Monday, June 15, 2009

Like Old Times...

Hey there 'Redheads... It appears I've fallen back to my familiar blogging tendencies. Two entries by mid-month? For shame. Sorry gang. I'll try to step it up in the second half. It just occurred to me that this is pretty much the midpoint of the year. Any thoughts? Candor? Reflections? Anecdotes? Remembrances? Recollections? Thesaurus? Confessions?... None? Ok then. Thanks for pitching in. Luckily, I've got a couple musings of at least this past weekend that I can share.

Big thanks to my pals at Cozzy's Comedy Club in Newport News, Va. for yet another funtastic weekend. Sometimes you want to go where everyone knows your name. I'm a big fan of any club who'll lower their property value by putting my picture on the wall. This time around, I worked with the affable James Sibley. I'm always amazed at how much some audience members want to try to "help" the show. Apparently, while I was on stage for the Friday show, a lady patron approached James and offered him a joke book for him to leaf through and pick out a couple gems for his set. He politely declined, but this miffed her something terrific. She sat, arms folded, with a frown etched on her face for the first ten minutes of his act, before she realized that everyone else was laughing at his original material, and she finally gave way. Once she heard that none of his bits started with, "Knock knock." I know it's tough, people, but please leave the comedy to the professionals. We get paid for a reason...a nebulous reason, but a reason nonetheless. While his portion of the show was going on, I sat at the bar and took a peek at the muted sports on the TV. I spotted two new names to add to my list of quirky favorites. Just to let you know, my birthday is fast approaching, so a perfect gift would be the jersey of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Antonio Bastardo. Or maybe New York Mets pitcher, J.J. Putz. Fitting, any way you slice it.

A couple other things I spotted during my trip to Newport News. On Rte. 64, I saw a girl driving a car, with her foot sticking out of the driver's side window. I guess they were holding Cirque du Soleil tryouts or something. There is nothing quite like the open road, with the radio cranked up, and the wind whistling between your toes. I also saw an ice cream truck that had a peculiar word of warning on the back of it. It read, "Don't skid on the kids." Which implies, don't bother watching out for nearby children, as long as you have good traction.

On my Saturday, I found myself at a massive local area flea market. This place had just about every used chotchke you could think of. I stumbled on one vendor who specialized in old video game systems. This guy had them all, from Atari to Dreamcast to old school Nintendo. I got pounded by a wave of nostalgia. I found myself trying to figure out how much my childhood was worth. I wasn't going to take much of a nudge to send me tumbling down the rabbit hole in my head and into that magical time when Donkey Kong and Pac-Man could quell my fledgling ADD. I ended up settling for something called an Atari Flashback, which was a simple plug and play system with about a dozen Atari games programmed into it. Fifteen bucks seemed like a bargain for the hours of entertainment that lay ahead of me. Funny thing about those ghosts of pixel past. They get obliterated by the crossed streams of today's seizure-inducing gamery. Once the candy veneer of my memories got chipped off, the amount of suction the Atari Flashback produced damn near ripped a hole in time. How were we ever captivated by this dreck? Aside from the untouchable classics like Asteroid or Centipede, the rest of the menu was just a random flashing and beeping through the carpal tunnel of frustration with no conceivable objective to be reached other than the realization that I paid $15 to find out my childhood stunk. Thanks flea market. Next time I'll just settle for the cursed monkey paw.

For those of you who are in a fix as to what to get your dad for Father's Day, might I recommend the gift of laughter? On Sunday, June 21st @ Union Jack's in Bethesda, I'm hosting a FREE comedy show. Four of DC's funniest, Jake Young, Mike Way, Jeff Maurer, and Jon Mumma will be spreading the joy. Show starts at 7:30. Click here for more info.

To be continued...

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