Friday, September 16, 2016

In Which Mother Nature Ruthlessly Attacks Me

It was about two-thirty in the morning when I came walking around the corner of the building in the gloom of sparse exterior lighting and a full moon, the waves of Lake Ontario crashing audibly just beyond the tall hedges.

Yet I heard the rustling sound from the shadows and halted to peer at the little animal I assumed would be revealed a rabbit. For they are the most common nocturnal beasts on these grounds. The distance between us was in the bubble range; any farther and it would surely have remained frozen; any closer, it would surely flee. I know their routine. We're all practically on a first-name basis.

It did bolt, but to my shock, not away, but straight at me! And then I saw its true black nature! And the white stripes! I was immediately bathed in a sweet symphony of panic.

I don't - oh I really don't - like skunks.

Immediately I heard myself screaming at it. The words were not of my conscious choosing and are not fit for print. Miraculously it came at once to an abrupt stop, about three and a half feet from me; face to face.

I turned and ran.


I hadn't ran a step in years! I haven't even walked fast in years! Somehow my legs did not break and somehow I did not have a heart attack. I turned to see that the skunk had not followed. I waved my pass at the nearest card reader and stumbled in through the door.

Why on earth did he run straight at me? Did he take me for his mother and then realize his mistake upon hearing my shrieking voice?

I don't mind the rabbits, raccoons, robins, squirrels, foxes or even the occasional coyote. And I don't even mind the red-winged blackbirds when they're not in human-head-pecking attack season. But skunks I cannot abide! Their spray just about makes me vomit. I know they're unlikely to spray but hey - they're supposed to be unlikely to charge you! What would I do if he sprayed me? I would not go back in the school. Or to my home, Or in my car. I guess I would just walk into the lake and sit in it up to my neck and say, oh well, it was a nice life. I shall wait here to die.

Of all the poor creatures; the thousands of species we horrible humans have killed off, why oh why did we not start with skunks and end it there? How did we let them slip through our fingers?


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Meet Bonez!

This is one of my newer buddies from the crowd that brought us Neo, the Earnest Chef and of course Senegal Astroturf (one of the coolest bands ever). Bonez is also a musician in a band but their music is a bit too scary for me. It's her comedy that I dig.

She came to Scooterville last night to perform at the weekly Yuk Yuk's amateur night. The show had its moments but it was unfortunately a very small crowd and little energy was produced, prompting too little laughter for the comedians comfort.

I wonder if comedians generally understand the causality around laughter, if they simply perceive that certain triggers will - or should - prompt laughter from "the crowd" or else fail - rather than properly perceiving that the crowd is made of individuals?

It seems to me that an average comedy viewer will laugh out loud on occasion, according, not just to their unique sense of humour, but to their personal internal rhythms as well.

The bigger the crowd, the more often someone will be laughing. The smaller the crowd the more often no one will be laughing. It's just math. If one is not conscious of that, they will just interpret that the smaller crowd is not as amused, when in general, that might not at all be so.

Unfortunately the stretches without laughter last night, made the comedians uncomfortable and so the pattern of quietness became an item of spontaneous material within their banter. It felt like they were trying to guilt us into laughing more. The problem then, is that sensitive viewers will pick up on their underlying discomfort and are themselves infected by it. Now we feel under pressure to laugh for them and that pressure kills the mood even more. I think it became a vicious circle.

If I may be indulgent, I am beginning to interpret that there may be a lot of emotional hardships of different ilk among the comedian crowd. I gather there may be a high rate of alcohol and drug use among them, and suspect that issues of self-esteem may be generally common in the community; perhaps a need for acceptance or even attention, and that this may lie near the root of last night's awkwardness.

Even Bonez, who is a lovely person and who has survived a lot that life has thrown at her, and who won the night at the previous (competitive) show I saw her at, did not seem in top form last night.

So perhaps its for the best I have no video of last night's performance and an excuse to present this brief file footage from a past show which I much enjoyed: