I have friends who enjoy a good dinner out at a comedy club. Myself, I never got the hankering to pay to go to one. I think the reason is most nights I live through a Comedy Dinner Hour in my own house. Sometimes it gets too loud and you cant hear the end of an act, but its ok because the next act has already begun. You sit there, food half way to your partially open mouth, wondering if you should take a bite now while your food is still hot, or wait a moment in case if you *do* take that bite, you wont accidentally choke on it when you laugh at the antic you know is about to happen.
After cajoling and yelling to get the kids and J to the table, to threatening the life of any toys on the table (toys off the table for dinnertime is a rule in my house) the 5 of us sit down to eat together. Tonights course is pizza, beefaroni for the kids, soup for Mom and Dad.
Within 45 seconds Soren is Orange from head to fingertips, sauce smeared into his hair as he happily mashes noodles with his two bottom teeth, stopping once in awhile to add into our dinner conversation "BAA BAA BAA MM BAA".
Ashe, suddenly realizing the the food before him is not, in fact Fruit Roll Ups as he previously fantasized, scrunches up his little face and pouts. "I DONT WANNA EAT THAT." This conversation is a constant one and we follow the script as a family.
"I DONT LIKE IT"
"Have you tried it?"
"Well then how do you know you don't like it?"
"CAUSE I SMART!"
"If you're smart you know your body needs food then. Try it, you'll like it (which is then followed by a chorus of singing Try it you'll like it from Yo Gabba Gabba by J and I while Xavier holds his ears in disgust.)
"NO I DON'T TRY IT.... I GOT TO GO POTTY NOW" and he scampers off while the rest of us dig in.
"BAA BAA BAA MMM BAA"
Xavier then starts up his conversation. Tonight it is about underwater animals.
"Hey Dad did you know Moray Eels are dangerous?"
"Yes, I did."
"Did you know that Giant Clams are dangerous?"
"I never thought about it but I wouldn't want to get chomped by a giant clam"
"Yeah and if you get stuck inside you could only escape with a knife!!!"
"Like a butter knife?"
"BAA BAA BAA MMM BAA"
"No a butter knife isn't strong enough."
"Why not? It has ridges and a sharp edge...."
Meanwhile the sound of a 3 year old singing is heard starting up from the vicinity of the bathroom.
..."Not sharp enough! You need, like a machette to cut through the muscle!"
"Muscle? I thought we were talking about Clams!!"
The singing gets louder. While I can't quite figure out the tune, I do hear the words Jingle Bells and Batman. I get up to check and make sure Ashe is actually going potty. There he sits, legs swinging from the toilet, just chilling and doing his business, singing a little ditty to keep him entertained. He notices me and stops singing.
"Are you going potty?"
"Ok. When you're done wash your hands and come join us."
He watches me silently until I am out of site. Immediately the loud singing starts up again. I head back to the table. Soren is completely orange now, and looks like a mutated version of those orange cones you see outside on the highways when there is construction going on. He's happily got noodles in both hands, grinning from ear to ear. Strike that. He looks more like a Jack O Lantern now that I watch him. J and Xavier are still chatting, Xaviers dinner practically untouched.
"BAA BAA BAA MMM BAA"
"I am! I had like, two bites already."
"OK OK!" He picks up a fork full of food. Just before he puts it in his mouth he turns to J.
"I wonder when I'll get to be on the news."
"Most things these days on the news is not good news. What do you want to be on the news for?"
"I want to be on the news for making the bestest strongest house ever that could beat a tornado!"
The singing from the bathroom has now become loud enough for me to notice tune and words. It seems to be a song of originality as it's not tune I can place, and I hear Batman, Potty, Doggy Bones, and some gibberish mixed in. I cant help but chuckle. Everyone stops their discussion for a moment to listen. Ashe, in his own world, doesn't realize it has gotten silent at the dinner table as we all listen to him for a moment, grinning.
"I am I am!!!"
"No, you're not. Dude, don't let the baby put you to shame by eating more than you."
J interjects "Thats not hard to do. Soren puts us all to shame." We all glance over at the baby, glowing florescent orange by both the sauce, and the setting sun. He notices us all looking at him and he grins wide. "BAA BAA BAA"
Suddenly the singing from the bathroom changes. We all glance over to see Ashe, half naked, trying to sing and jump around in the hallway as he dons his pants. After a few minutes where we watch him get one leg in and almost fall trying to balance, put his second leg in, and sing at the same time, he finally gets his pants on all the way, backwards, and scrambles up to the table. He picks up his fork and the conversation continues with J starting up where they left off.
"But what if a giant robot comes to your house? Can it survive that?"
"My house can survive ANYTHING!"
"MOMMY WUT THEY TALKING ABOUT?"
"I have no idea, Ashe, just eat your dinner."
"I NOT HUNGRY. I WANT A FRUIT ROLLUP."
"You can have one after you eat your dinner."
"....but what if the robot has giant arms that come from the sky?"
"My house will have a special roof that deflects all robot arms. Geez Dad, you think I wouldn't think of all the possibilities?"
"BAA BAA MM BAA."
And so it continues, as I sit there and watch my family at dinner time, careful to take timed bites so I don't choke when something happens to make me laugh." Ashe continues to sing, Soren has finished his own dinner and eyes my own. I offer him soup, which after a moment to digest this new flavor, sucks down a third of my portion. J and Xavier continue to banter, and all is right with the world.
Who says you cant get dinner and a comedy show for free?