9:00 o’clock, on the dot. Hmm, where have I heard that line before? Well anyway, I was actually the first one to arrive at Laffline, a comedy bar, at Timog Avenue. I waited outside, and since I was the only one standing outside aside from the bouncers, I felt quite awkward and felt that the bouncers and the passersby were looking at me, so I decided to walk around a bit, so as to appear less conspicuous.
After some time, I just went inside and see if anyone is already there. Unfortunately, the place is practically bare and I don’t see any classmates of mine. As I waited, I was worried that maybe only a handful would come, and I would be alone in a new environment. Yes, it was my first time entering a bar, since I was not yet of legal age and all. Actually, I was wondering why no one bothered asking me of my age when I entered. Normally, people would not be comfortable when they are not in their “comfort zone,” and especially around at that time, when the city becomes a playground for the bad elements. Luckily, just before the show started, a lot of my classmates suddenly appeared, and we sat together. When the show started, I saw that the place was probably only around one-fourth filled.
So, the performers were one by one appearing onstage. But … wait a second. Am I mistaken? Was this a gay bar? Was the ‘comedy bar’ just a guise for a gay bar? Clearly, my ignorance (or is it innocence?) is showing. Let us see, in gay bars, are the performers supposed to be gays, or are gays their target customers? Ah, whatever. Either way, any of the two would be a new experience for me, so I didn’t think of it too much.
Not to be sexist and all, but almost all (precisely five out of six) of them are obviously gay. The other one though, appears to be a female … or is it? When she first appeared and sang, I recognized her to be a female. But upon closer inspection, I see some male attributes, like a thick prominent jaw line, and as the show went on, I heard that some of the other performers could convincingly do a female voice. In the end, I wasn’t able to conclude her gender, but it doesn’t really matter, since I see any and every gender to be equal, as long as she could do her job as an entertainer of the comedy bar.
As the show went on, it seems that all the jokes they did was insult, obscene (or green), and sometimes even both. Personally, I was expecting more from them. I was expecting the performers to give more witty jokes, and keep these kinds of jokes at a minimum, like those comics I saw in glimpses in the show “Last Comic Standing”. I guess I shouldn’t complain since they would probably charge us more if they had that kind of comedians.
Actually, their jokes bear resemblance to the casual conversations of my classmates before in high school. The jokes seems to be impromptu, and my classmates and these performers usually tease people, but I know that they are just joking, and sometimes a green joke is thrown in from time to time. But in this case, seventy to eighty percent of the performers’ jokes are green, some are even as blatant as it could ever be. What’s up with that? I suppose this is one of the easier ways to excite and make the audience laugh. It turns out, after just around an hour, the place was already a full house, filled with couples, barkadas, college students, families (yes, there are some), and many more. So, maybe they are kind of obligated to make everyone happy, since the place is a comedy bar, which is also probably why they would play it safe, so as to bring in the crowds. I suppose with this, everyone would be able to relate to their jokes, may they be locals, balikbayans, college students, white-collared people, or maybe even those people positioned high in the social ladder.
Even though it is preferable to hear wittier jokes, I am not complaining. Sometimes, it is better to deviate from the usual life and to have a variance of experience. My classmates could also do what they do, but not to that degree. In the case of the other audience though, they probably wanted to deviate from the gruelling demands of the world, just to have fun, or maybe some have also the same reason with me, and try experience it even if it is just for a short moment.
I’m not sure for the others, but I actually quite enjoyed the experience myself. I know that others might not like the insulting jokes they make, but even if I would be the “victim” of the performers, I wouldn’t mind, and I would just play along, since I’m pretty sure they only did, say, and meant that in a light and inoffensive manner. As we were already departing, everyone had to pay for the order of beers and some food. I also paid my, “share,” but actually, I didn’t even get to drink a single drop of beer that night, but that’s alright. I guess that was also my fault, since when one goes to a bar, one does not simply enter and not drink alcohol at all. Funny; even if I have finally entered a bar, I have yet to truly experience the spirit of the bar. Oh well, I guess this could give me more reason to go back, or see what other kind of bars have to offer; or maybe even gay bars.
Angelo Chan Pinco 110828 Sa21 – J