Tell your stories at a new open mic storytelling event. (Photo: Kai Oberhäuser, StockSnap)

The Chattery will host their first-ever storytelling open mic event at Improv Chattanooga tonight.

Tickets are available here. The show is 5 to 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.


The theme of the night is “firsts.” Storytellers should tell five-minute tales based on first loves, first time doing an activity or anything else they can think of involving the theme.

I thought I’d use my column this week to explore the theme of “firsts.” Here are five short “first” stories, for better or worse. Submit yours in the comments section.

First kiss
Unless you count some weird babysitter stuff when I was too young to know what I was doing, my first “real” kiss was at the age of 16. We were both in a high school production of “Oklahoma!” and had broken up by the end of the run. But for a brief time, I was completely smitten with this girl. Let me set up the romantic backdrop of our first kiss: I took her on a golf cart ride on the family farm. That’s it. We parked near the creek and kissed after every conversation topic had been depleted. It was great. I should’ve made a move sooner. I’m a classic late-to-the-game mover. She dumped me on her birthday.

First public embarrassment
The first (of many) public embarrassments of my life was a poop incident at a seafood restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. Three of us kiddos were allowed to sit in our own booth because we were “old enough” at ages 7 and 8. Phillip, my friend, immediately started throwing shrimp at other diners. He eventually choked on one, which made me laugh and suddenly poop my pants. I ran to the bathroom, stripped naked (I don’t know why) and attempted to wash my soiled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle briefs in the sink. A man walked in and said, “I see we had a little accident there, didn’t we?” and I just put my pants back on and left the underwear in the sink. We never went back to that restaurant.

First meeting of future wife
I met Monica at a Friendsgiving celebration around Thanksgiving a few years ago. Each year, some friends gather at a house for an evening of friendship, great food (potluck-style) and a talent show. My first encounter with Monica was at the party. My friend saw her go outside and then told me about a time she had been curt with him during a party. Without too much colorful language, he told me that she wasn’t somebody to know. Apparently, Monica had seen me and kept hoping I would reappear at the party. It all worked out, but first impressions can be interesting. Thanksgiving has become our “anniversary time,” especially around the annual Friendsgiving gathering.

First car accident
I drove a teal Chevy S-10 pickup truck as my first car. It was rear-wheel drive, so it spun out a lot in the rain. The first time I actually wrecked was at an intersection in Jonesborough, Tennessee. I was behind a large van at a merge. They moved and I looked back to see if anything was coming, but they were still there when I turned back around. I plowed into the back of their van. The occupants were an elderly woman and her slightly less elderly daughter. Both were bleeding from their faces. I started crying and apologizing, but when the police officer arrived, he instructed me to “never say sorry” for an accident. He gave me a ticket for “following too closely.”

First concert
I’ve seen hundreds of live shows, but my first was an outdoor concert featuring KC and The Sunshine Band. You know their songs: “Shake Your Booty,” “Boogie Shoes” and the inimitable “Get Down Tonight,” along with their most famous track, “That’s the Way (I Like It).” KC was an aging dancer, and his backup singers were the pinnacle of disco glory. Nothing about this show was memorable except the absurdity of it. I watched him gyrating on stage, and nothing about it made sense to me. “This is not the music of my people,” I remember thinking. I wish I could say that my first concert was Slayer or Bruce Springsteen or even Richard Marx—although I am grateful that my first show wasn’t a Christian rock band like so many of my friends recall. I was scarred less by repeated viewings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” KC’s performance left me confused and sad. 

The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.