The neighborhood acupuncturist told me today that I should be asleep by midnight and I'm already three minutes late, so this will be short. I went to Second City tonight with out-of-town friends and through the performance I was combing my hair with my fingers and coming out with strands. I formed them into a ball about the size of a jacks ball. We were sitting on the last rows so I don't think I was very distracting. Maybe I was. I'm sorry if I was. I laughed out loud once, during an otherwise dumb sketch about four Slovenians comprising that nation's army, which was helping the US in Iraq. Then a fifth fighter came on stage, and they all yelled, Surge! The American asked what his name was. Serge! he said.

A return to Vaudeville; well, I thought it was funny. The group swore too much. It annoys me when a comedian or troupe says something like "Motherfucker" and the audience laughs and laughs. First of all, it's amazing that those words are still taboo enough to make people laugh, nervously. Second of all, there's no cleverness involved, so I feel cheated. Any idiot can say "Fuck" in a crowded theatre. I've heard that comedians say when you bring out the dick jokes it means you're desperate. But the group didn't seem desperate. Just lazy, perhaps.

Of course the actors seemed young. Of course the performance made me want to take an improv class. I had a journalism grad student once who was training at Second City. She borrowed a grammar and style book and spilled orange juice on it. She'd had a difficult time figuring out where to go for grad school, so she called up the New York Times foreign desk and told the reporter who answered that she was thinking of Medill. Oh that's great, he said, I think Quebec is supposed to be beautiful.

The weird thing is that after hearing that, she came to Medill. She did buy me a new style book.