Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2018

Archive for the category “Standup Comedy”

Throwback Thursday – from August 2015

Throwback Thursday 1 Read more…

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Throwback Thursday from July 2015

Throwback Thursday 3

My Butt Is Dragging

drunk-man-sleeping-park-27785199GOING UP AND DOWN STAIRS is difficult today because my butt is dragging and it makes a disturbing sound as it bounces on each step.

SHH-Thump, SHH-Thump, SHH-Thump.

I’m in recovery from our vacation that covered 1600+ miles in one week, more walking/hiking than I’ve done in years and that, as of yesterday, I am one year older.

No wonder my butt is dragging. It may take a week of intense sleeping for me to get my sedentary mojo back.

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Now Appearing At My Doctor’s Office

doctor1THIS MORNING I EXPERIENCED A NEW BRANCH OF MEDICINE.

I got there at a little after 9 AM, went through the usual litany of give and take with the nurse – “No, I haven’t spontaneously burst into flames since my last visit.” – and then I waited for my doctor to make his entrance.

Little did I know…

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We Are Not Amused

2I’M WARNING YOU. I don’t respond well to “April Fools” jokes. I may respond, but not “well,” if you catch my drift.

The urge to pull stupid pranks on people on this date passed when I was about six – about the same time I quit telling “moron” jokes. 1

I think my daily exposure to the Sisters of Divine Providence may have had something to do with it.

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O, Canada! Say My Name!


O CanadaWHEN TODAY STARTED I thought it was going to be a quiet, gentle day in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “They’re at the door, Jade.”).

Down at St. Arbucks the “Usual Suspects” seemed subdued and even quasi-rational. I should have recognized that as an omen of Strange to Come.

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It’s Gonna Be A Busy Week

Squirrel DancerI JUST LOOKED AT MY CALENDAR for next week.

Monday: Car into the Toyota Dealer for 5k mile check/oil change.

Tuesday: Dr. Appt. 3 month BP check-in. Blood draw.

Wednesday: Nutritionist. Explain why weight loss ain’t there.

Thursday: Try to be creative. Pull hair out.

Friday: See Thursday. Shop for inexpensive hairpiece.

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My Butt Is Dragging

drunk-man-sleeping-park-27785199GOING UP AND DOWN STAIRS is difficult today because my butt is dragging and it makes a disturbing sound as it bounces on each step.

SHH-Thump, SHH-Thump, SHH-Thump

Read more…

Life Is Like An Open Mic Night

Microphone on fire

A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO another blogger I follow had a posting about getting up on stage at a stand-up comedy Open Mic. He wrote about using it as a laboratory to try out new material on an audience that, on most nights, isn’t too critical.

I’ve been onstage at more Open Mics than I care to recall. I am proud to say that I survived them all, although there were a few close calls. That can happen whether you are there merely as a performer or as the MC – and can’t run away until the end of the evening.

Going onstage at an Open Mic, for comedians who have some experience, is a place to try out new material without having a club owner mad at you. If they have to pay you and you “Bite it” they get really angry. If you do it on an Open Mic night they don’t even listen. A Perfect Scenario.

While it serves as a lab for some comedians it is a matter of life and death for others. Some people come to Open Mic Night because they have dreams of being the next (fill in the blank). Some come there because they lost a bet, and some others show up strictly because they have stopped taking their medication. How they will do has nothing to do with in which category they fall. This helps to explain why backstage at a comedy club is a cross between a novena to St. Jude and a scene from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” I’ve been backstage where some people are vomiting out of fear while others are in the corner muttering to themselves and punching the wall.

I knew one comedian, who shall remain nameless because they are still performing, who had such stage fright that, before going on, would drink several large Coca-Colas spiked with six or seven packets of sugar. Talk about your sugar buzz!

There were a number of nights when I would be the MC and have to decide who went onstage and when, and to maintain discipline among the troops. It was often like trying to herd cats. Newcomers went on early or very late and comedians who were there working out would get the Primetime spots before the crowd was too drunk to notice the difference.

Another part of the MC’s job was to establish the ground rules for the audience as well as the performers. I would explain to the assembled revelers that they would, “…see careers beginning, careers flourishing, and careers ending – sometimes all within the span of five minutes.” For the comedians I had to explain that they would get a certain amount of time and no more. Break that rule and I would turn off the microphone and banish them to Hades.

Most clubs had a no-heckling rule for two reasons.

First – nobody is there to listen to some drunken idiot act a fool, and

Second – you heckle the wrong person and they will either verbally destroy you in front of your friends or, in a few cases, follow you out of the club and ‘go postal’ on you in the parking lot. That warning was usually enough, although some clubs had hired bouncers who could and would physically remove idiots when the MC gave them a nod. Hiring Samoan guys as bouncers usually kept things in order. For some reason they grow ‘em big in Samoa. Big, as in, “Sweet Jesus, where does a person that big buy clothes?”

Perhaps on another day I will blog about “heckler stoppers” – what can be said from the stage to verbally shred the drunken fools in the house who don’t want to obey the rules. Hint: female drunks are the worst.

Despite all of this I urge you to go out to an Open Mic Night at a club near you. It can be a fun and memorable evening, and you might get the chance to tell your friends, “I remember seeing him/her when they were just starting out. I knew they would be big someday.”

Open Mic Night is like a box of chocolates.

You might end up fat and with zits.

(Rimshot!)

Has Anybody Seen The Olives?

Lost in the marketAS I’VE MENTIONED here before, my neighborhood Kroger supermarket has been undergoing a massive remodeling in an effort to keep up with a brand new competitor opening nearby. All in all, I am in favor of this, but I think it has gotten out of hand.

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Somehow I Don’t See This Working Out

Workout

I WENT TO SEE MY DOCTOR the other day. This particular doctor is a Nutritionist. He has a bunch of letters after his name, but I don’t recall the letters “M” and “D” being among them. But he’s a nice guy.

One of my other doctors sent me to see this doctor last autumn. He was all over my case about how I needed to lose weight. I couldn’t very well argue with him about that. I’ve been hearing that same complaint since I was six years old. That was during the Korean War. (For those of you with public school educations – look it up in a book called an Encyclopedia.)

The last time I saw Dr. Nutritionist he gave me a three page printout with the title, “The Seven Minute Workout.” He was pleased that I had managed to lose about 35 pounds, but not pleased that I done that without doing any exercises. He was not amused when he asked me what I did for exercise and I relied, “I stumble.”

He said that he wanted me to look over the printout and see what exercises I could do. Let me tell you right now – I ain’t Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarz…Shwartze…the former Governor of California, or some guy who spends his day working out and lifting weights in the prison yard.

Jumping Jacks: That requires more synchronization of body parts than I can manage.

Wall Sits: The last time I did one of those I was 22 years old and very drunk.

Push-Ups: I’ve seen Marines do that using one arm. I’m not a Marine.

Ab Crunch: No relation to Nestles Crunch.

Step-up: Usually preceded by some nitwit at the Motor Vehicle Bureau shouting, “Next!”

Squat: First thing every morning after I turn on the “Today Show.”

Triceps Dip On Chair: See “Wall Sits.”

Plank: What the f***k? If you see me doing that call 911.

High Knees: With my legs, anything above six or seven inches constitutes “high.”

Lunges: Sounds like an Interpretive Dance move. It refers to my “front and back knees.” My knees are next to each other. I want to keep them that way.

Push-Ups and Rotation: If I am doing a push-up and I rotate – see advice for “Plank.”

Side Plank: Here we go with that Plank business again! I’m sorry, but all my planks are warped.

I know he was disappointed, but I did tell him that once the weather improves I intend to get out there and do some walking. I will. I promise. They are opening a new Meijer Super Store nearby and it will take a heap of walking to get around that place. That counts, doesn’t it?

It’s Nice To Be Missed

Coffee Loves You

I CAN’T SPEAK FOR ANYONE ELSE – I have enough trouble just speaking for myself, but I am moved when a commercial venture actually cares about me.

Let me explain.

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If Things Don’t Go Well

Thumbs up

YOU ARE READING THIS on Monday. I am typing this on Friday afternoon. Knowing that might help you to understand what follows.

As I type this the sun is shining and the temperature in beautiful Terre Haute, Indiana is 13 degrees, Fahrenheit. I might look back on that as the high point of this weekend.

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And The Award Goes To…

darwin_awards

I WAS JUST RANDOMLY TIPTOEING through the Internet the other day when I came across a news item that made me stop.

Police say a 55-year-old southwestern Michigan woman who died after accidentally shooting herself in the head in January was adjusting a handgun in her bra holster at the time.”

I’m familiar with the practice of carrying a concealed weapon, but I would think that you would want the gun to be easily accessible. But, then again, I wasn’t there to see just how accessible things were with her. I’m glad I wasn’t there. I would have called the 911 emergency line, but I think I might have had trouble explaining what happened.

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Oh Happy Day!

spring training 2015

 

I have to admit it – despite the fact that there are several inches of snow on the ground just outside our window – I am walking around with a smile on my face. The first sign of Spring has appeared – Baseball Spring Training has begun.

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Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!

monk mummy 2

“THE AMAZINGLY INTACT REMAINS of a meditating monk have been discovered in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia, according to a report in Mongolia’s Morning News.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I want news from Songinokhairkhan province, I turn to the Mongolia’s Morning News.

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But Wait! There’s More!

As Seen on TV 2

IS IT ALMOST CHRISTMAS AGAIN? It must be because our mailbox is crammed with catalogs every day. Catalogs from places we’ve never heard of are arriving at a dizzying pace and almost all of them go straight into the recycle bin.

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I Could Use A Half Billion Dollars, Thank You

Powerball

THIS PAST WEDNESDAY the Powerball Lottery drawing Grand Prize had reached 500 million dollars. Wow! Half a billion dollars! That would keep you off of food stamps for a while.

For reasons I’m still not sure of, the State Lottery Commission decided that the drawing needed some additional allure. They set up a publicity stunt here in Terre Haute. I guess they felt that the smell of all that money wasn’t enough.

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Here’s Looking At You, Kid

1984-not-instruction-manual

I WAS WATCHING THE TODAY SHOW the other morning and I saw a most interesting story (Which is odd for the Today Show. Most of the time they present fluff, interspersed with even lighter fluff.) They did a short piece about the new big screen TVs that are now on the market.

It seems that while we are watching them – they are watching us.

They showed a new Samsung television as their example. The TV has a camera and microphone that enables it to take both visual and verbal commands. The catch is, that as it listens and it watches, it is recording as well and, according to the technical info on the TV says, that this recorded info will be transmitted to a third party.

If that’s a party I wasn’t invited.

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Goin’ To The Chapel – Not

Manson and fiancee

INFORMATION HAS REACHED these tender ears that the engagement of Charles Manson and Afton Elaine Burton aka “Star” has been called off. The bride is distraught and the groom has stormed back to the far corner of his cell to be alone.

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It Didn’t Hurt At All

bad haircut

FOR THE PAST TWO WEEKS I’ve been putting off getting a haircut. It had gotten to the point that, no matter what I did, my hair was looking like I had stuck my toe into a wall socket or I had inadvertently seen Lady Gaga up close and personal – and mistaken her for Tony Bennett. I was starting to look like an exploding Death Star. I did not like that.

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