Talent Show

I have been holding this one under my belt for a while, I don’t know….maybe because it was super weird and hard to swallow. This one is completely non fiction, and as my urban, much younger than me friends say; this shits real. All the names and locations will be omitted or changed to protect the innocent, and what have you. If you’re a fan or a colleague, you know this already….I don’t get heckled or challenged much by anyone. It spells doom for those that do, yet to be frank, I’m a nice guy, and I rarely attract that. I have very little interest in that type of exchange.  That is likely why you don’t hear of me talking about audiences very often in road stories or blogs. More likely than not, it’s some sort of insane, twisted, Seinfeld-ish plot of misunderstandings.

Often I am asked to MC events or be the “celebrity” host. Trust me, I have no illusions. If they want to use that title, then that’s great. An invitation to be the MC of a school talent show was delivered via email and my schedule allowed me to be there, so i said “Sure, why not.”

The warm up act was a band made of school teachers and officials. A police man, a coach, maintenance guy, etc. They were pretty good, and really rocked along. I noticed one of the members was wearing a pair of hearing aids and was really killing it. Great musician.

After a few rousing late 70’s early 80’s Rock anthems, they introduce me and the kids recognize and award me with cheers and applause. It felt great! They did their home work they sort of knew who I was. My opening bit went like this:

” How about the________band? They were great huh? You had a cop,  coach, a janitor…..it was like a poorly put together Village People. (LAUGHS) And what about _________, now we know why he has those hearing aids from rocking out at home on the guitar.”

Nothing special. Cute. The audience liked it, and I proceed hosting this event for a good two hours. In between acts I interviewed the contestants Seachrist style, asking the judges for input. We announce the winners and close the shows. I move over to the bleachers to take a seat. Small droves of kids, staff, and parents come to thank me, and share with me how much better this year’s program was, and they thought I added to it.

Now….hearing aid guy is next. I am sitting down, and he extends his hand, so I reciprocate in a handshake, and he says:

” I just wanted to tell you….Fuck You.”

Initially my thoughts were, he’s kidding… he’s having fun, but there are still children and staff around. Now I’ll start it over and give you the dialouge and I’ll put his words in black and mine red…like Jesus….in the bible:

” I just wanted to tell you….Fuck you.”

“Ok. Thanks?”

“Well you ruined my day and I wanted to ruin your’s. I’ve only had these for a few weeks and I’m real sensitive about them.  I was really looking forward to this day, and you ruined it.”

*** to think that my little comment RUINED the day.

“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Just a harmless joke. I feel bad you felt like that. I apologize.”

“I don’t know you and I don’t who you think you are, but you’re not my buddy. You can’t talk to me like that. It’s a disability. You didn’t make fun of __________who is in the wheel chair did you?”

“No. She wasn’t playing in the band. “

***His face gets beat red. I’m trying to ask him to step outside or at least around the corner so the kids and parents don’t have to endure this. By the way…..we are still shaking hands.

“I’m probably going get in trouble for this.”

“Oh, no. In fact I’ll make sure of it that you won’t”

“You won’t make sure of anything. In fact if you mention it again to or I hear you talk about it,  I’ll take care of you.”***He lets go of my hand and starts to walk away.

“Not sure if you know this, but you sounded great today.” Stopped in his steps….paused and walked on.

People that know me, know I can’t stand it when someone feels they are a victim of my work. It eats at me, for days. This one did for a year. I feel terrible, when someone when feels this way. Did he handle it right? No….absolutely not. Should he have been reprimanded? Fuck yes. Do I care? No….life moves on. If  he or I are still hung up on it, then we have more serious issues.

The situation now, is really funny. Sure it’s the “Hind Site 20/20” thing. It’s in the rearview, so we can look back and laugh at it. Wait….I mean I can look back at it and laugh. Besides my last comment to him makes me the winner.

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