Last night I took a trip to West Chester, PA with my friends, Nick Diulio and Dena Blizzard. They were invited to read as special guests at a local authors event at a massive bookstore up there. (The name eludes me. I know... that sounds like a personal problem. Ew! You're totally eluding me. It's all sticky.)
It was a pleasant enough ride there. A gorgeous day. Good conversation.
When we arrived, Tony Conaway, the manager of the Marlton Comedy Cabaret was there to greet us. A very pleasant sort of fellow. He treated us to a suprisingly good dinner. Who would have thought a bookstore could produce such good salmon! That is they cooked it. There wasn't a salmon farm in the back. We were lucky. Jay Black, not only a national headlining comedian, but last year was the #1 college comedian in the country, also showed up to read. However, he showed up after dinner. So no matter how funny you are, if you show up late, you miss out on your dinner from Tony. BUSTED JAY!
Tony arranges and hosts this big event. It was starting. After dinner, me, Dena, Nick, and Jay figured we should head into the big reading room there. That was when I looked around and realized, THEY WERE GIANTS!! I'm 5'6. Not an unusually short guy, but compared to these beasts, I was a mere leprechaun. Even Tony towers of this little halfling. It was just not fair.
I didn't bring something to read. Well, I was invited, but not asked to bring something. I'm assuming it was because of my height. It was very difficult to be involved in any sort of conversation going on because I had to jump to be heard.
When Dena and I first walked to the author's section, an older woman was reading a very serious story. I heard her mention something like Moses and Sarah cleaning a sunroom and made a joke to Dena about how it was a new version of the Ten Commandments. I don't remember the bit where Moses did spring cleaning in the sun room. The woman looked up as I whispered to Dena. I felt rude.
The next thing I realized is that they were real people's names and she was telling the story of coping with her son's death and bonding with another woman who lost a child. Now I realize, I'm an asshole. Dena wouldn't let me walk away and decided that it would be funny to try and make me laugh during this time. Short guys get the brunt of a lot of jokes. Either that or Dena is also an asshole.
Then the baby boomer took the stage. He told a 15 minute story about how Pink Floyd is awesome. For him, I was quiet and gave him my complete respect. At least it wasn't about a dead child.
It was Jay's turn. He rocked it. I think it was the first time these people have laughed like that in 18 years and 3 months. Jay proved that he is, without a doubt, a funny funny man. But he's also an asshole. I can't give him to much of an ego. Well, no bigger than it already is.
Dena felt insignificant after Jay read. Feeling she needed to one up him, she found the nearest computer to find other essays she'd written. The one she had was fine, but she IS a woman and we all know they don't think rationally.
Nick got up next. He read a good story about how his family reacted to Barak Obama being elected president. It was entertaining, but really, who cares. Nick, on the other hand, is not an asshole. He is a genuinely nice guy and a very good writer. He just needs to write things someone wants to read. I only tease the beautiful people.
Dena went last. I heard her being introduced so I had to run and find her. A woman running late? She, of course, blamed me for almost missing it, even though, I did go and get her as soon as I heard. Dena also did great.
All three people I was with are incredibly talented and tall. Well, counting Tony that's four.
Do these two factors go hand in hand? I don't know. Nor do I care. Fuck them. Next time, I'm going to be reading something. Let's see how I fare up against the giant beasts of South Jersey!