Inspired by his recent promotion, Joseph continued to work on his comedy routine, finding amusement in the little things of life again — and the humor. He began writing up a new routine, in fact, including the woes of being the expectant father. Jaylah had all kinds of strange cravings and so he worked these into his routine as well as his required task to fulfill these ‘requests’ at all hours of the day, or night. He could only imagine what life with a baby in the house would add to his repertoire. And he looked forward to it.
Finally, the happy day arrived. Well, it was happy for Joseph. Jaylah was in a great deal of pain. Joseph went to work, not realizing Jaylah’s discomfort was the onset of her labor. That this day was the day. Karly called him. Joseph gazed at his audience, his pocket making unrelenting chirping sounds.
“Ha-ha!” he smiled, nervously, he normally kept the phone off and in his dressing room. Tonight was an anomaly. The audience twittered along with his obvious discomfort. Joseph retrieved his phone, “Downright demanding, isn’t it? Who could it be, we’re all here?” he said, clicking on the phone. “Yes, do you hear that?” he held the phone out toward the crowd. “That’s my audience. I’m working right now. Can I call you back?”
“Don’t you dare hang up on me!” Karly shouted. Her voice came over the phone so loud the audience could hear it. Joseph pulled the phone away, shaking his head and swizzling a fingertip in his ear. They laughed. Uproariously, believing this was a new routine unfolding before their eyes.
Joseph put the phone back to his ear. His expression changed to one of concern. Then one of sheer fright. Then to outright panic. “What? She’s what?” He glanced over at his boss. “I have to go? I’m going to be a mother — I mean, my baby’s taking the first flight out of the womb. Well, can’t you hit the pause button or something?” He shouted down at the phone. He glanced back over at his boss who stood in the wings, arms folded across his chest., just shaking his head at the C-list-er standing before a hot mike. “For Pete’s sake the stork refuses to wait!”
The audience helped him out, “Go, go, go, go, go!” they chanted until his boss finally took the mike and introduced the next Act.
“You’ve been a great audience, thank you very much!”
By the time Joseph walked through his front door, the deed was done. Jaylah presented him with his new son. They named him Rory, after that evening’s crowd.
He was a beautiful little boy, healthy. A very light shade of lavender. The alien genes were quite strong, Joseph decided. Two days off of work and with little sleep he dragged himself back to the theater. He worked hard on this newest routine to the audience’s delight. Joseph was promoted to Opening Act.
He barely got started at this level when the unthinkable happened. He knew Karly was slowing down. She was 115 at her last birthday and everyone began to joke about just how long she might remain with them. Not long enough. Joseph found her on the floor of her bedroom, too late to call for help. Grimmie stood over her menacingly. He hated Grimmie. Grimmie The Thief, the Reaper of what once was alive. Grimmie who stole his parents from him one right after another.
Joseph took the loss of his mother very hard. Upstairs, where many a party was held over the years, he stood staring at the bar. He approached it, slowly, walked around the back and began to mix himself a drink. He had no clue of what he was doing, really. He just wanted something to numb the pain. Juice. Juice was just the thing. He would have drink, after drink, after drink, until he couldn’t feel anything anymore.
He was just so sad. Jaylah was equally sad, to the point neither could help the other. He chatted with his brothers, called the sadness hotline. Nothing helped. He sat down to write some new material, but nothing was funny. He even tried to pull a few pranks on Gramps. Getting himself into the proper work mood just wasn’t happening. He resorted to a potion to stabilize his overall mood. It really didn’t work too well. Almost time for work, he knew he had to do something. So, he sat in front of his special emotive lamp, trying to find his playful side. Instead, he ended up hysterical. Told a few more jokes to Gramps and finally was ready for work. He was happy, at least.