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I’m busy as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs this week as I try to get ahead on deadlines for my big trip next week to the land of milk and honey, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Next week, on Thursday and Friday, I’m doing a couple of events in my hometown as well as speaking to a few classes of art students at my old high school, visiting family and old friends, and breaking into pharmacies in the middle of the night. I’ve found it’s even cheaper than ordering drugs from Canada.
It’s a fun visit, but can be emotionally taxing. My family is great, no problems there (except for my brother’s wife who drinks constantly and inevitably pulls me into a closet at my parent’s house and tries to make out with me) but seeing how the old stomping grounds and its inhabitants have changed is a challenge.
“Oh look, that’s where the Pagoda Palace used to be, where I took my prom date for an exotic Chinese dinner. Now it’s 1/85 of a parking lot for Walmart.”
“Oh, look, there is a girl I dated in high school, now she’s a greeter at Walmart, a born-again Christian and has 16 children and counting.”
“And who’s that guy sitting in the front row of my talk at the museum? He looks a little like the father of Kurt, a kid I rode bikes with in junior high school. Oh, that’s actually him – do I look that much like my dad did in 1971? I remember Kurt cheating off my paper in math class because he wasn’t very smart. Right after college, he came up with some Internet thing, sold it for millions and hasn’t worked in 29 years. Will you help me kill him?”
But the good outweighs the bad and I’m really looking forward to it. The breaking news this week is that my Dad, Fred Piraro, is going to be opening for me at the Elk’s Lodge show. He’ll be warming up the crowd with a few of his comedy stylings, then introducing me. He’s done this kind of thing for me before and he’s very good at it. He doesn’t have any formal experience as a stand-up comic, but if you get a couple drinks into most old Sicilian guys, they pretty much become the life of any party. Or strangle someone with a piano wire. (We’re keeping him away from the piano that night.)
Hope to see you there.