Stand U

Stand U



Jack(jak), a man in his late twenties, is standing at a microphone(ˈmīkrəˌfōn), performing stand-up comedy.


Hello hello hello, Auburn(ˈôbərn)! My name is Jack Aston-Vanderzanden. Most people find that name difficult to pronounce(prəˈnouns), so they just shorten(ˈSHôrtn) it to “Jackass(ˈjakˌas).” Joke’s on them, though, that is actually my full first name. What can I say? Labor(ˈlābər) was difficult on my mother.

(Polite(pəˈlīt) laughter(ˈlaftər).)

And, hey! Not every “Jack” is a shortening of the name “John(jän).” Jack’s not even shorter than John. It’s not easier to say. It’s not like everyone is going up to these guys and saying, “Jaahan? Yon(yän)? Joan? You know what, man, your name’s too difficult to pronounce, just pick a card, any card from this deck(dek) and-voila(vwäˈlä)-that’s your new name!” Could’ve been worse. I could’ve walked up here calling myself Clubs Aston-Vanderzanden, which is my DJ name.

(Confused(kənˈfyo͞ozd) response from audience.)

That was a weird(wi(ə)rd) joke, heh, sorry about that. So, um, right. Anyway, I’m pretty(ˈpridē) excited(ikˈsītid) to be here in Nebraska(nəˈbraskə), because this will definitely(ˈdef(ə)nətlē) be the last place to go underwater when global warming finally hits the fan. I feel safe.


Right. Global warming jokes in the Midwest(ˈmidˈwest), not my brightest idea. It’s okay, though, because you know, liberal(ˈlib(ə)rəl) or conservative(kənˈsərvətiv) or whatever you are, we all have the same initial(iˈniSHəl) response to global warming. I don’t care if intellectually(ˈˌin(t)əlˈˌek(t)SH(əw)əlē) you’re like, “Oh no! We have to change our evil(ˈēvəl) ways!” or if you’re like “It’s just the earth going through another Ice Age only the opposite(ˈäpəzət), I dunno(dəˈnō), I never really watched the movie(ˈmo͞ovē) because Ray Romano(rəˈmänō) can’t be any more bearable(ˈbe(ə)rəbəl) as a woolly(ˈwo͝olē) mammoth(ˈmaməTH).” I don’t care which camp(kamp) you’re in. When you first read that the world might drown(droun) itself by 2075, your first thought was, “Cool, I’ll probably be dead by then.”

(Laughter. He warms to it.)

How bonkers(ˈbäNGkərz) is that? How often in your life do you think that way? I get sad that I’ll probably never get to see people land on Mars(märz). Or live long enough to see the release(rəˈlēs) of the final Game of Thrones(THrōn) book, probably. Most of the time I’m hoping I get to live to be ninety or a hundred years old. Most of the time I hope that science has invented(inˈvent) immortality(ˌi(m)ˌmôrˈtalədē) before I get too far along.

But as soon as global warming comes up?

(Whistles(ˈ(h)wisəl) through teeth and makes neck(nek)-slicing(slīs) motions(ˈmōSHən).)

Nope, done, too much work. I hope I’m dead by fifty. Let my kids deal with it, not me, those ungrateful(ˌənˈgrātfəl) little hypothetical(ˌhīpəˈTHetikəl) monsters.

Hey, what can I say, I’m a stand-up guy(gī). Eh? No? Okay. Let’s move on.