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.
Clifton was a hippy town, a mini-Haight Asbury, but smaller and a bit cleaner. It was the University of Cincinnati’s campus and during the 70’s the town was alive with bars, boutiques, head shops and restaurants like Zino’s Firehouse Pizza, In Cahoots with its mile-high reubens, and the Beacon-sized Bogarts, where any mid-level name band could make you feel like you were at a happening.
On Calhoun, sandwich row, you could start at one end, say, Adriatico’s Greek deli and work your way down, eating and barhopping. Towards Clifton Ave you’d hit Arby’s, Wendy’s, the Acropolis, and then it was bar, bar, bar, bar, campus bookstore, bar, laundromat, Tony’s Pizza, bar, bar.
When you write a story about comedy – about anything, really – you form a contract with your reader and certain expectations are created. So if I’d written, say, a book about a dog, you might ask, well, what kind of dog? And I might say a Maltese Shih Tzu. And you might say, oh, oh, great, and start reading.
So, upon hearing that this story is about comedy, you might ask: well, is it funny? And the answer, honestly, is no.
I’m quite pleased to announce that my new piece Barb is now up at The Big Jewel. And just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Here’s a little excerpt:
Barb was extremely popular in a way that I was extremely not.
There was something about Barb. The way she chewed her pens and threw them out before the ink exploded. And then I’d retrieve the pens and chew where she chewed, even if they did explode. And then I’d have blue teeth for weeks. And people would go, Eugh. He’s been chewing Barb’s pens again. Loser!
We had a special relationship, me and Barb.
She was always there for me. When I tripped in the hallway, she was there. When I spilled lunch on myself, she was there. When I got shoved into lockers, she was there. And usually helping to change the locks.
Last year, around Christmas time, three Santa Clauses – two tall ones, and a short, fat, jolly one – followed me onto the subway. I didn’t think they were following me, per se. But still, there they were. It was rush hour and the subway car was packed. Not sardines packed, but full. And I pressed myself up against the back wall, which is where I stand when I’m standing in a subway car. And the Santas were nearby, huddled together. One of the tall ones had an mp3 player turned up way too loud. The other ate a sandwich from a bag.
And after a minute I noticed that all three seemed to be staring at me and nodding and whispering. And I thought, nah, they’re not looking at me. But they were. And then everyone in the car was staring at them staring at me, some smirking. And I was creeped out and pissed. And then one of the Santas – the short, fat jolly one – lifted his hand and pointed a finger at my crotch.
And I looked down…and saw my fly was open.
So, I turned to the back wall, nonchalantly, and zipped up. When I turned back, the short Santa nodded and smiled: good job. The mp3 Santa gave me a thumbs up.
And I said the only thing you really could say at that point: