A man, on a quest for Truth, hears of a wise man on a mountain who has discovered the meaning of life. He embarks on a long quest to meet this wise man. The climb is arduous and he nearly dies, again and again, before finally reaching the summit. He stumbles to the wise man’s feet and pleads, “Please.. tell me, what is the meaning of life?”

The wise man smiles benevolently . “Life…. is a fountain.”

“Life is a fountain?!”

The wise man’s smile fades. “…. Isn’t it?”


Ah, summer is here. We’ve already had much better weather than all of last summer and I hope writing this doesn’t jinx it. Our evil fashion overlords have decided that bras are still out, tight and often transparent clothing is still in, as is the early 2000s with midriff-baring tops, low-rise jeans and exposed thongs. I live in Sweden. Several times a day, I’m reminded of Sam Kinison, screaming at God, “You’re CRUEL! YOU’RE A CRUEL BASTARD SOMETIMES!”

I’ve been extremely focused on my job, with the end of my probation only a few weeks away. I live in a constant state of bemusement over the fact that I somehow enjoy working in customer service again. Sure, I’ve met a few assholes, but not enough to bring my mood down. Also, somehow, I often speak Swedish and customers rarely respond in English or even look at me funny. Which is great, except when I meet Norwegians and they assume I can easily understand them. [Editor’s Note: For my American readers, neither Norwegians nor Swedes speak Swiss.]

As per summer usual, my motivation for standup has dropped to near non-existence. I had one gig booked in June but, when choosing between an unpaid set in front of a small crowd or an evening with family at home, which is becoming increasingly rare, I chose the latter. I’ve got a gig in October for which I was very pleased and equally surprised to be offered, otherwise nothing planned at all.

Not there are many clubs open just now, not that they’d have me if they were. I’ve remarked before that my grinding days are long behind me. My social media fast continues, with me signing in just once a week to post blog updates, making me virtually invisible. The idea of grinding again feels just as unappealing as the idea of quitting altogether, which means I’m still in a limbo between states. As my only ambition has been to perform as often as possible in as many clubs as possible, I’m unhappy with my limited opportunities yet unwilling to do anything about it.

I have the same attitude about opening a new club. I told someone recently that, when I moved to Sweden, I put my dog Buddy up for adoption, and I miss that dog but I don’t miss being a dog owner. In much the same way, I miss Power Comedy Club, more from when we were at Brother Tuck, but I don’t miss owning a club. I recently considered opening a club where I pay others to host and then immediately wondered why I would even bother having a club. How I could even mange to run a weekly club when my job schedule isn’t consistent and I have no interest in running a club with partners again.

With my motivation so low, my passion for standup matches it. I see other comics touring Sweden and I wonder why, as, from what I’ve heard, it certainly isn’t lucrative. Feels like the only demand for comic tours are from the comics themselves, who had to endure the pandemic and lack of attention. I see much less of it on social media now, since I’m barely on, but when I do see someone post, “OMG I just hosted a show for forty people and I love my life!” I wonder why they’re so enthusiastic.

I guess what I keep coming back to is being of two minds, having opposite yet equal views again and again. I listen often to Joe Rogan’s podcast, despite turning it off out of disgust and/or boredom just as often. The episodes I enjoy most have comics as guests, though I rarely think those comics are funny on stage. I find it reassuring when they mention some drama or another and I think, oh that’s nice, petty bullshit happens on all levels.

During a recent “Protect Our Parks” episode, Rogan and his comic guests, not one of whom I enjoy, talked about their fellow open micers who didn’t make it. By the way and speaking of being of two minds, while I dislike gossip I can’t help but enjoy knowing shit like, for example, being acquainted with someone who slept with one of those comics. Hey, I’m only human, and I run in weird circles. I know someone who slept with Fabio, for crying out loud. But I digress.

What I was trying to get at was, when they talked about the people who quit while they were still rookies, they said those people were universally happy. I encountered the same when I interviewed people for my podcast, that had either quit completely or had gone from performing several times a week to performing a few times a year. No one missed the grind, no one wondered, what if. Maybe it’s like a relationship when the passion is gone, you might miss the intense early days but have zero regrets about calling it quits.

Again, the idea of quitting entirely doesn’t appeal to me, but I’m so tired of being on the fence. This whole, maybe I’ll start a club again, maybe I’ll try to grind again, maybe I’ll get my pod going again, it’s just as boring to me as it must be to anyone that’s been paying attention to me lately. I have a wealth of topics in my head I’d love to express on stage, but a famine of material; even in my head I feel like a TedTalk lecturer.

The biggest de-motivator for me is the community itself, the whining, the aforementioned drama. I try to ignore them, talk to the Lord, pray for them, because some fools just love to perform. You know the type, loud as a motorbike, but wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight. I want to be Zen and let people get away with nonsense, but that’s always been a challenge for me. Time I could spend thinking of material, I waste on imagined conversations that will never happen.

Or, worse, I’ll think of material I can never use. If I ever quit comedy- and also leave the country- I’ll first do a massive roast. They say you only roast the ones you love, that there needs to be heart in every joke, but I’ve found that purely evil roast jokes make me laugh the hardest. Just frustrating that the best jokes I think of now, I’m the only one that will ever hear them. Unless we’ve had a few beers and you promise not to tell, of course. And then you’ll tell and I’ll get fresh beef.

As I see it, I’ve got three choices. Accept the way things are and have been for nearly, holy shit, five years. Where does the time go? Start grinding again. Go to clubs when I’m not booked and nag club owners and post regularly on social media… I got tired just typing that sentence. Quit. Nope, too spiteful to myself and others for that.

So I’m off to enjoy my summer and think about shitting or getting off the pot. Thanks as always for your support and don’t worry/get your hopes up, because you’ll be hearing from me again. In some form or another.