Professional Smart Ass by Chris Zito

I’ve been cracking wise to live audiences and/or radio callers for thirty years (please don’t bother, I’ve already double checked the math on that one.) and it’s left me prone to speak out of turn more than I’d care to admit. One upping a heckler can bring the house down, but hassling a clerk or a waitress is just plain rude.
But does that make it unfunny?

There was the time I waltzed into a Cosco Wholesale Club looking for a set of tires. As a member at the time, I felt confident that I would find bargains galore!

You can imagine my disappointment when all the prices were comparable, if not higher, than other tire stores.
I asked the clerk, “Why are these prices so high? I thought this was wholesale?”
“Other stores charge extras like valves and balancing,” he explained. “That price is ‘out the door.'”
“So am I.” I quipped and headed for the car. As I drove away, I felt a twinge of guilt, but how do you pass on a set up like that?

For years my old stand up partner and I tortured poor innocent toll collectors.

We would always ask how much the toll was and when the collector told us, our response was always the same.
“When did it go up?”
“It hasn’t gone up it three years!” The collector’s reaction would range from shock to giving a look that said, standing in a booth in this ridiculous uniform isn’t lousy enough, I have to listen to you clowns.
“Thank you, Sargent!” We’d shout as we happily drove away, thoroughly entertaining ourselves at this poor guy’s expense.
If there was ever a driver who should be required to use Fastlane, it’s me.

Then of course there’s the classic “Do you know where I can find any…” gag. This is a favorite among comics out after a show together.
You’re in a convenience store and for some reason there is a huge stack of something – anything – right behind the guy at the counter.

“Excuse me. Do you know where I could find a gross of chewing tobacco? My little boy has show-and-tell tomorrow and I want to make sure he has enough for the entire class.”
“Have nice day? I’d have a better day if I could somehow get my hands on 300o bags of beef jerky. But where’s a guy ever gonna get his hands on that much beef jerky.”
“Say, do you have any idea where a guy could get a “we don’t serve minors” sign in this town?”

This bit has never once, to my knowledge, succeeded in getting a laugh out of the clerk. It has also never failed to get a big laugh out of the other comedians. We entertain each other, while this guy waits patiently for us to leave the store so he can go back to stocking while thinking to himself, “who was that asshole?”

He doesn’t realize that I’m not just some asshole off the street…I’m a professional!

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


6 Responses

  1. You left out my favorite. Price checking random items in the dollar store.

    • OMG! That’s a great one! Also, we used to go into T-Shirt City on Hampton Beach and demand to speak to the mayor! 🙂

  2. Hey, you been funny for more than thirty years, boy! I remember you Mocking the Monk to a balcony full of ghosts. -GS

  3. Don’t call air stewardesses ‘nurse’ – it really does piss them off.

  4. […] The doctor finally showed up and said that in his opinion this was an episode of extreme heartburn. He prescribed a daily regimen of over the counter acid reducer and baby aspirin.  He added, noting that I was, at the time, about 50 pounds overweight, that my stress test had shown “an above average capacity for exercise.” “I suggest you use it,” he added dryly. Hey, I thought I was the professional smart ass! […]

  5. […] cosco wholesales locations […]

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