I recently wrote some stand-up material that I'll be trying out in some of the Los Angeles open mics.
Here's some of what inspired the material.
When I was offered a job as counselor in a summer day camp, I jumped at the chance to surround myself with rowdy, energetic children who would enrich my life and allow me to live out my dream of being a young, white-girl version of Bill Cosby. Like the great guru himself, I, too, possessed the innate ability to inspire children to say weird things simply by being in their presence.
The closest came when Wayne, a fellow counselor, and I stood on the border of the play-structure and talked about the lunch menu. On that particular day, the tired, almost zombie-esque discussion took a brief pause as screams from the playground directed out attention to three campers pulling each other up the whirly slide by the scalp. It was almost hypnotic
"Eh, my dad used to pick me and my brother up by our heads. They'll be fine," he replied. "So anyway, then you take the cream filling part out and then put the hot dog inside the Twinkie. You think it would be gross, but it actually tastes really good."
Bill Cosby would have loved Wayne. At the age of 20, Wayne still possessed the childlike wonder that it took to be sincerely impressed with things that most people over the age of eleven take for granted. Too bad I couldn't say that about the actual children.
One morning our camp coordinator informed us that the summer budget had potential room for a trip to the Big Soda museum. Wayne practically squealed with giddy delight over the possibility of mixing all of the different flavors of soda from Soda museum tasting room into one cup and drinking it.
"I know how to make it gooood," he said.
Coincidentally, that was the same day that Tammy, one of my campers in the 9 year old group, strutted up to me during recess, cocked her head to the side, placed her hand firmly on her hip, and asked,
"Miss Jas, is it true that if you douche with a diet coke you won't get pregnant?"
I stared at her. Surely this was a joke. No, surely the universe was testing me with a bizarre dream and I was about to wake up. I waited just in case.
Shit. It wasn't a dream.
"I asked you a question."
"I heard. I just needed a minute."
"Well you got one. It it true that you can't get pregnant if you dou-"
"Who the crap told you that?"
"My grandma," she replied - with attitude.
"Your grandma's got some bad info."
"I'm gonna tell her you said that!"
"Tammy, do you even know what douching is?"
Tammy was my favorite camper for precisely this reason. She was, on occasion, my least favorite camper for precisely this reason.
There's more to this story, but the basic jist is this: if anyone ever decides to resurrect Kids Say the Darndest Things, tell them to skip Ellen and come straight to my door.
I know how I handled the situation (and subsequent situations), but what would you do? What kinds of questions kids asked you that made you could go to jail if you attempted to answer?