The time: New Year’s Eve.
The place: The 7:30 ComedySportz match at the Athenaeum.
The plot: Our stage manager, Denise, hands over a note from a Loyal Fan (we’ll call him Man on Knee) who would like us to pull his girlfriend (we’ll call her Lucky Lady) up on stage. The instructions are for us to “give her a hard time.”
(Now this happens a lot at ComedySportz matches. Folks will call in and tell us, “It’s _____’s birthday. Make sure you give him a hard time.” We’ll do our best to either point out the celebration, sing a birthday song, and sometimes pull a volunteer onto the field to participate in a game. But rarely do we give people a hard time. We want them to be comfy.)
But then came further intentions from Denise and Tracy, who took the note in the first place: Man on Knee wanted to propose to Lucky Lady. So we were not only encouraged to give her a hard time, but we had to get them both up on the field so he could propose in front of 200 people. Would we do it? Of course! Challenge accepted.
So as a group, we decided to play the game of Casanova. It works like this: audience volunteers sit center stage, with the red team lined up on one side of them, and the blue team lined up on the other. Each team then delivers a pick-up line based on an audience suggestion, one word at a time. (Example. Suggestion is Play-Doh. Red team delivers: “Go. Ahead. Baby. Make. My. Clay.” Blue team delivers: “Girl. I. Am. Putty. In. Your. Hands.”) Then the volunteers choose which team was more convincing. Ref Rick planned to ask for a couple from the audience who would be willing to play a game up on stage. We devised a plan to play a few rounds, and then on round three, either Todd or I (the captains) would challenge Man on Knee to do a better job of “picking up” Lucky Lady, and that would be Man on Knee’s cue to sweep Lady off her feet into Forever Land.
The problem: we didn’t know what Man on Knee or Lucky Lady looked like; we only knew their table number. Luckily, their table was down front. Unluckily, there were two couples sitting at the table. Hmm. Okay then, since Man on Knee is in on this, he should kinda take the lead and volunteer himself and his Lucky Lady, right? Right? Well…
The time for the game arrived. Ref Rick planted himself close to the table in question, and asked for a couple. Table 7 didn’t make a peep. A few people in the back of the room raised their hands, but NO! We couldn’t pick those people! Rick asked again. Silence. It was getting weird. One of the young women at the table pointed out the couple sitting with her. Great! I jumped on it and said, “Oh, this woman is pointing out this couple.” We all assumed that she had pointed out the soon-to-be-engaged couple!
They come up on stage, sit down, and introduce themselves. Their names are not Man on Knee and Lucky Lady.
And time stops for a moment when all eight players and one ref silently realize that this is not the couple. Lucky Lady, having no idea what was going on, volunteered her friends! We CSzers, having no idea what was going on, assumed that these were the right people! We then commenced to talking to each other, out of the sides of our mouths, lips barely moving, “This isn’t the couple. Wrong people. What do we do?” all the while laughing and joking with the WRONG COUPLE.
Ref Rick played it cool. He played a few rounds with the couple onstage, then announced, “And now let’s get another couple!” He ushered the wrong ones off, and he basically demanded the other couple from Table 7 join us onstage. We breathed a sigh of relief. This was the right couple! We played a couple of rounds, and after a few jokes, Todd challenged Man on Knee accordingly…
….and then waited….
Finally, Man on Knee asked for Todd’s gold jacket. Todd gave it up to him. I took off my gold spangled sweater and gave it to Lucky Lady. And after pacing a bit, Man on Knee got down on said knee and pulled out a ring. Lucky Lady was completely blindsided. She said yes with no hesitation. And the place went nuts.
Hard time? Ha. More like fantastic time. Happy New Year, everyone!