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My Second Night of Stand Up Comedy

My Second Night of Stand Up Comedy

Last night was the second time I performed stand up comedy. The first was on my birthday last year at McCurdy’s, and last night was at Spitfire Comedy House in St. Pete. The next time will be Friday in Wesley Chapel.

Shortly after arriving at the Spitfire Lounge, I was informed that I would be the first performer of the evening. I have very little trepidation about getting on a stage. I usually feel more comfortable on a stage in front of a bunch of people than I do sitting among them. And since that ability has given me the opportunity to host open mics, workshops, trolley tours, fundraisers, and other events while also being able to play a variety of characters and songs, I have no problem going first.

I began last night’s set by introducing myself as a multi-faceted artist, which means that I’ve found many ways to be both happy and broke. It got a few chuckles, but I remind myself that, like Will Rogers, I am more of a humorist than a comedian. Basically, that means that I’d really love to make people laugh because it feels good for all involved, but I’m perfectly content to just get people to think, hopefully in a way that makes them at least feel a little better. I don’t need to bust guts, but I do want to lift spirits.

I mentioned that to supplement my income a few years ago, since I knew schools were short staffed, I decided to become a substitute teacher. I started in middle school, mainly because they started at 9am, and I don’t really want to spend time with anyone before that, especially middle schoolers. I explained that although I was all for serving my community by caring for its future, I still didn’t deserve to suffer that much. 

Middle schoolers are the worst people on the planet. They’re not adults. They’re not children, at least the kind we like. They’re just these surging globules of hormones pushing every button and border that they can. 

So I decided to get up a little earlier and teach elementary school. My first day was in kindergarten. It was only a half day since I was easing into it, and I met them on the playground. One of them came up to me and said that another kid took the shovel he was using in the sandbox.

I asked him, “what were you digging for?”


I said, “Congratulations! You got it.” He eventually smiled and I said, “go play with something else.”

I have worked in a number of schools in Sarasota County, and I want to assure some of you that I have not seen a single litter box. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, according to the interwebs, there are children who identify as cats, and schools are beholden to provide them with litter boxes so they can do their business. This is something that some people actually believe.

But that is not the way we do it in Sarasota. If they identify as a cat, we teach them to scratch at the door until we let them outside to do their business. And when we do, they just linger at the doorway, not really sure if they wanna go in or out after all. It’s a challenge.

And then, just as I’d done on Monday night when I rehearsed this bit for my poetry group, I forgot to tell what I thought was the funniest joke. I meant to say that I was disappointed that I didn’t find any of those litter boxes for kids who identified as cats. Because as a man who identifies as a Leo, I really wanted to drive a big old lion sized deuce in one of those things. I was gonna have Taco Bell for breakfast that day. Can you imagine the look on the guy’s face who has to clean those things out?

“What the hell are they feeding these kids?”

So that was the joke that I forgot to tell before I moved on to announce the publication of my 10th book, which got a nice round of applause. And then I proceeded to recite the book for them in the two minutes I had left, rapidly going through the poem about all of the collective nouns we have for animals called A Group of Critters. And even though I had a couple of stumbles during it, the audience was only aware of the one I pointed out, and I got a nice applause at the end of the poem as well.

I didn’t sell any coloring books, but I had a lot of fun and enjoyed listening to the other comics. I’m not sure if I’ll do the same set again on Friday. I’d really like to actually tell the joke, and I’d like to make it all the way through the poem without any screwups, but I’ll probably decide on Friday. 

But I’m looking forward to doing it again, regardless of what I actually say.