Red velvet damn near everything.
Amassed around a pot-lit stage stands a lone comedian, jittering from the fifth coffee of the day that the sixth cup somehow didn’t settle. He wraps a sweaty palm around the microphone and clears his throat into his shirt.
“You all look like you’ve had a couple, so that’s like I walked up here to the title screen and selected (easy) mode”.
A weeze from the nosebleeds.
Somewhere behind the bar a young girl is loudly ordering a Long Island Iced Tea loud enough to be as audible as the failing jester.
“Ha. Haha. To easy, I guess! So have any of you ever tried to quit smoking?”
Some more polite members of the audience holler, more in support that agreement.
“Well I’m going through it right now, and my god, does it make me want to take up smoking!”
Somewhere beneath the torrid mass chuckle, a genuine, singular, “HA!” pierces the modern jester’s ears. He could do this. Baby steps. No race bombs off the bat.
“Yeah, it’s been compared to trying to quit heroine. I could never quit heroine though, that’s the good shit”.
The low murmur of audience glee became a sustained volume of “instantly re-saying the joke to the person next to them” and “Holy fuck, Carol. THIS is why you don’t drink GIN!”.
The set gathered momentum with bits about how un-fun Heaven would be if it was real and ALL DOGS went to Heaven. Second Heaven for when First Heaven has to euthanize due to dog overpopulation. If Satan is really into Highland Dance and quite fed up with being associated with Heavy Metal. A great segue piece about how he really hoped when he died that there would be a highlight reel.
“Wanna know what aren’t funny? Clown Funerals.”
Fists slammed tables like they were pitbulls attached to the patrons legs, while the laughter was more gorilla-whoop-y than human.
“You watch one regular-ass hearse pull up to twelve empty plots, and all you can do is stand there and watch in disbelief as they pull a PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE NUMBER OF CASKETS OUT THE BACK!” They didn’t have flags for them either, a little girl in full make-up just walked by with a basket and placed a red foam nose on each one.”
Something breaks to the comedians far right. He cranes his neck to see a 12/10 drunk gentle-lady with the look of a coiled snake in her eye.
“YOU SHOULD’DA JU-*hick*-UMPED IN THE HOLE BEFORE THEY FILLED IT!” She spat venomously.
“That’s lovely, sweetheart, but then I wouldn’t be here to tell jokes about your future husband’s funeral.”
Shrieks. Some of “YOU GOT TOLD, DUM BISH!”, and one very singular “I AM IMPORTANTER THUN YOU” from Captain Corner-Shots.
“TRY TELLING JOKES FOR THE NEXT TEN MINUTES THIS TIME”, she reclined in her seat, high-fiving her friend who had yet to unlatch from the straw of her appletini fishbowl since the moment it arrived at their table, cackling to herself.
Knowing better than to engage further with someone who was likely to get dragged out by security in the next ten minutes, our hero returned to the far greater crowd who vigorously cheered on the marvelous puns and one-liners he had crafted.
“There are some things that I have trouble wrapping my head around, and that’s my mouth isn’t very big.”
“You ever eat something in someone else house and then shuffle shit around, like that motherfucker is gonna show up to your house at 3 in the morning holding a red box all, “You ate THREE of my RITZ CRACKERS, KYLE? AND you tried to COVER IT UP?”
“I have this fantasy about having a threesome and having a bigger penis, and it makes how I talk to the two girls who work at the Subway near my house reeeeeally awkward.”
Another body-cringing tweak goes through him as that same side table begins to BELT unremorsefully loud about how it “DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY ATE IT ALL, THEY DIDN’T LIKE IT, HE WASN’T FUNNY, AND THEY WEREN’T LEAVING ANY TIME SOON,FUCK YOU, BUS BOY”.
“Well, Round 2 is a must, it seems”, he thinks to himself.
All fall silent, knowing what this is likely to impend.
“If you and the rest of Intercourse In Ohio wanna kick rocks, none of us would mind.”
“YOU DON’T GET TO SPEAK TO ME LIKE THAT!!”
Back and forth,
jab, jab, jab,
until the inevitable where at long-last a large, low-browed bouncer showed up to show exactly how much respect you get when you disrespect a business.
The crowd cheered for the five minutes of removal and attempted “sprint-back-in” returns.
“About halfway through at least”, the comedian thought solemnly to himself.
“Oh, dang, well, sorry folks! I had a lot more planned but there are more acts to come, I hope you come back again soon ’cause I have a ton more material that I know you’ll love!”
He walked offstage, feeling victorious and defeated. Proud to have removed the problem for anyone else, but upset that he had to sacrifice what little time he had to flourish on his own behalf. Had he left it all alone, would it have been over quicker? Might something he had said somehow brought her aboard the good ship “Comedia”?
The crowd revved back up, recognizing a familiar face. Someone whose first day, this was not. He stared back toward the partially agape curtain, the relentless pot-lights shining all the way to his eyes. In that moment he compared the value of seconds in that hour to the three hours leading up to it where he had done little more than eat Ariba Zesty Taco potato chips. There had been nothing to do then, nothing but wait. Meaningless time? Was that half hour spot he had just filled somehow “worth more”? If such is the case, how is all time not valuable? Do little irritations like people heckling your work end up actually causing you to take away from what great you already do? What other little daily thorns do we allow to stop us from making the most of the 86400 seconds in every day?
Yeah, it’s ya boy back with one of those short simple-moral stories.
I’ve been meditating on the value or meaning to Time as a whole of late and it’s really brought up more questions than answers. Life is just kinda one big choose your own adventure book where you never get to see whether or not this particular drain pipe has an alligator in it.
You can find Bear smoking bong and playing Magic on instagram.