Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I returned from Taipei Tuesday morning having spent just a little over 24 hours there. Despite the fact that I feel even more tired and behind on a week long streak of lack of sleep (it's midterms week!), it was definitely well worth the short trip to witness JB’s test run as a standup comic. And it didn’t hurt that in the process I had a chance to see friends and investigate a possible job lead.

From the moment they met- Christine has always thought that JB was a riot. And on Monday, she had a chance to put his humor quotient to the test. Having been there when these two met and when Christine decided that JB’s talents could somehow be leveraged into a second career, I just knew that I had to be there to offer my support. I didn’t want to miss out on the moment. Living in Kaohsiung I sometimes feel as though I miss out on a lot of moments in Taipei.

I really give JB a lot of credit for giving the stand-up thing a go. It takes guts! Last night was a very nonthreatening, intimate gathering of less than 15 friends and 7 or so strangers (who happened to be hanging out in the pub at the time). Christine’s strategy was for JB to “interview” a few unsuspecting members of the audience in order to stimulate some material for him. Topics covered included M’s love of martial arts and the “Buddha’s fist pushing through a head of cabbage” school of martial arts (translation courtesy of JB). JB was then asked to demonstrate the difficult horse stance, and he soon discovered that it really works the quadriceps… this gave him a new appreciation for the comfort of using squat toilets… B spoke about her dating disasters in Taipei, and another “interviewee” told us a little bit about herself and updated us on what she’s been up to in Taipei… Then somehow JB segued onto the topic of the “forbidden beetle nut girls district” in Kaohsiung where the girls wear half (literally- we’re talking topless & G-strings!) as much as in other parts of Taiwan, the challenges of driving in Taiwan and being frisked by airport security.

At the end of the night JB and a few friends took the time to send me off on an overnight bus back to Kaohsiung. It’s nice to know that I can always count on steadfast, old friends. I felt a warm, secure feeling as I got on the bus and drifted back down to Kaohsiung.

There’s still no official word on whether there will be a sequel. I think that JB should take a few more tries at it to find his style and a format that works for him.


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