So then…the comedian announces, “For this next bit, I need a young lady to join me on stage – who will volunteer?”
The audience in this dark little New York comedy club looks around jovially for a victim…er…volunteer.
My friends start waving and pointing at me. We’re all in our 20’s, working in midtown Manhattan firms, out for a night of comedy and drinking. I shush them, but the comedian spies the commotion and calls me up on stage.
Now I love watching live comedy – but I’m reluctant to actually participate in the show since comedians typically skewer innocent audience members. I won’t even get up to go to the bathroom during someone’s set, for fear of the scathing mockery that usually accompanies such an action.
But my friends are insistent — and the drinks are potent, so I finally agree to hop up on stage.
The comedian points the microphone at me and says, “What’s your name?”
I blanch. I’m not sure I want to reveal my name to the 300 people squeezed into this club, especially if I’m about to be embarrassed! So I keep it on a first-name basis.
“Darcy,” I say.
The comedian says, “OK, Darcy, and what do you do?”
“I’m in public relations and advertising,” I say.
“Oh,” he says. “And who do you work for?”
“Um…I’d rather not say,” I answer.
He frowns comically. “I don’t think you understand how advertising works, Darcy.”
We all laugh.
“In order to help PROMOTE the company, you might need to tell people the NAME of the company…” he continues. “Really, it’s sort of Advertising 101, dontcha think?”
He affects a high-pitched voice to impersonate me and addresses the audience, “Hey, you guys! Let me tell you about this FABULOUS company with these AMAZING products. You’re going to LOVE these products! You can’t live WITHOUT these products! You MUST buy them right NOW! Go right NOW! BUY THESE PRODUCTS! Oh, you want to know the name of the products? I can’t tell you. It’s a secret. Shhhh! It’s a SEEEEEEEEE-CRET!”
We all laugh but I stay mum.
He says, “OK, I needed a volunteer because I want to show everyone what I learned when I lived in a monastery.”
“No, no, I’m serious,” he says. “I actually thought about becoming a monk, so I lived in a monastery for a year in deep and spiritual contemplation. And I want to share what I learned.”
He says, “Take off your sock and shoe.”
I sit on the stool and obey — albeit warily.
He takes my bare foot in his hand, closes his eyes, assumes a pious expression, takes a deep breath, and hums a meditative note.
Then he takes his other hand, grabs my big toe, and intones in a solemn, holy voice,
“Haec paulo porcellum ad forum.”
Between his religious invocation, the crowd’s perplexed laughter, and my ticklish toes, I’m giggling like a school girl.
Then he grabs each successive toe and sonorously chants:
“Haec paulo porcellum domo manebat,
Haec paulo porcellum manducat bubulae,
Haec paulo porcellum, non
Et hic nobis paulo porcellum nos clamabat nos in omni via per domo-o-o-o-s!”
“And THAT, ladies and gentleman, is the Latin translation of ‘This Little Piggy Went To Market!’”
He raises my foot and takes a bow.
Thunderous applause. For both the chant — AND my naked foot.
So now I can add “Entertainer (Partial Nudity)” to my resume!
Which reminds me of my friend’s husband’s attempt to solicit photos of naked feet for a rather dubious reason…
— Darcy Perdu
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(Have you ever been called on-stage – and if so, what did you need to do? Any partial nudity involved (mandatory – OR voluntary)? Do you know any odd songs, rhymes, or phrases in another language? Do tell!)