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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Kurt Cobain's Wall

Sunday August 22nd, 2010 - Somewhere Near The Bahamas

   New day, new audience. The ship has been emptied and refilled with all new passengers and we’re back out at sea. These guys know how to turn a buck. The last group got off the ship and the staff cleaned everything with the scientific precision of a NASCAR pit crew.

   It was amazing to behold. One group off. Next group on. That’s not easy to do with that many people, but they’ve got their system down. Now if I can just get mine. I really need to have a plan as to how I’m going to handle these audiences, both early and late shows.

   Tonight couldn’t have gone any better. Go figure. I nailed both of my shows, and didn’t have a bit of trouble. I did get a warning from the cruise director for using a line I pull out once in a while when I used it during the early show. It’s about someone’s shorts looking like ‘Kurt Cobain’s wall’. It tends to shock those who happen to know Kurt Cobain is.

   I don’t use it often, but when I think it will get a reaction I’ll pull it out on occasion. It’s not a reference most kids would know, so that’s why I used it tonight. I felt I was having a good enough show I could throw it in, and the cruise director happened to be in the room.

   He made mention of it to the comedy club manager and then it trickled down to me. It’s the kind of thing that can become a problem, as it sticks in the memory of those in charge. I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, but until I’m ‘in’ with everyone I have to be on red alert.

   Could I get fired over something like this? You bet. It depends on the mood or whim of the person in charge. This is not a comedy club, it’s a cruise line. Any little thing can be a reason to blow someone out if that’s what they want to do, but I don’t think they want to.

   I told the manager I’d not do it again, and I won’t. I haven’t met the cruise director, and he shows up at whim. I’m still baffled as to what to do. One night I feel like I stunk up the place, the next I feel like a star. People asked for my autograph and I received all kinds of compliments as I walked through the ship. I’m sure not cocky though. I need to nail this.

   I was told the company wants to have a record of what all comics do, and they’ll send a video person to record an early and late show so they have it on file. Tonight would have been a great night to record, but of course they didn’t do it. Maybe tomorrow. All I can do is my best, which I do every night. Now it’s a matter of getting friendly luck of the draw.

   Gulp. That’s never been my forte. In fact, it scares the hell out of me. Who knows what kind of torture awaits in that situation? Some drunk heckler could go off on a tangent or a million other things, and it will be on tape in the office forever. I could really use a break.

   This is what happens when a person has a job. Others call the shots. I’ve never enjoyed that, and I still don’t. The people here are very nice, and I have no complaints, but having to worry about using a joke in a certain situation is not what I want to do long term. This is a great opportunity to make some money and pay off bills. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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