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That’s Just Life

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Last week, I had one of
those gigs that turned out
to be just perfect. It was for
a locally owned company
Apartment Services & Man

agement, Inc. I even knew
the owners’ daughter. I
had a wonderful time, and I
think the guests did, too.
I often write about gigs
that go well. Rest assured,
however, that all of them do
not go off without a hitch.
Let me be more precise.
A hitch is okay. A hitch is
when the microphone goes
out when you’re performing
for troops at an amphitheater
in Egypt on the banks of
the Red Sea, but you just
drop the mic and talk louder.
Hitches are okay. Some gigs
just don’t go well.
Last month, I performed
at first responders break

fast. I’ve spoken at many
events early in the morn-
ing. That has never been
an issue. I’ve spoken at a
breakfast in Chattanooga to
a room full of accountants
that went very well, which
says a lot—no offense to
accountants. This particular
breakfast just didn’t stack up
to the others. The coordina-
tors were nice as always.
I did an evening event for
them the month prior at the
same venue that could not
have gone any better.
The venue was a gym,
and because it was early,
and people had to work, it
was not as full. It’s hard do

ing comedy when there is a
large room with few people.
The laughter just tends to
dissipate. On top of that,
there were people in there
walking around the track
above us. They were either
oblivious to the fact that
there was an event going on
beneath them, or they just
didn’t care. Either way, I
almost threw a doughnut at
one old man.
I had a gig last month at
a college athletic banquet in Georgia. It was brutal. It was
the longest 15 minutes of
my life. I usually go 45 min

utes to an hour with ease.
Oh, was it brutal. The stu

dent athletes could not have
been less interested in what
I had to say. I wanted to call
a time out or just forfeit the
game altogether, but I didn’t.
I somehow got through it in
one piece, albeit with shat

tered pride. I regained my
confidence three days later
at a fundraiser in Bessemer,
then a couple of days later in
Opelika, capped off a week
later in Indianapolis.
I did a large room in Ku

wait for a group of Ameri

can contractors a couple
of years ago. When I say
it was a large room, think
“Superdome” large. It may
not have been that big, but
that’s what it seemed like. It
was if I was standing at the
50-yard line and there were
200 people scattered around
the dome. The tiny kids
running around me made it
even better.
You know when a
preacher says the bless-
ing, followed by the word
“Amen” and no one says
“Amen” after his “Amen”
that it’s going to be a hard
day’s night. That’s what
happened at an appreciation
dinner in Milton, Florida, a
few years back. Oh, it was
dreadful, but the prime rib
was to die for.
Can you imagine per

forming in the midway at
a carnival? That’s what it
was like when I did a show
for the sailors of the USS
Theodore Roosevelt in
Dubai in 2009. I think I only
went about 20 minutes. The
guy after me did less than
that. They kept yelling “You
suck!” I know we didn’t
suck. They were just drunk
sailors. I outranked most of
them, so I should have shut
them up. Oh, well. I got to
travel to Dubai. You have
to find the silver lining in
everything.
I did a corporate gig in
Mississippi where my mind
went blank, and I literally
forgot the words to every-
thing. I’d been taking medi-
cation and decided to quit
taking it cold turkey instead
of weaning myself off it.
That was a big mistake.
There was the time I
performed for a college in
Virginia at the food court in
the student activity building.
That was dismal. I even left
my flip flops in the hotel
room. I think that was the
last college I did until the
one in Georgia last month.
I’ve done gigs since then for
faculty that have gone well,
but none for students. You
just have to be able to relate
to your audience.
Speaking of colleges, I
performed at the University
of Alabama a few years ago.
Talk about awful…
The Apartment Services
& Management, Inc. show
will go down as a good one.
They even had an ice cream
bar set up for their guests.
Hold on to the good memo-
ries and learn from the bad
ones. Most shows go well,
but there are always going
to be stinkers along the way.
That’s just life.