Laugh it off

31 Dec

Dark club+Disco Ball+Sequins-Flash= Artsy snapshot of Marshall Chiles, Hot Damn and Tom Simmons

A hot topic among parents is the whole allergy thing.  Growing up, I knew only one kid who was allergic to eggs, but by age 12 she had grown out of it.  Fast forward to now.  Almost every family I know has at least one kid who has eczema, a bee sting brush with death, can’t eat tomatoes, dander intolerance, dairy issues or a nut allergy.  A nut allergy?  Yes, I keep sun-butter, made from sunflower seeds, in my pantry for when one of these anaphylactic powder kegs comes for a visit and wants to eat a faux peanut butter sandwich.  What is the deal?  Thank Gawd I hit the Laughing Skull Lounge last night and was able to have host comic Jamie Ward clear this up for me.  It turns out that the theory of evolution might just be a crock.  I love it when someone else just gives me the answers to my nagging questions.

Jamie Ward only does one Asian joke

The Thursday early show was sold out; this weekend promises to be a doozy.  With the openers rotating, I am never certain who is going to be giving it up on stage.  This time around, the first on deck was Mexican convert and accountant by day, Gilbert Lawand.  Apparently, Gilbert has been the victim of a home robbery, but even worse is that he has also had to be a victim of dealing with a City of Atlanta detective.  It’s just as bad as you would imagine.  Having been in this position myself, I really can’t say which leaves you feeling more violated and stunned, but Gilbert relays the whole experience with dead accuracy.

Recovering dickhead, Marshall Chiles, is working out some personality stuff and I think he’s going to end up being a nice boy if he can just quit justifying adultery and looking for respect by brandishing weapons in mall food courts.  Oddly enough, after Jamie was able to toss holes in evolution, Marshall ably pointed out that road trip gas station leak breaks are a way to actually see evolution in action.  I don’t know what to believe anymore!  Marshall has a great knack for audience interaction and being personal without being uncomfortably revealing.  His conversational style was in full force tonight and it was like catching up with your hysterical friend who you haven’t seen in a while.

Headliner Tom Simmons comedy is all smarty-pants and practical.  There are no gossipy stories about marginally famous people, and no slobbering over pop-culture items.  He’s not trying to impress anyone with indie-cred. or hipster coolness.  He’s just an observant guy who has the talent to massage and charm the funny out of some every day life kind of stuff.  Tom managed to skewer an absurdly broad range of material.  Because of his laid-back twist he gets away with saying a lot of things out loud that for some reason I am only allowed to say inside of my head.  When Tom says it on stage it’s gut grabbing and fantastic; when I say it at a luncheon it’s just bitchy and cold.  I felt a sort of intellectual kinship as he questioned why people are always trying to make things into something other than what they truly are, why union workers on strike work harder at striking than working and whether capitalism and democracy even still fit together.  Oh, we tackled all sorts of issues from the wisdom behind gold tooth investing (grills are good, after all), do it yourself organ harvesting, self lubricating labia skin boots (yes, you read that correctly), why Obama is good for both America and the environment, how Gandhi was a troublemaker, that celebrity gives one carte blanche to cheat and proving that Jesus really did exist by way of having a profession.  The universe makes perfect sense to me now.  I imagine Tom sitting around on a Tuesday morning reading The Economist with a cup of coffee and laughing like a hyena.

After a year where most things were just ridiculous, closing it with a night at a comedy club seems wholly apropos.  In the face of some pretty weird turns, the only way I’ve been able to not turn my life over to meth and NASCAR has been to find the funny angle in just about everything.  For those of you out there who haven’t figured out a way to laugh at your own life yet, get yourself to the closest comedy club and laugh at someone else coming to grips with misfortune.  It works, at least for a couple of hours.


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