Paula Poundstone Stand-Up
... Paula Poundstone
Robin Williams: Ladies and gentlemen, here's a
very, very special lady, a good friend of mine from
San Francisco, Miss Paula Poundstone.
[Applause for schnooky brunette stand-up comic in a
mannish gray suit who enters and grabs a microphone
from a stool.]
Paula Poundstone: Thanks very much. Thanks very
much! It's really nice to be here. I'm havin' a
terrific time already. I love it here. Nice crisp,
cold weather like that. I live in San Francisco, I
hate it. It's, uh, it's like foggy and rainy and cold
all the time. [Someone in the crowd goes "Awwwww!"]
This year, it rained January through April. I don't
think I'm a wimp about weather. When it first started
to rain, I said, "Terrific. It's sort of romantic,
really. I'll break up an old chair for kindling, buy a
bottle of wine, sit in front of the fire for the day."
Two months later, a hopeless alcoholic with no
furniture ... No more of this for me but thanks. It
rains there. We had blackouts. My lights went out one
night. I was all by myself in the house. I - I freaked
out. I said, "There's a guy in the basement. He
flipped a switch. He's comin' up to kill me and that's
all there is to it." Then I looked out the window and
I saw the whole neighborhood was out and I was kind of
relieved 'cause I thought maybe he'll start at the end
of the block. ...
Kind of a raving paranoiac and I admit that openly. I,
uh-- That's why I never used to drive. I had a license
for six years and I never drove 'cause I always
thought that I would hurt somebody. And finally I
decided, I don't care, I don't even like people that
much. ... If a couple people have to die because I
have to get to a Jack-in-the-Box, I'm sorry. ... I,
uh, I'm only kidding. I've actually really tried to be
safe about this. I took driving lessons with Norm from
Sears Driving School. And I'm still a really bad
driver. When I parallel park, I have to use up a tank
of gas. ... And I have to take up a couple o' lanes
for a little while. I don't want to -- I have
to. That's the only way I can do it. I bring those
orange detour cones, put 'em out in the area I'm gonna
be usin' ... and I get to work. Fortunately, my car
doesn't have power steering so I can actually lose
weight while parking ... which is helpful. And people
are so mean to me: Even if they can pull around me,
they won't. They pull up and yell. Like I'm therapy
for everyone. I don't like this. ... I don't know what
they're so mad about. I'm the one who
can't drive. ... I'm furious! I roll down my window
and get into it with them. I say, "Hey! What the
hell do I think I'm doin' here?! ... Am I gonna
move my butt or am I gonna have to move it for me?!
... Where'd I learn to drive anyway -- Sears?!"
My car actually has been a total nightmare. I've had
it for-- It's my very first car. I've had it for four
and a half months and it's been in the shop
twenty-three times. ... The brakes have been done
three times. Obviously, I'm being ripped off but I
don't know enough on the subject to, er, to argue with
the mechanics. All I know is that I vacuum it twice a
week, so it's not the interior. ... See, don't even
bother checkin' that carpeting, that baby's clean but
thank you so much. ... I fixed one thing myself
once. Ah, used to make a noise when you hit the brake
and so I put in a stereo. ... It's really not a
problem any more. Actually, having a car has made me
appreciate walking, for one thing. I, uh-- The other
day, I walked smack into a tree. I said, "Good thing
I'm not drivin'." ... Probably saved a couple thou'
right there. [cheers and applause] Thanks. Thanks,
that was a very special moment and I think we touched
right then. ... Not - not physically, 'cause that
would be gross. ...
Yeah, I actually think my best friend in the whole
world is my car, though. I named it "Dave" after my
friend Evan. And, uh ... I don't know, I know that
that's kind of weird and I figure someday it's gonna
breakdown and then I'll have a breakdown right
afterwards. And they'll find me standing on the side
of the road ranting and raving, yelling at it like I'm
its parent. Saying, [as if to a child] "Do you have
you any idea how much money I've spent on you this
month alone, hm? ... I give and give and give to you.
Could you maybe take me two, three more miles? Oh, no!
... Look at all the other cars -- they're moving! ...
Had to have brake shoes. I buy them for you. You won't
wear them!" ...
It's so frustrating 'cause I think mechanics are the
biggest rip-off in the entire world and, uh, they can
get away with it. [applause] Now they've gone and made
us mad! No, they do. They get away with it like
criminals get away with everything. Remember the five
hundred and sixty pound criminal who was released from
jail because he had asthma? So, jail was "bad" for
him? ... Who made up this rule? ... I thought that was
the whole idea - was that jail was at least supposed
to be a little bit bad for ya. ... Apparently,
not any more. Apparently, now, it's like, "Sorry! Got
claustrophobia. Can't go. Wish I could. Sorry." ...
"Electric chair? No way! Even a heating pad gives
me a rash!" ... And they let Hinckley off. And
then Sirhan Sirhan, the guy who shot Robert Kennedy
was actually up for parole again this year. Not only
that, he told the parole board he thought if Kennedy
were alive today, he would speak in his favor and say
"Let the guy go." What a tough break, huh? The one guy
who woulda supported this guy -- and he shot him! ...
You've been a terrific crowd. Thank you very much.
Thanks a lot.
[cheers and applause - fade]