I recently performed at the Hearts at Home Conference – stand up comedy for 1,400 women. There’s nothing quite like being the only guy in a room of over a thousand women… I was the very embodiment of every stupid thing their husbands, fathers and sons have ever done.
And, speaking of stupid things…
I sold t-shirts after my performance, and when all was said and done, I had to get the boxes of t-shirts that were left unsold (not that there were LOTS of boxes… just some t-shirts, but I digress) from the convention hall to my car. And, I didn’t have much time, as I needed to get to my next gig later that evening. Now, my dear friend offered to help me, but “Manly Daren” said, “Oh no… I’ll just balance these two boxes of t-shirts on my roller briefcase. What’s the worst that could happen?”
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a man of very little spatial intelligence. I am not good at navigation, nor direction. I can get lost in a walk-in closet. And, when it comes to direction, I’m like a near-sighted sleepwalker with vertigo.
All that to say…
There I was, balancing my two boxes full of t-shirts on my roller briefcase, trying to make my way across the skyway. That’s when I saw a door that seemed to lead to the parking lot. “Hey! A short cut!” is what the little navigator in my mind screamed.
This door led me to either a whole ‘nother universe, dimension… or at the very least, a different parking lot. So, I made my way out to the street and figured that I would walk my way to my hotel via the sidewalk. That’s when I somehow ended up in another part of the city that I didn’t recognize one bit.
My internal compass has no magnet.
So, I called the hotel and asked for directions.
“I think I know where you are,” the kind voice on the other end of the line said. “Go to the building across the street from you, go up the escalator, and you’ll find the skywalk. This will lead you to the hotel.”
I looked at my watch. I had 20 minutes still. If I hurried, I could still make my gig.
So, hurriedly, yet determinedly, I bolted across the street, through the lobby of the building across the street and headed straight for the escalator.
However, halfway up the escalator, both boxes of t-shirts decided that they didn’t want to go to the skyway with me, and tumbled down the escalator. With each successive tumble and roll, they each busted open and spread a trail of Daren Streblow t-shirts everywhere. Nearly two-dozen onlookers began to scramble in amazement, shuffling through their pockets and purses to get their camera phones. Collectively, they squealed with glee, “Finally! This idiot has given me something awesome to tweet! This is going viral!!”
But, my real problem was that it appeared as if the random t-shirts reached the top of the escalator, they would get caught in the treads and jam up the whole system… and I would be the creator of stairs in that building where there once was an escalator. And, since my name and email address is clearly printed on each and every t-shirt, there’s no way I could pin this disaster on someone else. By this time, the boxes had made it to the bottom-most step of the escalator, and they were tumbling with each successive step that rose up beneath it. And, as they tumbled, they also released more and more t-shirts heading up to “ground zero” of my personal disaster zone.
Now, if you’ve ever seen the classic I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel went to work at the chocolate factory, you can imagine what I looked like as I tried to rapidly gather up the t-shirts that were being fired from the ever-tumbling box below. I managed to scoop up several dozen shirts with both hands, shoving them into my pockets, in my mouth, inside my own shirt.Then, I sprinted down the other side of the escalator – which was vacated by this point since no sane person would want to ride on anything near this crazy idiot with the t-shirts – and I grabbed the tumbling box. Then, with the grace and fleet-footedness of a newborn giraffe, I sprinted up the escalator, scooping up the remaining t-shirts before they reached the summit.
And, by the grace of God, I made it to my next gig… with time to spare.
I looked a little frazzled, and they wondered why I looked like a scarecrow stuffed with grease-stained t-shirts, but that’s the life of a comedian.
So, if you’re ever facing a really tough day… just remember me and my Escalatorgeddon!
Next, rap artist Black Jewelz joins the show! His latest album, Black Market, earned him Hip-Hop Album of the Year at the International Music and Entertainment Association Awards, and he pocketed Hip-Hop Artist of the Year as well!
That was one heck of a weekend!
Black Jewelz began composing lyrics at about 11-12 years of age. The son of a DJ, music was always in the air at his boyhood home. He especially liked the old Motown Sound – Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, and the like.
But, then came the 90’s. That’s when his ears and eyes were opened to the hip-hop greats Naz, Puff Daddy and the Fugees. What he admired in particular, besides the beat, was the artists’ abilities to form a message within their rhymes. And no one seemed to do that quite like 2Pac.
This inspired Black Jewelz to begin writing raps and poetry dealing with ideas, thoughts and concepts that were transcendent in nature – far more mature than the typical sex, drugs and rap that saturated the airwaves.
As MTV Artists wrote:
When he had lunch money, he’d skip eating lunch to save up the couple dollars to buy the next rap CD he wanted. Though he is strongly in support of the value of education now, he would skip classes to go the music store and buy a new album. For a period, Black Jewelz was lost in the streets indulging in drugs, weapons and violence, which constantly caused him to get into trouble and suspended in high school. Just prior to his life’s turning point, Black Jewelz was arrested and expelled during the second week of his senior year in high school. Somehow he managed to get back into school and graduate.
Then his whole world changed shortly before he turned 18… that’s when he learned the truth about who Jesus Christ was and is today. Upon becoming a Christian, his worldview and mindset changed drastically. Ever since then, the knowledge of God is what inspires and guides him in life, as well as in his music.
So, today, Black Jewelz’ music is like my comedy – squeaky clean. But, that doesn’t mean that he is without pressure to compromise in his lyrics and videos.
Yet, as he puts it:
“…the ones that use that lexicon of material (swearing, sex, and other inappropriate content) are limited in what they say and what they express. Because, when it comes down to it, a lot of what they talk about and the words they use really have no meaning. All they do is express animalistic impulses. They’re not really articulating anything esoteric, ethereal, or transcendent. That type of thing takes more vocabulary, thought and depth and is much more poetic than what they express.”
To put it simple, I find this guy inspiring!
For more entertaining and engaging podcasts and videos, check out the E-Squared Media Network at www.e2medianetwork.com!