Did Not Tell An Offensive Joke in Regular Social Situation

I have my bouts with awkward social situations…so much so, that it has become worth noting those times when I manage to perceive an awkward social situation on the horizon, and then consciously avoid it.  

I don’t know if every successful avoidance equates to general success in social situations.  I think that’s all very subjective.  However, this situation — as I relayed it to my best friend in text conversation—really felt like a success, so I thought I’d share it below (names changed, since town where it happened is small).  Basically, I decided not to tell a joke in a congenial social situation with strangers:

I want you to know, that I’m proud of something:
instead of hurtling head-first towards what would become a clearly awkward situation, I avoided it. But it could have been bad. It will take a really long explanation for you to know why.  
I’m at Market Street, and there are these three girls working behind the counter
Mary, Maxine, and then later the third one—Angela—shows up
Pat [store manager] was there, too, and we caught up for a bit. She introduced me to the girls (who are probably in high school), and the atmosphere became congenial. Mary and Maxine said that, including me, we were the “Three ‘M’s”
Angela came, and while I was waiting for my drink, they just made small talk. At one point, Mary jokingly said to Angela: “Angela, I just realized that you don’t belong here—you’re an ‘A.’ And we’re all ‘M’s.”  
It definitely shouldn’t have, because of the already-existing context, but that ‘joke’ made me uncomfortable (like the kind of “Oh god…that was a terrible joke…and everyone’s complicit…and now it’s becoming a bit, and I just want to walk away” kind of uncomfortable).  

But, I couldn’t just walk away—that’d be rude. So I felt trapped. Trapped in a bit I didn’t agree to with a bunch of non-comedians (I sound really elitist, as I type this)—and there was no sign of it ending. So my brain did a fight-or-flight response sort of thing, and immediately looked for ways to raise the stakes.  
In other words, my brain chose to “fight,” by looking for ways to raise the stakes of the bit
What I was immediately reminded of when Angela was singled out was the book “The Scarlet Letter,” where a woman is forced to wear the letter ‘A’ around a small town as punishment for ‘Adultery.’  
Also, I was coming fresh off of watching a news story where Donald Trump suggested that we put every Muslim in America into a registry
So I was like…Angela=A. And then we’re all ‘M’s…
Are you starting to see the joke that I was going to use, here?
I was actually close to saying “Maybe we should all wear labels—that way you (Angela) could be like the ‘Adulterer’ in “The Scarlet Letter,” and we could be prototypes for how ‘Muslims’ will be labeled in Trump’s future of America.”
I swear to god, I could have made this joke. I had one foot in, and one foot out.  
50% of me had decided that it was okay to make this joke to three high school girls in Purcellville…one of the most conservative, Christian towns in the country.
And somehow…somehow, the other 50% took control, and just said to these girls, “Haha, maybe we should all wear letters.” And that’s it. They stopped talking about it after that, handed me my drink, and I sat down.  
It wasn’t even a complete joke, but it made them laugh and put a cap on the bit.  
My faith in humanity is only somewhat restored, but I think I have a lot more faith in myself now.  


That’s it.  This is a very sanctimonious post.  I think all comedians have those moments where they feel like they’ve been roped into a bit (or idea) that isn’t there own, and so flirt with the general danger of the situation described above.  Whatever path we end up choosing—as comedians, or as people—I just hope we avoid having to FORCE ideas into each other.


A Strange, New Post!

Heyyyyylo! So…still a fairly empty website, but I’ve added some pages! Feel free to take a look around…whoa, careful, watch your step…oh, yeah, that jutted-out wooden beam is probably not up to code…HEY! NO, DON’T PLAY WITH THAT SWITCHBO—oh, well great. The power’s out.

Clearly, this is a fixer-upper, but I’m determined to make it a good comedy home – or, “Comb.” Yes: that means there are bees in here. What? I’m taking care of them. It’s a tough world out there.  For bees.

Okay okay, some reeaaaaal news.  I’ve been milling about the city of New York for about four months now.  I’m not taking any classes, yet, and I’m still setting up my open mic schedule…so, I’m not doing a super-heavy load of stuff at the moment, but still, you should keep checking in.  This all said, I have begun a series on Snapchat called “Delivery with Mike,” whereby I give a bike deliverer’s take on current news items.  Follow me on Snapchat: mmnck86.

That’s all, for now!  I appreciate your time and effort in reading this, and other Cover Letter signatures.  But seriously, take care.


I Can’t Find The Name of This Song

Hi everyone, welcome to my site!  It’s…pretty empty, for now…though of course, if it’s a year from now and you’re a new visitor, then this post is barely more than a lie to you.  For all you know, I’m just trying to build up my modesty cred, and hey: you don’t have to fall for that.  But, for all you returning visitors who would have been with me since Day 01 – and who are now coming back and re-visiting this post just for the re-read value – you now get to slap your knees in nostalgic amusement and ululate towards the heavens: “HAH!  I remember when Michael’s site WASN’T THAT FULL!”

Anyway, this post will just be an introduction, because I’m currently distracted by this song I can’t find.  I have the melody, but none of the lyrics, and I don’t know the name of the song.  Anyone have that problem?  It is the worst…and here is where I would insert a hilarious joke about how climate change is actually worse, but I’m too busy dealing with my current situation.  For now, you’ll just have to settle for my TumblrTwitterVine, and Comedywire accounts, which I just distributed to you like pamphlets to a bunch of a small-town elementary school kids in an old, washed-up gym teacher’s class.

Alright, take care, everyone!  🙂