Sunday, April 1, 2018

Stranger Things

We got to the venue for Strangerville Live on Friday a couple of hours before the show started. Jolyn and a woman who works for Church & State started lifting and moving heavy furniture to get things set up while I pretended to be busy playing with the audio equipment.

As is always the case, time flew and suddenly people were coming through the doors, including Bob and Cathie who were already habitually telling me that my story was their favorite even though the show hadn't started yet.

Bob and Cathie's unwavering support for their offspring is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is comforting to have a constant cheerleader section that will reassure you, until their voices are hoarse, that whatever thing you did was the best anyone has ever done that thing. On the other hand, three decades of this have not made facing this cruel world an easy transition.

Suddenly, the show began. Jolyn took the stage and welcomed everyone. The venue looked beautiful. People were smiling. Everything was going just great. Jolyn announced that Rachel Miller would be our first storyteller of the night. Rachel began her story and the audience seemed to love it.

I was wandering the back of the room, taking pictures and enjoying the story. Eventually I tip-toed up the side to row two, where there was an empty seat on the end. I sat down next to a young woman. And when I did, she leaned over to me and whispered:

Woman: Do you know what this is?

Eli: What what is?

Woman: This event.

Eli: It's Strangerville Live.

Woman: So what is it?

Eli: It's a storytelling show.

Woman: Crap. I thought this was an event for Stranger Things.

Eli: What? Seriously?

Woman: Yes. An acquaintance was talking about this event today so I showed up because I thought it was a Stranger Things party.

Eli: . . . well . . . this is definitely not a Stranger Things party.

Woman: Obviously. Have you ever been to one of these before?

Eli: . . . uh . . . once or twice.

She then turned back to the stage and listened to the rest of Rachel's story, laughing with the rest of the audience. I kept an eye out for her for the rest of the night to see if she was going to leave, but she didn't. She stayed and appeared to be enjoying herself.

She put her hands to her face in amused embarrassment when Jolyn introduced me as the last storyteller and producer of the show.

I had texted Jolyn during the show to tell her what had happened on row two, so when Jolyn stood up to close out the show and thank everyone, she mentioned that at least one person there thought that this was going to be a Stranger Things party. Row two woman got a special round of applause from an audience who was very amused by this.

After the show she found me and told me that she felt like an idiot and had no idea that this was my show when she was talking to me. I assured her that unknowingly doing embarrassing things actually meant that she very much belonged with that group.


Ok, not really. I just thought I would throw in that last part before eleventy of you suggest it.

Left to right: Meg (who has already asked me to remove this picture from the internet), The SuzzzzZZzzZzzz, Rachel Miller, Jolyn, Eli 

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I’m very curious what a Stranger Things party would be like. I’m glad she stayed to hear the stories.

    I live waaaaay too far away to have ever been able to go to Strangerville Live. How would you describe the difference between storytelling and stand-up comedy? Is it that the stories aren’t necessarily funny?

  2. I talked to her after the show. She asked how to find the blog, so I told her to start with Snuggie Texts and then she only had, oh, 8 years of posts to catch up on after that. She assured me she'd quit her job and make reading Stranger her full-time priority. Again, she fits right in!

    Also, I came from Denver to SLC to spend time with my grandpa who is dying. The show was amazing and a much needed relief from a tough few days! Oh, and I didn't even need to correct your grammar, you nailed it! 😀 Thanks again for a fun night!

  3. That is a very cool venue! I wish that you could take the show on the road and come to Houston! I would even leave my little hamlet of Sugar Land and venture into the city to see you!

  4. Does Strangerville Live get recorded and posted like the podcasts?

    1. Yup! We will be releasing the stories over the coming weeks on Strangerville.

  5. That venue!!!! So sad I couldn't come.

  6. The Suzzzzz, give us the tell all, behind the scenes nitty gritty details!!

    1. Not sure there was much about the show that was nitty gritty. There were those tiny empty dark rooms in the hallway by the bathrooms that looked like a place to torture unsuspecting victims. But other than that it was lovely.

    2. We need to have you be our regular photographer.

    3. Deal. I'm better with a camera than I am in front of a mic.

  7. I was at the show and didn't get a chance to tell you in person--Eli, your story was one of the most entertaining things I have ever heard. It was so funny and compelling. I've seen you at the Porch a couple of times and I've heard your Strangerville stories but I honestly thought that was the best one you've ever written. Please tell me that the recording will be shared sometime?

  8. It makes me ridiculously happy to see the back of my head in your photo...

  9. She sat next to my friend and I and we chatted quite a bit before the show. She asked what the event was, apparently my "a storytelling show" explanation wasn't as clear as yours. LOL she was very sweet and I'm sure you have a new listener/reader out there.

  10. Also, nice to see you in real life-again, facebook recently revealed that it has been 6 years since Mike and Moka's bbq. I'll do my best not to let another 6 years go by just stalking you online. Loved the show, I was so excited when I saw I'd be in town for this one! I'm pretty sure the Suzzzzz and I should be best of friends, the dating war stories we could share.

  11. I just want to comment that The Suzzzz is stunning! What a beautiful woman!!!

  12. Ohmagash.
    My friend said that my story about going to a "stranger things" party, that was NOT a "stranger things" party (APPARENTLY), sounded familiar. She then showed me this blog post.
    About ME. Being. A. Complete. Dork. (NOT TO STEAL THE STAGE Eli, but I want more credit here).
    But I mean you are all great story tellers and it was a good time. Probably better then a "stranger things" party anyways. Maybe.

    -Sophia, from the Not stranger things party event (Apparently).