You’ve been working on your stand-up routine for months, and it’s funny. You know it’s funny, hilarious, even. You’ve practiced in front of the mirror for hours and hours and honed it to a fine, razor edge; a stabbing, 5-minute rapier-attack of funny.
It’s got a little bit of everything: gay jokes, priest jokes, political jokes, midget jokes. You plan to establish an easy rapport with the audience, get them on your side, then go in for the kill.
Finally, it’s time to unleash your act on the world. You choose Snickers comedy club at 5th and Main, amateur night. You’re nervous, but that comes with the territory.
“How’s everybody doing tonight!” you say, jogging onto the stage in your blue jeans and un-tucked, button-up oxford, the de rigueur outfit for standup comedians. You look up into the lights, and out in the crowd. What the heck? Who let all these cars in here?
Then you realize: you’re not at Snickers! You’re at Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi!
How did that happen? Frantic, you race down the street to Snickers, just as the MC announces your name. You jog onto the stage, waving to the crowd. Unfortunately, you forget to look where you’re going and jog right off the front of the stage, weaving between a bunch of tables and through the bar area. You smash into a large, plate-glass window, which wobbles a bit before shattering. You step through it and continue to jog through the parking lot, waving, and down the street to Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi.
“How’s everybody doing tonight!” you yell. You look up to see a sign that says, Ask us about low, 3.9 percent financing.
“What about low, 3.9 percent financing?” you yell. “Hey!”
You run as fast as you can back to Snickers, but your five minutes are over.
The following week, in order to avoid any mix-up, you decide to take a cab to the comedy club. “Take me to this place,” you say, handing the driver a piece of paper that says “Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi.”
Everything goes beautifully! Or so you think.
“Thank you, Pittsburgh!” you say, to a smattering of applause, as you finish up your routine.
“And thank you for choosing Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi,” says your salesman, Dick, handing you a set of keys.
As you drive home in your new Lancer Sportback, you wonder if you’re really cut out for comedy.
Still, you decide to give it one more try. Instead of walking or jogging or taking a cab, you reason, you’ll drive! You have a new car, so what the hey.
The following Monday, you head to the club. You sit just offstage as the MC introduces you: he’s tried to be here before but he keeps winding up at the car dealership down the street. Let’s give it up for a fine young comedian, Stan Harrison!
With that, you start your car, redline the engine and pop the clutch. The tires spin on the floor and you fishtail onto the stage, acrid, black smoke filling the room. You double-clutch past second gear and speed past the microphone at 45 miles per hour. Thinking back on it later, you didn’t even see it! You smash through the opposite wall, head down the street and turn onto Adams Boulevard, then pull into Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi. You drive onto a hydraulic lift in the shop and your car begins to raise slowly into the air.
“How’s everyone doing tonight!” you cry, opening your door and falling eight feet to the hard concrete floor. You stand up, blood gushing from your mouth. You turn to the service agent.
“How are you sir? Doing all right? Is this your wife with you? Your girlfriend? Airport security is getting really tough, isn’t it? They should call that airport insecurity, am I right? Am I right?”
“You’re not at the comedy club,” he says.
“No, no I’m not,” you sigh, noticing the tool boxes and car parts everywhere.
Like that, your standup comedy career is over. On the bright side, you do get a job at Jim Nuzum Mitsubishi. And everyone agrees: you’re the funniest car salesman ever.