While studying geology one day, the teacher was showing us how to read a map. After explaining latitude, longitude, degrees, and minutes she asked, “If I asked you to meet me for lunch at 23 degrees, 4 minutes north latitude and 45 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude . . .?” After a long silence, I said, “I guess you’d be eating by yourself”.
Those of you who grew up with me know that I would go the extra mile to make people laugh. It got me in a lot of trouble at school. The example above got a lot of laughs but no trouble for me. I pushed the boundaries whenever I possibly could.
Sometimes I wound up in the principal’s office, while other times I just had to sit outside of the classroom, which was a really bad idea because it gave me idle time to think about my next prank. I was incorrigible.
Many times it was just too easy. A teacher would lob a set up and I would slam the unexpected punch line back at them. My classmates would just stare at me for a moment and then laugh like crazy. I gave no thought of consequence because it really didn’t matter to me.
High school was my playground and great experience for what was ahead for my life. Things I said that got me in trouble in school, I could now say on stage and get a lot of laughs from complete strangers. No trouble. No principal’s office and no sitting outside of the classroom.
In fact, people paid me to say these things. What a wild turn of events! Who knew? I never intended to be a Comedian. It just sort of happened. I was “discovered” making hundreds of people laugh at a work related gathering by a man who had just retired from the biz.
He set up a showcase at the world famous Laugh Factory on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. I wasn’t going to go, but decided to at the last minute. It turned out to be a talent contest and I shocked myself by winning the crazy thing and spent the next 30 years making people laugh and teaching others to do the same thing.
I sometimes took jobs because when it came time to retire or I got sick, I wanted to have paid enough into Social Security to get a sum which would give me enough to live on. I’m glad I did that now that I’m sick and can no longer perform. It turned out to be one sane decision in a world full of insanity.
I have no regrets with my choices. After all, I got to do what I love for a very long time. Now I write funny books and blogs. I also have a video of my last performance, which will be available on Amazon in a couple of weeks.
So, I’m happy for all of the times I was kicked out of class. It prepared me for my future better than any curriculum ever could.