Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Why I Love Portland

When a cute young woman is approaching me in the Post Office, and appears to know me, and – even more puzzling – appears to be glad to see me, I revert right back to 7th grade. In 6th grade I would have run, but by 7th I could stammer out something. Of course, I completely dorked out by not remembering where I knew her from. After all, it had only been 2 months since I appeared on A.M Northwest. And here was the person I talked with about it – who booked guests for the show - and I couldn’t place her. Embarrassing.
Now before you rush to judgment, this was not a Portland Freelancer self-promotion stunt. They actually called me. I went on in part to plug my brother’s book “Oh For Smart”, and to talk about the jokes sold to Jay Leno.
I had prepared an entire set based on an older Kathie Lee-type crowd, but the place was packed with school kids on a field trip. I repaired to the Green Room and wrote a whole new group of jokes on the spot, and the kids laughed, thank God. I thought I did pretty well, although I’ve noticed they haven’t called me back. Carl Click got in a good zinger, by the way. Some of these TV people are pretty darn smooth.
Waiting in line at the Post Office I would glance back at the woman and she would seem bored and looking down. Clearly this had not been my finest moment.
I wanted to mention I was there sending my script to Hollywood, which I was, but I just let it go. Best to stand there, soaking in my loser-dom.
Then who walks in but the owner of Artichoke Music, the irrepressible Steve Einhorn, who is funnier and a better musician than I’ll ever be. He and his wife, Kate Power, have a great two-part harmony thing going that made it all the way to the Garrison Keillor show.
Now with Steve I am no longer a dork. He is a musician/fun guy. These are my people. We always go right into the comedy so there was around 7 or 8 of us in line and I’m talking to Steve about the script, but I’m trying to make everyone smile. Because of the rain I had to bring the script in a garbage bag which I admitted was a “bad omen.” He asked who it was for, and I said, “I’ve got access from God. I get rejected at the highest levels.”
At this remark the darling woman from A.M. Northwest lets loose with a beautiful laugh and makes a nice smile. She is no longer viewing me as a 7th grade-level dork. By now she sees my maturity level as at least 9th grade – maybe even 10th. For me, this is a win. Thanks, Steve. Thanks, Artichoke Music. I love this town.


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