Small Victories

Editor’s Note: This installment was erased in a flash due to blogger error after a couple painstaking hours of putting it together. The following is an attempt to recreate it…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Well, it looks like March is living up to form. In like a lion, out like a cheetah on crystal meth. Time is flying by faster than I can put things off. I’m worried that this might be a sign that I’m having too much fun…at this rate, if I have any more, tomorrow it’ll be May…’09. Fear not, gentle reader. I dare not tamper with the space/time continuum simply to indulge my own shits and giggles. Whatever rationed fun I do have, you can find in this half-assed annal. Speaking of which, let’s pick a cheek (I’m partial to the right, but if it is half-assed, then I guess I’m just partial…wow…stay with me, people) and take a look at the week.

First of all, big ups to Georgetown for being the lone survivor in the Donner party that was my NCAA brackets. If they end up winning it all, I can salvage some dignity having picked the champ. Other than that, the tourney was a total wash. It is very cool to see a local team make it to the Final Four. Especially at the expense of UNC…I haven’t seen a choke job like that since the hit on Luka Brasi in The Godfather.
Georgetown distinguished itself another way last week by holding the last and, in my opinion, the best round of the DC Improv’s District’s Funniest College competition. I had the pleasure of judging the contest along with the fetching comedy correspondent from the DCist, Erin Zimmer. The show was held in a cool little black box theater that was supposed to seat around 75, but the steady influx of students swelled to about 125. And the contestants came to play. This round had some of the best joke writing that I’d seen in the competition thus far. Be sure to check out the finals on April 11th at the DC Improv. Come out and show these kids that there’s more to life than a quality education.

On Friday, I learned, or rather reinforced, a valuable life lesson. When in doubt, show up. Always err on the side of getting out of the house. After wrestling with the thought of staying in for the evening, I put a choke hold on my slothitude (look it up) and managed to pry my ass off the couch for an evening of funny goings on. I was rewarded for my efforts almost immediately as I walked out the door and found a twenty dollar bill of the ground. Already the universe was letting me know this was a good decision…or, it was apologizing ahead of time for a shitty night. Either way, I was in the plus column. I headed to the Arlington Drafthouse, a budding mecca for the local comedy community, to see some of my favorite peers, Rob Maher, Joe Robinson, Danny Rouhier, Jon Mumma, and Seaton Smith. I arrived about a half-hour before show time to the sounds of laughter coming from the showroom. Who do I find fielding questions from a packed house of fans? Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, co-creators of Shaun of the Dead and soon to be released cop comedy, Hot Fuzz. Apparently, there was a screening of the latter and they were kind enough to hang out afterward for a right proper Q & A (yes, quite). So, for those of you keeping score, I’m $20 richer and I stumbled onto a minor celebrity sighting…Jared 2, Couch 0. I also found out that my CD has been getting some spins on the brand new Comedy Nonsense radio show on 106.7 WJFK. The show is on Thursdays at midnight…not exactly drive time, but if you leave your radios on, you can absorb the hilarity during REM sleep.

In the wake of Friday’s success, I figured I’d try to keep the streak alive with a Saturday night of bowling with my good buddies Chris and Allyson and two of her gal pals, who’s names escape me because it’s late and I’m having to wring my brain sponge to try and re-type this extra meaty blog. Anywho, bowling has always been a fickle mistress. Either it’s a rollicking good time where thousands cheer or it’s a frustrating demonstration of how many ways a ball can be heaved into the gutter. Even when the good time prevails, I’m not very good. I throw for power, not accuracy. That, combined with weak wrists, means I have trouble breaking 100 during an earthquake (those pins were set up under a door frame). In order to spice up the competition, we put trophies up for grabs…and by trophies, I mean a stuffed cow and bunny that we were able to extract from the arcade claw machine. For me, it wasn’t about winning. It was about not embarrassing myself on the hardwood against Chris, an avid bowler and host of the Chris White Invitational, and Allyson, who used to bowl in a league and hustles alley birthday parties to feed her $1000 a day ceramic clown habit (jeez, it’s getting late…I’ll hang in there if you do). In the first game I rolled a feeble 77, but I was encouraged by a couple late frame spares and a strike. I was also happy to see that chucking around a 12 pound ball for 10 frames hadn’t sapped the strength from my flabby pipe cleaner of an arm. On to round two, with the bunny on the line. I started off strong with a pin shattering strike that let the others know that I was in it to win it. The bravado was thick as Chris and I traded taunts and fist pumps while the pins fell. The final score: Chris 100, Jared 123…game, set, bunny.

Looking to the comedy horizon, you can help in the fight against Autism by checking out the Baltimore Comedy Fest this weekend. Two nights of some of the best comedy Charm City has to offer. I’ll be on the kick-off show on Friday night along with the hilarious Mike Aronin, Sonya King, Jon Mumma, and Doug Powell (see him while the seein’ is good). It’s for a great cause, so join us as we use our powers for good instead of gleeful evil. Remember, when in doubt, show up.

To be continued…