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from Two Candidates Walk Into A Bar by Nick Edinger

Chapter III

Chapter 3

Amal waited to speak until Henry finished— he knew Henry was on a roll. Henry outlined several strategies for tonight’s bit, but made Amal’s role clear— film Henry and Fulton when they talk later on. Henry would put the video on his Twitter page, and, fingers crossed, cause the resurgence of one of his favorite memes.

After Henry finished his talk, the manager of Chandler Comedy Club entered through the curtain. She told then that the headlining act’s running late, and that they’d start in 10 minutes. Henry would preform first. Amal told his manager that he had changed his mind— instead of political satire, he would re-do the drug fire routine tonight. The manager, also known to Amal as Aunt Jane, sighed and mentioned that the uniform’s still in the costume closet. Amal closed the conversation with a “Thank you 10 minutes,” and Aunt Jane left the way she came in.

Once the manager closed the door, the backstage hall grew dim again. Amal stood up. Henry grinned and said, “Chickening out? It’s a shame, I would’ve loved to see Fulton juggle handkerchiefs with constitutional amendments on them.”

Amal stuffed a stray handkerchief back into his pocket. “I just have 10 minutes, I need to re-prepare for my show, I’m not calling up Theo Fulton, it was a stupid idea, this is the last show I’ll perform in a while—“

Henry put both his hands on Amal’s shoulders. Even though Amal was taller, he felt like Henry glared down at him. “Amal. You did not even say you’d help. Most times, people who agree to film an event at least take the goddamn phone.”

“Fulton is in the crowd,” said Amal.

Henry sighed, and then smiled. “It’s good to hear you were paying attention,” he said.

“But were...

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