The sketch I wrote for my stand-up comedy class last week bombed. The biggest laugh happened when I accidentally hit my mouth on the microphone and ad-libbed “I’d better be careful. I’ve spent a lot of money on these teeth.”

The teacher used my performance as an example of “babble.” Most of us provide too much detail before we get to the punch line. When I’m writing my blog, I can get away with using 390 words to build up to the twist at the end. Or at least it works for you rare, precious souls who read my blog and tell me you enjoy it. Stand-up comedy is a whole different animal.

I’m feeling a lot of pressure. We started the course on September 7. On October 12, we will be expected to entertain a crowd of more than 100 people with a five-minute routine.

I hope to generate at least that many laughs. Five, that is, not a hundred. I’m learning to scale my expectations way back. It will help me get to five if we can find a bar as a venue.

The course I’m taking is offered by Simon Fraser University in their programming for people 55 plus. Because we’re seniors, we can poke fun at our ilk, legitimately. I’ve observed that people tend to underestimate us. They coddle us.

Not our teacher, Janice. She’s cracking the whip. No, that’s not the right analogy. She sets high standards, using humour. She’s quick with a quip.

Her calling me on the babble has inspired me to tighten up my writing. I think the sketch I’ve prepared for this week is getting there, and I’ve got two more weeks to polish it.

By October 12, I just may be ready to be called to the bar.


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