Procrastination Heaven

I just looked at my last posting date.  August.  What’s wrong with me?  Am I the World’s Greatest Procrastinator?  The World’s most forgetful blogger?  The World’s most indifferent typist?

It’s hard to say.  Maybe I just feel like there’s so much more to blogging than I’m aware of.  Maybe the rest of life keeps getting in the way and blogging actually turns out to be 57th on my priority list.  Like a delicious, but expensive Heinz brand.  Something I want to have, but don’t get frequently.

Maybe I’m just concerned the topics are uninteresting.  What do people want to read about these days?  Is it why I don’t blog?  Probably not.  Maybe that’s where my initial research should begin.

I have a new plan where I start blogging joke origins.  Joke evolutions.  Jokes and how they’ve developed over the years.  You hear me tell a joke and normally it’s polished, but they weren’t all that way.

Or would you rather hear funny stories about my childhood?  Or being on the road?  Doesn’t everyone do that?  At least, with their own childhoods?  I imagine no one is blogging mine at this point.  I can’t afford a biographer yet.

I’ll work on it.  Until then, enjoy this sample of what I hope will be a more frequent look into me.

Let’s defeat sleep

Science has come quite a long way in the few years that I’ve been alive.  Vaccines, antibiotics, sequencing the human genome.  Major research to help cure AIDS and cancer.  (Should I capitalize Cancer?)  Prosthetic limbs, medicines, so much new and on the horizon.

But where is the research that will help us need less sleep?  I’m always finding there’s not enough time in the day to get all the things accomplished that I need to.  Day after day I find sleep terribly inconvenient.  All those quiet hours wasted.  Time I could be using to write.  Time to grade papers.  Time to read.  Time to do the taxes.  Time to organize.  Time to do many things.

I get that the human body needs sleep.  I’ve seen and read articles about sleep deprivation and what it does to the body.  But can’t science figure out how to chemically give the body the rest it needs?

How much more productive would society be as a whole when the need for sleep subsides?  How many more things get done?  How many more inventions are created?  How much progress results?

I’m drowsy.  I know caffeine helps that.  I know “5-hour energy” helps that.  There’s got to be something out there that permanently helps.

People always say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  I totally understand that.  But what if they would start saying, “I’ll sleep when I feel like I might want to have a dream about something,” or, “I’ll sleep at time permits and the urge arises.”  If I didn’t need sleep right now, maybe I’d have something cleverer to say.

I know dreaming is important for something or other.  I know sleep is necessary.  I just think it’s probably time to start looking into that.  Maybe I’ll start looking into it.  After all, I could use the money.   How filthy rich is the person who defeats sleep going to be?  Seriously.

And how nice would it be for the nocturnal animals to have more company at night?  Traveling on the highways would be less crowded during rush hour because many people wouldn’t work during the day.  They’d go to the beach and work at night since sleep would be optional.  Tourism would increase.  Why has no one thought of this?

Could we eliminate war?  Who wants to fight a war against an enemy that constantly attacks?  If we didn’t need rest, maybe we wouldn’t be so angry has a human race and peace talks might result.  And they could be at 2am when it wasn’t 110 degrees in the Arabian Desert.

I might be a genius.  Or just really tired.

A lesson in etiquette…or what happened at the second show.

Your patience has been rewarded.  It’s time for a rundown of the second show in Johnson City, TN, last night.  For those who missed the recap of show #1, scroll further down.  You’re looking for the next post.

There were three shows this weekend in Johnson City.  The first two were poorly attended, at least by the suggested standards.  Perhaps some of that was summer.  Perhaps some of that was it was such a beautiful day and people wanted to be outside.  Either way, the second Saturday show started with such promise.  There were as many people watching this show than the other two combined!  Things were looking up.

The emcee did fifteen minutes and several times during his set, a very drunk man at the bar yelled things.  Most were indecipherable slurs.  He had been drinking since 2pm.  Each time he would yell something, he would then go back to staring at his beer.

Quick note.  I know most of the extra details of this story because I was standing next to the manager and the drunk’s wife and overheard their conversation while the headliner was on stage.

It was the drunk’s wife’s 40th birthday.  How do I know that?  It was one of the few things he yelled coherently, unfortunately for her.  After all, what woman doesn’t want her man to shout that she just hit the big 4-0?  Answer:  All of them.

Soon, it was my turn on stage.  Things were grand.  Then from out of nowhere, the drunk yells, “You suck!”  Classic drunk heckle.  According to his wife, the man thought he was helping the show.  He thinks that the comics want people to yell things and interact with the audience.  He thinks this makes for a better show!  Of course!

Well, that guy is wrong.  Incredibly wrong.  If you’re a comic reading this, or any person of reasonable intelligence, you already know that.  But let me just give a quick etiquette lesson for those who don’t qualify for either of those.

It is never appropriate behavior to shout unsolicited comments to a stand-up comedian during a performance.  End of lesson.  I don’t mean to condescend.  After all, most of you reading this probably already knew this gem.  I’m just angry and frustrated that nothing was done about this from the part of the management.  This man should have been talked to during the emcee’s set and/or maybe even thrown out at some point.

What did I do?  You might ask.  I reassured the drunk man that I didn’t suck.  Many of the audience verbally agreed.  I even took a vote.  I said, “All those that think I suck, raise your hand.”  Guess how many hands went up!  Go on, guess!

None.  That’s right.  Zero.  I was confused.  I told the audience that I thought there would be at least one hand.  Didn’t you think so?  Turns out the man was so drunk, he wasn’t even paying attention.  Just randomly yelling.  Classy.  His mom must be so proud.  I wonder if he knew where he was.  I’m sure he didn’t.  Why?

I went upstairs during the headliner’s set for a bit and when I came back down, the drunk was waiting to get on the elevator.  The show hadn’t ended yet.  Do you know what he said to me?  Nothing.  He didn’t even recognize me.  I’m surprised he didn’t throw up on me the way he looked.  I imagine he’s probably still wandering around that hotel trying to figure out which room was his.

When I returned to the club, the wife was in the hall talking with the manager.  The headliner was still on stage.  She was explaining how they “didn’t think they were loud” and how they “come here all the time.”  Ridiculous.  I’m pretty sure they left on their own accord and not because they were asked, but I don’t have proof of that.  This isn’t how things should be.

The moral of the story is:  If you’re going to a live performance of any kind, act appropriately for that situation/venue.  Feel free to share this with everyone you know or are internet friends with so that comedy shows can improve on the whole.  Thank you.



Fight fire with fire.

Tonight something happened to me during a comedy show that hasn’t before.  As most of you know, I’ve been around a while.  I’ve seen lots of things.  I’ve been many places.  Some I wish I hadn’t.  But tonight, in Johnson City, TN, something new occurred.

I was on stage about 5 minutes into my set when down the hall at the Holiday Inn, the Happy Valley High School (not making that up, see photo) 30th class reunion got to the portion of their program where the band started playing.  Their banquet room was barely 50 feet from us, and there were glass doors on our restaurant-turned-club.  Their doors were open.  The bass beats came into the room and I could feel them on the stage.  And the band wasn’t good.  I suspect it was members of the class of 1982 who always dreamed of this moment.

What to do?!?  I know you’re thinking what I’m thinking.  The easiest solution of all.  Nicely ask the people to turn their music down and close their doors.  But what happened instead?  Any guesses?

A waitress came over and turned my microphone volume up.

Take a moment and let that sink in.  Fight fire with fire!  Let’s have the comic’s voice be louder than the music!  Genius!

Only it wasn’t genius.  It was annoying.  And too loud.  And it didn’t work.  And I feel bad for the 17 people who were at the show.

You read that right.  Seventeen.  Like the magazine.

My conservative guess of the number of people at the reunion?  I don’t have to guess.  I went and counted after my set.  (See picture).  31.  So naturally it makes sense that since they had almost twice as many, we shouldn’t inconvenience them.

Oh, and let’s not get started on the second show.  Yes, there was a second show.  The reunion was over (or just very lame, either way it was quiet by then.)  But the drunk guy at the bar, he was a treat. That story may one day find its way here.

Until then, remember the moral:  Never do comedy in Johnson City.


You had 18 years!

So I’m driving through Indianapolis and I get behind a white Ford Bronco.  Now, if you’re as old as I am or at least close, when I say the words “white Ford Bronco” your memory streams back to 1994 when the World’s most famous white Ford Bronco made its debut.

The one to which I refer (note the correct English there) is the one driven by Al Cowlings as he toted OJ Simpson around the freeway system of Los Angeles on June 17, 1994.  They were running from the police as OJ was suspected of a double murder.

I remember exactly where I was and where I watched the chase and exactly where I stood when the trial verdict was ultimately read.  At the time, only the space shuttle Challenger had created a more indelible memory in my mind.  It was the Kennedy assassination of its day.

So I get the humor behind this plate.  I really do.  But the question remains….why does this man still have this plate?  Or this vehicle for that matter?  At some point, it got old.  My guess is 1996ish.  Now, I try to incorporate new material in my stand-up act when I can.  This man has had over 18 years to come up with something else.  Some other witty vanity plate.  Here’s three I just thought of for him in twelve seconds:

“UNCREATV”     or     “PRANOID”     or     “LVKRDSHIAN”

I checked the Indiana DMV website.  Right now, it costs $48 for a vanity plate ANNUALLY.  To date, this guy has ponied up $864 dollars for the lamest license plate in the history of the world.  Of course you’re not OJ!  Normal people would never make that mistake, fat white guy.  Maybe he lives in fear of being pulled over and put in jail for killing his ex-wife and her friend because he actually did.  Who’s to say?

All I know is that this plate represents what’s wrong with America.  Laziness.  This man would rather pay $864 (and counting) than either sit and think of a new plate or admit that his joke has gotten old.

PS to the driver:  Your car doesn’t even have a white top like the one OJ was in.


Welcome to the new website of John Betz, Jr.!

Picture of me

Hello and welcome!!  I’m starting a new website.  It’ll probably take me a while to get it all figured out.  Until then, you can do the following:

1.  Visit my Facebook sites:

2.  Come to a show.  Here’s my upcoming schedule:

July 6-7,  Holly Hotel,  Holly MI

July 8,  Alexander J’s,  Flint MI

July 12-14,  JRs Last Laugh, Erie PA

3.  Send me an email at:


Thanks for your support and patience!