- Rabbi promised this year’s service much more fun and upbeat
- Great time to brush up on your ABCs of Sin
- JC Penney having its annual Day O’ Sufferin’ White Sale
- One day of year that you get to make your “A-Toney the Tiger” joke
- Infidelities from previous six months pretty much taken care of now
- Fewer candy wrapper sounds than at regular service
- Terrific time to really read all 3,259 memorial plaques in temple hallway
- Silent Prayer – good time to think about all the bacon and shellfish you’ll be eating at break fast
- Silent Prayer – great time to imagine Cantor suddenly breaking into Battle of Evermore
- Pre-paid ambulances ready and waiting for post-break fast heart attacks and food comas
- Fasting and gorging good practice for future anorexics
- Fun visit from Yom Kippur Kevin and his Big’ Bag O’ Guilt
- Having to explain to older folks that YK is not a virus that will attack their computer
- Going into confessional booth to tell the Rabbi your sins
- You waited all year to hear the Shofar and now, finally – wait, what?
It’s a pretty ugly chapter, chronicling a painfully bad stand-up performance. (Although it’s a nice look at what’s going on in the brain of a comic during a bad and pretty long gig.) If watching cringe-worthy, trainwreck performances is your thing – this is for you.
If you’re coming late to the game and wondering what all this Plrknib stuff is about – you can read the entire thing here. You can also check out the site’s About page for the quick skinny on the whole thing.
And in a month or so – the actual book will be coming out.
Excited to announce that my short story “Clarity” is up at the excellent literary site, New Pop Lit.
Here’s the opening:
I’m falling towards train tracks. Subway tracks. The F to be exact. It’s about 9:20 pm. I’m falling towards the tracks because I’ve been massively sideswiped by a homeless man and his Samsonite luggage. Just one piece of luggage, actually. Is luggage singular and plural? You wouldn’t say luggages, right? It’s a nice, sturdy suitcase – at least half the size of the homeless man himself. And sure, it’s dingy, a bit blemished – especially near the bottom. But you really feel it when someone smacks it right into you.
Can finally let the dog grow his hair back out.
Velcro cargo shorts no longer ruining all clothes in the laundry.
Not so much incentive to continue chlorinating the pool.
Great chance to see new Fall TV lineup before all shows are cancelled.
Excellent chance to catch up on moping.
Jewish high holidays always a rockin’ good time.
Less arguing with loved ones re what constitutes sweltering.
Neighbor had way more fireflies than you.
Couch occupied by children miraculously available again.
Harvest season looks promising.
Good time to stock up on batteries for upcoming hurricanes.
No more distracting, scantily clad women everywhere, all the time.
Great opportunity to pro-actively lower expectations for upcoming basketball season.
Irritation over everyone saying that went way too quickly! starting to diminish.
Thrilled to see Congress back in session and really getting some work done.
Not as concerned about whether or not people are effectively recycling their 3-D glasses.
Never had a tan, and don’t care anymore.
Not so bad if you’re an infant.
Reality that we adults never actually had the summer off abundantly clear now.
Hey, honey. You know how I’m governor of one of the fifty states in America – and how that’s a really, really important thing???
Well, so, I was deep in the forest this morning – skipping along and minding my own business – la la la la la la la la la – when suddenly, I came upon a strange man with a bright, orange face and very tiny hands!
And he said, how would I like to trade my big, important governorship for a handful of magic beans!? And a possible cabinet position!?
And! And – he said – I could travel all over with him – and even pick up his lunch!
Well, of course I said yes!
But then – he disappeared!!! And now, I haven’t got anything left.
Not even the magic beans. I ate them.
I’m so so sad. I don’t know what to do.
I guess I’ll drive a bus for NJ Transit.
I’ve been serializing my story of doing stand-up in high school, 35 years ago, over at www.plrknib.com. We’re up to about 25 chapters so far.
Plrknib is a memoir. And initially I was uncomfortable about writing it that way. I could have easily written it as fiction, but decided to keep it as a memoir for one simple reason: the place I performed regularly at – d.w. eye – and all the comics who played there were real. Are real. The club, itself, no longer exists and some of the comics have left us as well. But many are going strong today.
Drew Hastings performs regularly and is mayor of Hillsboro, OH. Chili Challis performs regularly and teaches comedy at well-revered “dojos” across the Midwest. Will Durst has been going strong beating the crap out of both political parties, lately. Bob Lambert, Rico Diaz, Chip Chinery, Riggi, Roger. Most still write or perform, at least occasionally. The list goes on and on.
So, while I was certainly capable of fictionalizing the story – it seemed criminal not to celebrate the people who were so incredibly inspiring to me when I was a stupid teenager.
So, it’s a memoir. Real. True.
And once upon a time we were giants.
I was playing Scrabble the other day with my identical twin sister. Boy, is she ugly –
I rationalized: this is a joke by a not-famous comedian hundreds of miles away, on the other side of the world, on an alien planet. If he lived here, in Cinti, then no, forget it. If it seemed like he might ever even come to town – then no. But he would never know. No one here would have heard of him, heard this bit before. We were on two different planets completely. Two obscure, young comics on two different worlds, hundreds of miles away from each other.
Telling the same joke.
Of course, no one would know.
Fireworks were so abundant and so easy to get when I was a kid, that I thought you could get them anywhere – the grocery, the local drug store. I didn’t realize till much later that my father – and everybody else in town – had to go all the way across the river to Kentucky to get them.
He always bought a good selection – not just sparklers, but bottle rockets, black cats, cherry bombs, and big stuff like roman candles. He showed us how to set them off, but we were not at all graceful. We’d light them and run, 20-30 feet off. And if the thing didn’t go off, you’d have to decide whether or not to go back and check. Was it a dud? Delayed? Should we light it again? What if it exploded the moment you got near it? I can say that I never knew one of those kids who lost a body part over a firecracker. (Although I did meet a kid on a bus once who shot himself in the leg with his dad’s rifle. But that’s another story.)
But the best fireworks were firecrackers. The ones they sold (and still sell I’m sure) in bricks with the fuses all tangled up and you could separate them out or light the whole thing at once. We’d put them under cans and watch them explode into the air. Miniature dynamite.
The biggest badge of honor was finding a loose, unused firecracker somewhere outside. The kind that had been dropped or abandoned. Bottle rockets that flew off but never exploded. If you found one in the street or the woods, it was better than money. And after a typical Fourth of July, kids would scour the streets for them. Most were duds, but one in a hundred worked. I held onto one for about a year that was perfect and dry before I tried it. When I did, I had no idea what was going to happen. I blew a Folger’s can to kingdom come.
One time, at camp, we did this show that we knew would be perfect if we could end it with big special effects. What we wanted was dry ice – but my friend Kenny said, no problem, he’s got black cats and some cherry bombs. He’s on it. Fortunately, it was at the end of the show, and it didn’t matter so much when the entire building filled up with smoke and everyone ran out of the place, screaming and coughing. No one got hurt. But ten minutes later smoke was still pouring out of the windows.