A Man from Nantucket

Alexa told me it was National Limerick Day this morning. In honor of the occasion, I responded to every work order that came across my desk with a comment written as a limerick. For example:

The bios attached are just fine
The credentials you listed, divine
I have no corrections
To any selections
Feel free to send on to Design

My coworkers think I’m insane, I’m sure. But I was having too much fun with it to care much. And my team was impressed. For some reason, I can bang these out in seconds. I have no idea why – I do not consider myself a poet in any way, shape or form – but I’ve always been a natural when it comes to limericks.

I’ve also been known to rock the haiku.

Unfortunately, National Haiku Day is (was) April 17, so it’ll be a while before I can have fun with work order comments again.

Tonight we are headed to the Aladdin Theater in Portland to see a comedian named Tape Face.

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of the dude. When we were up in Seattle, Tracy gave us the tickets as an early birthday gift. Turns out he was a finalist on America’s Got Talent last summer, and his clips are great. His whole schtick? He wears a strip of duct tape over his mouth throughout his performance, so he never utters a word; it’s all physical stand-up comedy, sort of like a mime. And from what I’ve seen, it’s original – and funny as hell.

But I made the mistake of looking up reviews of his recent shows this morning, just to get an idea of what to expect, and have spent the rest of the day stressing over it. Because in reading up on his act, I learned that it involves audience participation. Lots of it. Which is just the type of thing that strikes fear into my heart. I want to sit there and be entertained, you know? I’d rather not become part of the entertainment!

Depending on how you look at it, I am either the world’s most extroverted introvert, or the world’s most introverted extrovert. In any case, I hate getting up in front of people. I don’t like being the center of attention…unless I purposely strive to be the center of attention, in which case I love it. It’s all about control. I’m fine with it on my own terms, but leave it up to somebody else and I’d rather stand cowering in the corner or hide under my seat. Hmm…I wonder if the space beneath my seat is large enough to accommodate a grown man? I am not against curling up into the fetal position if need dictates.

Wouldn’t you know it, we have good seats, too. My mother-in-law was generous with her gift, which is a blessing of course, but it would be a bigger blessing if we were going to see Bruce Springsteen. We’ve got orchestra seating, 7th row. Close enough to make eye contact, I’m sure. I’ll have to be very careful not to do that. Our one possible saving grace? Our seats are not front and center, but rather, front and left side. At a slight angle to the stage. And in the middle of the row. I’m hoping this keeps us out of the line of fire. I mean, he’d have to step over and across people to reach us, and that’s neither convenient nor safe. Probably a fire hazard, come to think of it. Best you stick to the aisles, Mr. Face. Or do you prefer Tape?

I’ve probably jinxed the whole thing now just by mentioning it.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

7 thoughts on “A Man from Nantucket

  1. You’re an ambivert … a term I learned last year when describing myself. And I, too, have a visceral fear of audience participation. Such that I’ve contemplated bring crutches to events that might involve it.


  2. I live in a house of AGT addicts, so I know all about Tape Face. My husband LOVED him! I look forward to hearing how it goes for you! After three Vegas shows last summer (one being another AGT star), I found that they will look all over the audience for participation, even the cheap seats. Definitely sit still and avoid eye contact!


    1. He put on a great show! (I can say that because, spoiler alert, I did not get picked. Whew!) I did exactly what you suggested, and it must have worked. I’ll be blogging about this soon. 🙂


  3. LOVE your limerick, Mark! FAB-U-LOUS! That’s okay because my coworkers think I’m insane too, but hell, I don’t care 🙂
    “Which is just the type of thing that strikes fear into my heart. I want to sit there and be entertained, you know? I’d rather not become part of the entertainment!”
    OMG….I’m the same way! When I used to act, I was totally okay with being onstage and performing. However…when I am an audience member; watching a show, that’s exactly what I want to do – watch the show and be entertained. I get VERY uncomfortable whenever watching shows that involve audience participation. OMG…I can’t stand it.


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