So, I took one for the team and offered to take photos of the Papillion Eagles Club comedy open mic for the newspaper.
OK, let’s be honest. It was really an excuse to get paid to go.
Then, mid-giggle at the open mic, I got to thinking about how people say there’s nothing for 20-somethings to do in Sarpy County.
As a 24-year-old who spends too much time — and gas — driving to and from Omaha, I thought this to be true. But after some self-reflection while daydreaming through a joke I didn’t understand, I realized I haven’t given the Sarpy County suburbs a fair chance to wow me, despite growing up in Bellevue.
I decided to conduct an experiment: try to find a bunch of stuff to do in the area to see how young-people-friendly it really is.
Oh, and if possible, call it “work” while I’m at it. I have a cool job.
I think I’m a good case study for 20-somethings everywhere as you can usually find me at bars, restaurants, concerts or open mics.
The comedy show on Nov. 2 was a great start to my experiment. It could be fun, but I had tragically low expectations considering the Facebook event only had five people RSVP’d, and one of them was me.
Nearing the event, I decided to humor myself by making a date out of it. My date — who insisted I mention is cute — invited two others.
All in our mid-20s and out of our elements, we had no idea what kind of night we signed ourselves up for. Regardless, the four of us were ready to laugh, whether it be from actually funny jokes or from cringing in secondhand embarrassment.
My date and I walked in just after 9 p.m., fully expecting our group to now make up at least half the audience. To our surprise, the room was packed with people of all ages drinking and listening to the host introduce the event.
We met the other two at a table toward the back, where they’d already started drinking a pitcher of beer. Two extra glasses waited for us to join in. I don’t know what kind of beer it was, but beer’s beer and I won’t be 24 forever.
I settled into my seat, sipped my drink and started watching the show.
Given the club’s military ties, I honestly thought the comedians would be inebriated veterans stuttering through a series of half-thought-out military jokes that flew over my head. At least the people I brought — who are all coincidentally in the Air Force — would get it, maybe.
I was so wrong.
Not that they’d get the jokes. I mean, I can’t speak for them, but I think their snickers spoke for itself.
But about the performers. The show certainly wasn’t hurting for talent because the comedians were actually funny. Imagine that.
They came ready to fulfill their lifelong dreams of being the class clowns with hilarious bits and puns that at some point appealed to each person in the diverse audience.
No topic was too taboo, from race to sex to mental illness. The club’s hall echoed with genuine laughter or the audience sat in silence because we were too afraid to react.
It turns out you don’t have to go all the way to the Backline in Omaha for good standup.
I’d be lying to say we stayed the entire show and chuckled until our stomachs hurt.
After about an hour, we’d had our funny fix. We sneaked out the back door between comedians with our heads down, hoping the host wouldn’t use our escape as a punchline.
It wasn’t because the jokes fell flat — or the beer, for that matter — but because Beercade 2 was calling our names.
So maybe that proves everyone’s point and Omaha wins the nightlife duel.
To me, it just means the area needs a bar where we can play arcade games older than us. Is that too much to ask?
But to be fair, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a bar in Sarpy County, so I wouldn’t even know if one existed.
I guess I’m due a bar-hopping trip to peek at local holes in the walls for part two of my experiment.