I was recently at a gig in a town (name not important) with the lovely comedian, Brett Martin*. It was a fundraiser in a hotel ballroom and the turnout was about 300. I was up first and could tell very quickly that they were a receptive, fun group. By five minutes in, things were simmering nicely and I started trolling the audience for a few personal connections that I could use in my act.
There was a man to the right about 20 feet away who was staring at me very intently, so I asked his name. “Dave.” I said to Dave, “Wow. When I first saw you staring at me so intently, it felt creepy, but it’s actually SO intense that it’s kind of awesome.” He replied, “Why don’t you just tell another joke?” Dave had seemed to be holding court at his table before the show started, so I said, “Okay, I could… or would you like to come up and tell one of your own?” Believe me, this was said in a welcoming, light-hearted way. I truly thought we could make something fun come out of it if he came on stage.
Instead, Dave replied, “I’m not coming up there. I don’t like the smell of old fish.”
*** ??? *** !!! *** WTF? *** (brain synapses firing wildly)
To be clear, I didn’t have any fish with me, props or otherwise. To be more clear, I had donned clean panties before the show as I always do. You never know when you’re going to be asked to execute a good old tea-bagging and a gal wants to feel fresh.
This was one of those moments when I wish somebody could’ve analyzed what happened in my head. In a split second, I thought:
“It’s a corporate – it’s not appropriate to verbally murder him.”
“Only about 20 people out of 300 heard him.”
“If I think that was a heinous remark, so will many others and these people work together.”
“I’m only 5 minutes in. I have 40 more minutes to get through.”
“Holy SHIT, did he actually just say that?!”
I felt I had to take the high road and went with diversion. I said, “Dave, how old are you?” He replied, “24.” I said, “24? Pfft, you’re just a snack to me.” [laughter, thank god] I mimed picking my teeth and said, “I’m floss you out of my molars later and have you twice.”
At that point, I diffused the tension and angered Dave at the same time. He spent the rest of my time outside smoking or taking very loudly at his table in order to throw me off. I ignored him. Interestingly, a man told me that Dave came out for a smoke at the same time as him. Dave said, “I had to get out of there. Women aren’t fucking funny.” The man said, “Actually, you’re wrong. She’s really funny.” That man was Brett Martin. [grin]
I designed my life so that the people around me don’t say piggish remarks like Dave, so when it happens, it jars me. I expect to get jabs about my weight, which oddly doesn’t happen, but I didn’t expect what Dave said. But I have to say, it surely snaps my brain muscles to attention. I hope doing this helps prevent memory loss or Alzheimer’s when I’m older. Otherwise, I’ll take Gingko Biloba and play Sudoku.