Following the counsel of my mother-in-law, I competed in a talent show at a local Macey’s. The winners would go on to compete at the county fair. I figured this would be an easy venue for me to win, though I wanted to smoke the competition, so I spent a lot of time practicing my storytelling and puppetry routine, sprucing up the puppets, practicing for my family, recording and watching myself, etc. When the fateful moment came, to my horror, I realized that I was competing against 7-year-old girls singing country music and dancing the Hula. It never occurred to me that I’d be up against children. The venue was outdoors, and the weather was hot. The only audience members were obviously family and friends of the contestants. There were other adults, though definitely more children, and every other performance I saw fell in the categories of music and dance. To make things worse, one of the key judges was a classical organist. So when I got up there and did my ridiculous puppetry routine, not only was it completely off the wall, but, as far as audience reactions go, it was the worst performance I’d ever had. They gave me nothing. Not a single laugh. Because every last one of them wanted me to fail, feeling they would be betraying their seven-year-old Hula dancer if they were to laugh. When, after the ordeal, the judges read off the winners, not including me, I quickly booked it. The judges, I think, did the right thing. How can you possibly turn down throngs of parents and their twelve-year-old country stars for a 29-year-old guy who came out of nowhere and waved a bunch of pom poms on his hands while speaking in funny voices? How could anyone judge a talent show consisting of anything, performed by anyone of any age? The moral of the story is, don’t compete against children. Well, the truth is, I just wasn’t that good, and I’m bitter. After all, anyone can wave pom poms and speak in funny voices. It’s not necessarily a talent. But who cares about talent? I just want to tell stories and get paid lots of money for it.
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