Tuesday, January 31, 2012

my dad... wishes he was black.

I live in constant fear that my father will do something to embarrass me. It's not really fear that he will embarrass me exactly because I am not a teen anymore. It's more the fear that he will do something that will turn heads and not in a good way.

My father is a true individual. He is a quarter of an inch shorter than myself, bringing him to the statuesque height of 5'7 and 3/4 and still considers himself a body builder. He, like myself has the you can't put your arms down because you lift weights syndrome. He considers himself an amateur boxer and has worked out/boxed at the Broadway Gym in South Central LA for the past 27 years. He, like most Russian men and Wayne Brady, thinks he is black. He is the only white, Jewish man that was in the middle of the LA riots because he he needed a pack of cigarettes. While he has been bald since turning 27, he would have a flat-top circa 1989 if he could. He listens to hardcore gangster rap.

The first time my father saw me do stand up is one of those moments that I will never forget. He comes to see me at the wold famous Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard and in a lineup with about a million comedians. At the end of every comedian's set, my father proceeds to stand up (keep in mind he wearing what can only be described as MC Hammer pants with neon squiggles) and he throws his arms in the air. He then lets out a barking noise because hasn't received the memo that Arsenio Hall hasn't been on the air in over 15 years.

After my set he tells me "you were great, but no Richard Pryor."

More recently, this past week, my dad comes to see a show which I am both in and the producer of. He gets to the show and is moderately behaved through the first half of the show. I do my set and he is calm, he smiles and gives me a hug as I get off the stage. It's a Kodak moment! He is doing great and behaving!

The show keeps going and 2 more comics go after me. Then it happens. It's like watching a car accident. There is nothing I can do, but sip my cocktail and watch it unfold. My father isn't much of a laughter. Comics find this easy to take jabs at. The comedian on stage takes this opportunity to make a joke in my dad's direction to lighten the mood. The joke is HARMLESS. My father proceeds to shout out, "YO MAMA!" Who the fuck is he? Shaft? At this moment I am looking for sharpest, most blunt object around. Luckily I booze comes to the rescue and I guzzle down my entire Kettle Soda in one gulp. This causes me to choke and the people sitting next to me just stare hoping someone else will have to do the heimlich maneuver.

The comedian who my father has the audacity to hackle comes off the stage and walks in my direction. She asks, "who is that guy?"

My response under my breath, "my dad... he really does think he is black."

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