Dear Heckler

Dear Heckler,

Thank you for taking the time to write me. I assume this is in regard to your (birthday party/ bachelorette party/anniversary).

Yes, yes. I know. You didn’t do anything at all. No, I know. You were just laughing. I mean, is there a law against laughing?

And let me stop you. I must have singled you out. Just you, who were only sitting there laughing too loudly. I definitely didn’t need that laughter getting in my way.

I know. You do karaoke on Tuesdays down at the Thirty Pelican, so you get it. I mean we basically do the same thing.

My 19 years and way-more-than 10,000 hours of live entertainment and crowd psychology is pretty much a nickel’s difference from you belting out Black Velvet in a voice made of divorce and cigarette butts.

So sure, “artist to artist” you get me. You just can’t understand why I would single you out of the people in that room – all those people that would have taken your side if only I hadn’t brainwashed them.

You, the sickly victim in our tale, humiliated by me, a karaoke comic who would rather hurt the people enjoying him than let them have a good time. That’s completely logical.

You were only helping, I know. Mercifully, too, as there’s no way these jokes I wrote that have worked 999 times in a row were ever going to ring in a thousandth time. We needed you, Hero.

I don’t expect you to understand what a victory the night was despite your misfortune. You couldn’t possibly understand the art underneath it all. You think this looks easy only because I make it look that way.

You can’t wrap your self-absorbed skull around how difficult it is to verbally steer-wrestle a drunk to the ground while continuing to be entertaining to the rest of a paying crowd at the same time.

You don’t comprehend the glorious unity that exists when a mutual enemy is extinguished. We spend so many moments at the mercy of circumstances that we can’t do anything about – just subjected to other peoples’ noise. The kid in the grocery store that won’t stop screaming. The car that pulls up next to you at the light with their speakers rattling. The 8:00-am-on-a-Saturday weed eater guy.

And we can’t do anything about those things. We just have to suffer through them. Well, (tonight/last night/last week) you were that weed eater. And I could do something about it. And finally I did.

So complain until your eyes bleed. You are a part of one of our country’s biggest problems. You believe you matter more than other people. You believe that your voice deserves to be heard over all others, even in a place where 300 other people have already mutually chosen a speaker.

You are selfish, and the world needs less of you. You think that threatening to tell your story should scare me. I beg you to. The best thing that could happen is for you to be successful in your endeavor. Some comic deserves to be famous for ACTUALLY destroying a real heckler without baiting them relentlessly first.

And if it is enough, in fact, to make you refuse “to ever go to another comedy show again in your life!” then I have done the greatest service of all and humbly accept my sainthood.

It’s Slade with a D, by the way.

I want it spelled right on Yelp.

And to be clear, don’t ever come back.

-sh

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