Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mr. Slug

So I'm sitting in the library wearing a pink wig and a hat from the 1920s. The thing is, wearing a ridiculous costume on an ordinary Wednesday is not the weirdest situation to find myself in in the last 24 hours.

Last week I read a newspaper article about Neil Hamburger coming to town. He is supposedly "America's Funnyman." So not knowing Mr. Hamburger's body of work, what he does or if he is even funny, I decided to check the show out last night.

The website said doors open at nine. And being the square that I am I imagined that meant the show would start shortly thereafter, 9:30 at the latest.

Danny and I showed up to an almost empty Common Grounds, grabbed a table towards the back and waited. When 9:45 rolled around I figured the show really started at 10 and that I was a huge dork. At 10:15 the place started filling up, people were rubbing elbows with us and using the ashtray stationed at the end of our table, but still no show.

At this point I was yawning and seriously contemplating leaving before the show even started. At 10:30, I tell Danny I am leaving. Let's give it 15 more minutes, he says. We dragged ourselves all the way out for this.

Fine. At 10:43, the show starts. The opening for Neil Hamburger is The Tom Miller Show. He's something of a local celebrity. A performance artist. He runs on stage in a yellow blazer and goes right into an acapella rap about blow jobs which is totally worth the wait if only to see a 40-something man in a cheesy blazer rap about blow jobs.

He reads a few poems (dicks, vaginas, more blow jobs)and sing a song whose chorus I can't get out of my head no matter how hard I try....666, the number of the beast, fuck me with a nun, fuck me with a priest (It's quite good really).

The best part of the show is a suspender clad drunk man who paces in front of the stage raising his arms in admiration for Tom Miller. Trying to encourage the audience to cheer by repeatedly lifting his extra tall can of Michelob Light.

Then, just as I am wondering how long this opening act is, Tom Miller introduces "Mr. Slug."

Mr. Slug is a large man wearing a mask, pink headdress and a white graduation gown. He speaks reverberated gibberish into the microphone before stripping to nothing but a cloth diaper and masturbating on stage.

Yeah. We ended up leaving after the opening act since it was already well past our bedtime and the main event hadn't even started. I'll just look Neil Hamburger up on you tube to see what I missed.

But as I sit here in the library sporting hair you'd only see on Halloween or in a strip club, I keep thinking about Mr. Slug. My friend Alisa, who I meet here once a week to write, had the idea to dress up, as an experiment really.

How would people react to a costume in a mundane setting on a not-so-special Wednesday? I've actually been surprised at the response I'm NOT getting. People go out of their way to act as though there is nothing out of the ordinary about the woman with pink hair and a green hat that just walked in or is sitting next to them at the stop light.

I can feel them all NOT looking.

Are we so inundated with Mr. Slugs that we don't even notice strange anymore? I guess in a town where a man can wear a diaper and stroke his pole on stage, my behavior is not as outlandish as I previously thought. I may not even be as lame as I thought.

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