Day: May 25, 2015

Comedy Means More Than Laughter

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Saturday night, Sick Puppies Comedy performed a tribute to the TV show “Whose Line is It Anyways” in front of a full house.  In between sets, they performed a piece referred to as “The Nightmare”.  The cast picks out a couple of people from the audience and interviews them for about 10 minutes.  We try to capture wants, loves, needs and fears.  Once we have enough information, they take their seats and the cast performs 15-20 minutes of scenes based off of what they heard.  We call it the Nightmare because we generally add and expand some ‘assumptions’ to the information provided to us.

Saturday’s Nightmare was special because a customer had called to purchase tickets for his birthday and began to tell us his story.  He had recently lost his eye sight, but believed it to be the best thing to ever happen to him as he had been living life the wrong way.  I asked if he would like to be our guest for this piece.  He agreed.  The cast had no idea who they were getting.  Here’s the interview.

When you ask someone personal questions and they provide personal answers that may not necessarily be “funny”, what do you?  Do you make fun of a blind person?  No.  You don’t.  You get inspired.  You find the funny within anything and you build from there.  You make an honest connection on stage with your scene partner and you run.  Here’s what that looks like.

Eric and his brother Vince were such good sports.  In fact, Diane, Sharon and Steve (the rest of Eric and Vince’s party) were just lovely.

Yesterday, Eric called to thank us for our performance.  He mentioned that it meant so much to him and his family for us to do what we did.  He spoke to the fact that our team may not understand what we provide when we perform our shows, saying that laughter is life.  Laughter is everything to him now.

Ian Oliver got his first start as a Sick Puppy This weekend
Ian Oliver got his first start as a Sick Puppy This weekend

Eric, the feeling is mutual.  Thank you for providing us with the wonderful gift of your story.

 

Your Word, Our Writing – Joshua Flanders: Clams, Cook’em up.

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Clams Ahoy
Clams Ahoy

Well I don’t know much about nothin, but if there’s one thing I think I might know, it’s Clams.  Oh, sorry for being rude.  My name is Russel.  I’m a cook see.  Dat’s how come I know how to cook them clams up something good.

So I’ll start out by tellin ya about da secret to da clam sauce.  You gotta grab a possum and boil it up.  Don’t have to be fresh.  Easier to catch em after they been hit by dem farm trucks heading to da market.  Ain’t none of my business how da damn thing died.  Just that it ain’t movin when it gets in da pot.  Take what comes out of dat pot and put it down in dat other pot of whiskey.  Oh, sorry I forgot to mention you need a pot of whiskey for da stew.  Prolly cause I drank the first bottle of whiskey I was sposed to use in the stew.  But there ain’t no race goin on so you take your time and enjoy cooking up your Clams just right.

Next up, you gots to take dat whiskey dead possum soup you got and throw in dem vegetables.  Any you want long as they are green and ain’t turned brown.  Unless they’re supposed to be brown, then make sure they ain’t green.  Toss’em in dat stew and stir until the stew don’t smell like dead possum no more.  Then you got vegetable stew, which is poisonous to real men so you gots to make sure you add the clams quick before you get that veggie plague and turn into one of dem zombies from dat TV show.

After dat, you got dem clams all settled in the stew and they’ll look like they’re nappin all peaceful like.  Like a baby rat sleeping in a little cardboard box you bought from dat reptile store.  And just like that rat, you got to take dem clams back out and smash em open so you can eat the good bits inside.  Hah, bet you thought I meant I ate those rats.  Nah I fed those to my pet python dat I bought.  Gotta fatten him up so he’s ready for dat Thanksgiving dinner coming up.  Momma sure loves her shiskabob snake.

So after you rip out dem juicy bits, you gonna want to dip them in ketchup.  Remember the golden rule when it comes to ketchup, there ain’t no rules.  Use as much as you want.  My auntie was a nurse one time and she told me ketchup is good for you cause it’s red like blood so it’s like replacing blood.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like runnin low on blood.  Just in case I gets bitten by dem vampires, it’s nice to know I got extra in da tank.  I keep a packet in my shirt all da time just in case.

After that, you pour out that soup into a bowl and you throw out dem evil devil vegetables afore the smell of em makes you get one of dem seizures you get from signing up for Obama care.

Finally, you just pray to the lord till he tells you it’s time to eat, or he tells your misses and she smacks you a good one for makin her wait till dat food goes chilly.

Thanks for listening to ol’ Russel.  Sometimes I feel like ain’t no one listening no more now that they got that world wide spider web.

Your Word, Our Writing – Quickie – Mike Barbieri

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Thank you Mike Barbieri for the word.  If you don’t know why we are writing about Shenanigans, we asked our Facebook fans to suggest some words for us to write about.  Here you go!  Also, congratulations on the two free tickets!
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Quickie as defined by the Urban Dictionary.  “For those who don’t know, “quickie” is the term given to a sexual romp that is exactly that – quick. It is to the point, exciting and usually quite intense. And it is often more animalistic and lust-driven than regular “romantic” sex. “

The thing is most people don’t know the real story behind this term for fast love-making has it origins in a very violent period of time where a roving band of barbarians terrorized the countryside in the middle of Europe’s middle parts.

During the times of Vikings and Visigoths there was a little known band of barbarians made up entirely of female warriors.  In their ancient tongue the called themselves Kwickezze, which roughly translates to “Fast like the wind that destroys the world and takes what it wants from weak men.”

This tribe of about ninety women devastated farms and villages for many years.  The reason they are vaguely remembered in a sexual term is the unique way they raided the towns.  The Kwickezze women raided a village so fast that most of the townsfolk barely had time to move let alone defend themselves from the onslaught.  The Kwickezze would break in the doors with their giant boots made out of bull skulls, and steal meat, cheese, and small sturdy female children to supplement their ranks.  There is very little written of them in history since they were so brutally efficient that no one ever survived their raids to tell about it.  They only left one clue at every town.  They would paint with the blood of the fallen the words “Girls Rule!” on the side of the largest building in the settlement.

Eventually a nearby kingdom heard of the tales of these warrior women and the queen of the land started a very early version of women’s suffrage.  Needless to say after the king had to execute 90% of the female population,  he was a little ticked off.  He sent his army of knights into the woods to hunt down and destroy the Kwickezze.  To this day there are stories that when you enter those woods, you can still hear the ghosts of the knights saying “Whoa those are some hot barbarians.  Dude, I dare you to talk to the blonde one.  She’s totally checking you out.”

So now anytime you go to have a Quickie, you can think about an army of bloodthirsty vicious women marauding through your city coming to cut out your hearts and steal your daughters.

Shenanigans – An Inspired Story – Janet O’Keefe

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Thank you Janet O’Keefe for the word.  If you don’t know why we are writing about Shenanigans, we asked our Facebook fans to suggest some words for us to write about.  Here you go!  Also, congratulations on the two free tickets!

 

Go wenches go wenches go!

Shenanigans was a quiet coastal Irish town.  Nothing worth noting ever really happened.  Once a really strong wind blew Mr. McConaughey’s roof off.  Considering he lived in a cardboard box that read “World’s Best Imported Imitation Crab” and his roof was made of aluminum foil, nobody really was too bothered by it.  Then fate decided it was time that this town experienced laughter, pain and sorrow.  Not necessarily in that order.

The trouble all started with Brian Dempsey.  Brian was a small brown haired boy who had the unfortunate knowledge of what being fourteen with a full beard felt like.  Brian had a list of nicknames he was used to hearing in the halls of Shenanigans High, “Teen Wolf”, “Fuzzy Wuzzy”, and “Lumberjack”.   The last one didn’t bother him so much until some of the kids started randomly pushing trees on him on his walk home.

As an outcast, Brian began to find solace in solitude.  He would sit in his room all day using hair wax to make creative mustaches and beard shapes.  One day, he had shaped his mustache into sword handles and his beard into the point of a sword.  His brain was flooded with images of medieval kings and knights storming castles and taking what they wanted with their forged steel.  He knew what he must do.

Two days later (thanks to Amazon Prime shipping) Brian Dempsey was outfitted in king’s robes and a full suit of armor.  Not to mention a giant 2 handed broadsword he lovingly nicknamed Bloodletting Aparatus Repurposed for Forays, or B.A.R.F. for short.  (He was in high school after all)  Donned in his new kingly regalia, Brian went forth to begin his campaign of justice, righteousness and maybe find a wench or two along the way.  (He wasn’t quite sure what a wench was but they sounded like they would be fun at parties)

Tom O’Hara was the other part of this volatile situation.  Tom was the town bully, and the one most responsible for Brian’s nicknames.  Tom had a lot to live up to coming from a line of very successful bullies.  For over ten generations, the O’Hara men and women had robbed Shenanigan citizens of everything from lunch money to baby candy.  Tom had earned quite a reputation as a boy with moose knuckles (Don’t be dirty) and a fondness for other people’s angry birds collectibles.

Today Tom was following his normal routine of standing half covered in shadow on the side of the school to look menacingly at the other students.  It just so happens he chose today to switch from standing in the west shadows to standing in the east shadows since he was starting to get a really awkward farmer’s tan down the middle of his face and it took far too much energy to beat up every kid who looked at him oddly.  From this angle he saw Brian Dempsey, draped in armor wielding a broadsword, from a mile away.  Two and a half miles to be precise since there wasn’t much overcast and it’s hard to miss a boy dressed as a king with an army of homeless people following him.  Tom ran inside to amass his henchmen and threaten his own army to readiness.

Brian had been a busy boy king all morning.  He had scoured the town for followers.  After realizing the employees of the local Starbucks didn’t want to spend their smoke break fighting for his incredibly vague cause of “justice”, Brian promised all the homeless residing in the local shelter he would buy them McDonald’s sausage mcmuffins if they joined him.  As Brian and his underfed army approached the school, he noticed O’Hara was ready for him.  Every pimple faced, snot nosed, spoiled brat in the town had gathered out in front of the school at his back.  Brian smiled widely as he approached.  So widely in fact that all the kids could see it through his super thick beard and it freaked them out.  Brian saw the crowd take a step back and knew the time to strike was now.

Tom saw Brian’s creepy smile and felt all those losers behind him back down.  Then the sea of homeless were upon him.  They really didn’t have the strength to do much damage, mostly they just pushed the kids down to the floor and searched their pockets for food or spare change.  Unfortunately most of the brats in this town were silver spooners and were so grossed out by having the hands of the lower class on them that they ran screaming and rubbing hand sanitizer all over themselves.

Tom would not be so easily beaten!  He rose quicky, pulled out his iPhone 6, and called his uncle that ran the nearby sub shop to begin his counter attack.  Within minutes his uncle pulled around the corner with the food truck shaped like a sub that he used to cater weddings.  The truck lurched to a halt in front of the mass of homeless people and his uncle popped out shouting “Free subs!”  The homeless army turned it’s attention to the food truck and sprinted towards it like a pack of zombies in the Walking Dead® on AMC.  Tom’s uncle peeled out taking the hungry homeless hunting for ham and cheese.

The streets were empty except for Tom O’Hara and Brian Dempsey.  They were ready for battle.  Brian raised B.A.R.F. high over his head, Tom raised his giant moose knuckles, and the two teenage titans launched at each other screaming battle cries at the tops of their lungs.  Glorious battle was about to commence.

Suddenly an ear shattering banshee wail broke the silence.  “Tom O’Hara!  You put those fists down and get your freckled arse over here this instant!”

It seems Tom’s mother had arrived on the scene and, with the reflexes of a cat, managed to grab a hold of Tom’s ear.  (The dreaded “Mother Ear Pull Technique” was passed down by O’Hara mothers to deal with O’Hara children) Tom cried out in pain and began whimpering like a puppy as he was dragged into the back seat of his mother’s Ford Taurus.  After he was seated and had his seat belt fastened, she turned her attention to Brian.  He was smiling smugly with B.A.R.F. draped over his shoulder, very happy with his victory.  That was until Mrs. O’Hara laid into him.

Tom’s mother said “And you!  How dare you come at my son with a real weapon!  And raising an army before noon.  Your parents will hear about this young man.  Now off you go.”  Brian tucked his B.A.R.F. in between his legs and walked home defeated.

The town of Shenanigans was forever changed after that day.  They hadn’t realized just how bad the homeless problem was until they all came together in a mob and ripped apart a food truck in minutes.  With the O’Haras taking the lead, (They beat up anyone who tried to take charge) the town built more shelters and had free skill training sessions to help the homeless population find meaningful jobs.

The moral of the story is, if you ever feel the urge to don armor and rally a group of unfortunate souls behind you to get back at a bully for making fun of your facial hair, it just might save someone’s life.

PS.  Don’t actually do that.  This story was fiction.  I doubt you can even lift a broadsword.  Those things way a ton.  Stay inside and watch Netflix.

Your Word, Our Writing – Joseph Richard Nay: Thesaurus

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Thank you Joseph for the word.  If you don’t know why we are writing about a Thesaurus, we asked our Facebook fans to suggest some words for us to write about.  Here you go!  Also, congratulations on the two free tickets!

This what the actual cover of my first thesaurus looked like.

In 6th grade we had to buy a thesaurus because we would be writing our very first research paper.  I’ve never written such an eloquent paper about nothing.   It was thought-provoking, riveting, absorbing, compelling, enthralling, enticing, alluring and magnetic.

Each and every detail was explained to the very minutia, trifle, triviality, trifle and frivolity.  I used enormous words that probably didn’t apply since I was writing about the Exports and Imports of Switzerland, but I’m sure it was a sesquipedality.

Thesaurus.  Thanks Joseph! 2 tickets are for you!

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