“It’s Elementary” is a monthly column that asks comedians to share funny memories from their elementary school years, or “periods” (get it?? Like moments in time, but also like in school!) from those formative years that have informed their personal and comedic identities. Or, they’ll just submit some random anecdotes. Whatever they want, really.
by Dave Metter
I have long been fascinated by what has influenced and inspired other comedy writers, especially during their youths when their comedic senses were still so nascent and less judgmental. Be they films or television shows, random anecdotes or funny relatives, I ask comedians to share a few experiences or works they recall notably from their elementary school years. This month we have the acronymically-named L.U.M.P. (which I can’t read without thinking of the band The Presidents Of The United States of America since 1995 was a banner year for me insomuch as it was the year I first made a banner). L.U.M.P. stands for Life’s Ugly Money Problem, and killer comedy.
1st Period: The Nun
When I was in the fifth grade at St. Michael’s, at 2nd & Jefferson, a Puerto Rican classmate named Peter told me to greet a nun by calling her some word in Spanish. So I did. And got suspended twice. One for what I said to the nun, the other for beating up Peter. The nun wasn’t upset with me but I had never used any swear words in English, which means the first time I cursed was in Spanish.
2nd Period: Schoolyard Wrestling
When I was in the fourth grade, I moved from West Philly to North Philly. I started at a new school and instead of fistfights, everyone “TV wrestled.” I had a record of 1-4, losing the first four, with the one win being over the schoolyard champion. My finishing move was the “perfectplex” and I retired after that fight as champ. I did not realize at the time that I would one day do stand-up, but being shy at a new school was a drag. The wrestling made me slightly cooler back then.
3rd Period: Valentine’s Day
Also in the fourth grade around Valentine’s Day everyone in our class gave each other candy hearts and love letters. I gave my Valentine and a candy heart to Liza, the prettiest girl in class. I got rejected because the heart said BE MINE but I sweated the words off after holding it all day before I gave it to her. Trust and believe that I never sweated off any candy heart letters after that. She rejected me, but we were okay after that.
4th Period: Ghostbusters
When Ghostbusters came out, my dad got me and my brother out of school and took us to the movies and we saw that movie 3 times that day. Chilling that whole day with my brother and father made us bond more. My father raised us and was always at work, so playing hooky that once wasn’t cool, but understood.
You can follow L.U.M.P. on Twitter @_LUMP, and catch him performing next at Comedy-Gasm on April 13th at the Irish Pol (45 S. 3rd Street).
Dave Metter is a comedy writer from the Philly burbs. See Dave’s show Your News, Philadelphia! at the Shubin Theater May 22nd, part of PHIT’s Variety Sweeps Week. Follow Dave on Twitter @DaveMetter.