Is This Thing On?

Is This Thing On?

(Wacky Jim DuBose runs out on stage to polite applause.)

Thank you, Wilmington! Thanks so much for coming out! Yes, my name is Wacky Jim DuBose, you heard it right. Wow, what a gorgeous audience! Whoops, I was just looking at myself in the reflection on my glasses.

(Audience is silent.)

Uh-oh. Tough guys, huh? I dunno, you all look pretty wimpy to me. I think I could take you. Even the men in the crowd. Heck, I’ve seen ladies on the Chinese women’s Olympic swim team who look manlier than you jamokes!

(Audience is silent.)

Huh. Is this thing on?

(Audience titters.)

Hey, uh, Terry… this thing on?

(Audience chuckles.)

Lemme just… nope, that didn’t do it… seriously, is the mic on? Not a joke. Not part of the act.

(Audience laughs.)

Terry, can you — can you check the thing on the PA? Yeah, just flip it up and down. I don’t think I’m on over here.

(Audience is eating it up.)

Dammit… Terry, please. Terry, I’m dying here. I need this, Terry. Please, get this mic on… please…

(Audience roars its approval.)

I just need to know if this is on… I just — I just need to know. I need to know. I need it. I need to know if it’s on. I need it to be on. I need this. I need it, Terry. Please. I need it. I need this to be on. I need this.

(The audience is rolling in the aisles. It’s deafening.)

This was my last shot, Terry. If you can’t… if you can’t get my mic working, I’ll kill myself. I’m done, Terry. This is all I had left… I’m — I’m empty. There’s something in — in my head… my head is just — it’s just not working anymore… I hear… I hear them coming for me, in the dark…

(The laughter is cacophonous. Bill Cosby himself never got guffaws like these.)

I can’t take it, Terry. Am I on? Terry? Why are you just staring at me, Terry? Can’t you hear it? The wings… they’re coming for me. I’m dying out here. I’m dying. Dying. Oh, God help me… I’m dying.

(This is the funniest thing the audience has ever seen. They’re gasping for air, eyes bulging from their disgusting, screaming faces. The mic falls from Wacky Jim’s limp hand, and he trudges offstage, utterly defeated, body broken and bowed, his face the pallor of death itself.)


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