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Inspirational Reads

What? Me? Heckle?

April 16, 2009

I went to a rather small school for undergrad. It was located in a rather pastoral setting at the south end of a very small, farming-oriented community. Describing it as one-horse probably is lending it too much credit, though it was the town that the driver's ed kids from the next county over would come to, so that they could practice driving through intersections with stoplights. From a certain point of view, it could be described as a booming, thriving metropolis...I guess.

Anyway, the college tried to get comedians and shows in to entertain the students as much as they could. Bear in mind, this was a small college, so the acts weren't always the greatest, and I doubt I could name a single one of the performers or comedians who stopped off in Rensselaer for an hour's worth of self-promotion and a meager paycheck at the end.

However, sometimes, we got really good acts or really good comedians. That was the case on the night in question. The comedienne was actually a very funny lady. I remember a couple of times laughing until tears came to my eyes. As per usual, she went on about driving through cornfields and such to get to the college. Everybody pretty much did that when they came to Rensselaer, but when she entered into her own act, it was damned funny.

I say all this as a preface for the crux of the story. Now, this particular comedienne was a black lady of, we'll say, ample proportions, and as such, she started talking about her love of ice cream. She had me right there. If there's something I love, it is the ice cream (along with a variety of other things that I have detailed here time and again). As luck would have it, Rensselaer had a small ice cream shop called Busy Bee, which was a common congregation point in the late spring evenings for the population of the college. We'd walk into town, enjoy our frozen dairy comestibles, and then sometimes stroll through other parts of the town or simply walk back to campus. It was truly idyllic.

The comedienne saw Busy Bee on her way to the campus and was, appropriately, fired up. But, she was worried. Like me, she had a refined palate and had a few prerequisites as to whether it would be worth her time to enjoy this fine fare.

"Now, this Busy Bee place, it doesn't have just one flavor, does it?" she asked the crowd.

No, was the general response from the crowd.

"No? How many flavors does it have, then?"

At this point, I thought, in the blink of an eye, Hey, she's really funny. Perhaps I'll throw something up there for her, and she can hit it out of the ballpark. We'll all be rolling in the aisles, holding our sides, pissing our pants because she's that fucking funny!

The end result of this internal monologue was me, firing off: "Two!" This was met with a few chuckles from the crowd.

Oh goody, I thought, my internal voice rising in pitch as I pondered the looming possibilities, here comes the comedy gold!!!

"Two?" she asked, her eyes wide, an eyebrow cocked. I swelled up in eager anticipation. Here it comes...

This is where, I should point out, things made a turn for the worse.

"Two? Is that all that makes you happy, farmboy? Two? You and that little ear thing you've got going on. Two flavors for me and my ears, please." And then she turned, dismissively, and continued on with her routine.

I. Was. Crushed. She even, in the course of pointing out that my ears stick out a tad, grabbed the upper part of her ear and pulled it out some. It was like she had just stomped on my puppy, and then kicked its gasoline-soaked carcass into the middle of the street, where it was to burst aflame the moment it was run over by a speeding semi-truck, trailer in tow.

Where was the funny? Where was the comedic gold I had known was coming? Is this all I get? Being called a "farmboy" and my ears made fun of? Not that you needed the help, but I just fired off a slow pitch over the middle of the plate. You could do something with it, other than point out the shortcomings of my personal appearance.

I shed a single tear, much like the Native American standing at the side of the road, an empty 7-Up can rolling at his feet.

Perhaps she thought I was trying to heckle her. Perhaps she wanted to get her entire act finished within the allotted time. I don't know. What I do know is that, after that moment, no matter how lousy or how funny the comedian or how talented the performer, I vowed never to interact with the person on stage, lest my personal attributes are once again held up before the jeering gallery to be judged and mocked.

This does not, however, include the time that, during a screening of The Scorpion King in the theatre, when Lucy Liu straddled the Rock's chest shortly after he had been wounded, I shouted (for all to hear) "Lay here while I suck the poison from your chest with my vagina!"

See, you can bite a movie, and the movie doesn't bite back.


Sassy Britches said...

I don't go in for comedians whose schtick is making fun of audience members; it's unoriginal, like you said. Best to stick with the movies, friend, where your witticisms are ALWAYS appreciated!

red said...

Ice cream is the best thing ever. Was there more to this post than that?

Cora said...

And thus I will never see Lucy Liu in an innocent light again.

Kimizzy said...

I was blasted once as well, and I didn't even say anything.

That's when I joined Jenny Craig.

TishTash said...

So your ears stick out? I hope you're not a runner, because that's not a very aerodynamic design.

Joe said...

If you are worried that Matt still has to worry about those ears. I stealthy had a look and it seems that he has finally grown into those ears. I figure that when he was a young lad, he was cute like a puppy with oversized ears. But now not so much...more like an old dog, tired and smelly (blame the chili, not good for Matt or an old dog).

coolred38 said...

It takes a big man to admit he has flappy ears...and that he likes ice cream...and that he can say "vagina" in a crowded theater without diving under his jacket when everyone looks...yup...a big man...big BIG man....hmmm?

Frank said...

My college is too worthless to get comedians or anything cool like that. All we get are buses that'll take you into Chicago to see real shows. I got a lot of shit from just about everyone (including comedians) because I used to wear glasses that made my eyes look like they were as big as volleyballs. Then I got contacts and became awesome.

Eric said...

Ha! Good call on the poison sucking comment. Was Lucy Liu in the knife fighting scene in the Mummy? Oh, who cares, it was beautiful, can't recall seeing the faces so much.

BeckEye said...

You're just lucky that she only commented on your ears. She could have jumped on you and tried to suck digested ice cream out of your stomach with her vagina.

Chaka said...

Great story. It's too bad she didn't recoginize the fact you were setting her up for a spike. I too was sensitive about my appearance when I was younger. My arms were the length of a grown man when I was in 5th grade. Kind of like Freddy Kruger.

Missy said...

Oh, I had forgotten all about the American Indian ads!

Alkaloid said...

You, Mr. Jenks, are comedic gold. I just had a mishap with my soda upon reaching the final line. My nose is okay now.

Alkaloid said...

Make that the penultimate line.

Soda and Candy said...

All I can think when I see that Native American guy is:
"Cynthia used to drink Slurm."

(and if you don't know about Futurama, well... I jut don't know if we can be friends)

Scope said...

"And then 15 people pulled out laser pointers from around audiance, and kept hitting her with lights from different directions until she went MAAAAAD!" Right?

Chemgeek said...


I'll take the set up...
Two? Yeah, yours and mine.
Two? By the look of this crowd, it's probably "vanilla" and "really vanilla."
Two? That's it. Wow, you guys are more backwards than I thought.
Two? Looks like I'll be part of a menages a trois tonight.

That's all I got

Gwen said...

LMAO@Beckeye. Damn, but that girl's funny.

Yeah, I got nothing else. I think I was picked on once but I was just happy to be the center of attention again.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ red: Pretty much, no. Ice cream and Roger Olsen. That's it.

@ SassyBritches: Really, I don't yell things out that often in movies. But when I do, it's effing golden.

@ Cora: You should see the way I see her!

@ Kimizzy: Well, she came back the following year, but I didn't go see her show. I had to work or study or sit in my dorm room and weep or something.

@ TishTash: They stick out so much that, when I try to run, I become a power walker.

@ Joe: I'm coming over for dinner Saturday. And I'm eating chili for breakfast.

@ CoolRed38: Yes, thanks, we get it. I'm fat. :P

@ Frank: Well, we'd bus into Chicago for shows and such, too, but I guess we were on that hotly coveted route from Chicago to Indianapolis that allowed people just slightly funnier than the sea dog from Family Guy to show up for a spot of comedy.

@ Eric: I honestly don't remember. I do remember thinking "no, no, cut the straps, not each other" a lot.

@ Beckeye: *sigh* I hate it when someone makes a comment that's miles more funny than my entire post.

@ Chaka: I'll bet you were everybody's best friend when it came time to reach something off the top shelf though, right?

@ Missy: Thankfully, the Simpsons keep ole Iron Eyes' legacy alive!

@ Alkaloid: I'm terribly sorry to have caused the eruption of beverage through your nose. At the same time, I shall bask in the glow of your laughter at my joke.

And, I knew what you meant. However, penultimate is such a fucking great word.

@ Soda & Candy: Oh, my genitalia. Ah, that's better.

@ Scope: She was a comedienne with a love of ice cream, not Adrian Monk.

@ Chemgeek: Is it wrong that I laughed really hard at the "vanilla and more vanilla" joke? Yeah, it probably is. And I...don'

@ Gwen: And that day was yesterday, wasn't it, Quasi?

Nej said...

The Mr and I were married in a small little JOP ceremony. Afterwards, we went out to eat, and to the local comedy club.

Mot made the mistake of telling the club owners we were they put us front and center. When the comedian (who'd be alerted to our presence) asked how long we'd been married, we both looked at our watches.....simultaneously.

The crowd roared with laughter, thinking we were just being funny.

When we both answered "3 hours" at the same time....the comedian was laughing so hard, he had to walk off the stage.

I would have laughed at your "Two", our crowd would have laughed, and our comedian would have loved it. I'm just sayin'.

Hap said...

In grad school, one of the people got a bunch of free tickets to a comedy club, so I went with a bunch of other grad students. The first five comedians (everyone but the headliner) were actually funny (to various degrees). The sixth was a pathetic self-absorbed loser who somehow thought (based on at least some financial data) that his self-absorption was funny. At least to this crowd, however, it was not - two of the people up front were talking. Mr. Pissy stops and says "Excuse me, I'm the comedian here." I didn't want to get my friends in trouble, but I so wanted to yell, "Aren't comedians supposed to be funny?" But I didn't.

~E said...

"Lay here while I suck the poison from your chest with my vagina!"

I was gonna come up with a comment worthy of your comedic gold but dangit...I'm still too busy laughing at that sentence.