LM550 Putin’ On The Ritz

LM, Episode 550, 6/3/21, Putin’ On The Ritz

This weekend we saw our first live, in person show in 15 months.  Keith’s fiance, Kate was singing and tap dancing in a show called I Got Rhythm.  It was outdoors on the river front on a beautiful evening with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop.  

When they finished the song Puttin’ on the Ritz, Twyla whispers to me, “I have never heard that song all the way through.  Usually the monster gets scared and runs away.”  When I finally stopped laughing, I admitted every time I hear it, I want to sing, “Uper duper.”  

I wonder what it says about the two of us that our introduction to Irving Berlin is Mel Brooks?  Probably that we both fervently believe laughter matters.

LM549 We´ll Be On the Ground Soon

LM, Episode 549, 6/2/21

I read recently that pilots flying skills are rusty because they didn’t fly as much during the pandemic.  One took three tries to finally land a plane during high winds.  I wonder what to say to the passengers on that third try?  “Well folks, we’ll be on the ground soon one way or another.”

I have worried about my performing skills being rusty after only performing on Zoom during the pandemic where you can’t see or hear the audience.  With my first in person keynotes later this month, I have been doing a couple of things.  First, I’m reviewing my material and concluded I need to do a better job of documenting my bits.  My setlists just have one or two word descriptions which, after 15 months, makes me wonder, “What does No Fly List-Elvis’s House mean?”

Secondly, I have booked some small, outdoor shows at wineries to get back in front of an audience to sharpen these skills   The first one is this Friday at the Hidden Hills Vineyard and Winery in Knoxville, IL and hopefully it won’t take me three tries to land this thing.  After what we’ve been through in the past year, we could all use a few laughs because you know laughter matters.

LM548 He's a Comedian

LM, Episode 548, 6/1/21 

Twyla and I are settling into our new place in Cincinnati.  Although we’ve been here a week, we’ve yet to hear a radio commercial for Red Wigglers, the Cadillac of Worms.

I was talking with Maggie in the yard as she was watering when I notice the neighbor across the street, Hannah, is unloading some shelves.,  I go over and ask if she needs help, adding, “Because I can get Maggie over here to help you lift these.”

You know that uncomfortable silence and look you get when someone doesn ‘t know you/’re being sarcastic?  That was how Hannah looked at me.

Which reminded me of years ago when Maggie was spending the summer performing in Louisville for Kentucky Shakespeare Company.  I was passing through as I was going home from a speaking engagement, so I took her and two of her starving actress friends out for pizza.  When the bill came, I handed the waitress my credit card and said, “Maggie, if your momma could have kept it in her pants, I’d still have $115 of my hard earned money.”

It doesn’t even phase Maggie, but she notices that uncomfortable silence and look that Hannah gave me this week on her friend’s faces.  She simply says, “”Dad’s a comedian,” as if that explains away my meanness. 

So take my advice.  Save you sarcasm until you know people better.  Then they will appreciate how laughter matters.

LM547 A Memorial Day Meal to Forget

LM, Episode 547, 5/31/21, Memorial Day

Years ago on Memorial Day, after decorating our family’s graves in Trenton, MO, my great aunt, Lena, insisted we come to her house for lunch. 

Lena’s culinary skills were poor to begin with and they diminished over time, which explains why her husband put pepper on everything, including his milk.  We walked into her house and a spread of warmed up Meals on Wheels’ leftovers.  They were still in their styrofoam cups. There were nine kernels of corn, six green beans, a half-eaten hamburger.  Have you ever had to calculate how much bad food to eat to be polite?  Twyla and I did just that. 

Pulling out of the Hardies drive-through, Twyla said, “Let’s never speak of this again.”

I hope you have a relaxing and restful Memorial Day and always remember laughter matters.

LM546 I Need a Match

LM, Episode 546, 5/30/21

Twyla and I have spent the past week getting moved to Cincinnati to be close to our children .  We’ve made eight major moves in the 36 years we’ve been together and, apparently, our relationship was only intended to endure seven.

The problem is we downsized houses more than we downsized possessions.  The house has paths through floor to ceiling stacks of furniture and boxes.  It looks like we belong on the TV show, Hoarders. As our new neighbor, Ken, watched us unloard box after box, he asks, “Do you know what you need?”

“Yes, a match.”

And our cat, Mr. B added to the stress.  When we had the U-Haul loaded, we went to get him and he was nowhere to be found.  We searched high and low, then unloaded half of the truck, in the pouring rain only to find him hiding under a sofa. This added three hours to our departure time, getting us into Cincinnati at 2 am. 

We’re exhausted and hurt from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, but at least we are with our children, which is good because if I don’t quit being so terse, I’m going to need a place to live.

Have a great Sunday and always remember laughter matters.