Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Idiotic Notion that got me started in comedy, Part 1

So blogspot is getting the best of me these days, disallowing any of my neat interview podcasts to post. So I have to resort to a lame "Where did this comedy idea come from?" post. Well, fine blogspot, you may have won the battle, but I still have an army behind me of graphic designers that are going to rip your insides out and make them pretty for all to see---bwah-ha-ha-ha!! (Whoops! Halloween was last month!)

So how did this idea of comedy get into my head? To be honest, this memory didn't resurface until a conversation on the phone yesterday with a dear high school friend. For some odd reason, I blocked out this memory per chance because it was too painful.

Grabs your high chairs kids, gather around the fire, because momma's going to take you back... waaaayyy back to kindergarten, with Mrs. Johnson. Yes, I said it, Mrs. Johnson. Generic name, right? I'm not making this one up.

Mrs. Johnson lead the first grade class (whoops, already my memory is jumping years) in an annual Christmas school play. Each class had to perform their own version of whatever twisted zombie reindeer rendition to impress the parents. But because there were so many of us little 'uns, they threw in some ancillary characters: A Mother and Father Christmas tree. Enter yours truly: I was "Mother Christmas Tree". And Papa Christmas Tree and I, during all that time in Spelling and Grammar when we were supposed to be memorizing lines, we opted for doodling of dirty pictures, and making sure each was properly labeled--Butt, BOO-bies, and whatever that thing is below the belt. Vag-enis or was it Pen-gina?

Anyway, when it came time to bring the house down, Mr. Christmas and myself felt adequate. We sorta knew our lines. "Pen-gina." I remember during rehearsal that my cue was to speak after he did. I speak after he does. What it was exactly I should be saying still hadn't settled into my easily distracted and precocious brain. I just knew he spoke first.

Fast forward to School Play Day: The audience had been filled with anxious parents and restless kids. All the other classmates had not only memorized their lines, but they had done them so well, that people laughed after each bit. Genius, I tell you! I watched off stage in amazement. I took careful note of the cadence. Line. Line. Laughter. Line. Line. Laughter.

I found myself on stage with my green turtleneck on to blend in with my very carefully designed costume. I bore a sharp resemblance to a North American White Spruce. Meanwhile, Mr. Christmas Tree had become petrified. He somehow had allowed stage fright to set in. I didn't know where this was going, but I sensed all together downhill. Everyone else had gotten their laughs. It was Mr. Christmas's turn and he was bombing--big time. He just kept repeating the same two words in hopes that the other eight would magically fall out of his mouth. I knew it was now or never. I had to get that bit of laughter for him---for my partner in pervvy crime.

So what would a faithful Christmas tree wife do? Make silly faces to the audience. And just like I had anticipated, the laughter followed. It came in waves. I was overwhelmed by them. Unfortunately, so was Mr. Christmas. He thought they were laughing at his incompetence, failing to memorize a simple few lines. The audience finished laughing, yet Mr. Christmas hadn't quite finished crying.

I glanced offstage to meet a look of disappointment by Mrs. Johnson. What did she know? She wouldn't know good comedy if it shed pine needles on her front lawn. Make room on the couch, Letterman. A star was born! But only after I paid my dues in the "Timeout chair". (Sigh)

*+*+*+* If you cringed as much as I did reading this story, which should have remained in my maladjusted head, never to be unearthed, there are many more twisted stories to follow. GET FREE UPDATES BY EMAIL or RSS.

Did you enjoy this post? Buy me a warm cup of joe.


Steve said...

That's given me a warm glow! And just where is Mrs. Johnson now, huh?

Anonymous said...

I want to know whatever happened to Mr. Christmas Tree?! Scarred for life, devastated... Steve only wants to know about 'teacher'.

Lucy said...

Steve - (dramatic voice) I should have never let these memories resurface for all to see. For I will never live them down. I would much rather not know the whereabouts of Mrs. Johnson and her evil eye. It has worn a hole in me which I cannot mend. (clears throat, changes to "straight man" voice) To be honest, I moved out of the neighborhood when I was 8. Some would call it "exile." I like to call it a "clean break." And I haven't turned back. I only look forward, towards Letterman's couch.

Anonymous - For some reason, I have a slight inkling that is leading me to the idea that your name isn't really Anonymous--but only an inkling to go off of.

Steve wants to know about 'teacher,' because he has a secret teacher/paddling fantasy that he wants to live out. And guess what fantasy teacher's name is? You guessed it! Too bad Steve has a thing for brunettes. Mrs. Johnson was a pure dirrrrty blonde.

About Mr. Christmas: Dunno? He's probably scarred for life. I can tell you one thing... there's a very slim chance that he's doing stand-up comedy... If so, he probably plays to the same crowd of parents and school kids, ever trying to win over their acceptance by getting those memorized lines out. Good Luck, Father Christmas! And I'm truly sorry for any pain I may have inflicted upon you. On the other hand, thank you for helping me find my calling.

Staci Rose said...

LOL! I can't believe there's MORE!

(Said the nice Jewish girl that has never been involved in a Christmas pageant in her life...but does remember a school play where Nicole put chewed up bubblegum in the nose of her mask because she hated the smell. She still talked about it well into Junior High School - some things scar us more than others.)

Sigh... :P

Barbara said...

This was a Laugh Out Loud post for me! (Still smiling) Great story!

Steve said...

Hey. I could do a dirty blonde. But only if I had to...

Karen (Karooch from Scraps of Mind) said...

Unbelievable Lucy. Even when you're posting your 'back up' material, you're totally Stumble-able.