Those of you who’ve struggled through a few of my stories may recall I’m dealing with some health issues. Well, after all, I’m 66, not 26….
Since I have glaucoma, I have my own special bucket list. I’m trying to do everything I can while I can see! (Makes sense.) I’m rapidly checking things off the list, such as: going sky diving (I hate being more than ten feet off the ground, so – I didn’t really do this), swimming with dolphins (actually there are none in Seattle, so I made that up too) and running with the bulls (I’m afraid of flying, and I’d have to go to Spain — so I didn’t really do that either. Plus, I’m near-vegan, and I don’t harass cattle, especially if they weigh close to a ton.)
Having a background in musical performance, I’m not afraid of getting on stage. However, I always have my trusty Seagull acoustic guitar with me. I’ve never done a music show (and I have thousands under my belt) without a guitar. In a way, I “hide” behind it. But: I’ve been gifted with a terrific sense of humor, and timing, and (as my friends are too aware) with the gift of gab. I’ve always wanted to take a shot at doing “standup” at a comedy club open mic. – No guitar, no songs to sing – just me sharing some of my original jokes and stories. So, I put that on the ole bucket list.
Well, after writing and memorizing a few bits, which was pretty easy, actually, I finally summoned the courage to walk a few blocks down the street from my senior citizen’s apartment, to Seattle’s cool, lower Queen Anne comedy institution, the Laff Riot (located in the former site of Experience Music Project, Paul Allen’s failed “baby”).
I signed up early, sat down at a little table, and anxiously awaited my ten minutes in the spotlight. I planned to start my show on an edgy, confrontational note. I didn’t want anyone to think that, just because I’m an old man, I was gonna be a cream puff or pushover, in any way. Not at all. So, to start things off, after being introduced and taking the stage, I made the following announcement: “Let’s just get this clear now: no one better even touch their cell phone during my performance. Don’t be fooling around with those things. If anyone does — even one person — I’ll turn around and moon the entire audience”. So, of course, within thirty seconds, everyone in the place grabbed their phones, lit them up and held them over their heads.
All except one strikingly good-looking redhead who was sitting near the back of the room. Garbed in a little black dress, outfitted in expensive-looking shades, she kept her phone well out of sight. I jumped off the stage, strode over to confront her, and asked, “What’s wrong with you?” She turned toward me and snarled, “I’m blind, idiot!”
Well, the joint erupted in raucous laughter. But they were not laughing like I wanted, no, needed them to. They were laughing at me, like I was a fool. I was too embarrassed to get back on stage. I just headed out the door, never to return to the Laff Riot. But, yeah, I mooned the sons of bitches on my way out.