I Need To Get Out More Often

My friend Margo has been testing out the local comedy club scene lately.
Portland Maine offers lots of venues for artists of all kinds, I suppose I wouldn’t have a Tarot business at all if this area wasn’t amenable to various sorts of
self-expression.

I do know Margo to be funny. We watch Patriot football together on Sunday afternoons and her comments on the players “outfits” keep me amused:  “I’d never root for a team that wears those ugly pants” or “Who designed that helmet with that tiny bird on the side, what were they thinking?”  This and a few beers goes a long way on a cold November afternoon.

Last night was open-mike night at a local bar, and since Margo’s been looking for a new place to strut her material in the future, we headed out. (Aside from having opinions about the fashion choices of the NFL, she has taken comedy classes locally and is a member of Toastmasters International, so she does have some sense of what she’s doing up there.)

We arrive around 7:30pm, the event scheduled to start at 8pm. Aside from the bartender, we’re the only ones in the place. Margo quizzes the bartender as to how many people usually attend, since this “Open Mike Night” is on their weekly schedule, and he assures us that 40 or so people will soon be walking through the door. We get a drink and stake out a table in the back row of the front section near the mike.

The small dark space does fill up by 8:30 or so. Margo and I are front and center to the comedian on stage, all the other patrons and participants sit or stand in the shadows behind us. We don’t yet realize it, but Margo and I are sitting ducks.

Six or seven comedians take their turn at the mike. There are a few laughs from the crowd, but mostly it’s painful. Ten minutes can be a very long time when all eyes are on you and you’re supposed to come up with something witty, pithy, raunchy, timely, hilarious, or otherwise entertaining. Most of what we had observed up to this point was wrenchingly protracted.

Contestant #7 arrives at the mike, beer in hand, shakes his head and says, “OK, I’ve got to ask… what are you two doing here? What, was knitting class over early tonight? Are you in here trying to justify the choices your children have made: ‘Oh well, as least little Amanda didn’t become a comedian.’ What gives with you two?”

It was then that I realized a few things:

  1. We were the oldest people in the joint. Everyone else was in the 20’s-30’s range and mostly dressed in black.
  2. Most of who was in attendance were comedians themselves, awaiting their turn at the mike. There might have been some friends and onlookers amid this gaggle, but for the most part, whoever was there had been there on a weekly basis and they all knew each other.
  3. I really didn’t like being called “old.
  4. I wanted to get up there and show them how to do it!

For instance, during her monologue an attractive red-headed woman touched on the name-branding of condoms, Trojans specifically, as a misnomer, since the famous Trojan horse spilled its manliness all over the place and created a big chaotic mess. Then she dropped it. This was a perfect opportunity to go into what does make an effective brand name for a condom, since the possibilites there are endless.

She also seemed to think that simply using the word “vagina” would get some laughs. I would have taken that ball and run with it: “That’s no vagina, that’s my love canal; my stairway to heaven, baby; my pink Cadillac; this here’s a man-eater; my tourist trap; my penis squeegee; ET: the  Erection Terminator. Look out, here it comes!” Hip movements and wide-eyed facial expressions would be mandatory.

Old knitter my ass.

I’m not putting these people down, mind you. I give them tons of credit for getting up there and exposing themselves in this way. It’s just that they could learn a thing or two from two old broads like Margo and me.

 

Jeanne Fiorini is now looking at ways to blend her new career of stand-up comedian with her passion for the Tarot. Visit the TarotWorks website to see how Tarot can bring integration into your life.

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17 Comments

  1. Karen said,

    November 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    you are just too damn cute for me, Ms Jeanne! perhaps this is in your past life resume, this stand-up comedy routine?! XO Karen

  2. Mary Dolan said,

    November 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Fabulous!!!!

  3. Josephine Mori said,

    November 2, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Hmmmm. Seems like it could be time for….
    http://oldjewstellingjokes.com/

  4. Josephine Mori said,

    November 2, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    PS. Those pathetic “comedians” are so desperate they’ll seize on anything. If you’d been redheads rather than thirty-plus, it would have been “I see we have redheads down front, What happened? Did you have so many fights you had to go out with each other? Etc.

  5. Margo said,

    November 3, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    So Jeanne – After Thursday night’s adventure I came up with a response I wish I had made. After that guy’s time at the mike, I could have stood up and asked for a minute to reply. Then got up and challenged him that if Jeanne and I were fair game for jokes, then, of course, we could respond in kind and he and his group were fair game. His group of course is ‘men’. How they are constant sources of amusement for us. Like on our trip from South Portland tonight, we came across a man, standing in the road in the dark, holding a sign that said ‘SLOW’. We were amazed. Was he part of a construction crew and nobody told him that the day was done and he could go home? In which case, Jeanne pointed out, the ‘slow’ sign was perfect for him. But as we drove ‘slowly’ on, we say that there were 2 handsome, well muscled, masculine specimens digging something or other and destroying the street (as all of them love to do, of course). Jeanne (my navigator) and I were silent as we slowly drove past this spectacle and continued on, passing 3 more streets until it occurred to us both that we had missed the right turn we should have made, because, it was at the intersection where the men were ! So now I started a U-turn, but, as I pulled into the side street, another male specimen distracted us. He strolled into the street in front of us and paused to light a cigarette, and -high on something ? – strolled slowly on to finish crossing the street. OK – so we got turned around and found the place. And one more comment I’d have made at the mike to this guy was – that our knitting group has a pattern for knit condoms and maybe he should try some sometime. Of course, this is what we call a loss leader, in sales terms. Something you sell at a loss, but the customer may want extra features and so you’ll gain in the long run ? In our case, we figure that 9 months later, he’ll be back for baby booties.

  6. Suzanne Simon said,

    November 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    You are both too hysterically funny!!!!! Can’t wait to hear of your next adventure in the world of comedy…….like, if Romney wins…..actually, that would NOT be funny at all!!!!!!

  7. November 4, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Thanks for your comment, Suzanne! Funny things do seem to happen around Margo whether it’s venturing out mid-week into the Portland bar scene or watching Sunday football. Sometimes we don’t know how funny we are until someone laughs.

    • Suzanne Simon said,

      November 4, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Verrrrrrry true…..and, you are quite funny yourself!

  8. November 4, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    I am toying with the idea of taking a comedy class… eeeek!

  9. Margo said,

    November 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Whoa – a comedy class, Jeanne ! I think you should go for it ! You are very funny – just need to get in front of the mike !

  10. luddy83 said,

    November 4, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Hey, work on your routine…and as you finish you could plug Tarot! Go for it!

  11. luddy83 said,

    November 4, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    You could be the new Andy(rea) Kaufman! You don’t have to shout to be funny…or trot out some Seinfeldian observations.

  12. luddy83 said,

    November 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    You’ve clearly struck a note with your readership on this one…maybe we all could send you material to develop for your routine? Maybe you and Margo could team up ala Abbott and Costello…you could call yourself the Marx Sisters or the Knitting Crew or the Vagina Dialogue or the Clitoral Conspiracy (ala the Bourne Identity)…don’t get me started!

  13. November 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Hi Luddy, Margo is already on board with the classes and having some professional guidance here. There’s NO WAY I’m doing this without that. But I’m seriously going to be looking at the next catalogue for community learning at USM. With a little training and focus, me and my vagina might make it up on stage come spring… no pun intended.


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