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 – 2019

Archive for the tag “Standup Comedy”

Throwback Thursday From March of 2015 – “Reality! What A Concept.”

mr_t

Throwback Thursday From March of 2015 –

“Reality! What A Concept.”

I heard something on TV last night that, at first, I thought was a gag, but after a minute or so, I realized was for real.

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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

monk mummy 2

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

“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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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “But Wait! There’s More!”

As Seen on TV 2

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “But Wait! There’s More!”

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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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “And The Award Goes To…”

darwin_awards

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “And The Award Goes To…”

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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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “People are SO Suspicious”

squinting jack-elam

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “People are SO Suspicious”

 

 

 

I’VE BEEN WORKING on a sequel of a novel I wrote a couple years ago and I’m trying to gather some technical information about cell phones to use as a plot device. You’d think I was asking for info on how to construct my own H-bomb.

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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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Throwback Thursday “OK, So I’m Not A Poet”

Throwback Thursday from 1/21/15

OK, So I’m Not A Poet

poetry lovers

 

I’VE BEEN CREATING STORIES since I was a kid. I remember writing a Cowboys and Indians epic and showing it to my teacher, Sister Mary Something-or-Other. She was not impressed.

When I got to high school I signed up for all of the creative writing and journalism classes I could. My teachers told me that I could really spin a yarn, but…

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It’s Too Early For Anything But Puppies

hurricaneAS I GET UP THIS MORNING and turn on the TV all I see is hurricanes and candidates. There’s not much difference when you get down to it – a lot of hot air passing through, and people getting soaked. The hurricane blows down homes and the candidates blow down people’s dreams with nonsensical promises for things they can never deliver.

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The Struggle To Tell A Story

writers-blockEVERY DAY I HEAR SOME WRITER GRUMBLING ABOUT “WRITER’S BLOCK.”  I’ve never had that and I find it hard to fathom. Not know what to write next? That has never been a problem.

I’ve asked a number of writers to explain it to me and they have trouble coming up with an answer that doesn’t go in circles, ending up with a shrug.

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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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If You Don’t Hear From Me – It’s The Moles

20150729_114750IT HAS BEEN A QUIET MORNING.

After stumbling through the process of making tea and doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper I felt that I was sufficiently conscious to drive to St. Arbucks.

“Oh, great nectar from the mountains of Abyssinia, you awaken my mind and soul to all the wonders and possibilities of God’s creation.” 

— From the Gospel of St. Arbucks, Patron Saint of Jittery people.

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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

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Remember – You Called Me

Not againWE HAVE PUT our home phone number on those “No-Call” lists for years, but it doesn’t seem to work. We still get several calls a week from organizations begging for money, “Canadian pharmacies” selling pills, and a variety of computer scams both foreign and domestic.  Since they called me I consider them fair game for a little verbal knee to the groin retaliation.

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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!)

An Open Letter To God

God in sistine chapel

DEAR GOD,

I DON’T USUALLY TRY TO SPEAK WITH You in such a public manner, but I just feel that this open letter might be the best way today. I hope that this is OK with You. Here goes.

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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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