Yesterday I had two stunning blondes on my tour bus. One was a bit older than the other, but boy, did they love each other! They were holding hands, snuggling, and at one point the older one kissed the younger one on the cheek.
During a stop I had a moment for a private conversation with them. I asked if they were enjoying San Francisco.. “Yes, it’s beautiful!” I asked where they were from.. “Santa Barbara.” Then I asked if they were partners, as in, you know, TOGETHER. The look I got told me everything I needed in the split second before the younger one spoke..
“Dude, this is my MOM.”
The mom still tipped me a ten when they got off a few stops later, but only because I was sobbing like a jilted lover. I think she was actually complimented when she realized that I was insinuating that she could be her daughter’s lover, which isn’t so creepy if you don’t know they’re mother and daughter, which I didn’t, so the question was really quite innocent. Sort of.
I hadn’t thought about it in years, but this faux pas took me back to a previous faux pas I’d committed when I was a mime performing at Seaworld down there in San Diego. I used to have this bit where I’d pick a couple of young lovers out of the audience and have them stand up. Then I’d have them hold hands. Then I’d take the black cape I wore for every show and spin it around so that it was over my chest and torso, which made it look like a clerical robe and collar, making me an instant “mime of the cloth.” Then I’d mime-marry them.
This was all done with very specific gestures that are difficult to describe, but the audience would catch on quickly and at the end of it, after pronouncing the lucky couple “man and wife” (in mime.. again, hard to describe), I’d have them kiss. Almost every time the couple would kiss, the audience would laugh and applaud their approval, and I’d bounce on to the next routine.
I said almost every time, because there was that performance during the summer of 1988 when I picked a couple who were already holding hands, and I had them stand up. What could go wrong? Sure, he looked to be a bit old for her but when I met Dorian the following year we started going out despite our 9.5 year gap. So I thought nothing of it.
But.. I should have.
These two played along with smiles but only because they hadn’t realized yet where I was going with the routine. It started to sink in when I spun the cape around to mimic a clerical robe and I mimed holding a bible, which I “read from” while gesturing “do you take this man, etc..” Their expressions went from smiling to raised eyebrows.
Then, at the gesture of the kiss, her face lit up but not in a good way.. “DUDE! THIS IS MY DAD!”
This was twenty-six years ago, yet I still have their faces seared into my brain as if a hot poker branded me with shame. I’m sure they have family get-togethers once in a while where she and her husband visit her parents, and her kids are there, and she says, “Hey dad, remember that time at Seaworld when I was in high school and that idiotic mime tried to marry us?”
Then everyone has a good laugh, including her older daughter, but her youngest daughter is only about six so she goes, “EWWW! You were going to marry gampah?” Then the adults explain to her, “No honey, it was just a silly clown-man who thought your mommy was dating gampah!” EWWW!!!
So now the mom and daughter from the bus yesterday have a good story to tell when they get home to Santa Barbara. The daughter will likely have her own in a few years and she’ll tell them the story of the silly man on the bus and they’ll go “EWWW!!”
Because that’s what I do. I give people stories to tell when they get home, and sometimes, it’s NOT ON PURPOSE.