I've decided to record my stand-up routines on this blog. The following has been performed a number of times in various forms. This is based on those routines, although altered fairly significantly because stand-up's advantage is the unexpected flow created with an audience's reaction.
For those wondering why I'm suddenly straight when I do stand-up - I'm not, I do have a number of routines that I'll get to in time that deal specifically with being a 'straight' acting gay man. Interestingly these routines are always difficult as stand-up because most men in the audience find it confronting to have a gay man comment on how confusing the signals are that straight men give off these days about sexuality - the 'metrosexual' generation. I've been told many times when I do stand-up that if I suddenly drop the 'oh by the way, I'm gay' line half way through, the audience get so thrown expecting it to be a joke set-up, that they stop listening to what I'm saying. So often, like with this routine, it's simply easier to pose as a straight man and let the chips fall where they may.
I recently turned 42 and suddenly realised -
"Oh, my God, I've forgotten to have a mid-life crisis."
So I immediately made plans to rectify this situation, because every-one knows that a life's not complete without a crisis midway.
I made a list.
First thing I'd need to do is quit my job. But then I remembered I work as a writer for television and therefore lose my job on a regular basis. At the time I was working on a show called The Bounce, an Australian football show mixing sketch style comedy and sports interviews. The network showed a great deal of faith in the show and held off cancelling it until after the fifth episode.
Job - check.
Next I'd need to make some changes to my life that were completely age inappropriate. I had no idea sports cars were so expensive. I tried sagging my pants, but when your stomach is bigger than your ass, sagging isn't sagging. Once those bad boys drop below the central meridian they're headed all the way to the floor. I did the next best thing. I jumped online and started dating a Thai Go-Go dancer. Awesome! None of the mid-life crises I'd ever heard of included that sort of stupidity. I was off to a great start!
In her photos and through her poorly connected Skype, I could see her long blonde hair, her long legs and glitter in the most extraordinary places. Perfect. Now all I had to do was get her to Australia to assure everyone I was deep in the midst of one almighty mid-life crisis. I was sure my rendering of this classic phase would become the stuff of legends. In years to come, men would discuss it alongside great sporting and drinking achievments of the past. ESPN may even make a documentary about it.
My friends had all gone down the more mundane tracks, buying flashy cars, traded wives in for beauty queens who only remained attractive as long as they didn't speak. I read of a man who took up base jumping and died, but he turned out to be a former lawyer so no-one really dwelled. (There is an interesting issue here: does killing yourself recklessly during a mid-life crisis negate the mid-life crisis and turn it into more of a final last stand. Can the label of a mid-life crisis be correctly applied if the person in question turns out to be at the very end of their life?)
So I paid for a visa and ticket for my dancer to come to visit. I chose Christmas, feeling the arrival of a glitter covered, dyed blonde Thai dancer at the family Christmas dinner would have maximum affect. I should point out here my parents are conservative. My father is a retired surgeon and from a different generation. He remembers a time when his generation led simpler, cleaner, healthier lives. He chooses to forget they also hit women if they annoyed them, reduced whole races to insensitive stereotypes and refused to give Aboriginals the right to vote. Ah, the world was so much simpler then and I felt my dancer at a family Christmas dinner would be a cathartic release against all the things any middle class child holds against their parents for an unhealthy length of time .
I went to the airport to pick up my lovely and stood waiting for what seemed like hours. I received a call from customs to ask if I was serious? I was and they agreed to let her through. In Australia we don't like letting in foreigners who don't look like the Australians who first arrived as convicts and then set about committing genocide. We have very high standards when it comes to the neighbours we're prepared to live next to.
The doors opened and .... dressed in sagging jeans and a tight flat top where her breasts had been, stood a young twenty-one year old Thai boy.
"Mr Scott, I think maybe I forget to tell you everything."
My gorgeous glitter covered Go-Go girl was a boy. I was stunned for a moment, then figured... he is pretty cute and I'm in a bit of a drought. Besides the idea of arriving home with this exotic man on my arm thrilled me. The havoc I could deliver in one single sitting would be truly spectacular!
Now the only other thing you need to know about this story is that my older sister has recently undergone her own midlife crisis and converted to strict orthodox Judaism. She's a lawyer, so no really big changes - won't work on Saturday etc. But this was to be the first Christmas she had agreed to attend since the infamous three year conversion boycott. I believe she wasn't able to attend during those years because she was busy reading texts and precedents to find a valid angle to clear her people of hanging the first recognised Christmas decoration, but I can't be sure.The facts you need to know are that she agreed to come to the family's traditional Christmas dinner after some years away. She did have some stipulations: she'd arrive only after presents had been given and received - because she no longer recognised Christmas as a time to celebrate and she didn't want anyone mentioning ... he who shall not be named.
So that's the stage set. My sister arrived before me. I arrived with my arm around my boy, who stood five foot six or five foot eleven if you counted his gelled hair. His eye-liner and see through string top showed off his many tattoos and his purse went perfectly with his effeminate ways
My father answered the door, took one look at my 'date' and screamed, Jesus H Christ!
At that point my sister took up an extremist position, because she exploded.