Games We Aren’t Playing

I’ve been beaten in every comedy contest I’ve ever entered. I think the highest I’ve ever placed is third. It used to discourage me. How could I, this guy who can crush for an hour on stage, lose to a handful of young open mikers?

We’re all like that, aren’t we? I mean, measuring ourselves against yardsticks that really don’t apply. Of course I lost in a contest made up of seven minute sets. I don’t ever have to do them. My competition on the other hand? They did nothing but short sets.

It’s like watching a shark enter a hot dog eating contest at a state fair. Just because the shark is an apex predator in its environment doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any good when it comes to hot dogs. When you remove the things that make a shark a shark from the equation and put its food on a plate… when you remove its ability to do what it does – swim, hunt, kill – it really doesn’t matter that the shark is good at eating stuff. It’s not going to win. There’s always some little Asian kid that sits around and eats hot dogs all day.

Before we get upset at our own shortcomings, it’s important to make sure we’re not mad about losing at a game we aren’t even really playing.

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