Author and comedian Mike Buzzelli
Last weekend, I was outside at a swanky garden party. You knew it was swanky because the host called it a garden party and not a barbecue.
P.S. There is very little difference. Both garden parties and barbecues have people milling about the backyard, eating and drinking. OK, there was a signature cocktail that had watermelon, basil and Grey Goose vodka. Signature cocktails at barbecues are called Budweiser.
Also, I believe I was eating a stone wheat flatbread with white bean hummus, and not Funyuns or Fritos. But, essentially, all the other elements were the same. There was still a man grilling meat at a fire. There was still laughter, merriment and drunkards. At every party, there is at least one drunk. I am almost always glad it’s not me. I say almost always because occasionally it is me. It was easy to get ripped on the watermelon-infused house cocktail. That Saturday, however, I was as stone sober as my milled wheat cracker.
There were interesting people there from interesting places like London, Paris and Punxsutawney. Yes, Punxsutawney; I’m fascinated by that place. Aside from one day in February, you never hear about it. Besides, I had to ask the guests from Punxsutawney their proximity to Gobbler’s Knob, just because it’s fun to use Gobbler’s Knob in a sentence.
I was talking to some new and interesting guests. I started flailing my arms about and sputtering, “Ptui, ptui!” I wasn’t having a stroke. A bug flew in my mouth at an inopportune moment (not that there’s a good moment to have an insect fly in your mouth). Suddenly, I was the Wacky, Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube Man.
There are two ways to embarrass yourself at a party: get ridiculously drunk or act like a lunatic when a bug flies into your mouth. At least I wasn’t drunk.
I could feel the thing on the back of my throat, near my uvula. It wasn’t coming out. I started making noises. I sounded like a German with a speech impediment. I grabbed a napkin and began wiping my tongue, trying to scrape the offending insect from my palate. At one point, I realized I had to suck it up and actually suck it in. I had to swallow the bug. Eww.
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(Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here: