The place was lit by gaslight, little orange flames dancing inside of curved glass cylinders. Dark woods and soft, wine-red carpets covered everything in sight. Smoke thickened the air, but it was aromatic, like from a fine pipe tobacco.
He couldn’t quite remember how he’d gotten here. He remembered driving somewhere…then this. Maybe this was where he was going?
“Invitation, sir?” Said the pretty girl in the vintage cocktail waitress outfit.
He blinked at her, then patted his hands around the oversized brown coat he wore all the time. There was a small, stiff card in his side pocket. He couldn’t remember how it got there as he pulled it out and handed it to her.
She took it with a smile and a slight bow, then pointed him toward the stage.
“Tough crowd tonight, Mister Prince Mongo’s Brother, sir. Make ‘em laugh.”
“I’ve debated mayors, girlie” he scoffed back as he took the steps to the stage. “These jokers won’t know what hit them.”
He opened with his biggest, most offensive joke to grab their attention.
No conversations stopped, no one even looked up.
No one was paying attention to him.
This was the worst thing ever.
Prince Mongo’s Brother is the stage name of a current Memphis “character” that is following the path that the legendary Prince Mongo has already worn down. He fancies himself a stand up comedian, but his acts are little more than tirades, many of them often racist. He’s run for mayor, even participated debates, and managed to get himself banned from nearly every open mic comedy night in the city. Which was actually harder than getting on the same stage as the individuals that run our city.