By Jody Fuller
I had a fun gig last week at achurch in Tennessee. I brought the funny. They brought the food and even better fellowship. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening as evident by the following review:
Jody was absolutely wonderful. We had around 70 people, and he did an outstanding job of entertaining us. He was hilariously funny, on time, dressed impeccably, and talked to everyone like we had all been friends forever. Such a nice man. Everyone had a good time and some really good laughs, which we all needed.
I particularly like the part about being dressed impeccably. Styling and profiling is one of my favorite pastimes.
Did I mention this was a group of prime-timers? They were old. I knew I was at the right place when I pulled into the parking lot and the only place to park was between two Buicks. When I asked veterans to stand and be recognized, there was one gentleman who fought for the North during the Civil War. The ultimate indication of their age was clear when they didn’t laugh at my Cool Whip bowl references. To them, there’s nothing funny about Cool Whip bowls. Cool Whip bowls are simply a way of life.
When I walked in, the smell of salve almost knocked me on my fanny. One of the Golden Girls asked if I was the comedian. The salve was strong with this one. When I answered affirmatively, she said, “Well, I’ve never heard of you.” Well, outside of my family, friends, and Facebook, nobody has, and that’s ok. To her credit, she wasn’t being disrespectful. Like a kid, she was just being honest.
Besides the unabashed truth telling, children and the elderly have a lot in common. I see it often when I’m speaking or performing comedy. I learned long ago that the young and old alike don’t always get some of my jokes because of the age disparity, which is just fine with me. I wouldn’t get any Harry Potter jokes, so I’ve learned to tailor my set to the age of those in attendance.
They also parallel each other with their restlessness. If you can get a kid to sit still for more than 90 seconds, you have achieved quite an accomplishment. Old people, on the other hand, have to get up and move around just for the sake of getting up to move around. Perhaps they’re looking for Circus Peanuts. Who knows? Loudness is their biggest similarity. Kids are kids, so they are going to be loud, which is why it’s never a good idea to bring a kid to an event where someone is speaking.
Old people are going to be loud primarily because they can’t hear. Oftentimes, their significant other has to repeat what I said directly into their ear, loudly at that. They also carry on conversations, loudly at that. Sometimes, they even answer their cell phones, loudly at that.
The good news about this latest gig is that I didn’t have to deal with very much of this at all. They were one of the kindest, sweetest crowds I’ve ever had. They were like family. I believe there were more people, per capita, lined up after the show to see me and to shake my hand or hug my neck than I’d ever had before, and that’s saying something.
I’m from Opelika, so my neck gets hugged a lot. We’re some huggers around here in case you didn’t know.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.