At the beginning of his stand-up career, Paul Mecurio was being pulled in several directions at once. He had a day job on Wall Street, and family back in Rhode Island trying to get him to move back and help run the family furniture business, all while secretly doing open mics all over Manhattan. "I tried to go home after my father died and help my mom run the business." He soon found out, however, that he was merely an errand boy and caretaker for his sometimes forgetful mother. "She'd lock customers in the store in the middle of the day. 'I gotta run to the bank.' I went in there one day and there was this old lady in the store. She'd been locked in there for six hours." Fortunately she had a sense of humor about the situation. "I asked her what she did all that time and she said 'I looked around a lot, and took a nap on that sofa. Oh, and is your name Paul? You have six messages.' She took messages for me!" The breaking point came when Mecurio took his mother on one of her trash picking runs. Not food," he explains, "but broken clocks, blenders. She grew up in the depression." One night she found a busted clock, and told her son that the people throwing it out must be crazy. "She had no sense of irony. I went from Wall Street and marble offices to being a look-out in a bad Italian-American version of Antiques Roadshow. How did I get here? I knew then it was time to move on." Mecurio performs at Go Bananas in Montgomery Thursday-Sunday. Tickets are $8-$12. $4 Thursday with college/military ID, $4 Sunday for bar and restaurant worker appreciation.
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