A Story of Surprise

Posted: 09/08/2014 by goodie in Writing

A short story I wrote about my families experience with Robin Williams a few years ago. RIP

It started with my dad buying tickets to the Laugh Factory in Hermosa Beach. It was to be a big surprise for our family. The 5 of us pulled up to the venue and the marquee said Jay Leno in big movie theater letters. My sister, brother and I were impressed, although I think my mom was clued in on the surprise. We were seated at our table, about front row, stage right. The family enjoyed dinner, the opening comedy acts and the celebration of my sister’s birthday. Jay took the stage and we settled in for the main act. Our table roared as Jay spat away on his weekly Sunday night stand up routine. The end of Jay’s set came and he suddenly said, “I have a special treat for everyone tonight.” No sooner than those words came out of Jay’s mouth does a special guest jump from behind the curtain….nearly tearing the curtain from its rod as it caught against his forehead. As the curtain slides off to reveal his face, our whole table gasps as we suddenly realize that Jay is welcoming the one and only Mr. Robin Williams to the stage. This appearance of Robin Williams was a total surprise to everyone in the room, including the wait staff who stopped and stared at the stage in disbelief. My eyes began to water as I looked over at my Dad who was in utter shock, but was peering around our family’s table with that look on his face that says, “Ya, I fucking planned that.” As Robin gains his composure on stage, he looks at the crowd for a quarter second, shakes Jay’s hand, thanks him and begins his act. Robin’s routine was quick, witty and physical. Non-stop jokes came from his mouth as he jumped and moved across the entire stage. His animation, accompanied by his story telling was pure brilliance. Our whole family and the entire room, proceeded to laugh, laugh very hard for about 15 minutes straight. As soon as he came, he went. On his way out, Robin thanked the crowd several times and gave us that Robin Williams classic grin. I was out of breath and overwhelmed with emotion as Robin retreated backstage. I knew I had just observed a master of his craft, a creative genius. As we walked to our car, I thanked my Dad several times and so did my entire family. My Dad had provided us with a great evening of laughter and everlasting memories. The thing he hadn’t imagined was the surprise guest, Robin Williams, who left an indelible mark on all of our hearts.