I Wouldn’t Put Up With Me.
I do it because I can.
I confuse people.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to be part of an Improvisational Comedy group in San Francisco. The eight of us (AKA the “Improv Alternative” and later as “Anchovi Daiquiri”) worked in nightclubs, theaters, street fairs, and any place that would let us through the door. We would do a two hour show made up entirely from audience suggestions.
Each member of the group, four men and four women, brought special talents and abilities to bear. Some of us had classical theater training, others were musicians, and others were just creative as all get out. All of us were quick on our feet and unafraid to look stupid. It was while working with them that I developed a rather peculiar skill.
One of the structured set pieces we would do in our show was called “The Foreign Poet.” The premise of the piece was that we had a special guest in the house – The Poet Laureate of… At that point we would have the audience decide what country the Poet hailed from.
The MC would then introduce the Poet and another member of the group who was to serve as the Translator. It was the Translator who carried the piece. The Poet would theoretically recite a poem in their native language and the Translator would make up something that was, hopefully, funny.
Depending on what country the audience would shout out one performer or another would enter the scene. We had all developed the ability to speak gibberish that would actually sound as if they could speak the Poets language. I was good at sounding like I was fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and miscellaneous African native tongues. None of it made sense, but it sounded good. Others in the group could mimic in fake French, Spanish, Chinese or whatever. We could fake just about anything.
The foreign Poet was one of those bits that always worked well. Audiences loved it.
Fast Forward thirty-some years to the customer line at St. Arbucks yesterday morning. Picture the look on the face of the young Barista’s face when I place my order in Arabic sounding gibberish. It confuses the Barista and, if I’m not careful, the people in line behind me who have no sense of humor at that time of day.
I suppose that I shouldn’t do that. Those Baristas have to put up with enough nonsense during their day without me adding to it. I shouldn’t do it, but I doubt that I’m going to stop doing it anytime soon. Being a Pain in the Doopa is in my blood. I haven’t done the “Foreign Poet” sketch in thirty years and the prospects for the future are not good.
I guess that I’ll be doing my little one-man shows in the line at St. Arbucks. That’s about it.
Some days I’m little more than a gray-haired smarty pants kid.