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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 – but I’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 – I only dance on my terms Mister Directorman. This isn’t to say that there weren’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 – which is totally cool – they were probably doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing – while I shrunk away from the cameras like a really bad smell . . .

At hour 6 1/2 (six and a half) or so – the guy whose kids had told him to go down and try it out – 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 “Bump this.” – substituting the ‘bump’ 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 “Where did that guy go?” – no one knew anyone’s name – so they would just repeat – “You know – that guy – the one with the kids – where did he go?”

Anticipation and nerves were really building at this point – not because of going into an awkward spot to make jokes – 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!) – but I figured one hour would get me in and to my pal Oats (my favorite horse in the stable) – so I made the executive decision – and made the call. In the end – I had to make another call – and was 2 (two) full hours late. I hate being late – especially for something that amounts to a hill of beans – and speaking of hills of beans – here we go.

When I finally got in – 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 didn’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 – we had heard rumors that they were just putting people around a table and then pointing and saying “tell me a joke” – 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 weren’t doing when we weren’t doing stand-up – Production Assistant said that – indeed – the process was that he would point at someone and that they were to then tell a joke.

In a different universe – I hope that at that point – after waiting in line for so long – and jumping through his paper stacking hoops – I hope that I told him to “sit on it” or to “take a long walk – off of a short pier” or to “kiss my grits” or whatever.

Instead – I played along with full gusto – and told my jokes (One about how rude Miss Beaver was to me the other day “I mean it’s not like she owns the river – or anything . . . she is just a tenant.” And then a couple of more – maybe one about playing wingman for a horse friend of mine at a horse singles bar – and the hard time that he had getting numbers from the horse girls that were there – or something). The absolute worst things that happened – 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 – 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 – I’ m sure it is tough to sit and listen to people tell jokes for hours at a time – but cripes – if you are – for all intents and purposes done looking at people – just let them know – so that they can go about their day. Maybe they were just hoping to find “something special!” or “a big thing!” or something like that – it is kind of hard to say.

As I was leaving – one of my line compatriots (for the record – the one where the Production Assistant decided that make-up girl was more interesting) was walking with me. He was livid that “the guy didn’t even listen to me” and then he asked one of the tougher questions that I had heard that day. Question: “You heard my stuff. You thought it was pretty good – right?” and he then followed it up with a phrase that makes me shake my head – a bit – “You know – it was guys like that one that made me decide to quit doing comedy in the first place.”

And on a slightly different note – I will leave you with this. What is Miss Beaver’s dam problem – anyway? Seems like she’s gone a bit wonky lately . . .

What?!? I made a misspelled word joke . . . and if you don’t like it then make like a tree and bark (that was Sock’s joke – and he is still rolling around on the floor laughing at it.)

Adieu.

I’m not exactly what kind of cloud I was sitting under when I was struck with the ludicrous idea to get up super-duper early, drop the dog off at a boarding facility, hop onto the train and wait in the cold for 7 1/2 (seven and a half) hours to go in and try to get onto a television show . . . but I wish that I did know – so that I could – at all costs – avoid sitting under that cloud the next time that it bothered to blow into my air space.

What am I talking about? Well – friends – a couple of weeks ago I heard about auditions to get onto “Last Comic Standing” – that show where people go and tell jokes about things – and are all about making the funny happen like little rainbows in the sky after a brisk morning shower. It has taken me this long to gather my bearings to write about it. It wasn’t the best experience in the world.

I will reserve saying anything bad about all but one person – mostly because they all stood outside with me for such an interminable amount of time – and got the same short shrift that I was served with – on a cold (cold) plate. I really shied away from talking to people as much as I could – but was inevitably drawn into conversations as the hours went by. There was one guy who was there because his “kids wanted (me) to do it,” another who literally didn’t stop talking the entire time and who directed most of his talking at any woman that walked within earshot (the rest of his talking involved telling – the same – jokes over and over throughout the day for anyone who would listen), there was a guy who had been on the same train that I had taken in (he wanted to bond over it – and I was just too cold and tired to bond), a guy who had driven all the way from Boston (He was my favorite – he was low key – I tapped him on the shoulder as an act of solidarity when I left), a girl wearing a shirt that said “I’m something special!” or something like that – maybe it was “I’m a big thing!” or something else – she was 22 (twenty-two) and talked a bunch about her regular gigs and sets around the city (I was probably jealous – as I have no regular gigs) and 350 (three hundred and fifty) other people who were there to get their 2 (two) minutes to be as funny as they could be.

The prospect was ugly.

(Part 2 comes tomorrow – I just didn’t quite finish it yet . . . hold them horses)

Think of this as a memorial for an accomplishment that all (some) of us here at temporary headquarters are pretty gosh darn proud of. There isn’t much that I can say that isn’t in the toon – so go and watch – and see what all of the hype is about.

Did you even know about the hype?

Socks was supposed to send out a memo or something . . . oh well – for the record – there is probably some serious hype going around – and you should totally be into it.

Basically – I am a marathon runner whose mind has left this plane of existence. All that I am focused on is the goal of finishing the race. Crossing the line. Breaking the tape.

This weekend was a bit tumultuous. I came closer to having to change out of the pants than I have at any other time during the entire process. A spoonful of vanilla bean creme brulee was flung at me by a little bird (perhaps deservedly so) – that landed on my shirt – dangerously close to the pants. I was also threatened by someone who said that they would throw grape soda on me and lastly – Irving Brown Socks was given a bath this weekend.

All potential run enders – that were luckily avoided. That is sometimes how championships are made – whether they be in foosball, jarts or what have you. And some people out there point to luck. Maybe the pants really aren’t that great or whatever. Well – let me tell you Sunday armchair of a loveseat sweatpants wearer – Like a jungle cat – We are focused – We will go out there every day like it is our last day – in pants – and we – will – wear – these – pants.

Thank you very much.