Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday hiatus space-fillers!

Hey, I'm taking the next two weeks off for the Holidays because unlike previous years, I have a reason to do so. Don't worry about it. It's not really something that anybody needs to care about at this point.

I may pop in and out to plug shows (that's gonna happen, I'm sorry) or something but no regularly scheduled new material 'til after The New Yearsss.

Anyway, here is some holiday stuff (some of which, I post every year and some of which is new... for this site anyway) to keep you occupied until I come back.

And lastly, the beloved ridiculously inconsistent foul-mouthed robot family classic...

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and all around Happy Holidays of every kind to you and all the people you like!

Monday, December 21, 2015

I'm doing the best I can

I'm writing this more for myself than anybody else so please pardon the self-indulgence. Of course, if you get something out of it, that's great. But sometimes, I need to tell myself things with words (and be able to refer to those words later) by writing them out. This is one of those.

Things are just at a generally shitty level of bad right now. At least they seem to be. I don't remember a time when fear and the resultant tension were so prevalent. Maybe that's just a perception, fed by overwhelming waves of negativity foisted on us by the all the various sources of media with which we surround ourselves. Frankly, the fact that more people aren't running around screaming with their eyes bugged out (literally or metaphorically) when so many are, actually gives me hope. But yeah, this current cloud of a nasty mood sure seems to be palpable and pervasive, as invisible-yet-real as humidity.

I refuse to surrender to that.

I'm not perfect but I'm committed to being a force for good. I fight back against all this hatred and mistrust and mendacity with the few, limited resources I have at my disposal.

Granted, that ain't much.

I try to amuse and entertain with what I share here and I do stand-up comedy in front of less than a dozen people sometimes. That's about it, really.
Sometimes, that's discouraging, but it's the best I can offer so I can't afford to let it drag me down. If a couple of people get a chuckle at something they read here, that's fine. If those dozen (or fewer) people put aside their differences, point their chairs toward me and laugh at anything I have to say for a couple of minutes, that's great. It's not much, but it's something. At the risk of coming off like I'm taking myself too seriously, I believe that to be able to make even small, incremental nudges toward making people happy (or happier) is something of a calling and there's a responsibility that comes with it. That's something I sincerely believe and I also see it as an honor and a privilege. My reach may be limited but my scope is vast.

Beyond that, all I can do is preach the value of empathy and pledge to try to be as empathetic as possible myself.

For example, I disagree STRONGLY on most major points with people who want to keep immigrants out of the country. But do I understand why they're fearful and why they might feel a need to take drastic measures to protect themselves? Absolutely! I can totally see where they're coming from! I disagree... again, STRONGLY... with virtually all of their ideas.
But I get it. Honestly, I do.

That's empathy. A willingness to simply try to understand where your opponent is coming from. I honestly believe that the lack of it is our single biggest obstacle right now. Because you simply can't have a meaningful, productive conversation about important matters without it and we have more than enough proof that screaming over each other isn't accomplishing anything at all.

A SIMPLE TEST: If you believe "(Insert the name of group who hold an opinion that opposes yours, like 'conservatives' or 'liberals') are stupid", your empathy game is too weak for you to be of any use to anyone. Work on that and try again.

I don't know, maybe I'm just a dumb guy with unrealistic hopes and some fart jokes. It's all I've got, though. So until I smarten up or something better comes along, I'll be over here doing the best I can.

Friday, December 18, 2015

$ometime$, I enjoy the finer thing$

I know I come off as a working-class "everyman" to whom everyone can relate, but I have my sophisticated side too, a part of me that likes to look down on people for no good reason. Last night, I was craving small portions of food that have to be arranged geometrically on a plate in order to be enjoyed so I ate dinner at a restaurant named after a French-sounding adjective that makes food that looks like this:
It looks like this because THIS IS THEIR ACTUAL FOOD!
It's located in South Tampa so you know it's sophisticated! Everything south of Kennedy Boulevard automatically costs at least $5 more than it does anywhere else. Why? Location! Location! Location! South Tampa is just better than everywhere else. Even the pets are better looking than your prom date. Take this simple test:

Do you live in South Tampa? (Choose one)
  • Yes
  • Inferior
See? Can't argue with test results. 

I started with an $11 soup that's made by two chefs throwing an onion back and forth over a pot of boiling water.

For my entree, I chose the pampered chicken shanks, lightly terrified with a confused demi-glace and a side order of antisemitic trumpet leeks. 

Dessert was a stewed cheesecake brioche muffin, served left-handed. 

I left hungry and unable to make my mortgage payment at the end of the month. It was magnificent!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How the rebel eats healthy(-er-ish)

I had this for lunch the other day: carrots and celery with a little tub of peanut butter to dip into that I found at a convenience store.

All right, maybe not "health food" in the truest sense but certainly healthier than countless other lunch options. It's pretty much the Triple Cheeseburger of things that are Not Triple Cheeseburgers in how spectacularly un-decadently delicious it is. It's a choice I feel good about.

Get off my ass, judgmental red exclamation point! I'm tryin' over here!
Anyway, I ate the carrots first because they're harder work, all dense and crunchy. And then I ate the celery, which seems to be made of crisp strings and water. Each item got the slightest little dab of peanut butter, just enough to taste it. Until the last piece of celery, which got the remainder of the peanut butter in the form of one enormous blorb of it. That last piece was absorbed entirely to the point that I might as well have scooped peanut butter right our of the jar and ate that. Let's just say that if that last part of the "meal" were a movie and that piece of celery were an actor, it wouldn't even merit a mention in the end credits.
I feel like I earned the reward of doing that by using so little peanut butter on all the preceding pieces of carrots and celery. In fact, that was my intent from the start, budgeting the allocation of peanut butter in such a way that I could make a lavish, totally self-indulgent spectacle of the whole thing at the very end.
Because, yeah, I'll eat right and do it for the right reasons but that doesn't mean I have to do limit my enjoyment by doing it the right way.

Monday, December 14, 2015

A binger's remorse

For many of us during the holidays, the general mood of joy is often tinged with a hint of melancholy, because some of those whom we hold most near and dear are unable to be with us.

Who am I missing right now?

I'd definitely have to say it's Jessica Jones. Because I watched all 13 episodes in about a week.

I'm such a fool.
Come back, Jessica, come back.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions on a Friday about Saturday

Tomorrow night, come see the hilarious J.B. Ball make fresh LOLZ just for you at Side Splitters!

 J.B. Ball LIVE!
with your host, Clark Brooks
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618 
(813) 960-1197
Let's go to the FAQ!
Q: What time is the show?
A: 6:00 PM

Q: How much is this going to set me back?
A: You can see the show for as little as $5 when you buy your tickets RIGHT HERE and use "ball" as a promo code.

Q: What's the regular, non-discounted price?
A: I don't know and who cares? Why would you pay full price when you can see the show for as little as $5 by getting your tickets RIGHT HERE, using "ball" as a promo code?

Q: Is J.B. Ball funny?
A: Heck yeah! He's an award winner!

Q: Who else is going to be there?
A: I believe Mr. Jared Waters will be the feature act. And yes, he is also very funny.

Q: I didn't ask you that.
A: Consider it a bonus answer.

Q: Wait, why are you plugging this?
A: Because I will also be there, hosting the event!

"Why did the fart cross the fart? Fart!"
Q: Hosting? What does that mean?
A: It means when the lights go down, I'll come up on stage, say hello, make some announcements, tell a few jokes and then introduce the comics that are performing.

Q: So the comics don't come up until you say so?
A: Yeah, pretty much.

Q: So you're actually J.B. Ball's boss?
A: Yes. Unless J.B. reads this or somebody tells him about it, in which case, definitely not.

Q: Will I get an opportunity to meet J.B. Ball? Maybe say hello and take a picture?
A: I don't see why not. He's a nice guy. Very friendly.

Q: Will I be able to follow him home afterward?
A: Ummm...

Q: Sit in my car outside of his house, in the dark?
A: I don't think...

Q: Wait a few hours, break in quietly and watch him while he sleeps?
A: I'm really uncomfortable with this current line of questioning but I'll go ahead and say no.

Q: What about you? Can I do all that with you?
A: Totally. Any lady who ever wants to do that is welcome.

Q: I might be a dude.
A: In that case... ah, who cares. Sure.

J.B. Ball LIVE!
with your host, Clark Brooks
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618 
(813) 960-1197

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Go Fund Myself!

Hi everyone. I got a flu shot today. I was very brave and didn't pass out and only cried a little. But I found out (after the fact!!) that my chances of acquiring super powers of any kind are remotely slight. Sure, I probably just minimized my chances of getting sick and of spreading flu germs around to other people but what's in that for me? My shoulder is a little sore now and I want some chicken wings! WHAT ABOUT THAT?!?

In light of this not being something that has gone 100% my way, and in looking at some of the other GoFundMe campaigns that exist for that very reason, I think I'm entitled to your money. Please take into account the following factors:
  • Some of my relatives have died over the years. That's sad.
  • I don't have as much money as I want.
  • Everything does not always go the way I want.
  • That shot hurt for a second.
  • My shoulder is STILL a little bit SORE now, almost 45 minutes later!
  • Once, I wanted something and I couldn't even have it! Why? Money.
  • The doctor said I may have to wear a BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage for "a little while". 
  • You have some money. I know it.
  • Gimme.
Pretty compelling, right?
So do this. Listen, maybe I won't raise $5,000,000 but I really want some chicken wings. If I raised $20, I could get them AND some curly fries! 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Baby, it's colder inside than it is out here

ME: Umm, What are you doing in there?
HER: Umm, I'm sitting on your desk and looking at you through the window. I would think that would be self-evident.
ME: I think we both know that you aren't supposed to be sitting on my desk.
HER: Yeah, well, maybe if you came inside you could do something about it.
ME: Hey, my house, my rules.
HER: As previously established, you aren't currently in the house, so in absentia, you have, in effect, vacated your authority to enforce these "rules" of yours. Therefor, I see them less as "rules" and more as arbitrary suggestions or guidelines. Regardless of the circumstance, I don't necessarily feel that I need to comply.
ME: I'm coming inside in two seconds. Are you going to get down?
HER: I'm not going to make any promises but I'll see what I can do.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Pluggity plug plug plug

Guess who's hosting a week of shows at Side Splitters in Tampa next month?

This guy!

That means I will be the one who goes up on stage and welcomes you to the club, tells you about the drink specials and comment cards and how to win free tickets to upcoming shows and introducing the comedians who are on hand to perform for you. I'll also be doing some jolly joking of my own. I've hosted a couple of events in the past but never at Side Splitters and never for an extended run, so this is kind of a big deal for me. I'm escited about it.

But first, I'll be doing all that stuff for JB Ball's show at Side Splitters on December 12

Let's sum up, shall we?

Hosting these upcoming shows:

JB Ball
Side Splitters
Saturday, December 12, 6:00 PM

Dale Jones
Side Splitters
Thursday, January 28, 8:30 PM
Friday, January 29, 8:00 PM
Friday January 29, 10:15 PM
Saturday, January 30, 6:00 PM
Saturday, January 30, 8:00 PM
Saturday, January 30, 10:15 PM
Sunday, January 31, 7:00 PM

Side Splitters Comedy Club
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa
(813) 960-1197

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Clarketplace: The various wares of the enterprising Jeff Hickmott

I'll let Jeff say it all...

Hi, my name is Jeff Hickmott and I am a blogger, podcaster and sometime photographer. Please peruse the following items I have available for your pleasure this holiday season (and every other day of the year).

First I should mention that along with the esteemed Mr. Clark Brooks and Michael Noble, Esq., I co-write a humorous fiction blog entitled The Unbelievables. if you'd like to read about our exploits, head on over to If you read it and find you enjoy it, why not show off your neat sense of reading style by purchasing a T-shirt or two and either wearing them yourself or (and this is the festive holiday type part) giving them as gifts!

There are two styles to try: This is the first design and a true classic. It's a unisex Fruit Of The Loom tee and it's a paltry $18.00.
I have this in purple - Clark
See? - Clark This second design has a different picture on the front, AND (!!) the original on the back! It's also a unisex tee and will set you back only $23.00.

I also pen a blog called The World Of Jeff! and one of the pictures I use as a background is a picture I took when in Brighton, of a spray-painted cassette design on a telephone junction box. I digitally tinkered with the picture till I just had the cassette in white on a purple background.  This design on a tee is available at
and is a mere $13.00.

I host a podcast called The Podcast Of Jeff (great title, eh?) and one of the regular shows I do is called Into The Unknown. It's a new music showcase and comes out three to four times a month. You can listen to it at

You can also hear archived episodes at

You can also buy official Into The Unknown tees at

These are also a meagre $13.00.

Some of my photos are available on RedBubble as tees, pillows, mugs, etc... Find them at

I hope you like these items and have a happy and healthy holiday season. Kooshti Sante!
01580763756 Home
07506899337 Mob

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Somebody in Georgia needs a hug. Or a hobby.

A new sign posted by a Georgia sheriff declares the county he works for “politically incorrect” and asks any people offended by it to leave.
Underneath the 'Welcome to Harris County Georgia' sign, Sheriff Mike Jolley added another sign that reads: 'WARNING: Harris County is politically incorrect. We say: Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and in God We Trust. We salute our troops and our flag. If this offends you… LEAVE!'
Jolley told local station WRBL that he paid for the sign on his own because he feels like not enough people are speaking out.
"I spent 20 years in the army to give everyone the right not to agree with it, and voice their opinion if they’re not and that’s fine. But after being the sheriff of Harris County for 23 years, I believe that the vast majority of my citizens here in Harris County agree with what’s on that sign," Jolley told WRBL. -

I'll go ahead and guarantee that the ratio of people who pass through Harris County, Georgia, that might be offended by any of those things to people who pass through Harris County, Georgia, trying to find the bridge where Merle and Daryl saved that family in season 3 of "The Walking Dead" is about 1:300. But still, here are more signs that the apparently attention-starved Sheriff Jolley can buy with his own money because not enough people are talking about the things that virtually no one is offended by...

"Not only do we say Merry Christmas, God Bless America, and in God We Trust while we salute our troops and our flag, we also like chocolate chip cookies, golden retriever puppies and the NFL. You got a problem with any of those things? And also blowjobs. If you don't like that stuff THEN GET OUT!" 
 "You know what else we like? Music. That's right, if you don't like music for singing or dancing or just listening to, you'd best keep on moving!"
"Also, movies with compelling plots and likable characters! If that offends you, then we don't want your kind here!"
"Okay, they don't have to be likable but you should at least be able to identify with them on some level as they try to resolve whatever conflict is at the center of the story. That's the kind of place Harris County is, mister! And we don't apologize for it!"
"You know how when you take the foil off a container of pudding (or yogurt, if you're so inclined) and you lick that before you start eating what's in the actual container? I, Sheriff Mike Jolley, will fight TO THE DEATH anyone who tries to keep us from doing that in Harris County!"
"Proud of my record of not a single citizen of Harris County having been killed by dragons since I was elected! Dragons...and vampires...LEAVE!"

Monday, November 30, 2015

Oh look. He's plugging another show. Again.

Heck yes, I am!
It's my first time being a featured performer and it's happening at one of my favorite venues, the always funky, always friendly Kymatic Studios!
I'll be there along with:

  • Singer/Songwriter/Poet Chuck Terzian
  • Comedians Colin Means, Nick Rossi, Brad Fentmore and Tyler Horvath
  • And other artists like So Many Stylze, Abasi and Friends, Olivia Romano, AM2G (Geno & Doug) and Trevor Ware
The evening will be hosted by Mimi Leut and DJ Lock

How much does all this cost? NOTHIN'!! Kymatic makes all this entertainment available to you for the impossibly low, low price of zero dollars!
Get there! Be there! It's gonna be lots of fun!
Jam Night at Kymatic Studios
Wednesday, December 2 ~ 8:00 pm
2436 Emerson Ave. S.
St. Petersburg FL 33712

Clarketplace: Nature's Expression custom woodworking

Kirk Moss operates Nature's Expression from his shop in Seminole Heights where he offers custom woodworking. Check these examples out:

Tampa Florida
Kirk Moss

Friday, November 27, 2015

There's no place like Clarketplace for the holidays

Hi there!
Are you looking for something different to give as gifts this holiday season? Something maybe created by not only a person's hands but with their heart and soul? Something that really symbolizes that you truly care for someone so much that you picked something that wasn't a box sitting on a shelf in some brightly-lit warehouse?
Good news! There are people out there, many of whom might be in your own neighborhood, making things exactly like that who will sell them to you!
Over the next month or so, I'm making space available to these people so you can see their offerings. They aren't paying me. I'm damn sure not paying them. I'm just using this space to introduce you to one another.

First up...
Small Saturday Pop-Up Shop
Brought to you by 8-Count Studios at the Rialto Theatre
1617 N. Franklin Street, Tampa, FL, 33602

Support local small businesses while doing your holiday shopping this year and have a direct impact on our local economy. Avoid the crowds, enjoy the extra time with your families, and shop hop for some great deals, right here in Tampa Heights. The historic Rialto will be the backdrop for some local favorites that you may only get to visit online, local markets, and various locations.

Vendor list and offers:

  • Stay Humble clothing and accessories
  • Transformation Yoga health products and services
  • BooN seasonal product packages
  • Mejia Handmade jewelry
  • Inspire event planning, staging, and decor
  • Rialto Theatre offering 10% off event bookings
Established in 2011, 8-Count Productions, LLC became a brick and mortar as 8-Count Studios in 2013 at the historic Rialto Theatre in downtown-adjacent Tampa Heights.  Both owners have worked within the arts and entertainment industry most of their lives and share a wealth of experience and expertise to offer creative consulting and choreographed solutions for a variety of arts, entertainment, production, and event needs.  8-Count Studios at the Rialto houses an art gallery, artist studios, dance and photography classes, event, rehearsal, and production space.

Other cool links for 8-Count Studios and the Rialto Theatre

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Stuff yo'self

This week over at "The Unbelievables", my writing partners Jeff Hickmott and Michael Noble are sharing Thanksgiving side dish recipes! You won't have to worry about offending anyone because all of our recipes are ethnically ambiguous, just like this family:

I fear, however, that in our haste to share our favorite side dishes, we may have overlooked the main dish! So here's a recipe for that:

  • A turkey. Or a goose. Or a duck. Or a chicken. Or a ham (aka pork turkey). Or vegetables (aka not turkey), a big lump of them, made into a loaf shaped like a dead animal carcass, I guess
  • Stuffing
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. If there's stuff already inside whatever you're going to cook, take it out. All of it.
  2. Throw it away. Some people will tell you that you can use that stuff for gravy or soup, or in the case of vegetables, seeds, for growing new vegetables. Some people are horrible, filthy liars.
  3. Take your stuffing (Use my recipe if you want, or don't. I don't care. Stuffing is like God; it can be whatever you want, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you and you don't try to impose your stuffing on others. Think I give a shit? I don't. No disrespect or anything but I have my own life to lead. Worrying about what you do or don't do when it comes to stuffing is something I just can't take on right now.) and put it inside of what you're cooking. Go ahead and pack it in there. You might have to carve a hole into a ham or the vegetable lump loaf in order to do this. That should be self-evident and I shouldn't have to tell you that.
  4. Apply salt and pepper. Once it's cooked, you won't know that you did it but it's something you do when you cook.
  5. I was just informed that you can't really stuff a ham. Sorry. Pull all that stuffing out of there and fill the hole up with the ham you dug out to make it. You didn't throw that ham away, did you? You idiot! That was perfectly good ham!
  6. Heat up your oven. 325° F. That's pretty hot and should get the job done. You probably could have done this while preparing the food to cook. Oh well. The moment has passed. You can't sit around now and fuss about just how much of your life has been wasted. That will happen later, when you talk to your family.
  7. If you don't have an oven, try a slow-burning box of some sort. No temperature controls on those so you're going to have to just eyeball it. I honestly don't know if that will work. I'm thinking probably not.
  8. Depending on the weight of whatever you're cooking, it's going to need to be in there for anywhere from 2 1/4 hours to 6 1/2 hours, however long it takes to get the internal temperature of the food to a bacteria-eating-your-body-from-the-inside-out-proof  165° F.
  9. If you live in a country that uses C degrees instead of F degrees, good luck because nobody knows what the hell that is.
  10. Take it out when it's done.
  11. Eat it.
If for some reason this or any other recipes don't work out, don't despair...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Adele-sgiving!

I'll admit it. I got caught empty-handed (or rather, empty-headed) this morning. I'm going to give myself a pass because we're all in holiday mode already and very little is going to get done between now and January 2nd. I did find this Thanksgiving video from Saturday Night Live, so there's that. I think this covers me even if I don't come up with anything at all this week, even though I probably will. Or not.
Either way, Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2015

My love affair with Kymatic Studios continues!

"Kymatic Studios is a progressive and versatile space in the Warehouse Arts District. We are an art gallery, a workshop, a music venue and teaching space. It is a space for more ideas to blossom then just what is already here." - Places to go in St. Petersburg

Hell yeah it is!
I've had the privilege of performing with and in front of really nice people in this funky, friendly space before and I'm excited about two opportunities I have to do so again...

"Late Night at Kymatic Studios"
Friday, November 20 @ 10:00 pm

"Late Night at Kymatic is an underground show in Saint Petersburg, Florida that showcases local talent, shooting in the warehouse art district and in the Kymatic studios with hosts Dan McCune and Jason Beck. The show comes to you every saturday at midnight. filmed by Don Becknell and music by RusselTamsen. The show tries to feature local artists of all varieties and businesses in the area."

I'll be a guest on the show which will be recorded tonight at 10 and available on YouTube afterward.

"Jam Night at Kymatic Studios"
Wednesday, December 2 @ 8:00 pm

They bill this as an open mic, but it's much more of an actual show than what you'll find at a typical open mic. Poetry, music, different types of performance art and, of course, stand-up comedy.

I'll be performing as a featured act that night, my first time having the honor of that designation.

The joint is located at 2436 Emerson Ave S in St. Petersburg. It's near Tropicana Field and not far from all the fun places up and down Central Ave. They love me there and I love them back just as much. Come on out and get some love too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No shame

Last Saturday, I watched as scores of people changed their Facebook profile pictures to blue, white and red in response to the attacks that took place in Paris the night before. I saw someone who didn't do it ask what the point was and someone else replied, "it's better than nothing". My initial response, which, thankfully, I didn't post was, "No, it isn't. It's the exact same as nothing. Because it is nothing." I was proud of myself initially for thinking that. Why? Because, like everyone else, sometimes I'm a dick.
Hard to believe, I know. But here's proof.
I'm not a fan of "slacktivism", which is what happened when everybody decided they were sick of the Confederate flag. Remember? People made a lot of noise about taking the flag down in places where it was still displayed, acting as though the removal of a visible symbol associated with racism was the same thing as eliminating racism itself, which is obviously not the case.

I mistakenly applied that filter to people changing their profile pictures, with the belief that these people weren't doing anything that would actually help the people of France, but just doing something to make themselves feel better.

Don't get me wrong; I still believe that's the case - because it is - but I now understand that that's okay.

What happened was horrific and has made people really sad and really scared. They feel like they have to do something, even if they have no idea what. If making this small, symbolic gesture does nothing but help them feel like they reached out and expressed some empathy, then that's enough. It's fine. There are other people out there, and I was this close to being one of them, who want to jump down their throats for not really doing anything but selfishly making themselves feel better. You can identify them by the way they say things like "Yeah, but what about..." and "Where were you when..." Those people aren't doing anything either. In fact, the only thing they're accomplishing is also selfishly making themselves feel better, only they're doing it by trying to shame people and make them feel bad. At least the first group, even if they're being totally self-indulgent, isn't being shitty to other people.

The sheer volume of so many awful things coming at us at the same time is frightening and causing us to be overly sensitive and defensive while simultaneously making us more predatory and aggressive. We're causing each other harm over the most ridiculous things. A prey-or-be-prey mindset seems to be taking hold among a number of us. Certain politicians are running for office with that as the primary plank in their platform. That's the opposite of what's needed right now. We're regressing when we should be evolving. This has to stop and the only way to make that happen is individual human beings, not faceless groups of whomever it is you consider your adversaries, changing their behavior. If not right here and right now, then at least sooner than later.

Some of us - most of us probably - might need to force ourselves to apply some reason to our thought process from time to time. We are capable of compassion and empathy on more than one level at a time. Just because Cecil the Lion makes somebody sad doesn't mean they don't care about kids being abused. Just because someone says Black Lives Matter doesn't mean they hate cops. Just because somebody thinks that a person who works at Burger King deserves to make more money doesn't mean they think paramedics should live in poverty. Just because someone puts a French flag on their Facebook profile doesn't mean they don't care about people in Kenya. It's not a competition, and Thank God, because how truly horrible would we be if it was?

It's simply impossible to devote equal amounts of attention to every single awful thing that deserves it. Some people put coins in a donation bucket. Some put dollar bills. Some might put nothing at all but might actually donate their time in service to a cause. You don't know their situation so don't act like you do. If you don't feel like putting any money in the donation bucket, that's all right. Just don't squat over it and take a shit in it.

People are sad and scared and struggling to feel good. They're doing the best they can. And even if they aren't, it's not your job to police them. If throwing up a French flag helps them feel better about themselves and lets them get through something that's stressing them out, just leave them alone and let them have that.

If nothing else, if you find yourself in a situation like this (or any situation, really) and you think you might be on the verge of being a dick, err on the side of caution and just keep your mouth shut. That alone will be an act of positive change.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hey, thanks!

At the risk of coming off as unctuous or smarmy...

With the state of current events being as crappy as it is (You guys are aware that the state of current events is crappy, right? I hope so because this concept has no legs if you're not. You are? Oh good. I don't mean "good", I mean... never mind), it's truly a privilege to be given the opportunity to help a roomful of people who don't know each other laugh about stuff for a while. So to those of you who have come out to a show, those of you who keep coming out to shows and those of you have supported me in any way at all, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to provide a level of therapeutic relief from whatever crap that's making things crappy for you. It may be funny business but I take it seriously.

Sincerely, Thank You.

That's my time. Don't forget to tip your servers.

PS: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I advanced to the third round of the tournament. More fart jokes and at least one silly video coming your way soon.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tonight: Help prevent a car fire with your LOLZ

The other night, Cam Bertrand, someone I'm proud to say is a fellow comic and a friend, competed in the "Florida's Funniest" competition, which is a considerably bigger deal than the tournament I'm competing in tonight at Side Splitters, being as it is a statewide competition. Unfortunately, he didn't advance to the next round. Afterward, he posted this on Facebook:
"Couldn't be more proud of my comedy brothers Preacher Jovan Lawson Mike Charette and Rio Paris. The guys I had picked to win. Congrats family."
This kid: Class act.
Cam's a huge smartass but that was a classy gesture because down deep past all the smartass parts, he's a classy guy.

Here's the thing, though: I am not.

I'm a thin-skinned, petulant cry-baby with self-entitlement issues and I'm competing against Todd Stimmell tonight at Side Splitters. And if I lose, I'm going to set his car on fire. That's bad for two reasons...

  1. I've met Todd and he seems like a nice guy who doesn't deserve to have his car set on fire.
  2. I have no idea what kind of car he drives so the odds are that I'll be setting some random person's car on fire, somebody who's not even involved in the competition in any way.

So that means it's up to you. If you want to prevent an innocent victim (might be Todd Stimmell or a school teacher or a baby panda) from having to deal with a burnt-up car, the only thing you can do is come to Side Splitters tonight and, oh yeah, laugh at my jokes and then vote for me. As you are undoubtedly aware by now, you can do so for the low, low, LOW price of only $5 when you use my initials (CB) as the promo code when you buy online.

Tonight at 7 PM
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

BONUS INCENTIVE FOR YOU TO ATTEND: Cam Bertrand, the classy smartass himself, will be your host for the evening!

Remember, if you don't want this on your conscience...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Necessary advice for those who need it

Take this as me talking to myself, unless you need a good talking-to (aka, a boot in the ass). Because we all do sometimes. I know I do.

I've said this before and every time I see somebody with a fresh take, like THIS ONE from Mark Manson, I'm going to post it. Bottom line, as always: If you really want to do something, you'll figure out a way to do it. In the meantime, stop wasting everyone's time (most importantly, YOURS) by sitting around and bitching about why you can't. Yes, your circumstances and obstacles are unique to your situation...just like everybody else.

You can do better. You owe that to yourself. Figure it out and get busy doing what you need to do already. We're waiting to hear what you have to say but we have shit to do and no time to waste on feeling sorry for you, especially when you're doing such a good job of that already.

A final plugola for Sunday's show

Remember the time you saw that old lady fall down and you laughed and then felt bad, but then she jumped right up and told everyone she was kidding and you felt better, and then she was hit by a truck because she had jumped up and into the street, and you weren't sure if you should laugh or not because she might be kidding again but you figured out eventually that she wasn't so you didn't? This will be a lot like that except it will be okay to laugh at everything because no old ladies will die*.

Sunday, November 15 at 7 PM.
Side Splitters
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

Click right here for the crazy-ass low, low price of a lousy $5, using my initials (CB) as the promo code.

(* There are no guarantees in life; one old lady might die. Maybe. Or two. Probably. Three at the VERY MOST. What I'm saying is I will be personally responsible for the deaths of at least four old ladies.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Yes. the cup thing (among others) IS stupid

"The War On Christmas" is easily the dumbest thing that doesn't exist that people desperately wish was real. Equally dumb but unfortunately all-too-real are those who believe it. This applies to anybody bothered on any level by "Happy Holidays" or what is or isn't printed on a disposable coffee cup.
Here's your cup, dummy.

If you're taking your moral and ethical lead from somebody like Joshua Feuerstein, the Bubba the Love Sponge of evangelical trolls, you need to pull your head out of your ass and get your shit together on a general level.
"To be sure, there is a very real threat to Christianity.  Yet it is not atheists, homosexuals, Muslims, or even red paper cups that threaten Christianity.
It is shysters.
People with no soul who prey on Christian followers and rob them financially and spiritually not only hurt their flock, but give all religion a bad name by making it unpalatable for so many who see things like this and equate those seeking strength through faith as paranoid and stupid." - 'SemDem', The Daily Kos, November 10, 2015
Of course, the fact that I don't actually know anybody who is bothered by this stuff might mean the second dumbest thing that doesn't exist might be The War On The War On Christmas and that this whole deal with the cups could just be brilliant marketing by Starbucks. In which case, well-played coffee company.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A reminder about this upcoming Sunday...

In case you forgot, almost forgot or tried so very hard to forget in order to heal and get on with your damaged life...


Because this
Sunday, November 15 at 7 PM.
12938 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 960-1197

It's the second round of the Annual Stand-Up Comedy Tournament! If you have the Facebook thing, you can RSVP here, but you totally don't have to do that. Discount tickets are on sale if you buy online and use my initials ("CB") as a promo code when you hit the "CHECKOUT" screen, and you should definitely do that because they'll only cost a lousy $5.

Need further enticement? Well, okay. Look, we made a video for you...

Monday, November 09, 2015

Customers (like me) and the huge corporations (like Bright House) that love (hate) them (me).

I tried to use my phone Wednesday morning to access the internet and found myself having to log in to my account with Bright House, my cable provider. This proved problematic because it didn't recognize my user name and/or password. That took three phone calls and about 45 minutes to resolve but I was finally able to access my account on my computer. However, I still couldn't do so on my phone, and as a result, I was unable to access most of the features on my phone...

Okay, I just realized how "first-world problems" this is and I recognize that in the big picture, it's not that big of a deal. I have a roof over my head. I don't miss meals. There are no lives at stake here. Let's not focus on the admittedly whiny, bitchy problem but rather the level of "response" given to me, a paying customer, by a multi-million dollar corporation that spends a lot of that money on commercials, patting themselves on the back over how great their customer service is. Okay? Okay. I went on Twitter to bitch about it:
The change never took effect in regard to my phone, though. A rep responded, and offered assistance via a private message dialogue. And here's how that went. 

It starts to get weird right here, in more ways than one...

 I felt kind of bad. I work in customer service and I know it's hard when you're trying to resolve someone's problem and they're pissed off. I tried really hard to be polite and diplomatic. But I have an extensive history of not being able to resolve problems with this company.

Oh Goddamn it...

God DAMN it!!

God. Damn. It.

This all happened Wednesday (November 4) afternoon. Today is Monday (November 9) and I'm still waiting on that update or any further communication at all for that matter.