Oh joy! Leaving my full time job in January was HELLA SCARY! I didn’t have much to show for all my years with the company except a modest nest egg and a desire to do more for myself, my family and my communities. I get a lot of tilted heads when I run into old work friends on the street. “Oh, how are things? Doing okay?” Kind of the equivalent to saying, “Oh, you’re still alive? Are you homeless yet?”
I get it, actually.
When security is a sure-thing, it seems asinine to throw it away, but I needed to stay true to my values and their preferred choice of living doesn’t match up with mine. Simple as a dimple. One of the clearest red flags for me was my lack of joy. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore like I once did nor did I get the same feeling of satisfaction I once had from a job-well-done. Having a kid naturally makes you reevaluate (or simply, evaluate, for those who spent some time on auto-pilot like myself).
I ran into an old friend the other day and she commented how I appear happier. I am. Certain things I can’t escape. I continue to live with depression, I continue to live with anxiety, and fear never really goes away. But I felt a weight leave my shoulders the moment I decided to expect more from myself and live a fuller life.
So here are some standout stories from the month of July that filled me with joy! Because, why not?
What’s the Dog Doing?
It was Week 2 of the Brantford Comedy Festival when the wonderful Ken Roche was performing on stage during the pro bracket. Ken is a comedian who also happens to be blind. And he has a really cool service dog named Gromett.
I was off to stage right, gulping down my second jug of H20 for the night, when I hear a HUGE reaction from the crowd! It came with such energy and enthusiasm you’d think Lady Gaga was on stage crushing piano keys with stilettos. I had no idea what was going on. The dude was in the middle of a set up and punchlines rarely even get that kind of pop. Until the festival promoter ran up me with fear and excitement in his eyes: “Dude! The dog shit on stage!”
Why yes, an audience of two hundred people came for a show and they got a show! It’s ironic to see how hard us comedians work on our act only to be outshone by a defecating dog.
Ken was obviously a little disrupted by The Incident but he was given 10 minutes to make people laugh and gosh-darn-it I”m not gonna let him get derailed!
So I swiped two pieces of paper from the judges table and ran up to the stage. I yelled out to Ken to just keep going as if he was an astronaut trying to stick a rough landing and I was a NASA controller who wasn’t going to let Houston have a problem. I scooped up as much of the melty-chocolate-mountain as I could between the papers.
Like a sandwich.
Ken left the stage to huge applause and now it was my turn to bide time while the festival promoter came out with a full janitor’s cart and started cleaning up the dog poop.
I was cry-laughing so hard. My entire face was the cry-laugh emoji. You gotta understand, we were both gagging because the smell was so pungent. The spotlight was so hot it smelt like someone through a big hunk of dog poop in the microwave.
The audience was physically holding their guts, trying their best not to pull a Grommet in their seats. It was one of the single greatest moments in my eight years of standup comedy.
No, You’re Superfans of the Band Soul Asylum
Comedian Shawn Hogan and I were at WTFest, having some fun in-between bands. We called ourselves The Buffer Boys.
Pretty sure we’re world famous now.
Earlier in the day, Shawn and I were hanging out when one of the WTFest handlers came up to us and asked if we wanted to meet Soul Asylum. I’m more of an OLP fan myself so I was kind of meh about it, Shawn too, but then we were told there was air conditioning so we were like… “LET’S DO THIS!!!” Then did the Wayne’s World air guitar thing while everyone had to pause to admire our stupidity.
We walk in to this building that I think might have been an abandoned elementary school. The handler introduces us to two female volunteers. He lets them know that we are Soul Asylum superfans and we’re here for the meet and greet.
We thought we were just going to hangout in a room with an air hockey table or something but instead we were in a shaded hallway, sweating in front of the dudes from Soul Asylum.
They were in the middle of an interview. We didn’t want to bother him, and this got immediately weird, so we were both like “Let’s bounce” and just started walking down this hallway.
At the end of the hall, there was a designated food area specifically for the bands. I saw the festival promoter in the office so I went over to say hey while Shawn started lifting up buffet lids like a raccoon rummaging through garbage.
WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN one of the volunteers comes running down the hall!
“You can’t be down here!”
Me: “Oh it’s okay. We’re performers.”
Her: “No you’re not. You’re superfans of the band Soul Asylum.”
Then I was like “Sorry, don’t know what to tell ya” and we followed Jamie down a parallel hall.
Thinking nothing of it.
Going out the door, we could see the volunteers across from us and they’re pointing at us as to say “There they are!”
Outside, we’re in a circle full of promoters and festival crew, discussing the schedule for the day. WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN this guy comes running out and reports to the promoter immediately!
Panting and out of breath, the dude says, “I just want to let you know that two men have snuck into the festival wearing V.I.P. shirts and tried stealing the bands’ food!!!”
It took a hot second for Shawn and I to realize…they were talking about us.
We just gave each other this Scooby Doo look of “ruh-oh” and slowly walked away from the circle, found a cool spot in the shade, and laughed our asses off.
Just two Soul Asylum superfans having the time of their life.
Sometimes when you open yourself up the world, the world opens itself up to you. What did you think of today’s post? What was the one moment that made you laugh harder than you’ve ever laughed in your life? Ever end up in a caper accidentally like Shawn and I did with Soul Asylum? Comment below and let me know what you think of today’s post!
Clifford Myers is a comedian from Hamilton, Ontario, who loves watching dogs poop more than the band Soul Asylum.