Last night, after my set, an obnoxiously drunken woman from the audience accosted me at a venue different from the one where I’d performed. Stumbling up to me at the bar, slurring, “it just wasn’t funny, man, it just wasn’t funny,” I didn’t know how to respond. When interrupted similarly, during the set, earlier, when she’d slurred out, “it’s not funny, man, it’s just not funny,” it was somewhat easier to answer her, employing the direct – and which I feel is best – approach, of telling her that nobody cares what she thinks and to shut the fuck up.
It was a strange encounter, though, at the bar, as her opinions were of no less validity necessarily than those of the previous evening’s almost-overbearing drunk, who couldn’t have been any more generous in his praise. They each left me feeling differently, however, despite neither of them being really wrong, though, I thought.
The first performance was a good performance. That the only heckler that evening had her mouth held shut by her friend laughing hysterically throughout just made sense. But the second evening’s set really wasn’t funny.
There’s a terrible moment I’m often acutely aware of when talking to those whom I come to realize, only far too late into the conversation, are either drunk or mad. It’s the feeling of both i) what the hell!/why the hell, then, have I been wasting my time here already, and ii) well then what the hell does it matter if one’s drunk or mad, if all that’s been said up to now’s made a lot of sense? And then things get cold, and cold and uncomfortable.
So the very short, obnoxiously drunken woman, then, wasn’t to be dismissed out-and-out just in person. Sure, she had been disrespectful earlier, and that may have been a reason for acting disrespectfully at this point in time, but then she was just yet another person who’d had too much to drink, and was a horrible person, but with a distinctly valid or not criticism nonetheless.
“It’s possible,” I said, “but that doesn’t mean that you ought to speak out in the middle of a set. It isn’t necessarily always funny.”
“It’s my birthday,” she said again.