Nerves Of Steel
I Goggled “stand-up comedy,” and discovered there is a site called, “So You Wanna Do Stand-Up Comedy?” that has all sorts of nifty advice for the wannabe. It says, and I quote, “To do any kind of live performance, you need to have a strong ego and nerves of steel. To do stand-up comedy, you need to be virtually insane.” To which I say, “Humph!”
It goes on to say that, “Just about everybody bombs their first time, (bomb means you didn’t make them laugh.) In the world of stand-up, that’s not good.” Actually, I didn’t bomb the first time, and the second time, I didn’t get to finish the routine. I’d signed up for a community Gong Show in order to get practice. Basic premise was that contestants could perform any act, and all of them got “gonged” at the end of their act, regardless of how good or bad their performance was. I don’t think there were any cash prizes; it was just for fun.
I was practicing the act in a back room downtown, and two guys who were looking for the bathroom accidently walked in on me, so I asked them to watch my act. If I was going to bomb the first time, I’d rather it be in front of two guys I’d never see again, than in front of my entire home town. Here is the basic act. “How many of you have seen the Twilight movies; you know, the vampire thing?” They both raised their hands. I said, “Can you imagine the problems that would be created if you suddenly became a vampire? For example, does anybody know if vampires can have babies?” They both sort of shrugged their shoulders. I said, “I think you would be kind of okay for the first nine months or so, until the kid started growing teeth. Think about it; would you really want a vampire breast-feeding?” It took about two seconds before they got the joke, then they both laughed and crossed their arms over their chests.
I went on, “After a couple of months, the kid would start toddling around, and then he’d ready for some solid… well, some liquid food. But here’s the problem; you can’t preserve blood very well. I think it coagulates really quickly, which means that Junior’s food supply would have to be really fresh.” (They both groaned.) “I mean, what do you do; open the door and say, ‘Hey Son! You see that farmer over there? Go get him, boy!’” The guys were doubled over by this time, and I hadn’t even gotten to the punch line yet, so I let them compose themselves a little bit and said, “Now here’s another problem; toddlers can‘t reach necks. (Big dramatic pause.) Kind of give a whole new meaning to the term ‘Ankle Biter,’ doesn’t it?”
I’ve always been able to make my sister pee her pants at my will, simply by throwing in a well-timed zinger like that, (or making a disgusting noise when she’s swallowing something), but I didn’t know, until that minute, that other people would do it too. Come to think of it, I laughed myself silly when I thought of that line. It’s kind of pathetic when you laugh at your own jokes, isn’t it?