A couple months ago I bought the wrong-sized boxer briefs. These were small, and I’m usually a medium. (I’m glad we can talk about such things.) Anyway, I tried to fit into them, but there was simply no way in hell. I mean, my butt’s really big, and it was like trying to push a bowling ball through a pea shooter. Not cute. At first I thought about trashing the boxer briefs, but I’m not really one to waste things, so then I thought about giving them away. Surely I can find a skinny twink in need of a pair of four-dollar underwear. (Hey–I’m not cheap–they were on sale! Also, look at me, trying to put underwear ON a twink.) But, honestly, giving once-tried-on underwear away is a rather weird thing to do, even for the holidays. I get that. Besides, what would the card say–Thinking of you? Plus, I’d already taken the tags off.
So I just kept them.
The History of my Underpants by Marcus Coker.
Believe it or not, there’s a point here. Last night, in a mad dash to get ready for my first improv comedy show, I realized I didn’t have any clean underwear–except the small boxer briefs! Well, I’ve lost some weight recently, so I thought, What the hell, it can’t hurt to try. So I took a deep breath, and y’all, it’s amazing what a few pounds can do–I actually managed to get the waistband over my hump. Granted, I felt like I was wearing a girdle, but I had clean underwear on, by god. Actually, it was rather pleasant the way they squeezed everything together, pushed one cheek up against the other, and made my assets, well, perkier.
Yes, I said assets.
The improv show last night with The RazorLaughs was a fundraiser for Dwight Mission, somewhere in Oklahoma. I didn’t drive, so I honestly have no idea where it was, but I guess getting people to come to an improv show in the middle of nowhere is about like getting people to attend a rumba lesson in Arkansas. In other words, there weren’t a lot of people there. This made me nervous, like, this could be awkward, but Aaron, Ian, and Summer said they’d performed for small groups before, and sometimes they’re easier than large ones–it just depends on the particular crowd. Fortunately, we lucked out. First of all, we got fed, and the food was great–apple and cranberry stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and make-your-own sugar cookies. (Talk about fancy!) Second, the group was wonderful. We performed for over an hour, and not only did they not leave the room or throw rotten fruit at us, they participated and laughed–a lot.
If you’ve never been to an improv comedy show, it’s intentionally silly and unbelievable. In one of the scenes last night, I was a party host who had to guess what made each attendee special–Ian was a guy who laughed at EVERYTHING, Aaron was a hand model, and Summer was a sloth. It took me FOREVER to guess the sloth thing. Why are you moving so slowly–are you a woman on drugs? I mean, I was only given so much to work with (I knew I was a party host, and that was it), then I had to figure the rest out as I went along. In this sense, it was like an adventure. This is the fun of improv–not knowing where you’re going until you get there. In another scene, Summer was Frosty, and she was fighting with Aaron, who was Santa. Well, before things were over, Santa revealed that Frosty was his son. (Who would have guessed!) Summer said, “Uh, I’m actually your daughter.”
End of scene.
I realize these sketches aren’t that funny to read about it–you’re probably not even laughing out loud–but in the moment, they were hilarious. More than that, at least for me, they were actually interesting. At one point I was watching Summer play Jack Frost and Ian play Santa. They were thinking of stealing Christmas or something ridiculous, but I got so wrapped up in it. I kept thinking, What’s going to happen next?
It seems giving anything our attention is what makes it interesting. Like, I know that no one else cares about the size of my underwear, but it’s fascinating to me when I focus on it. And just like good underwear, even the silliest comedy sketches can be riveting and fun once we manage to get into them. I imagine this is how life is. We think we need a big audience. We walk into a room and say, “Where is everybody?” But last night Summer said a small crowd can be a great crowd if they simply want to be entertained. Ultimately, I guess it’s what we’re looking for, whether or not we’re willing to consider the pieces of our lives and be fascinated by them, whether or not we can take what we’re given and turn it into an adventure.
Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)
"Who’s to say that one experience is better than another?"