Trigger Warning

“Oh do you need a TRIGGER WARNING???”

“Yeah. I have PTSD and graphic discussions of assault often cause me to have flashbacks, panic attacks, dissociative episodes, my heart rate jumps and sometimes I can’t get it to go down for hours, and I have these overwhelming waves of fear and this fatigue, not a sleepiness, I mean I feel sleepy but like my body shuts down but I can’t sleep, I just have to be awake while this thing happens to me sometimes all day or for the rest of the week. I’ve missed work, struggled to make appointments, lost friendships and relationships, sometimes I can’t leave the house. I went 3 years without being able to cry and then I just started bawling at a scene in White Fang. It’s the one where the guy tells his wolf to leave because he’s going to San Francisco and he can’t bring a wolf to San Francisco (San Francisco is no place for a wolf). He yells at White Fang to go and he doesn’t understand, he’s a wolf. So he picks up a stick and White Fang fears sticks cuz he was held captive in a dog fighting ring and the handlers would hit his cage with a stick, so the guy’s trying to get him to leave, tears in his eyes, triggering the wolf’s PTSD, just yelling at his best friend who can’t understand what’s going on, he’s a wolf. So, I’m in therapy, like aggressive therapy where I have to keep reliving the event and writing about it to change my mind and body’s response to thoughts about the episode. And I meditate, and I exercise, and I have all these things that I do to work through this PTSD. But sometimes you can’t just walk into the fire because you have to go to work and you can’t be at work on fire, they’ll fire you. You’re right though, millenials are a bunch of whiny PC bitches. Anyway, sorry for inconveniencing you. I can tell you’re pretty sensitive about it.”

The Vets

I just remembered awhile back I did a set for a bunch of crusty old veterans in the Sacramento area and I opened by not telling them I was a veteran, instead I said “Give it up for the comedians! The real heroes!” and I asked how many murderers were in the room.

The vets loved me and their wives hated me. (But they all loved my jokes about bad VA health care.)

Also the magician headlining tried to get the host to light me early. Yes, he tried to get me, a VETERAN among his own people, off the stage early, any time something I said wasn’t met with uproarious approval, because he was scared he’d go up and have to win a crowd with his hack garbage.

The night did reinforce the difference between anti-war San Francisco vets and pro-war, look-at-my-medals, I-still-matter, middle-California vets. I can handle both crowds and I love and empathize with both crowds but they’re not the same.

Anyway, this is one of the many times that someone has wanted me off the stage early on the same night that several people approached me afterwards to tell me how much they loved me. Fuck your safe, frictionless comedy.

People who’ve been to war can take a joke.