I remember it like it was yesterday. In reality it was 13 years ago. I didn’t realize it then, but my days as an upstanding, stable member of society who’s job it was to sell weed to the weedless, and the almost weedless, would soon come to an unexpected close.
My name is Daryl Horner, and what follows are the sordid events that lead me down the path to a life of….
STAND UP COMEDY.
When I think back on those days so many years ago, I remember that at the time, I was sure I had life by the short and curly hairs that grow from your testicles. I realize now how naive I was, and how little I knew.
I had moved to Minneapolis MN after reading on MySpace that unlike my home state of Alabama, which had surprisingly strict weed laws (for the unaware, “weed” is street lingo for pot) and suprisingly lenient views on marrying relatives, Minnesota was more understanding about weed.
Not so much on the marrying relatives however.
So I packed a pack, gave up any hope of marrying my cousin, and headed north.
I realized a few things almost instantly when I arrived that early November. It was going to be easy to make a living here, and i look great in a puffy winter coat.
After doing some research my new supplier, Chad, turned me on to a crowd of miscreants he called “open mic’rs”. Chad assured me that even though they appeared unkempt, even slovenly in some cases, they were in fact mostly upper middle class 20somethings with a penchant for PBR, comic books, and something called “Magic the Gathering” and most importantly, WEED.
I arrived at one of their respective “clubhouses”. It was in the basement of what seemed to be a very unsuccessful bar. Though the environment seemed like a place for the dejected and cast offs of society, many of these open mic’rs, let’s call them “comics”….if we must…carried themselves with a confidence that seemed misplaced.
I towered over them. Were it my pleasure to do so, I could easily snap the neck of even the thickest bearded of them. And yet, not only did they not fear me, they were really good at hurting my feelings. Like….REALLY GOOD. But, business is business, and business was good.
I didn’t like the places they congregated, and in what I THEN thought was a good idea, i made the decision to find a better place for them to gather. That would turn out to be the biggest mistake of my life.
This was a new breed of customer. They manipulated me in ways I was unfamiliar with. They really hurt my feelings with their words you guys. Seriously. It became important to me that they like me, so I lowered my prices in an attempt to appease them.
It was a RUSE! Something I later found out was called “passive aggression”. You can’t PUNCH passive aggression. I know. I tried.
And then one cold Tuesday night it happened. Feeling pleasant from the effects of a local concoction called “Jameson Irish Whiskey” I did the unthinkable.
I tried comedy.
What could it hurt? It wasn’t like I was a full timer. People try it once and quit all the time. Seriously. They quit ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Usually in summer, when all of the contests end.
Not me. I was hooked, and even worse? I wasn’t even good. It started to effect my actual job. I wasn’t just going to MY open mic. No. Now I was using time at OTHER people’s mic. People i didn’t know, and even worse? I was GIVING AWAY MY WEED in exchange for that sweet sweet mic time.
It got to where I had to start 4 sometimes 5 open mics of my own just so I could get my fix. It wasn’t even about the weed anymore! I was spiraling but still thought I could handle it….
Then it happened. 2 years went by in the blink of an ACME Comedy Club light and in a flash my life was changed by one seemingly innocent, but life altering question.
“Pssstt….Hey Daryl. Can you do 10 minutes?” WHAT? WHAT? FUCK NO I CAN’T!….Is what I should have said. But instead the words “I can do whatever you need” came out. I sounded like a crack whore, and they paid me like a crack whore. $20.oo. I knew then, I’d never make an honest drug dealers living again.
I tried to hang on to my old life. There was no use. The better I got at comedy, the worse I got at drugs.
These days? Man, it’s difficult to keep me under an hour. I am a slave to applause. The irony is that now I have a drug dealer who sells ME drugs.
Ain’t that something?
I wonder if I should warn him? Eh, fuck him, nobody warned me. Who does he think he is anyway? Next time I see him, I’m gonna make him cry.
Written by Daryl Horner