VOL 70 ISSUE 4
The fledgling comedienne Pam Putz recently confessed at a central New Jersey pub’s open mic night that her nickname is so embarrassing that it has prevented her from returning in six years to her hometown of Pottsville, PA. Stammering through her set up, Putz said that she had been a pretty decent singer in high school, “like Adele on 5-hour Energy.” A TV news station was covering her advances on a national talent show, featuring both nice and snarky celebrity judges, so a reporter interviewed her parents and some adoring fans in front of their house. “They told the reporter that I’d always been a songbird as a little kid, but once I hit poo-berty I really filled out nicely and my voice took on a different character,” said Putz, who suddenly succumbed to a coughing fit. “Wait—did they just pronounce ‘puberty’ as ‘poo-berty’”? She stared into the darkness. A glass broke behind the bar. “I mean, who says ‘poo-berty’? Who says that? Did they say that in the 1950’s or something? And why did they have to discuss my metamorphosis into womanhood with a reporter who had just asked if they were proud of me?” the comedienne riffed. “So, of course, all of Pottsville watched that interview, and I instantly became known as Pooberty Pam. This was worse than you think–it wasn’t just the boys in high school who went off on me. That weekend I was at the supermarket and the grandfatherly gent on the PA announces, “Good morning, shoppers, lobsters are only $7.99 a pound today, so join us back in the Seafood section with Pooberty Pam!” Four of the audience members grimaced silently, while the other, who works as a junior staffer at a leading cable and satellite TV network in its fast-growing division that develops shame-driven content, couldn’t wait to introduce herself to Putz.