Tremble is fully operational again, all the way down to the archives. I owe a huge amount of thanks to Jay Allen, who volunteered a lot of time and patience in helping me get the newly-migrated site up and running again with Movable Type. It is comforting to know, in an Internet full of danger and predatory behavior, there exists a real American hero willing to share his considerable skills to help a technology ape like myself.
I've been receiving all sorts of advice from friends, regarding my stand-up show at Virginia Tech tomorrow. People have asked whether I think I'll even address the shootings that happened on campus a couple of weeks ago (yes, only because I think it would be really weird not to), whether I booked the show before or after the tragedy (before; honestly, if they were trying to find an entertainer specifically to help them heal after the horrible events that happened there, I don't think I'd be on their A-list. I would be somewhere between a staged reading of "Richard McBeef" and a live performance by Cody Marshall, "America's Old West Six-Shootin' Sharpshooter Hypnotist."), and why VT hasn't canceled the show. (I don't know.)
One very popular topic of conversation, especially among other comedians, has been the offer of advice on what *not* to say onstage, during the show. A lot of the jokey advice has been some variation on telling the audience "I'm killing"/"I'm dying"/"I'm bombing" during the show. And when I say "a lot of the jokey advice" I mean, "nearly all of it."
But so far the best advice was given to me last night at a party by a guy who was A) high and B) clearly in the throes of ADD. He told me (and I'm paraphrasing) that college students really think scrotums are funny, so I should paint my balls to look like the Seung Cho, and then pull them out of my fly in the middle of the performance and talk to them (my balls), as if I'm having an animated conversation with the person who killed many people on their campus, possibly some of them friends of people in the audience. He seemed to think this would be an excellent way to break the tension in the room.
I love that advice for many reasons. First, it's a refreshing alternative to a lot of other advice I've been given. It's also batshit crazy. And, if offered sincerely (which it kind of was), it is possibly the greatest miscalculation imaginable in the world of entertainment. A miscalculation on the order of Hudson Hawk or the Emeril Lagasse sitcom. (Never Forget!) Even if I had painted my balls to look like a more comforting figure in these students' lives--Nelson Mandela or Dane Cook--it would still be a huge error of judgment. But painting them as Cho is just worlds beyond ordinary; it is another tragedy in itself. Then there are the logistics of shaving my scrotum, then painting my scrotum to resemble Seung Cho, and concealing my scrotum inside my pants until I have warmed up the room sufficiently to reveal them, and making sure the makeup didn't smear while in my pants, or upon removal. Would I have to wear very large, baggy pants to insure my balls would have enough clearance to insure a pristine rendering of Cho when I took them out? All of these things would have to be considered in order for the audience to receive the full, unhindered impact of my crowd-pleasing scrotal ventriloquism.
In fact, even discussing this advice here hypothetically, and purely second-hand, seems insane and wrong to me. That's how ridiculous the advice was. I guess what I'm trying to say is, where can I purchase some waterproof, smudge-free makeup? Come on, Internet. I need another hero.