The following is a writing excerpt from my novel "The Comedian"
"“Off the bat, I just want to say that this is going to be a long joke about Starbucks. In fact, it's almost my entire set because it's Starbucks and there’s a lot to say. So, anyone here actually go to Starbucks?”“Yeahhhhhh,” half the crowd replied over the sound of clapping. “Jesus Christ calm down, its not a competition,” I replied. “Ever go to Starbucks in the morning or in the afternoon or how about at three a.m.? It's always packed isn’t it? I don’t know where all of these people come from. You can be at a Starbucks in Deadville, Missouri on Christmas morning with a hurricane one hundred feet away with cows visibly circling around and still run into a Brooklyn hipster writing something ironic and witty in his precious forty dollar mole skin notepad that he bought at an underground vintage store or a business executive switching off between texting and yelling into his blackberry (audience claps). Jesus Christ, Starbucks is to hipsters what my eight year old nephews ***** is to my uncle ralph the *********.”
Loud claps resonate through the air for that one as I sneak a peek at Sasha to see how offended she is at that last joke only to witness her smiling sheepishly back at me and appeared to be enjoying herself. “So far so good,” I mutter to myself before continuing. “And before you actually sit down, you want to make sure that it’s a good seat of course. You know you want that seat by the window and near the outlet and there's always only one seat like that at every Starbucks that I have ever been to so everyone is always fighting over it. You need that outlet so that you can plug in your blackberry, blender, kindle, laptop, vibrator and iphone, all in one socket and the fun naturally follows because we are a consumerist society and we want it all and want it all right now while sitting near the window so that we can look out and look at the poor schmucks don’t have it all and laugh at them.
“Now, lets talk about the homeless population that resides at Starbucks. In case you didn’t realize there is a group of homeless people, actually let me rephrase that, there is a gang of homeless people and they usually take up the biggest table in the place. They always do all sorts of weird things there. For instance, instead of doing homework or something, they roll cigarettes (big laugh from the crowd) instead of reading a book, they play cards and talk about smoking crack and they drink more coffee in one sitting than I have ever seen anyone drink in my entire life. Coffee refills are only about thirty five cents so they end up literally sitting there all day drinking coffee. I watch them do this. They pack it with sugar and milk, they use about thirty six sugar packets (more laughter as I can see the audience sitting up in their seats waiting for the punchline). I am pretty sure that coffee is their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whats for desert? Crack. The funniest part about this is that they usually crash in the evening around six pm from drinking so much and they pretty much all just start nodding out right in the middle of Starbucks forming a barrier of discomfort for paying customers. They are all wiggling and stretching in their wooden chairs making all sorts of homeless people sounds (one guy laughs harder than anyone else and I look at him quizzically which causes the rest of the audience to laugh harder) trying to get comfortable so that they can sleep. And of course the Starbucks workers are certainly not going to kick them out. Are you kidding me? You think that Brooklyn hipster, straight edge vegan Elizabeth would ever say 'excuse me sir, you can't sleep here and please conceal your crack, this isn’t Dunkin Donuts.' No of course not, the homeless gang does whatever they want there, and truthfully who doesn’t enjoy the smell of urine over organic fair trade coffee anyway?” (huge applause as some people stand up and clap and some people are close to falling from their chairs).
The clapping continues in slow motion as some people try to compose themselves from coughing fits and catch their breath. I breathe it all in for as long as I can have it. Their laughter is a drug to me; far more potent than anything I have ever had before. I soak in being king of the room for a few seconds before the noise begins to die down and I realize the amusement must continue. I have to go on dancing for them if I want to have their laughs.