LM460 There'd Be No Mystery About my Murder

LM, Episode 460, 2/26/21

Twyla likes watching murder mystery shows on the weekends.  On one, they found the body of a man who had been missing in a trash dumpster.  The police didn’t immediately suspect he was murdered because homeless people often crawl into trash dumpsters to get warm in the winter.

I told Twyla, “If they find my body in a trash dumpster, rest assured I was murdered because I’d rather die from the cold than crawl in one of those.”

Twyla says, “I’ll know you were murdered because I’ll be the one who did it.”

I think Twyla’s reminding me laughter matters.

LM459 Tattoos

LM, Episode 459, 2/25/21

The Kansas City police are looking for a murder suspect, one Charles Baldwin.  Mr. Baldwin is 6 feet tall, 160 pound, with a Gucci tattoo above his right eye.  Far be it for me to play Monday morning quarterback, but the pool of young, white men who are 6 feet tall, 160 pounds is large.  In fact, our son, Keith, would be in it, but a Gucci tattoo above the right eye reduces it significantly.  That’s like having a vanity plate on a getaway car.

Keith has some tattoos, but they are meaningful to him.  He has his son, Kai’s, name, birthday, and foot print off his birth certificate.  He has Mario from his first video game, Super Mario Brothers.  Obviously, if you’re wanted for murder, your judgement is suspect, but I wonder what went into the decision process for the Gucci tattoo?  

I don’t have any tattoos.  I have nothing against them, I just can’t think of anything I would want printed on my body for the rest of my life.  The closest things I’ve considered are the Rolling Stones tongue and the St. Louis Cardinals’ logo.  Thank goodness I didn’t get that Bill Cosby one a couple of years ago. I’d be regretting it as much as Mr. Baldwin is regretting that Gucci one.

Have a great Thursday and always remember laughter matters.

LM458 Ted Cruz Can't Buy a Break

LM, Episode 458, 2/24/21

Last week NASA landed a rover on Mars and they were shocked when out jumped Ted Cruz.  

Bless his heart, Ted can’t buy a break. 

Last month, when Missouri senator, Josh Hawley, wanted to protect the vote of President Biden, Ted didn’t want to be outflanked, so he also decided to protest the vote, all to help a president that said Ted’s wife was ugly and Ted’s dad helped assassinate President Kennedy.  That day, an insurrection happened at the capitol and Ted and Josh stuck to their guns.  Although their political pandering may help them today, history will judge them harshly.  

As the rest of his fellow Texans were suffering without heat or water because of a winter storm and power failures, Ted took a vacation at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun. 

Ted is so reviled by his neighbors, they ratted him out for leaving his dog at home without heat and the best part, the dog’s name is Snowball. 

At the same time, it was discovered that Dolly Parton turned down the state of Tennessee’s request to put a statue of her on the capitol grounds.  Dolly said there were too many other pressing issues in our country that need addressing rather than honoring her, which is why we should erect a statue of Dolly.  

Ted tried to deflect criticism by saying his daughters asked him to go and he was trying to be a good father.  As a father, I can empathise with Ted.  Senator Cruz, how about you and I try to be generous and humble like Dolly?  That would mostly, certainly, make us better fathers and human beings.  

Always remember laughter matters. 

LM457 I'm A Fixin' To

LM, Episode 457, 2/23/21

My friend, Stefanie, is originally from Germany and I once heard her say, “I’m a fixin’ to go home.”

I had to ask, “Where does a good German girl pick up, ‘I’m a fixin’?”

She tells me she learned English in North Carolina.  “Well that explains it.”

When we moved to Oklahoma the two most difficult things we had to adapt to were, first, they called us Yankees, and, second, everyone said, “I’m a fixin’ to…”  Ten years after we moved back to Missouri, I was in Norman, OK speaking.  Going out to run that morning, I hear a guy walking into the hotel answer his phone, “I was fixin’ to call you.  How’s your mom and ‘em.”  And I thought, “I’m home.”

Just after moving to Oklahoma, Maggie came home from kindergarten saying, “I’m a fixin’,” and Twyla snaps, “NO, you are not ‘fixin’’ to do anything.”  To this day Maggie remembers it.  Good thing to because it saves her the embarrassment of performing Shakespeare saying, “I’m a fixin’ to speak to him like a saucy lackey and under that habit play the knave with him.”

Right now I’m a fixin’ to remind you laughter matters.

LM456 The Grand Wizard of Comedy

LM, Episode 456, 2/22/21, Management Monday, Grand Wizard of Comedy

A few years ago we bought a new car.  When it came in, I was doing shows in New Mexico.  The dealer called me to fill out the credit application online that weekend so everything would be ready when I picked up the car on Monday.  I asked Twyla to do it, but what I said was, “I’m sure you can fill it out, but if you have problems, give me a call.”

In retrospect, I can see how she would consider this condescending. 

On Monday I’m in the credit manager’s office and he asks, “What is a Grand Wizard of Comedy.”

“A what?”

He says, “Your credit application says your occupation is you’re a Grand Wizard of Comedy, what is that?”

“That is my wife trying to be funny.”

“Mr. Rader, We take these credit apps very seriously, what is your occupation?

“Would you believe I’m a Chippendale Dancer?”

Seven years ago we recorded a live DVD-CD of my clean, stand-up comedy and I included that story.  The following morning Twyla and I were having coffee, discussing what we should title this when she starts laughing, “How about the Grand Wizard of Comedy?”

We laughed and laughed.  Before we finalized everything, she said, “Someone may take offense to Grand Wizard because that’s what they call the KKK leader.”

I go, “Yeah, but, if they do, I can live with it because it’s funny.”

Last month I was hired to do an online keynote in April.  Last week I received an email expressing concern about the title of my DVD-CD because the meeting planner Googled Grand Wizard and it said something about the leader of the Klu Klux Klan.  I told her the story and that it had nothing to do with the Klan.

Three days later I get an email saying they are cancelling me.  

I talked with our daughter Maggie and she adroitly said, “Instead of just cancelling each other, try to have a conversation with her.”  She further pointed out I needed to get past being angry and really listen to this woman’s concerns.

I called, but had to leave a message asking her to call me.  I also sent her an email, but only received a response of, “Thanks you for the email.”  Today on Management Monday, I want to encourage everyone to have conversations about difficult situations which arise in our daily business and truly listen to each other’s concerns.  

I want her to know that neither of us should feel uncomfortable with this engagement. I honestly want to hear her concerns so I can do a better job with my business.  This pandemic has taught me one thing and that is the only thing worse than not working at all is having to do comedy on Zoom, so I am not upset about losing the work.  I hope she will hear me say I was raised by parents who insisted I help women and people of color who do not have my privilege and the story about the Grand Wizard of Comedy is about a woman finding a creative, funny way of putting her condescending husband in his place, which I believe is a message women should hear. 

If you would like a free copy of my DVD-CD of CLEAN, stand-up comedy titled the Grand Wizard of Comedy, please send me an email to kent@kentraderspeaks.com with your mailing address and I will have one sent to you and it has nothing to do with the Klan.

I want to thank Maggie for giving me her wisdom in this situation.  I sincerely appreciate her helping me become a better person making me laugh when I am angry.  You remind me how much laughter matters.