My daughter said something to me the other day that I would like to share with you, “Apples kill owls.” Delivered in a tone which implied that I, Mrs. Slow Moving Adult, should have already been aware of the scientific fact. At which point I replied with my most encouraging and non-confrontational response, which always elicits open dialogue, “Huh?”

She then enlightened me, “If you throw an apple core out your car window, it will land at the side of the road, a mouse will come out to eat it, an owl will see the mouse and land to catch it and will then get hit by a car.” So there you have it, apples kill owls.

I love the logic, and at the same time I’m delightfully horrified that this is exactly the way a human brain works. Conflict and human interaction is an improviser’s wet-dream. What do we sit up and take notice of? I’ll let you in on what we comedians observe: a plethora of grown-ups saying that’s a way of life, a religion, a race, a gender, is wrong or inferior. Now, if you listen to their reasoning, they will give you a chain of facts, texts, experiences, that will link together to explain the ultimate realization: that apples kill owls. It might as well be that silly, these radical, hateful things that are said are just as ridiculous and yet the foundation of these beliefs are grounded in truth to the individuals, in emotional connection, in experience. This is why I am not on the politically-correct bandwagon, why my humour is a bluish colour, because I would never discount anyone’s opinion, but boy will I reflect it back in their face, in a sketch or improv, and I’ll be the first to laugh at the ridiculousness of harsh statements against a culture or group of people, as gently as I did with my daughter, “Yes, sweetie, looks like apples kill owls. Maybe we’ll make sure we take responsibility for our garbage.” What have you been tossing out your proverbial window? Come back and visit my blog if you want to have a good laugh over your garbage and mine.

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy