It began as usual. With the first storyteller a man named Bill, who is a seasoned story slammer, I knew we’d be off to a good start. Halfway through his story, a drunk man in the corner began mumbling to himself, and when Bill paused his story to ask if he was okay, the man stood up and barged out of the room while hurling a non-stop barrage of expletives at Bill. After which Bill sighed and said, “Yeah I remember my first beer,” which triggered a substantial round of laughter from the crowd. After this, I knew I was in for quite the night.
Story Slam is a relatively new event for me. I went for the first time on October 20 of last year and instantly fell in love with the event (read all about my experience at: http://kjhk.org/web/2017/10/26/lac-story-slam-review/). In a nutshell, the event usually lasts from one to two hours, and it consists of people taking turns on a microphone to tell a story. Typically the stories are true personal stories, and they are supposed to fit loosely with the theme of the night. The theme for this slam was “Exhaustion.”
Bill’s story, which consisted of him yelling quotes from a pornographic film called Debbie Does Dallas in a crowded room full of conservative Christians, was followed by around 8 stories. All of them were good, but my personal favorite was the final story, told by the host, in which he and his wife go on a “baby-moon” to Ireland (I think). The story consisted of him being kept awake all night on a plane ride by the passenger next to him, his wife forgetting who he was, and him trying to talk to a man with a very thick accent who had recently suffered a stroke, thus making him that much harder to understand.
Close behind that was a funny yet touching story told by a man who had finished up a twenty-four hour shift at the hospital only to stay another three hours to sit with a nervous and embarrassed patient as she waited for surgery. Another memorable one was told by a woman with OCD, where she discussed her daily routines and how she overcame the intense anxiety she experienced on a near-constant basis.
Overall, I think this was an exceptionally good Story Slam. The stories were all good, and the unusual beginning made it all the more memorable. The next event takes place at the Lawrence Arts Center on Friday, March 9th at 7:00 pm. If you want to wind down after a stressful week, I highly recommend you stop by!