It has officially been YEARS since I was in the Hubcap Comedy Festival doing the stand up contest for CBC.
I'm not doing it this year.
I thought about it. No kidding, tomorrow is the deadline and I've been thinking about it all day. But honestly it's a stress I don't think I could handle right now. I've been away too long.
So... I'm coming back! It's going to be slow, probably, but if I can get back in the habit, maybe this time next year I'll have enough under my belt to do it again.
The last time I got famously funny, I had just started a new job at work. Weirdly enough, I have a new job again, with the same supervisor that I had that time. And there's all this snow on the ground, just like last time. And also, just like last time, I'm not sleeping very well. So maybe, just maybe, it's all about having a new job, with the same supervisor, with the snow on the ground, and somewhat sleep deprived that brings it all together for me.
Or maybe not.
Personal segue over.
I have to talk about this ridiculous phenomenon called "The Tide Pod Challenge". If you are not familiar with it because, god willing, you are reading this in the far future where people just wouldn't do that sort of thing (but who also treasure my writing style and sense of humour), this is a thing that people have done. Are doing. Will have had done. Sigh. This is a "challenge" where you film yourself chewing on a detergent pod. You film this, you post it on the Internet, and you bask in the glory that comes to you from your legions of adoring fans, who are admiring you for doing something so dumb that it defies explanation.
If you happen to swallow the detergent pod while chewing it, then you can rest easy knowing that your friends still posted the video of you choking to death and it'll play at your funeral and your crush will see it and will totally cry knowing that they didn't give you the chance you deserved.
But I get it. We were all stupid kids at some point. But when me and the guys got together and decided how rad it would be to jump our ten speeds off the top of the quarry, you know what we didn't do? FILM IT. Even if we had had access to a video camera, as dumb as we were we were all smart enough to say "if my mom sees this, it's over". What happened to teenagers that they aren't afraid of their mothers anymore? My mom is like the greatest grandmother there ever was, but I still jump up and start cleaning things if I hear her say "damn" under her breath.
I know that my mother has a tape somewhere of us talking about the things that we're hiding from her. Why there's a tape, I don't remember. I don't even remember what was on the tape. I don't want to hear it, because I'm forty years old and don't want to have to look my mother in the eyes and know that she knows what I did when I was ten or eleven. Or worse, a teenager. Thankfully, I'm reasonably certain that I never talked about some of the more interesting aspects of being a teenager, let alone recorded it. Shudder.
And fathers can't be that much better. If I broke my ten speed jumping it off the top of the quarry (and I'm not saying I did, just that if it happened that way), I could probably have slid it past my father for most of the summer. It's not that he wasn't interested. It's that he, like every father at some point, decides that if their child isn't crying or injured or visibly doing something ruinous, then things are probably okay.
I could have hidden a busted bicycle in a friend's garage for a week or two, then brought up in conversation that we had all decided to "fix our bikes up at Jason's". Then after another week, I could have brought said broken ten speed home and said "we tried to make it faster, but we broke it". Then my dad might have gotten angry at me for breaking my bike, but he'd have been sort of proud that I was working on something with my friends and maybe doing a little inventing or engineering or something that proves his kid is smart. Dumb enough to break his bike, but not dumb enough to jump it off the top of the quarry like some of the kids I hang out with. He'd grumble about responsibility and money and some other stuff, and I'd have to mow some more lawns to make enough to buy a new bike, but he'd still drive me out to get it at Canadian Tire, and he'd probably pay the difference between what I'd saved up and the price for the bike I really really wanted.
Again, this all could have happened. Not that it did, Dad.
I don't want that man to sit down at his computer and have one of the relatives from Taiwan forward him an email that says something like "Is this the son you were proud of, or the other one?" and has a link to a video of me eating laundry detergent. He'd take away my video games. Seriously, he'd drive up here and take away my video games. And mom would be standing in the doorway shaking her head before heading into the kitchen to angrily make some cinnamon buns while my father yelled at me.
Because that could happen. Because I have a healthy respect/fear of my parents.
In unrelated news, my daughter beat me at Candy-land, pushed me over, climbed on my shoulders and demanded to be paraded around the house. It was super cute!