Confessions of a Former Standup Comic: The Funny Always Seeps In
More than five years ago I quit standup comedy. Why? That story is for another time. Let’s just say something bad happened, and it was big and bad enough that nothing was funny to me anymore. Even today when I sit down to write jokes, I get hit over the head with fear and grief.
Yep, I’m the cowgirl who never got back up on the horse.
Fuck standup. I’ll find something else to make me feel alive the way standup used to. I’ll find a new unique lens through which to look at the world. A calling that will make me smile in the worst of times knowing I can harness it into my art. I’ve embarked on a years-long journey of short lived commitments, frustrated friends and a realization that looking for the funny never goes away.
Upholstery Shop Owner / Best Upholsterer of Our Time
Being an upholsterer is sexy. Said no one ever. I believe my own hype so hard, I was convinced I was going to become the next big upholsterer. (Does anyone know who the current big upholster is?) I even had a name picked out for my business, “Seats in the City”. Like I was going to be the Carrie fucking Bradshaw of slapping fabric on chairs. Like upholstery is cute.
Upholstery is not cute, it involves deconstructing 100-year-old chairs and when you’re learning you’re in a class of 50 people, who are all deconstructing their own 100 year old chairs- that’s when the comedy seeps in. I start asking myself, how many people on average have farted in these chairs over the past 100 years. Let’s say on average a chair absorbs farts from five people per year. Let’s do some math:
- 50 chairs @ 100 years
- 5,000 years
- 5 farters per year
- TOTAL: 25,000 farters
Why am I telling you this? Because as we deconstructed our chairs, I noticed particles in the air- from the stuffing of the chairs- particles from chairs that 25,000 people farted on.
So I am standing there, breathing in the fart particles from 25,000 people, some of which are 100 years old. I picked up my purse, I turned around and walked out. I left my chair there, I left my friend Keltie* there and I never looked back. RIP Seats in the City.
Much like farts into upholstered furniture, the funny always seeps in.
Potter / Stand-in for Demi Moore in Ghost 2
My friend Rabbit asked me to take a pottery class with him. Maybe this was it!? I could make people plates and shit for birthday and holiday gifts. Perfect. I was about to learn again that the problem with standup avoidance is that your propensity to always look for the funny never goes away.
Cute, straight (!?) pottery instructor starts giving us the 101 and within 30 seconds it’s obvious to me that what is really happening here is a 101 master lesson on sexual foreplay. (is there such a thing as non-sexual foreplay?) Keep in mind the “it” said cute straight instructor is referring to is a slab of clay.
“First you want to get it nice and wet. Hold a sponge over top of it and let the water trickle down from above. Then you want to slide a finger into the middle and pull gently on the wall.”
I’m dying at this point. Can’t look at my friend. Can’t look at anyone. He’s talking about my vagina right? He’s clearly making direct eye contact with me when he finishes with…
“Then you want to slide a second finger into it…”
And that’s when the comedy found me. I burst out laughing, Rabbit held his head in his hands knowing exactly what I had erupted about. The rest of the room looked at me like I had farted on their favorite upholstered chair. They were not with me. They were not thinking about sexual foreplay. But I could tell the instructor knew, ifyouknowwhatimean. And what I mean is he was disgusted. That was my last pottery lesson. Who wants to make plates anyways? Go to Pier 1 for god’s sake.
Rabbit just invited me to join him in a different kind of pottery class that focuses on sculpture.
Pretty sure this is going to be the one.
*Fun fact Keltie has become a skilled upholsterer. You can have my store name if you want Keltie.