If You’re Wondering What You Want To Do


I am funny.

I am funny. (Yes, this is an affirmation. And now, because I had to explain it, the joke ceases to be funny. But I’m going to keep on going because I’m nothing if not persistent. As long as it’s not hard. Or time consuming. Or. . . You know? Maybe I’m not all that persistent. Whatever. The joke must go on.)

I AM funny, darn it. And people laugh at me all that time.

I just wish they’d be laughing with me instead of at me, but it’s a start. Not a good start, but definitely a start.

The thing of it is, despite the stone faces of my family whenever I attempt to make them laugh, I’m going to test out the hypothesis that I am, in fact, funny and it’s only my family that has a humor deficit. And I’m going to do it in the most terrifying way possible.

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte sponsors an Open Mic Night every so often when performers are drawn by lottery and given five minutes up on stage to do whatever it is they do. They can sing. They can dance. They can do magic or mentalism. They can demonstrate the best karate kicks in the known universe. Or, they can — like me — tell people they’re going to spend five minutes standing alone under a spotlight telling jokes and making people laugh.

I’m telling people that. Whether it’s true or not still has yet to be proven.

The actual event will take place at the McGlohon Theater in Spirit Square, 345 N College St., Charlotte, NC 28202. You can park at the 7th Street Garage for only $5, so I guess there’s a price after all. 

Yes, I will be standing up on stage with nothing between me and the audience except for a mic. Which could be good or bad. Good in that my appearance should be good for at least a chuckle. Bad in that there won’t be any place I can hide once the tomatoes start flying through the air.

In survey after survey, people rate a fear of public speaking to be more terrifying than a fear of death. To me, that’s just plain nuts. I usually have no problems with standing in front of a crowd and gabbing on and on. Just ask my kids. As a stay-at-home dude, I was the one who drove them everywhere. So, thanks to the magic of car seat seatbelts, I had a captive audience on every drive and could try out new material. No problems.

What does seem to be a problem for me is that I’m going to be in front of those people and trying to do one specific thing: Make them laugh. I can talk. A lot. In public. And have absolutely no problem. I’ll even be pretty confident that I’ll make for a laugh or two. It’s just the laughing isn’t the main purpose of those talks.
On Friday? It’s all about the laughs, so I’d better start coming up with something to say. Well, something funny. Something funny and G-rated because there will be kids in the audience and we’re not supposed to freak any of them out. 

Which means most of my stories about life with my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Obeyed and to most others on her bad side as, “Aahhhhhhhh, RUNNNNNN! SHE’S COMINGGGGGGGGGGG!”, who is an obstetrician with a specialization in sexual health and wellness.

That pretty much leaves me only with maybe talking about being a stay-at-home dude and rearing my three young male spawn. If only I had some practice in doing something like that. Or any material that once had been considered funny. Maybe something that wasn’t considered deadly boring.

Yeesh. This could make for a long night.

Long or not, I’d still love to see any of you Charlotte folks out at the Blumenthal Friday night. The evening starts at 7:30 pm and runs for two hours. Of course, entry is free because, really, there’s no way they could charge money for this and still stand there with a straight face. I mean, there’s bad, there’s evil and then there’s charging a cover at an all-call open-mic night.

If you have any questions, you can contact the box office at (704) 372-1000.