughter sleep. Between him and James Blunt being British, I understood about 1/3rd of their dialogue between songs, but I had a $10 Bud Light, so I really didn’t care about anything other than trying to figure out how to get in on that racket. He did play “I See Fire” from the Hobbit movie, so I was satisfied and in the mood to fight a dragon, but alas, none appeared. Back to my extra fancy Bud Light, but I’m watching for you, Smaug.
One thing every comedian will get asked to do at some point of doing stand-up is a benefit show. It’s a great way to raise money for causes. I’ve done them to help pay for essential surgeries or medical care, to raise money for good causes and even once a small cancer benefit with young children there. Never again to the last one. Being told there are teens there, no problem. Finding out there are six year olds? No thanks. I can do long clean sets, but kids not only raise that bar, you realize they won’t get any of your references even if you step around sex, alcohol, drugs or any remotely adult issue.
The set up is a bit odd on the face also, as it’s usually a serious topic. The one I did last week raised money for research into a specific genetic condition and the main organizer spoke like she was an NPR host forced to talk during nap time at a kindergarten. Very nice, but no future as a hype man. The other fun thing is that some people are really uptight, since they are there only to support the cause and not look rude for leaving as soon as the comics start talking.
It does make you feel good, though, knowing your very moving DUI joke may have in some small way helped out a cause. I must admit, I did turn down one benefit for sure. I was asked almost ten years ago to do a benefit in Cambridge, Ohio, about 2 hours straight east of where I lived. “What’s the cause?” “To help raise gas money for this couple so they can drive to D.C. and protest the War in Iraq.” Nah, I’m good. Hell, if they make it to Cambridge, they’re like 1/4 of the way there already and I don’t need to use 9 gallons of gas myself in the process.