No shoes, No shirt, No college

Prior to becoming a comic I worked in higher education for about 8 years — at two different universities and later, a newspaper that covered the higher-ed industry. During that time, I saw the popularity of online degree and certificate programs skyrocket. A great option for non-traditional students, their pitch used to be ‘flexible scheduling for parents and working professionals.’ Now, apparently it’s devolved into ‘you can go to school in your pajamas.’

I Go to School In My Pajamas! Distance Learning EducationThe funniest videos clips are here

This is nothing if not a testament to how lazy we’ve become as a country. And I can’t help but feel that if getting dressed is what was preventing you from completing your degree, maybe college isn’t for you. I mean really, is there anyone out there like, “Man, I really want to become a lawyer and help level the playing field and fight the many injustices in this world… Wait. What? I have to wear pants? Awww, nah then… I’m good on that.”

Doubt it.

I will put my soft shoe up in yo’ …

So I had a show night before last in Lake of the Ozarks, MO. I was about an hour early for the show because I had the showtime wrong so I was hanging out in the back of the showroom and besides the staff there was only one other person there — a lady sitting at the next booth over. I was playing around with my Blackberry when she started talking to me.

LADY: Are you here for the show tonite?

ME: Yes I am.

LADY: Well then get up there on that stage and dance for me. I need to be entertained while I’m waiting.

Ummmmm… WHAT?!?!?

Dance? A little soft shoe, perhaps?!?!?

There was no indication that I was part of the show. And there was no hint of a smile or a joke on her face. She didn’t blink. She was dead serious. And I was livid. I gave her the big eyes and said, “Oh there will be no dancing” and then continued doing what I was doing. But after a minute or two I was so heated I had to get up and move myself over to the bar. I really wanted to hit her — not like in an imaginary dream sequence, but in living color. I was trying to figure out if there was another way I could take that, without jumping right to the fact that it was the most racist thing I’ve heard in years. But I couldn’t come up with anything.

I  was sooooo angry and I wanted to address it on stage, but since no one else had witnessed it, I knew I was just gonna ruin the show for the headliner and the other 99% of the audience. The show ended up going really well for me but I still kinda felt like a punk for not getting at her. On my way back to the hotel I called my Dad, and he basically just told me to take my money and let it go. He’s had to deal with tons of racist comments being one of just a handful of black folks that worked at his company for 30+ years. And I know he was right. My job is to give a good show and get invited back. Releasing that venom definitely would have made me feel better, but it probably would have ensured that I’d never play the venue again.

I’m a bit of a hot head, and learning to pick my battles is a difficult thing for me, but when things like this happen I guess they’re just an opportunity for growth.


Moral Dilemma

If an airline loses my luggage and then sends a driver bring it to my house later on or the next day, am I expected to tip the driver when he gets there? I mean, I’m happy I didn’t have to go back to the airport, but dude is on the same team with the people who lost my luggage in the first place, right? I mean, I would have carried it myself if only it had arrived on the same plane I did.

Do I look cheap if I don’t tip? Am I a sucker if I do? What is the appropriate expression to wear when I meet old boy on the curb? Do I just give him the ‘big eyes?’ Feel free to weigh in.

Image Source

Top of the World!!!

Just got back from a long road trip that included visits to Atlanta, Birmingham, AL, and Aspen, CO. I was in Aspen for a comedy festival with some of my favorite comedy buddies. And on the last day a few of us took a gondola up to the top of Aspen Mountain. OMG, so beautiful! More photos to come but this one makes me so happy I had to go ahead and post it right away!

The Book of Oprah

So… my mom has her cell phone hooked up via bluetooth thru the speakers in her car. But after learning about the No Phone Zone pledge and fearing the wrath of Oprah (as so many of us do) she called me to ask if it was still “OK” for her to use it.

“Oprah said we can’t hold the phone but she didn’t say we couldn’t talk into a speaker. That’s like talking to someone in the passenger seat. Oprah didn’t say we couldn’t talk people in the passenger seat, did she?”

Oh the hilarity… I laughed so hard.

But so many people I know have made the pledge not to text while driving, etc. because of Lady O. Just yesterday my best friend told me that whenever she’s driving in the car with her husband and she reaches for the phone he just says “Oprah” and she drops it like a hot potato. It’s kind of a shame that it took Oprah Winfrey telling us to for so many people to start obeying this law. I am (was) guilty of it myself. I spend a lot of time driving, but I have vowed to pull to the side of the road if there’s something I need to respond to immediately.

I don’t know what we’re gonna do when Oprah goes off the air… Who will encourage us to obey the law then? I shudder at the thought.