Saturday, 9 April 2011

Tears of a clown

I've been known to weep quietly at bus stops. Not often, you understand, just once in a while. I can get away with it because (I believe I've mentioned this before) after a certain age, women become invisible and no one notices, provided you're reasonably dignified about it. A couple of weeks ago, I was waiting for a Transitway bus at the corner of Slater and Kent in downtown Hades and sniffling unobtrusively, not in self-pity this time, but because I was listening to the Moth podcast on my iPod.

The Moth is a series of storytelling events. It started in New York, but there are now stages in L.A., Chicago, Detroit, plus a road show. A Moth evening usually has a theme and the rule is that the story be true, from the teller's own life and be told without notes. Moth storytellers are often famous, or published authors (or both), but your average John or Jane Doe can participate in "Story Slams". The story I was weeping quietly along to was from the Moth Mainstage and was told by comedian Anthony Griffith. I'd never heard of this fellow before, but I gathered he is successful at what he does, so I looked him up when I got home. He's very good. Take a look at his impression of his mum delivering discipline in the midst of a Baptist hymn:
That's funny, right? Okay, now, if you can bear it, listen to the legendary story he told on the Moth Mainstage a few years back. Get some tissues first. It will take you a little less than ten minutes. Or if you're invisible, just go to a bus stop and sniffle quietly.

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