Cameras would zoom up and down the line at different points during the day and people would direct the line to wave this way or to give it some more energy to the camera or whatever. I understand that I was there to try to get onto a television show â€“ but Iâ€™m not sure that my brain ever accepted that it was going to let me do a little dance while standing outside in the line â€“ I only dance on my terms Mister Directorman. This isnâ€™t to say that there werenâ€™t numerous people that were totally excited to desperately throw themselves at any camera that went by to get any ounce of spotlight that they could â€“ which is totally cool â€“ they were probably doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing â€“ while I shrunk away from the cameras like a really bad smell . . .
At hour 6 1/2 (six and a half) or so â€“ the guy whose kids had told him to go down and try it out â€“ but who had peppered the day with comments about not really knowing why he was there decided that he had reached his limit for waiting in a seemingly hopeless line. He turned out into the street and said â€œBump this.â€ â€“ substituting the â€˜bumpâ€™ for something a little gruffer. The saddest part was that I was the only one that heard him and saw him go. Everyone else was like â€œWhere did that guy go?â€ – no one knew anyoneâ€™s name â€“ so they would just repeat â€“ â€œYou know â€“ that guy â€“ the one with the kids â€“ where did he go?â€
Anticipation and nerves were really building at this point â€“ not because of going into an awkward spot to make jokes â€“ but because of the clock. I was about to have to make a call because I was on the verge of being late to my job slopping stalls at the horse shack (a new position!) â€“ but I figured one hour would get me in and to my pal Oats (my favorite horse in the stable) â€“ so I made the executive decision â€“ and made the call. In the end â€“ I had to make another call â€“ and was 2 (two) full hours late. I hate being late â€“ especially for something that amounts to a hill of beans â€“ and speaking of hills of beans â€“ here we go.
When I finally got in â€“ I was all kinds of giddy (to get it all over with) and as the group of 8 (eight) people that I was brought in with was ushered downstairs and told to stand around a table and put our packets in a specific way in front of us I started to get a bit wary. I also started to get a dark (angry) spot floating in from the back of my mind as the lowly productions assistant with his clipboard and walkie-talkie chided and derided people who didnâ€™t have their forms at a perfect 90 degree angle to the edge of the table for him to see. At one point during the day â€“ we had heard rumors that they were just putting people around a table and then pointing and saying â€œtell me a jokeâ€ â€“ which is an altogether different approach than getting a couple of minutes to run through your funniest of funnies.
After explaining that we would give our names and what we werenâ€™t doing when we werenâ€™t doing stand-up â€“ Production Assistant said that â€“ indeed â€“ the process was that he would point at someone and that they were to then tell a joke.
In a different universe â€“ I hope that at that point â€“ after waiting in line for so long â€“ and jumping through his paper stacking hoops â€“ I hope that I told him to â€œsit on itâ€ or to â€œtake a long walk â€“ off of a short pierâ€ or to â€œkiss my gritsâ€ or whatever.
Instead â€“ I played along with full gusto â€“ and told my jokes (One about how rude Miss Beaver was to me the other day â€œI mean itâ€™s not like she owns the river â€“ or anything . . . she is just a tenant.â€ And then a couple of more â€“ maybe one about playing wingman for a horse friend of mine at a horse singles bar â€“ and the hard time that he had getting numbers from the horse girls that were there â€“ or something). The absolute worst things that happened â€“ and these are the things that made me really sour on the whole thing was watching the Production Assistant pull out his cell phone while one of the 8 (eight) was telling a joke â€“ he then topped that off by completely ignoring another person by watching this girl (she seemed host like) get her make-up done.
The worst part was that we had waited in line all that time to get shooed over to a nobody whose only job was to keep us occupied and push our papers into the trash as soon as we left the room. Maybe he had been through a long day â€“ Iâ€™ m sure it is tough to sit and listen to people tell jokes for hours at a time â€“ but cripes â€“ if you are â€“ for all intents and purposes done looking at people â€“ just let them know â€“ so that they can go about their day. Maybe they were just hoping to find â€œsomething special!â€ or â€œa big thing!â€ or something like that â€“ it is kind of hard to say.
As I was leaving â€“ one of my line compatriots (for the record â€“ the one where the Production Assistant decided that make-up girl was more interesting) was walking with me. He was livid that â€œthe guy didnâ€™t even listen to meâ€ and then he asked one of the tougher questions that I had heard that day. Question: â€œYou heard my stuff. You thought it was pretty good â€“ right?â€ and he then followed it up with a phrase that makes me shake my head â€“ a bit â€“ â€œYou know â€“ it was guys like that one that made me decide to quit doing comedy in the first place.â€
And on a slightly different note â€“ I will leave you with this. What is Miss Beaverâ€™s dam problem â€“ anyway? Seems like sheâ€™s gone a bit wonky lately . . .
What?!? I made a misspelled word joke . . . and if you donâ€™t like it then make like a tree and bark (that was Sockâ€™s joke â€“ and he is still rolling around on the floor laughing at it.)