Here on Avenue Q

J and N and I went to go see Avenue Q at the Mixed Blood Theater last night. It was a fun production. The woman playing Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut was excellent. I have no earthly idea how she managed some of her quick-changes! The puppeteering was good, the singing and choreography fun.

My only complaint is that the band was sometimes too loud, overwhelming the lyrics.

One thing I noticed is that I did not find the show laugh-out-loud funny. That’s clearly because I already know the songs, and the jokes are in the songs. Seeing the jokes didn’t add much. The places I did laugh out loud were the bits that aren’t on the soundtrack — the Bad Idea Bears, or the filmed bits that give short vocabulary lessons.

J and I had talked about whether we were going to take the kids. We decided not to. After seeing the show, we agreed that there wasn’t anything in the show we would have censored, or been unwilling to explain. But we also agreed that most of the jokes would have gone right over the kids’ heads. Or, if they understood the jokes intellectually they wouldn’t have found them funny. (Gary Coleman? Not a joke my kids will find funny.) In a couple of years, when the kids are starting to find sexual taboo jokes to be risque and therefore funny, they will like Avenue Q.

And let me just say how much I agree with the finale. Yes, stop being paralyzed by indecision, just do SOMETHING, anything. Whatever you decide is only for now — pick something and move the hell on.

I think my job has fostered and exacerbated my tendency to think this way. One of the things air traffic controllers are trained in is what to do when you make a bad decision. (Not if. When.) The training involves your instructor looking at you disgustedly, laughing, saying, “well, you really screwed that up! Now, fix it before it gets any worse.” You have to get these six planes lined up thirty miles each behind the one in front in the next 140 miles? Okay, do it. Do something. Do anything. Turn one. Speed one up Slow one down. Is it working? Okay, turn a different one. Turn that first one further. Slow the last guy down even more. Make a plan, ANY plan, just make it work. Failing isn’t … it’s not one of the options available to you. You WILL do what you must, you WILL competently execute your responsibilities, and you WILL do it in a timely manner.

Do, there is no try.

Indecision paralysis is something I remember having, in my early twenties. I remember being afraid of what would happen if I made a bad choice. I would, I was certain, screw up the rest of my life irrevocably. That is … that’s just wrong. That’s not how life works. That’s not even how atc works. You make a bad call, you live with the consequences a while, and then you step up and frakking fix it.

I would like Avenue Q a lot less if it didn’t end the way it does. But it does, and I like the arc. I like and appreciate the journey the characters take as they each reach out to the next thing in their lives. Age twenty-two, even age twenty-three, are only for now.

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