I had a couple of simple throwaway gags to use that linked together my more in depth raconteuring. One of them went something like this:
...They were interviewing some guy at the side of the road, he's knackered, he's running a marathon FFS yet the person with the mic expects them to answer a series of dull questions in between gasps and snorting snot into the drain. Anyway, they ask him what he was running for...He answered that he was running for Leukaemia. Funny, I run to get fit myself.
There's usually a brief chuckle, allows the slow ones to laugh before I launch into a story like the one about about buying the largest dildo in Anne Summers with a shy ex, and then walking back through the shopping centre with this...thing...writhing away in an Anne Summers bag. It's a good story that one.
This night nothing was going to right...People were eating, and I was the only open mic' guy they had in what was blatantly a pub eatery.
So I'm rattling through my Leukaemia throwaway as usual when suddenly there is this audible groan from a table towards the back of the room, shortly afterwards what I imagine is some meaty women with a thick accent yells "No...No...You cunt! It isn't funny!"
I retort something like "Maybe, maybe not, but you don't get to decide what is or isn't funny for the room...We operate something called a democracy in this country. That's d..e..m..o etc. And people don't tend to vote for ugly women."
Another disembodied harsh female voice chipped in "Just Shut up you wanker, cancer, it's nothing funny!"
Being in the zone and thinking I was in charge of the room, shit this was my second gig and my first had gone well (or so I was told) I tore right back with, "look If you don't want to deal with cancer then I suggest you change your diet and start doing some exercise....And given that you sound like Ertha Kitt, giving up smoking helps too."
The original heckler screeched "That's her mum you cunt!" Perturbed by the venom I leaned forward to peer at the crowd through over exaggerated raised eyebrows, and saw a table full of sweaty larger sized women all wearing pink t-shirts...smiling angelically from the front of the T-shirts was the face of a young girl, no more than 14, surrounded with glittery words like "princess, darling, daughter, niece, never forget!" For those slow on the uptake, this is the universal symbol of being out on a night to the comedy club to raise money (and forget the pain of loss) for cancer research.
Fuck...Where to go from here? To retreat means the certain death of your act, to attack means a guaranteed lynching at the hands of mob justice. So I did what any human being would do, dropped my manic stage personae and said. "Right, I get it now...I apologise, I cannot see you all from up here...Since I've fucked my act, and probably the rest of the evening, I'll just say thank you for your time and I hope you can enjoy the rest of the night...I'll leave it to the professional comics back stage, who are now tearing up their cancer material, and wish you well. See you later." I didn't say my name.
What I wanted to say was something like "Can I have one of those t-shirts please, I need to inject some fresh capital into the wank bank." or "What a tragic a waste, she had such a pretty mouth!" or "How did something so beautiful, come out of something so butch?" or "Her dad must be good looking, because frankly...It's not your genes that are dominant!"
Such is the evil that lurks within a comical brain. You have to switch off your inner filter to generate humour...Sometimes it goes too far...But there is part of me that wishes I went down in a hail of fists, if only to win the comedy battle at the expense of my life.
So I left the stage...Did I feel bad? Nope. My skin has been tempered by many days of being abused as a teacher...I am Edmund Blackadder in a classroom, fuck you kiddies! I blamed the venues, as the landlord had clearly failed to grasp that a well lit corner of a room next to people eating meals is not the ideal performance space for somebody acting out a mental breakdown for laughs.
What made me feel damn good afterwards is a number of the professional comics praised my attitude and composure, some even suggested that that particular group was a form of cancer in itself, that it had sucked the life out of the room and killed the audience...And that perhaps they shouldn't have brought their overt statement into an environment that encourages mockery of life. Discuss.
P.S. Did I mention that this whole shower happened in a pub, when I was the only mic guy who turned up? So I was orating when everybody was eating a fucking hog-roast and expecting the laughs to start about an hour later when they'd had a bit to drink?