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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Your Greater-Than-Average Joe

I mentioned recently that I’ve graduated to the next level of sketch writing class over at ImprovBoston.

(Where by “graduated”, I mean “paid for another class that they had enough students to run this session”. I’m pretty certain aptitude has nothing to do with moving forward.

No, really. Have a look at the stuff from my last class, and you tell me. I’m thinking a valid credit card and a working pulse are all it takes.

Pulse optional.)

“What happened in between? Magic? Alcohol? A barely-noticeable lobotomy?”

As before, classes run on Saturdays. Today was the second class — which means the first writing assignment turned in. Which also means that I don’t have to do any work around here today. I just have to cut and paste. Awesome.

I will say, by way of explanation, that we were tasked with writing a “fish out of water” sketch this time around — a bit about someone who doesn’t quite belong. So that’s what I went for. Also, there’s gunfire. And horses. And crazy silk shirts.

It was originally going to be about a professional Yahtzee coach teaching a bunch of samurais about martial art strategy. What happened in between? Magic? Alcohol? A barely-noticeable lobotomy?

I’ve got no idea. It’s just another week in sketch class. God, I’ve missed this. Happy weekend, kids.


[MARK and WENDY sit on one side of a small table. JOE, a tall husky man dressed in shorts and a brightly-colored silk shirt, approaches the other side of the table.]

MARK: Joe, I’m sorry. We need you to leave the training center.

JOE: Leave? I’ve only been here three days!

MARK: We know, Joe. But you have to go. Really.

JOE: But this is my dream. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.

WENDY: We’re sorry, Joe. Very sorry. But–

MARK: It’s just not in the cards. You understand.

JOE: Is it my work? Because I’m trying really hard.

MARK: It’s not that. We…

WENDY: We love your energy.

MARK: Yes. Tremendous energy. And that’s super. But–

JOE: Did I say something wrong? Are you mad at me?

MARK: No, no. Everybody likes you, Joe. We all like you. It’s just–

JOE: What? Was my shirt untucked? Did I snore? What?

WENDY: Joe, you’re… you’re too big to be a horse jockey.

JOE: But I’m only nine and a half. Jose is, like, thirty. And Ricardo has kids older than me!

MARK: No, Joe — not too old. Too big.

WENDY: Haven’t you noticed you’re… ‘different’ from the other jockeys here?

JOE: Well, sure. They’re older. And they have mustaches. And they speak Guatemalan.

WENDY: They’re also smaller.

MARK: Much, much smaller.

JOE: I just thought they didn’t eat their vegetables. I could stop eating my vegetables.

MARK: I’m not sure cutting out broccoli is going to do the trick, there, champ.

JOE: Well, Mommy always says that “size doesn’t matter”.

MARK: And that’s usually true.

WENDY: No. Not really.

MARK: The point is, Joe, the horses can’t hold you. You’re breaking them.

JOE: Cowboys in the movies break horses all the time.

MARK: Yes, but cowboys break their spirits. You’re severing their spinal cords.

JOE: Same difference.

MARK: Not exactly. Wendy’s had to shoot more horses since you got here than in the last five years.

WENDY: Joe, we’re running out of horses.

MARK: And we’re all getting tired of meatloaf in the cafeteria. So we’re very sorry, Joe, but we’ve got to send you back.

JOE: But I’m signed up for two weeks.

WENDY: We know. We remember the deal with the Make-A-Wish people.

MARK: It’s just not possible.

WENDY: And Joe, it’s not your fault. If they’d told us you had “special size needs”, we could have made arrangements.

MARK: Like renting a really fast hippopotamus.

WENDY: Or shaving a water buffalo to look like a horse. But our hands are tied now. We’re sorry, Joe.

JOE: No. I can’t quit now. I won’t. I know I can be a jockey. I’m going to take Bessie there around the track and prove it to you!

[Joe runs offstage.]

JOE: [offstage] Hi ho, Bessie!

[A loud frightened whinny is heard, than an awful crack, and horrible moaning horse noises. The moaning fades as Joe walks back onstage to the table.]

JOE: Well, maybe I could-

[A loud horse moan offstage cuts Joe off. Wendy stands and fires a rifle in the direction of the sound. The moan stops. Wendy sits.]

JOE: How about if-

[Another moan cuts him off. Wendy stands and fires three quick shots offstage, then a fourth for good measure.]

JOE: You know… [He looks over his shoulder anticipating another moan, but none comes.] I always kinda wanted to be a ballerina.

[Mark and Wendy exchange a glance, then shrug.]

MARK: Come on, kid. We’ll make some phone calls.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Your Greater-Than-Average Joe”

  1. ema says:

    renting the hippo was my favorite, just to try to post a new comment

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