"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Laurels
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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
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Noah placed himself in front of the mic stand on the tiny stage the Cheryl's team had erected for shows and concerts. It wasn't like the Seinfeld club, but Noah did kind of feel like a star. Everyone from the toddlers with faces covered in marinara to the old ladies eating corn soup was looking at him. His eyes briefly darted towards Irene before going back to the vague central area the stage directed him towards. He removed the microphone from the stand. He was going to move around a bit, so he wanted to be able to carry the mic with him.

"Hiiiiii!" he began, giving a large smile and waving at the audience.

"My name is Noah Whitley, I just turned 18-oh!"

A bunch of people in the audience began to cheer at that comment. Noah was surprised, but at least glad they believed his age. He didn't need his fake ID to perform here, so it was okay that he was still slightly baby-faced.

"Wow. I didn't know being 18 was so impressive to you guys," he commented.

"But yeah, it is surprising being so young and trying to perform at a restaurant for an audience of at least ten stay-at-home moms and at least three waiters who know exactly who in the crowd will under tip them tonight. You must be wondering how I'm staying so calm and collected during this. Well it's easy: comedy isn't scary, being a teenager in 2015 is."

Noah's smile disappeared and was replaced by an exaggerated face of worry. He returned it to normal to continue the bit.

"I'm not joking. Compared to traversing the asbestos-ridden halls of my high school, doing stand-up comedy is like being able to compete in the Tour de France with training wheels on. Being a high schooler these days is like doing the Tour de France in the world of Mad Max. Seriously, it's post-apocalyptic. Everyone looks at you as a threat, basic resources are scarce or unsafe for consumption, and at least half the people in your class have considered running someone over with their car. In my case, I haven't gotten on the nerves of too many people, but I've got fresh tire marks on my back telling me I should have lent my classmate a spare mechanical pencil during yesterday's math test."

Noah let out a small chuckle, using the chance to catch his breath and swallow. It also allowed for a chance to the audience to laugh if they found anything funny.

"School for my generation is much more difficult to get through than for my parents or my grandparents. I think the main reason is that, thanks to the Internet and social media, we're able to see more people going through the same issues and struggles as we are. We find more people to sympathize with, to relate to, and who can share with our cynicism in our lives. Before, you could just go to the DMV to see people who were miserable 24/7, but now you don't even have to leave your house."

Noah left a pause after that joke so the audience could laugh or react. He had a lot more jokes to tell, so he hoped he could keep the momentum going.
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Airline Food · Cheryl's