Last Night, We Went to a Michigan Open Mic

Spoiler alert: we’re going back next week. 

Even bigger spoiler alert: I think I’m gonna go up. 

Here’s the thing though, I swore off every trying comedy again so hard that I think I deleted all of my jokes from Google Docs. 

My brain does that to me, both with virtual stuff and physical stuff. I’ll be super into something and then not do it anymore for a few years, so I’ll be trying to make room and my brain’ll be like, “Oh hey, delete all of this stuff you spent hours on, it doesn’t matter anymore!”

So, I do. 

And most of the time, I don’t even miss it, but there’s that 1% of the time where my brain brings me back to it and all of the stuff is gone. 

Okay, before I get all deep into my brain (boring), let me tell you about this open mic. 

First off, the location of this open mic is less than a four minute drive from the Professor Haus. 23 minutes by foot, and only 8 minutes by trike. I guess it would be the same via bicycle, too. 

The name of the spot where this open mic is located is called Parts & Labor Bar and I have avoided visiting it the entire time we’ve lived here, despite doing my best to hit all the spots close to us. 

I have a reason for that. It is a live music bar and that can get very overwhelming for my brain, especially if I don’t know/like the music. They don’t have a schedule posted online that I could find so I just never suggested it. 

There is another spot nearby that I have similarly avoided for brain reasons, but that one is because ever since we’ve moved in there has been a permanent sign that says, “Cook Wanted – $15 an hour” and I don’t want to eat at a place where they keep a cook employed. 

But Monday on the way home after lunch, Mickey convinced me to stop in since it was the early afternoon and not likely to have live music.

I was glad we did, we hit it off with the bartender immediately and she gave me a spicy pickle beer and it was delicious. And then at some point, I went to bathroom and came back to a lottery ticket at my seat. 

Oh and then later on, it was shift change and our new bartender was… that Mayor’s daughter. Sometimes, I think J is right and we are living in Mayberry.

Then we saw they had a comedy open mic every Wednesday at 7pm, so we made plans to eat dinner there Wednesday.

Which was yesterday. 

We, of course, were early, in order to secure our seats at the bar and order our food. I got a burger of course, because, y’all, the burgers up here are so fucking good. I will eventually write a post about it when I remember to take a picture before eating them.

I can tell you that the fries were crinkle cut and the bun was toasted. 

Then we watched the comics slowly roll in. We spied so many familiar types. We saw a potential Doug (albeit in a “no bird drink” state) and Folk Chlawposki. There was one single female-presenting comedian and then one other one that “couldn’t go up today because I have no voice” but then proceeded to talk through everyone else’s sets until they left. 

So, yeah, classic open mic. 

The comics played to the comics and they even had a couple out of staters. One of which they couldn’t seem to get off the stage fast enough. 

After everyone’s five minute sets, they got the option to reach into a fishbowl and pick a couple random topics to riff on. 

This was BY FAR my favorite part and wish I could skip the five minutes of pre-written materiel and just do this, like, Brockmire podcast style. 

Some of the people pulled some really good bits out of the fishbowl and others did not. But, y’all know me, I still love the uncomfortableness… and figuring out how people’s brains work.

This fishbowl is great for that. 

At one point, later in the night (yes we stayed for every single performer) where a comedian addressed Mickey & I directly.

“You guys are just sitting there, pretending to look like you’re having a good time”

I spoke up (I was emboldened because I could also just hit my ouid pen whenever I felt like it in there, which felt sneaky and illegal the whole time, but it’s allowed. This state is lawless. I gotta write a post about all of the lawlessness soon.) and said, “No, man! I actually love coming to open mics”

To which the comedian replied, “Oh, I’m sorry” which is the answer I was expecting, so I was ready. 

“I love watching y’all work on material. Seeing how your brains work and your jokes evolve”

He didn’t know what to say to that and so he went back to his set. 

Here’s the thing, though – I think that awkwardness on my part AND my ability to, I dunno, like, say the wrong thing so hard that it just shuts people up works for me sometimes. 

It breaks people out of their normal conversational rhythms and forces them to think for a response or to continue a conversation with me. I think that will either translate well to the state (now that I am confidence in myself and not in who I am “supposed to be” for other people.)

I truly think I can make that work for me comedically. That’s the kind of thing that gives me this weird confidence that I should try this again. Not to be professional or anything, but to work on my writing voice.  

There was one comedian (whose name I forgot already but he reminded me of a longhaired Patrick Fugit somehow – I did my best approximation in the photo above) who did a bit about having a kid with a ridiculous name and losing it – not like in a miscarriage, but just misplacing the child and the ensuing search party. 

Things got out of hand in the best way. 

This joke took up his whole five minutes and I could tell he was doing the work on it. It has so much potential and I look forward to watching it grow. 

I have all this weird confidence that I can write something this week and go up next Wednesday, which I just realized is my birthday. 

So I kind of have to, don’t I?


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