While walking through a local Sears store with a friend I saw an item that I needed for my “other business” which is a sign and graphics shop. A small item but, something I remembered I needed. The item was a package of 2 wax pencils. They are used for making guide lines on a board where I have to put on letters or graphics, a simple tool and very inexpensive. I proceeded to the register where it took me several minutes to “cash out”. Standing there with only the 1 item in my hands the gentleman asked, “Is that all today?” my reply, “Yes, that’s all.” “Did you find everything alright?” “Yes.” He then picked up a handheld tablet device complete with a touch screen and a barcode scanner and used it to “ring up” the sale, apparently to save time in the purchase process. Thank goodness, I thought I can get on with my life the inquisition is over….wrong! “Your phone number sir?” with an unseen eye-roll “(digits)”. Putting down the hand held device, he turned his attention to the desktop cash register slash computer. “I’m sorry sir, your phone number again?” In my mind I am now slapping my forehead, and thinking, all this for a 2 dollar item. (digits, again). “Thank you sir, would you like to sign up for a Sears card today?” Oh, for the love of….”No thank you.” “Your total is $2.15.” In my head again, “here you go sport, biggest sale of the day.” Then there is the delay of waiting for the receipt to print out. My beautiful daughter Gabriella, pictured here, is holding up a ridiculously long receipt, complete with the details of how long I have to return the item should I be unhappy with it, the possibility of a restocking fee, an offer of a few dollars off my next purchase in a specific department only if I return within the next few days, plus an offer to take an online survey on the details of my visit. Holy shit! Really!
I don’t want to “show my age” but, I remember a time when you could go to a store, pick something up, take it to the register, pay for it and leave, with a small slip of paper that gave the details of item cost and tax assessed and that was all.
After all this, I logged into my email account, waiting for me there….an email receipt from Sears.
Sears, as I understand it, is struggling to stay afloat in today’s business climate. Gee, I wonder why?
I’m a big fan of the movie Goodfellas and I’m also a fan of The Peanuts gang. So what if The Peanuts gang did the remake of Goodfellas, here are some of the famous quotes I think you would see.
“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be in The Peanuts gang.”
“One day the kids in the neighborhood carried Snoopy’s dog food all the way home. You know why? It was outta respect.”
“For a second, I thought I was dead but, when I heard all the noise (Lawh, lawh, lawh, lawh) I knew they were adults. Only adults talk that way.”
Charlie: Shermy please! You borrowed Schroeder’s money, pay him. Shermy: I never agreed to 3 points on top of the vig! What am I, a blockhead? Come on!
Oh, I like this painting, one Snoopy goes one way, the other Snoopy goes the other way, and Shultz is sayin', “Whadda ya want from me?” – Linus DeVito
"I have to worry about getting hit by a line drive on the mound! Then I have to come home to this!" – Charlie Hill
“Franklin was crazy, instead of getting rid of the wagon after the heist, he ended up at his girlfriend’s house eating pixie sticks and passing out.”
“I’m gonna go get the papers sir, the papers sir.” - Marcie Two Times
(While digging up the remains of Woodstock Batts….) Schroeder Conway: Oh, hey, Charlie, Charlie! Here’s a leg. Charlie (while coughing): Very funny guys. Linus DeVito: Here’s a wing!
“Pigpen may have been dirty, but it was only because Pigpen didn't have to wash up for anybody.”
Is this the superintendent? Yes, sir, I would like you to know that you have a whore living in 2R, she has naturally curly hair. Her name is Frieda! – Peppermint Patty Brown
This has been fun for me. I hope you enjoyed it too. If you have a question for me that you’d like me to address in a blog, go ahead and send me a message through my contact page. Thanks for stopping in and come back soon.
If you pay attention in life, you learn things.
Here’s something I learned recently, the inspiration for female mannequins? Anne Hathaway.
Something else I learned, stupidity is a worldwide epidemic. At least he chocked the rear wheel, safety first you know.
I learned men are very angry when it comes to the whole put the toilet seat down rule. So, when men are in a "nice" restaurant, they just go ahead and break it right off.
I have learned that "rectal itch" is a big problem for some outdoorsy fellows. Apparently, you can not camouflage the problem either.
I learned that some people didn't get a joke I have been doing for months but, with this visual aid it might have gone over better.
"People in northern New Jersey are flocking to a tree, because they say they see the image of the Virgin Mary in it. Big deal, every time I walk by the stables at Saratoga Flat track, I see the face of Sarah Jessica Parker."
I guess I wasn't alone in that thought.
Finally, I have learned, in Hollywood, if Tom Cruise turns down the script for "The Color of Money 2", the budget decreases dramatically.
If you have gotten this far, thanks. If there's a subject you would like me to cover in a blog, go to my contact page and send it to me, I'll address it in a future edition. Thanks again and come back soon.
Stand-up to cancer - a benefit for jodi weiner February 24th @ the ge proctors black box theater - 3pm
Coming up February 24th at 3PM @ The GE Proctors Black Box Theater - Stand-Up to Cancer - A benefit for Jodi Weiner. Tickets and info here
Starting out in stand-up comedy is a difficult task all by itself. We as comedians are always searching for stage time. More often than not, the stage time is not exactly, “quality stage time.” Most likely we hit the “open mics”, where you are competing with, loud drunken patrons who didn’t even know a “show” is going on, and many times could care less about somebody telling jokes. Other times, mixed in with that, we also have to draw attention away from baseball games, jukeboxes and dart leagues, just to name a few. It is a rite of passage for all comedians. So, when an upstart comedian stumbles across a honest to god comedy club that will allow a no name, nobody a 7 to 10 minute guest spot, totally with a roll of the dice that I may have something funny to say, well….that is like finding gold.
I was lucky enough to find just that. I went to a comedy club in Queensbury, New York, called The Saratoga Comedy Club, just to catch a show with a friend and have some laughs. At the end of a night, watching a husband and wife practice their craft, in separate sets, I introduced myself. Not wanting to take on a title that I felt I had not yet earned, I said, “I’ve been doing some comedy locally and wondered if I might be able to do a guest spot here sometime.” They both shook my hand and said “Sure, here’s how to get ahold of us.” A few weeks later, there I was, on stage. They have allowed me to come back several times, which has been very valuable in my development as a comedian. Through all of this, I found out that I was just another in a long list of comedians that have gotten their first break to perform on their stage. That fact alone showed me that the “gold” I had found, was not in the venue but, in the two wonderful people that had afforded me that opportunity, Jodi Weiner and Vinnie Mark.
I spent many Saturday nights over the summer and right up to the present at The Saratoga Comedy Club. As summer gave way to fall and winter, on occasion Jodi would mention to me that she felt “off” or “I’m just not feeling good.” On some nights only Vinnie and I entertained the crowd as Jodi wasn’t feeling well and was unable to attend.
On December 17th she visited the doctor, with Vinnie right by her side. That day they received the news, Jodi had been diagnosed with esophageal and stomach cancer. The one thing I can tell you about Jodi is that she is tough; she is meeting this challenge head on. A web site has been set up for anyone that may want to send Jodi a message of inspiration, encouragement or to make a donation, please visit www.jodiandvinnie.com
Thank you for reading and remember to keep Jodi Weiner in your thoughts and prayers.
I have no love lost for insurance companies, on a corporate level they are nothing but, sharks, like our friend here.
In recent TV commercials I have noticed, and you probably have too, that an insurance company with a name that makes you think that they are as WIDE as a NATION are running ads for vanishing deductibles. Ok, on the surface this seems like a good deal. Basically if you are part of this program every year that you don’t have an accident they take $100.00 off of the deductible. Alright, let’s stop right here. Deductibles are the amount of money you pay, only when you have an accident, before the insurance company pays for anything. That’s an important part of the program though, because if you didn’t have an accident, guess what you paid in deductibles? Nothing! This is what makes me laugh; the insurance company is basically saying, “Hey, you know that money that you don’t pay unless you have an accident?” “Yeah.” “Well, if you don’t have to pay it for a year, we’ll make that amount $100.00 less.” “So, you’re telling me, if I didn’t have to pay $500.00 this year because I didn’t have an accident, I would have not paid $400.00 this year because I didn’t have an accident?” “Wow, what a deal.” Isn’t it just like an insurance company to remove any risk for themselves and make it look like a gift? In the casino industry they call it hedging your bet. In the real world they call it polishing a turd. Oh, but wait, there’s more. After I researched a little bit I found that, just to be part of this wonderful, no risk to the insurance company, program….they charge you a $60.00 per year fee! That’s right, they make you gamble on not getting into an accident, and that $100.00 savings, which is a make believe savings because you didn’t pay it anyway, became a $60.00 charge that you really pay! How’s that shiny turd looking now? Let’s just stop once more, and apply some math to the situation. Let’s say you go ten years without an accident, 60 times 10 equals $600.00…..the average deductible is $500.00. That’s right; you just spent $600.00 dollars in real money, to avoid the possibility of paying $500.00. Here’s your turd, would you like that gift wrapped? The slogan for this insurance company claims that they are “on your side.” Oh, I don’t know about that, I think they have you bent over with their pants down around their ankles, right behind you.
When you're a stand up comic you need a "work out" room. For boxers it's a gym, football players have the practice field and for comics, it's the "open mics."
This is the room and open mic where I got my start. It's The Coffee Beanery in Amsterdam NY. The night I showed up, I was the first comedian they ever had, and in a stroke of luck, the regular host for the weekly event was unable to attend, so I volunteered. Just like that, I was the host and MC. I got the crowd pumped, did about 5 minutes worth of jokes and, what do you know, I got some laughs. It was a good thing that I had spent the previous month and a half writing material, because in between, I did a couple other jokes while the other performers were setting up. By the end of the night I had done about a half an hour of jokes.
The thing I noticed through all of it and I am still amazed at was the other performers. So, many of them are very, very good. Others had me wondering, how is that person here, they could be famous? Those few were better than acts I had seen in person and some were better than I had seen on TV. I'm not kidding. Including this guy Ole' Saint Nick, the guy can lay down some tunes.
Take my advice, if you're in the Amsterdam NY area on a Wednesday night at 7PM, stop in, grab a cup of joe and enjoy some free entertainment. You'll be glad you did. If you see me there, working out some new material, say hi, I'm always up for making new friends.
I hope that I kissed ass enough to get some cool Christmas presents....until next time, keep smiling.
We have all seen them, usually while waiting for the light to change or in a parking lot. Those small stickers displayed in the back windows of mini-vans, SUV's and hatchbacks. Better known as, stick figure families. The modern equal of the "My child is on the honor roll @ Mid-City School for the slightly gifted" bumper stickers. This stick figure phenomenon however, includes the entire family. Sometimes the figures represent activities of the family members such as, mommy stick figure holding a soccer ball, little kid stick figure holds a fishing pole, while daddy stick figure holds a bull whip and a broken whiskey bottle. Well, everyone needs a hobby.
It was suggested to me by a comedian friend to try drawing some of our own stick figure families, as a way to get the creative juices flowing. Attached I have some of my stick figure "families"...enjoy!
Pat DaBiere and Elvis (Drew Polsun)
Dateline - Queensbury, NY. October, 27, 2012. This just in. Elvis was spotted at The Sweet Basil Restaurant. That's right, E.P. was at The Sweet Basil laying down some songs in one of the two performance rooms at the Queensbury, NY restaurant. This was between sets for the rock and roll icon, as he was returning from a quick outfit change. He paused long enough for a photo op with Pat DaBiere, upstart comedian and host/MC of the stand up comedy show, held in the front room of the establishment. In a clever twist on an old Elvis line, it was DaBiere who was overheard exclaiming, "Thank you, thank you very much."
In future blogs I'll write more, but for now I just wanted to acknowledge Vinnie Mark (L) and Brad Lowery (R). Both of these guys have been very helpful to me in my comedy development. Along with the wonderful Jodi Weiner, who keeps me on my toes and gives me the straight, tough advice I need. Then there's Russell Davignon, who has drilled into my head the basic's of economy of words to get to the "funny" faster. Also, thank you to Carole Deyoe, for inspiring me to write, learn and go after my stand up goals.
Like I said, I'll write more about my adventures in comedy in future posts, for now.....this is enough. Plus I got to go to bed!!!