A hard act to follow

I wait until most of the laughter dies down. What a relief – for once there’s no word from the jerk who’s been heckling me through the set. I take a breath and continue. “…Now, how I know I’m finally getting over the bastard leaving me, is…”

“Hold it, hold it!” says the heckler. I do a slow eye roll and fix him over the top of my glasses.

“Ah, it’s Mr Popularity again,” I say, alluding to the fact that he’s sitting there suited up, all by himself on Table 6. The bouncer, who’s been leaning against the door frame, shifts forward and raises his eyebrow at me.

The jerk ignores the signals, and jumps right in. “I mean, I really HOPE you’re over him because I’m his lawyer and I’m here to serve divorce papers on you tonight. That oughtta be worth a laugh.” I don’t move, nothing in the place moves. I have a thought I hope my mouth isn’t hanging open, and it is, so I snap it closed just as the guy jumps up from the table, waving a big brown manila envelop. He sticks it in my hand, which acts of its own accord and takes the envelop from him. “I’ll leave you to it, now; have fun,” he says, and with a glance at the bouncer heads off out the side door.

I look at the side door, I look at the bouncer, I look out over the audience. I say, “How I know I might NOT be completely over the bastard leaving me is that I find myself wanting to kill his lawyer.” There are a couple nervous laughs. Apparently they’re as stunned as I am. I roll the envelop into a tube. “Thanks, everyone. That’s it; drive safe or whatever it is I’m supposed to say at the end of a set.” There’s spattered applause, which builds a little as I zip down the side steps and out the same door the jerk went through.

He’s just standing there, near the pokies.

I launch at him. “You creep, you baboon, you pervert – what the hell do you think you’re doing?” I try to take an ear off him with the rolled up envelop. It’s not my weapon of choice but all I’ve got right now.

He cops a whack or two then grabs my arm. “Hey,” he says, “calm down, that was a GREAT set, I had no idea you were that good.”

“What? WHAT?!” I shout. “You come around here serving papers on me in the middle of a set and then stand here like that’s some kind of normal thing to do?!” I snatch the rolled-up envelop from him with my free hand and whack him again.

He drops his briefcase and seizes both my arms. “I know, I know, really tacky when I think about it. But your husband told me you were a comedian and I thought it’d be a funny thing to try, especially as I’d like to do a little stand up comedy myself. But he didn’t tell me how good you were. Now, come on, let’s go for coffee so I can apologise properly. We’re attracting too much attention here.”

I shake off his grip. I notice a few things. One, my heart rate is starting to settle down a little. Two, the bouncer, who must have followed me out, is walking back toward the club door, shaking his head. Three, the jerk lawyer has cute laugh lines around his eyes.

Funny, that.

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1 Comment

  1. Hey what are you saying? What cute lawyer?


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