By Ex Fabula Blogger: Nathan Royster
Ex Fabula returned to the beautiful Times Cinema in Washington Heights West to bite into a night of Forbidden Fruit stories. Our fearless MC for the night, Megan McGee (aka MC McMegan, aka MC Gee), kicked off the night with an announcement about someone’s missing wallet and welcomed some fresh faces and voices to the Ex Fabula stage.
Our first storyteller of the night was Erica Davis. One Sunday morning, instead of going to church like the rest of us, Erica went to Alterra at the Lake to read a book with hope her baby would fall asleep. Two ladies came up and asked her a question: “Do you speak English?” When she answered, the pair persistently sought naming advice for their “crusty one-eyed poodle.” Erica offered up “One-Eyed Willy” to which the dog retorted by defecating inches from her quiche. One-Eyed Willy’s owners then have an intelligent conversation about the virtues of his business as an indication of his strong constitution. Erica wishes she would have just answered their initial inquiry of ability to speak English with, “No, I don’t.”
Andrew Steeves and Mark were BFFs since birth. They played video games together, went to the pool together, hung out with Helen together. And Mark was crazy for Helen. “It was like Mark was Harry,” Andrew explained, “and Helen was Hermione—if Hermione slept with a bunch of dudes.” When Andrew’s father hosted a little soirée, Andrew performed his filial obligations by serving drinks. Helen helped too, and at the end of the night they found themselves drunk-faced and kissing on the couch. He told Mark, and though Mark seemed cool with it at the time, things were never the same between them.
Dave Hendrickson’s story began when his grade-school teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said newspaper reporter. He meant Superman. Smart as he was, he knew to come out and say, “duh, I want to be Superman” would get him stuffed in a trashcan during recess. He knew he wasn’t as fast as a speeding bullet, or as strong as a locomotive, but there remained the small chance he could fly. He started jumping into his couch at home, taking bigger leaps, until he decided he was ready to fly over everyone during recess. He came to his senses and knew he could only be himself.
Mark Wein made it clear that when he grew up in Wisconsin Rapids during the 80s: parachute pants, Duran Duran, and Esprit shirts were the sheeeeet. Not only that, but Sunkist had just come to the market and he wanted a taste of that sodium bi-carbonated, high fructose, nectar of the Orange-Flavored Gods. His mom simply said “No.” Still, the next time at they were at the store he weighed his options of stealing a Sunkist. The most he had going on was playing outfield in baseball. But seeing how he hated the outfielder position, he jacked the soda. But when he cracked it open in the car in the store parking lot, his mom caught him. He didn’t play in the game that week.
Jeff Kannel lived in a two-street wide town called Elmo, Wisconsin. He and his friends went up into the hills to build a fort and eat apples from the trees that grew there. When they came down the hill the only cop in town was parked on the street waiting to get on their case for eating Mrs. Scon’s apples. Jeff ends his story with some sage wisdom: “Don’t talk to cops if you don’t have to.”
Redheaded Stuart Rudolph, convinced his brother he could grow his allowance risk free if he’d hand it over and let Stuart plant it in the yard. His dad found out and the money tree didn’t pan out. A while later, he got a new bike and discovered the freedom to go anywhere in the neighborhood. He stopped at the gas station for provisions on his long journey around the block. When caught shoplifting some gum, the gas station attendant threatened to call the cops unless he gives over his address and phone number. Later that night, Stuart’s mom got a phone call. “That’s weird,” she said after hanging up, “your friend’s mom just called me and told me her son got caught stealing gum, but the clerk who called her said he was a redhead”. Stuart lost interest in chewing gum for years.
Ever roleplayed? Jennifer Evenson and her boyfriend wanted to so they, after sweeping catholic guilt away for a short sabbatical, they set up roles. And they set up rules. Most importantly, they set up a safeword: rutabaga. After some “I don’t want to hurt you” indecisive gentleness from her boyfriend, he got into it and flipped her over on the bed. She bounced and hit him in the process. Somewhere, she heard a crack. When the attack didn’t continue, Jennifer looked behind her to see her boyfriend holding his bleeding nose. “Are you okay, honey?” she asked. And he responded, “I don’t want to play this anymore. Rutabaga, rutabaga.”
Mark Steidl’s friend has a bachelor party in Mammoth Cave to go on a spelunking tour for three hours. When Mark checks out the site it says that the “Wild Cave tour” they’re going on says all people on the tour have to be smaller than 42”–Mark’s chest is 49”. Scott tells him that they have to say that for liability reasons. They get to the cave and after a long time of squeezing under, and over, and through rocks, the bachelor party is guided to an area called the “fallopian tubes.” Of course, this is where Mark gets stuck. He pushes and pulls and exhales, but all 49” of chest (all muscle) won’t fit. The guide backs him out and they walk around the rock and join back with the group.
Martini expert, Linda Cieslik, tells how she can’t deal with sharp dressed women showing up at patio bistros and ordering beer. One night she spies a fancy hatted girl with a vibrant colored “girly drink” and tells her and her friends, “Real women drink gin. You must think of your reputation.” Her finer points of martini drinking are as follows:
- 1st Martini is for taste
- 2nd Martini is a window dressing
- 3rd Martinis should never happen unless there is a competent wait staff around to supply the drinker with plenty of bread.
Congratulations to Dave Hendrickson and Jennifer Evenson for their crown-winning stories. If you missed this show, fear not as there is one more show left in the season. It’s our All Star season finale, where the winners from all our Story Slams share new stories. Ex Fabula All Stars takes place Thursday May 16th at beautiful, sunny Turner Hall. The theme is Lost in Translation and you won’t want to miss it because Bill Murray* will be there! Thanks again to all our sponsors who make it possible for us to not only eat ramen, but to eat the expensive ramen with the two freeze-dried kernels of corn in it. Ex Fabula could not be what it is without the support of WMSE 91.7, WUWM 89.7, and YELP.com.
*Bill Murray will not be there