A Jolt of Kola
by, Melissa R. Mendelson
Recently, I had a bad health scare. I had found a lump. The doctor said that I had to have a mammography done plus sonogram, which I did. The results were not good, and I had to return to the lab a week later for a biopsy, which turned into a horror show because the lab doctor was not honest with me about a lot of things. And in the end, I dodged the C bullet because if that bullet had struck home, it would have been game over for a lot of things, but thank God, that wasn’t the case. Still, I was left shaken to the core. How do you bounce back from this? There are only two things in this world that has brought me back from the brink, and that is Music and Comedy.
It was a Saturday night, and my friend was celebrating her fortieth birthday. We went out to eat before the show, and somehow, the conversation steered into the horror show. That put a dent into the night, and I was already drained from that experience and talking about it knocked me even more down. Still, it was supposed to be a good show, and she was a good friend. So, I put on a good front, or so I thought. I got on a long line of people that weaved from the front door of the Brokerage Comedy Club in Bellmore down toward the curb, and as I let my mind wander to kill the chill gnawing at my body, I heard a voice. A funny voice, and he was talking about going to the diner after the show, even if it was at three in the morning. And that made me smile.
I can be a harsh critic. I know that. I constantly surf through the Comedy Central On Demand, looking for stand up acts to make me laugh as hard as the great ones. Sadly, there will never be another George Carlin, Robin Williams and Richard Jeni, may they rest in peace, but I have found some new, refreshing acts that have left me in stitches such as with Gabriel Iglesias and Brad Williams. The main act tonight I did not know or ever heard of, and the comedians that warmed up the stage before him were funny. But it was the main act that I was curious about. Who was this comedian, and could he contend with the great ones?
When you open a can of soda, there is this POP sound, chased by a fizz of bubbles rushing upward, which is really nothing more than carbon dioxide gas, and we love that fizz, gulping it down and enjoying the tingle racing across our tongues. This guy was more like a can of soda that was doing the shake, rattle, and roll, and instead of a POP, there was a BOOM. He was electrifying, a jolt of comedic laughter, leaving the room shaking, rattling, and rolling. Seinfeld, eat your heart out.
Under the brilliant lights, this guy, Joey Kola, who needed no sign propped up against a chair, ignited into life, waving his hands around, and bopping his head from side to side. The multitude of voices that came forth from his mouth had the patrons nearly spitting out their drinks and doubled over their chairs and tables in hysterics. His ammo was the cold, harsh truth, and we ate it up from space junk to dog shit to the drunk’s escapade at White Castle to the cat’s meow or hairball. We were at his mercy, and he drew out from his crowd a select few that probably wanted to crawl under the table once he was done with them. But it was all in fun, and it was all a good night. And then the show came to an end, and once again, I joined the line weaving up and out of the exit door. But there he was, standing near the exit, and wishing everyone a good night.
“Did you have a good time,” he asked me. Without hesitation, I responded, “Yes. You were good,” which made him pause for a moment, and then to my surprise, he handed me a copy of his cd and dvd, which I accepted. Now, I have only ever seen three comedians live before him, and that was with George Carlin, Jim Breuer and Colin Quinn. They were great, but when their shows ended, that was it. Thank You, and Good Night. This comedian didn’t disappear backstage behind the curtain. This comedian didn’t hide behind a posse of men or guards. He was suddenly an average joe, just chilling by an open exit door, exchanging hugs and handshakes. I’ve never seen that before, which only fueled my respect for him, and maybe, that’s why I am writing this. Or maybe, even with me being a pain in his ass during his act by not turning my chair around, he still managed to close that void that had threatened to swallow me whole from that bad health scare I had a few weeks before his show. And I needed that.
Melissa R. Mendelson graduated college with both an AA in Liberal Arts and BA in Mass Communication: Critical Analysis. She was a Long Island news reporter from 2002 to 2004 and later went to work for the State of New York. She has written a variety of writing that continuously is published by the Antarctica Journal News, and she recently finished writing her first Horror/Sci-Fi novel, Lizardian, which can temporarily be found as an E-book on Amazon Kindle.