A Stand-up Comic At Goodwill
Author: Will Berry


     Ladies and gentlemen, if you are going to do material on being poor then you had better be on a first name basis with the clerk at the day old bread store, you probably drive a car that Red Green would love to have so that he could make it into an ice cream machine, and you are no doubt the type that steals the neighbor's newspaper just to get the extra coupons. Enough of this pecuniary philosophy, let's get on with the show. And now, here he comes, the old triple threat himself (run, stumble, and fall), let's have a big round of one-handed applause for....myself.

     Hi there, folks, my name is Will and I'll be your stand-up comic here at Goodwill this afternoon. I took an oath of poverty a few years ago and so far it's been working out really well.

     "Hi, Will..."

     Now let's get one thing straight. I'm not here at Goodwill because it's trendy or I'm looking for Tiffany glass for the Antiques Roadshow. I'm here because I have to be! I'm here because I need a pair of shoes that fit both feet and not just two lefts. I'm here because polyester pants for me is a step up. I'm here because this week's half-price sticker is orange!

     "HI, WILL!!!!"

     Thank you. Sorry that I didn't have someone introduce me like they do in some big-time nightclub but Ed is out back unloading Avon bottles. By the way, the management has asked me to announce that they have an overstock on Danielle Steel novels. Also, you'll find a nice selection of books by Rush Limbaugh entitled, "The Way Things Ought To Be," "The Way Things Ought To Be If We Could Just Learn To Hate A Few More People," and his latest, "There Is Still Time For Even One Thing That Ought To Be -Is That So Much To Ask?" Also, there is that new history of modern American business entitled, "Gotcha!" So boogie on over to the book section....

     "NO, WILL!!!!"

     Don't blame you, you're probably the ones who donated them in the first place. Christmas gifts from some well-intentioned relative no doubt. Ah, relatives. They'll never give you a pair of fur-lined gloves, just a fake Beanie-Baby or a gift certificate good for 10 dollars off on a P. Buckley Moss painting of bow-legged Amish kids. Say, you know if someone asks me where I go south for the winter, Arizona or Florida, I say 'Nebraska.' They say, 'that isn't south,' and I say, 'it is if you live in Manitoba.' That reminds me, have you all got your cars winterized with just the right amount of rust?

     Oh, good. I took my Gremlin into Ronald's House of Rust yesterday. Ronald said my car could pass for a Minnesota native. My car is so bad, the tires refuse to hold air...yeah, I have to sneak up on gas pumps, it's so ugly. I need to find a pair of boots to kick the ice-blocks off the Gremlin this winter because tennis shoes just won't do it. Especially if they don't have laces. Say, were you all invited over to your kids house this Christmas for dinner?

"Yeah, baby...."

     Did you wonder what to wear? I mean they just won't tolerate stripes or plaids especially if they are together, and if you are wearing them together, I recommend that you keep your 1970 London Fog topcoat on at least until dessert is served. Then grab the piece of pumpki n pie and run. And don't forget to pick up that book they gave you for Christmas from Barnes and Noble entitled, "Living In The Off-Ramp After 60." I got a Christmas card from my ex-wife, the usual skull and cross-bones. It shows up early, around Halloween. I put it on top of my Christmas tree, the one with three branches left. Some tree this is. I decorate it with junk mail I get from Publishers Clearing House.

     By the way, I suggested to the management of Goodwill that they should put up a customer suggestion box someplace. Know what my first suggestion would be? A prescription counter! Yeah, generics, salesmen's samples, imports from Mexico, who cares? Just put them out on the counter with an orange sticker attached. OK? An off-duty nurse with free flu shots wouldn't be bad either.


     Well, I got to go now to help Ed price those Avon bottles, so I'll leave you with just this one thought: You can always trust a restaurant with a bottle of catsup on the table. And always remember your daily financial planing, recyclable pop cans and lottery tickets.

     "GOODBYE, WILL!!!!"


Comments on this poem/writing:

shiloh ( -- Thursday, October 4 2007, 01:09 am

Encore! Bravo! Hear Hear!

You really should do standup - much better than a lot of those who, for some reason, seem to be getting paid for it. Will be searching for more.
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