Not figuratively…literally. I said, “Thank you, goodnight!” and fell off the stage.

I guess it was bound to happen. I’ve been doing comedy for a billion years and the odds were stacking up against me. I named my first CD “Dignity Under Duress” for a reason…I have, eh-hem, mishaps.

The scene of the incident: The Improv at Harrah’s in Las Vegas. My favorite club in the country. I love the club, the staff and especially, the manager Carl. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be a Mom…but I digress. I’ve played on that stage hundreds of times over the years with nary a mishap. (There was that one time, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I almost peed my pants on stage…but again, I digress.)

The audience is split in half down the middle with an isle from the stage. There are four steps down from the stage that takes you down that isle, through the crowd. They are well marked with reflective tape and covered with non-skid carpet. I usually walk down the steps to get off the stage and walk through the crowd to get to the front of the theater to meet the crowd as they leave. Easy-peasy.

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I get chills just looking at them now.

Flash back to me sitting in the green room, talking with Carl:

“Hey, Carl…do you have any lotion? I’m feeling extra Vegas-y.” (Which means we’re in a freaking desert, so all the moisture has been sucked out of my skin, leaving me feeling/looking like a velociraptor.

“Sure…here ya go.” as he pulls a big jug of lotion out of his magic sound booth.

I load up my hands with the lotion and can actually hear the sound of my skin sucking it in. Now hindsight is 20/20…I SHOULD HAVE put some of the lotion on my feet. I know that sounds weird and inappropriate but believe me that would have been the LEAST inappropriate thing that’s been done in that greenroom. It is Vegas after all.

I hear the MC introduce me, so I ignore my dry feet and head out onto the stage. This is probably where I should mention my shoes. Very tame shoes by Vegas standards. In fact, I think they’re the approved shoes for Vegas nuns. Low heels, slide-on, comfy shoes:

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Certainly not shoes I would ever have to worry falling off of. You would think.

I had a great set. The crowd was responsive and fun. I talked with several of them from on stage. I especially remember the doctor. He was in town on “business”. Yeah, isn’t everyone? (wink, wink)
I finished my show, picked up my cup of water, bowed to the thunderous applause (eh-hem) and handed off the mike to the MC. As I took my first step off the stage…

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(reenactment)
My cozy, Vegas-nun shoe slipped halfway off my Vegas-dry velociraptor foot. My ankle buckled and made me fly (head-first) down the stairs! I heard a collective GASP! from the audience…then complete silence. I think they were wondering if it was part of my show. “I meant to do that!” I yelled from the bottom of the stairs. They all laughed. I was still face-down in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. Well, technically my face was at the bottom of the stairs and my legs and feet were still at the top of the stairs which made it impossible for me to get up. I AM proud to say I still had my cup of water in my hand.
The woman sitting in the chair 6 inches from where I was sprawled said, “Hey, you broke your leg.” Thanks for your diagnosis, crowd member. Here’s the crazy part…NO ONE GOT UP TO HELP ME! Only Maria, the sweetest Maitre d’ in the world, came running to my assistance.

“Hey, Maria…I think I fell down the stairs.”
“Yes you did, Baby.”
“Everyone is just staring at us, huh?”
“Yes they are, Baby.”
“Thank you for coming to get me, Maria…I notice the DOCTOR didn’t come see if I was OK…he’s busy with his ‘business’ trip I guess.”

Maria pulled me up to my feet, which is an amazing feat since she only comes up to my bellybutton.
“You’re freakishly strong, Maria.”
“Yes, Baby.”

The crowd cheered when I was back on my feet.
“I’m OK…NO THANKS TO ANY OF YOU!” I screamed at them. They all just laughed again.

Thank goodness I’m a comic, I just made a joke and brushed it off. That would have gone WAAAAY different if I were a vasectomologist.

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Nate: “Mommy, did you know that Peregrine Falcons are voracious eaters?”

Me: “I did not know that. Wow…”voracious” is an excellent word. Do you know what it means?”

Nate: “Yup. It means they like to eat a lot.”

Me: “That’s right! Wow, you sure know a lot of words.”

Nate: “That’s because I have an excellent vocabulary.”

Me: “Yes, you do.”

Nate: “Mommy? What does vocabulary mean?”

Me: “It means I have a new joke for my act.”

 

OK so I was a guest blogger for Mother’s Day awhile back. They thought it was worth reposting so here ya go: (warning…it’s not your usual warm-and-squishy take on the day)

Campaign To Abolish Mother’s Day!”

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We’ve been getting lots of art from our 6 yr old. It’s actually quite good for his age. perspective, colors, shading…

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Notice the fancy “Z”? His Dad and I are quite proud and hang most on the fridge gallery.

Fast forward to last Thurs. Zeke came home from school with a dark plastic bag. He stood before me, arms outstretched presenting me the bag. Only problem is…he has that look in his eye. That look that every Mom recognizes in her child to mean something wicked this way comes.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a drawing for you, Mommy.”

“Oh, thank you Zeke. Can I open it it?”

(evil giggle) “SURE!” (more evil cackling)

Here is the picture my precious son drew for me:

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Needless to say, this one didn’t make the fridge.

I will admit that I had a “Mom’s glass is half-full” thought: “At least he knows the correct spelling of Butt.”

(Sigh…)

Olaf

We went to see Frozen… here’s what I thought www.comedyfilmnerds.com.

What did YOU think?

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We loved the first “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”.  Did we love the second?  Hmmmm….

Go here to see: Comedy Film Nerds.

Come on, People! Picture (taking) People to be exact. If you spent just a couple more bucks an hour, you could hire actual photographers. Forget photographers…I’d settle for someone who has kids or at the very least…has spoken to a kid before. My boys are 9 and almost 6. You can’t hold up a squeaky frog, speak in a baby voice and sing, “Ooooh, I’m gonna git your belly!” Why? Because you get a photo of 2 boys rolling their eyes, that’s why. When I suggested they were a little old for that, she actually said, “Say Money!”. What?

I know what you’re thinking, “Just stop going there!” I would, but I’m trapped. I started a tradition when they were babies. On a fluke, I took Nate into the place when we were strolling the mall one day. He had just turned 1 and they had the cutest photo in the window of a toddler holding a big red number one. “How cute is that?” I thought. “And there’s no sitting fee!” Little did I know how much “No sitting fee” would cost me. I plopped him down on the white backdrop and they handed him the red number. $150. later, I had an addiction. So now, every year I take them to get their red-number birthday photos.

Early on I realized the level of talent I was dealing with. But I thought, “Hey, I’ll just take over, tell them what to shoot and make my kids laugh / smile naturally.” Some years that worked, other years I got stuck with a photographer just out of Kindergarten or hung over from a frat party the night before.

“Say, Cheese, Mathew.”

“My name is Nate and we don’t say cheese, we’re vegetarians. We say, ‘Soy Cheese!”

“Huh?”

Soy Cheese. It’s a joke. Get it? We don’t eat cheese…oh, nevermind.”

“Oh, ok. Say soy cheese Nicky.”

That’s when I usually take over and manage to get the shots I want. I always give the photographer the benefit of the doubt, stand back and let them work before I step in and become one of “those” Moms.

This year I nearly lost it. We got a “Poser”. That’s a photographer who has four poses in their repertoire. They force ever kid into them, regardless of age, gender or temperament.

“OK, I want you to cross your arms in front of you, with your hand on the outside of your arm. Tilt your head towards me and angle your bodies back. DON’T MOVE! Stand next to your brother – are you brothers? You don’t look alike – let your shirts touch but not your bodies….Now smile! ”

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AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

How could this EVER work on anybody, let alone kids? I grabbed the reigns after the next painful shot was taken: (Notice the pinching shenanigans going on in an attempt to relieve their boredom)

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“Excuse me, do you mind if I make a few suggestions?”

“Uhhhh, I guess so”

“Just let them stand there and I’ll talk. You take the pictures.”

“But I don’t know…”

“Oh, my gosh…Zeke…did you toot?”

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You just have to know your audience. Boys, 4 – 44 years old = fart jokes. Works every time.

My other trick? Bring their favorite toy in the world and voila! Instant personality. Plus I’ve documented their current passion:

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(Nate’s hobbies have changed every year. Reptiles; Harry Potter; Cars; Falconry… Zeke has brought Legos for the past five years. I sure hope Legoland stays open so he can get a job when he grows up.)

“OK, now for the magic red-number birthday photos!”

“Uhhh…OK…I want you to put your left hand on the top of the 9 but keep your fingers off the front of it, then hold it 3/4 of the way down your…”

“I got this…Nate, sit on the floor and hold your 9. Oh, I forgot to tell you…I tooted! ”

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“Zeke, your turn. Sit on the floor and hold your 6. Uh, oh…I forgot to tell you….!”

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Got it!!!  Only 12 more months until the next one…maybe I’ll try pants next year….

Sigh…

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