Lord, I’m On Their Side Now


On Saturday night, we (that’s the Royal We) went to see Mike Birbiglia at The Vic Theater, here in Chicago. For the uninitiated, you poor souls, Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, more of the storytelling style than the straight-up observational or one-liner variety. He’s pretty brilliant at it, so brilliant that the fact that he’s only 31 makes me want to die. He’s also recently been featured on This American Life quite a bit which also makes me want to die. (In a good, Rachel Zoe kind of way. And I swear, that’s the last time I’ll mention Rachel Zoe ever, I promise.)

The most interesting part of the evening, however, came in the form of my reaction to an older couple (we’re talking late ’60s) who sat next to us. First of all, the woman told her husband, who was so excited about the show, “Ok, you need to calm down” as she left to get a cocktail and I loved them immediately, that’s all it took. I’m easy that way.

Then, the show started. Opening act, nothing big going on. Then, Birbiglia comes out and the twentysomething girl directly in front of us whips out her camera. Ok, fine. Take a picture of the guy doing stand-up. I don’t care.

Until the third photo. And the fourth. And the fifth. I can’t even pay attention to the guy because of all the flashing. I start to feel anger in the belly region. This is the first ticket I’ve doled out good money for in MONTHS, if not a year, and I was missing it because this girl needed to create an animated flip-book of a guy who was doing nothing more than standing with a microphone. How many pictures do you need for your Facebook page? HOW MANY?

Suddenly, I hear the couple next to me shift. I see the man mutter something. I see the woman mutter something. The girl raised her camera again and the woman leans forward and asks her politely to knock it off.

I love them.

So, the girl tries to take a photo again. This time not lifting it as high. Yeeeah, we can still see the flash, honey. That was slick though.

The man throws up his hands. “Are you kidding me with this?” And this time the woman leans forward and snaps at the girl to, seriously, stop taking pictures. The girl is all huffy about it. And all I can think is, I’m on their side now.

And that everyone I know should see this guy live.

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