txtshow: 10th Anniversary
Brian Feldman Productions
Jack Kerouac House
Feb 26, 2019
It’s time to text once more. Mr. Feldman is back in town with perhaps his most successful project ever. Ten years ago, he had a group of people gather and sing up for disposable Twitter accounts. I did not have the technology to really participate, but I joined as best I could in and had a good time. A few dozen “txt” events later, and Feldman has the process down to a science, and I have a better phone and more practice using it. One a rainy winter night, I drove over to Kerouac House and immediately found parking. As I suspected, the audience was…limited.
I do not tweet or twitter; it seems to attract an unsavory type of person, and the next challenge was installing twitter on my T-Mobile phone. T-Mobile has a knack for creating zero signal zones, so I stood outside in the winter mist dragging 16 million bytes of digits out of the air. Upon entering my secret Twitter identity (I was juror 7; the truth can now be told) and we now entered the Hanging Out portion of the evening. Tisse Mallon passed out cranberry pecan juice cocktails which tasted and felt like cranberry dressing from thanksgiving. I chatted with some Kerouac board people, and toured Jack Kerouac’s quarters in the rear of the building, and took random pictures of random pieces of period furniture. The clock ticked down. I took the stage right comfy chair, Feldman’s mom to the stage left one, and his dad sat in the back of the room. The clock counted down, and the preshow disclaimer was played either by Siri or Alexa. The voice credit was not mentioned in the preshow announce. The bedroom door opened, and Mr. txt emerged. The crowd…stayed in their seats. Let the stream of consciousness begin!
It began slowly, as all great events begin. A sentence. Another. A third, corrupted by auto correct. Silence. A joke, broken in half, AA punchline auto corrected to a mild obscenity. Someone contemplates burglary. I find typing on cell keypad increasingly annoyance. Part of joke. A delay, then the punch line. Txt does his best to sell the joke. No one buys in. Another autocorrect gag, this one lands. A lube joke. Aha! Now we have something. More lube jokes. Lube puns. Who, in this limited room, is the lube meister? Text’s dad? His MOM? God forbid! A Jewish mother would never…but…it IS a Feldman project. Now we all jump in: it’s all lube jokes and bad puns until…radio silence. Txt rises, resumes his Feldman-like outer husk, and we are done. Not bad, no blows were thrown, no kittens injured, no marriages broken. Time for cake.
A post show argy-bargy ensues. We discuss politics, firing people, writing, and the weather. Feldman has a stack of other projects this coming week including “Knives Out” wherein five critics read what they wrote about Brian, to his face. I learn I get to pull my own material. A cake is produced; it has that vegan harshness buried in the cloying sweetness of Publics frosting. We part friends, and the soggy drizzle of a Florida winter dogs me out to my car. Do I take the “Ivanhoe Construction Option,” the “Princeton Underpass Gambit,” or the dread “Harrison Bypass Fake-out” that then forces me into the “Run Orange Avenue Bar Strip”? All tough choices, and I ask myself “what would txt do?” My course is clear. You have your own anonymous comments to make. I know my choice, but you have your own anonymous comment to make. So, make it. No one will know it’s you.