Whatever you do, don’t kiss a hedgehog. I don’t care how cute the critter is. Don’t kiss it!
But more on that later.
This month has flown by like a crocodile gliding downhill on a skate board. First I started my Improv classes. Then I went down to Austin for my son’s wedding and got all choked up when I stood up to say a few words.
And by a few words, I mean I only spoke for 10 minutes. 15 tops.
Then I returned to San Diego and to Improv only to fail miserably in the latter, after missing one class.“Monica,” said the very patient teacher, otherwise known as Distinguished Dave. “Don’t embellish the story with goldfish flopping on the floor and the microwave oven on fire. The real story is in your relationship with “Bigotes Bill.”
I looked at Bigotes Bill, who dubbed himself that because of his, well, mustachioed upper lip and because “bigotes” means mustache in Spanish. Anyway, he looked at me with eyes that conveyed exactly what I was feeling. Baffled and, more or less, speechless.
What relationship, I wondered. This was our third class, after all. But I knew Dave was referring to our relationship in the skit in which we were flexing our improvisational skills. With no time to adequately think of anything clever to say, I sheepishly walked off the stage and took my seat.
And this was just the Beginner’s Class! Level One. Sigh, no one told me how frightening learning Improv could be. It’s the performing on demand that’s unnerving. The not knowing when you’re going to be called upon to take the stage and act out some sort of skit with another classmate. Nor did I know that we’d be expected to hang out together outside of class and get to know each other.
But that’s what improv is all about. Getting to know each other and building trust—and completely buying into the philosophy of “yes and…,” which means that whatever your improv partner says, you must accept it as fact and just add to it. Keep embellishing! For example, here’s an excerpt of an “interview” Bigotes Bill and I did on our first day of class:
“I understand you have an amazing collection of insects.”
“I collect snails of all sizes.”
“And you were inspired by your uncle to do so.”
“Yes, my uncle had a collection of his own, which I eventually inherited.”
“You mean, when your uncle lost his leg after the snails ate it, right?”
“Yes, but only because they were looking for a late night snack. “
And so on.
If you ask me, Improv class is both exhilarating and frightening. And did I mention funny? It’s very funny. Hilarious even. Truth is, my brain often freezes in class but the laughs always come a mile a minute.
Now, back to the poor, maligned hedgehog. For some reason, one that has me unbelievably flummoxed, people have been known to adopt them as pets. And inevitably, as happens with most pets, they end up kissing them. But this, my friend, is not good. For hedgehogs spread salmonella and they don’t give it a second thought. Plus, on everything they touch they leave a trace of salmonella, including on your bed.
So it is very easy to get sick from kissing a hedgehog. According to the New York Times, so far this year several people across the country have contracted salmonella and of those, all but one got it from kissing the spiky mammal.
So friends, if you must kiss a creature, let it be a dog or a cat. Or even a wet goldfish, if you must. But never ever, under any circumstance, kiss a hedgehog! It’s unthinkable!
As for the wedding, lovely and romantic. The bride was radiant and the groom, well, what can I say? My son was nothing short of utterly handsome.
And for the record, neither kissed a hedgehog. I rest my case.