by Alejandro Magallanes
The hostess of the comedy show at the Legion Hall announced that we would be taking a five minute break. It was a much needed break. Sitting through comic after comic and literally laughing until it hurt was starting to take its toll. I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. The man next to me lit up a cigarette, smiling. I smiled back, “These women are hilarious, aren’t they?” He nodded, responding, “It’s about time we get something good in this town!”
That’s the way it felt at The Cougars of Comedy show held two Saturdays ago at the American Legion Hall. It was a night of side-splitting laughter. The ad in this paper stated that it could make you “pee in your pants” and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone actually did.
There’s something about women in their forties and fifties. It’s as if all the beauty magazines, asshole boyfriends, and judgements from mother they had to absorb in their teens, twenties and thirties finally reach a boiling point, and the real woman inside explodes at 40 and 50, screaming, “No more!” What you’re left with is the genuine beauty of a real woman, with enough joy, rage, and creativity to lead an entire crowd of people into uproarious laughter.
What was best about this evening of risqué comic debauchery was fund-raising for a good cause. Correction. A great cause. This comedy show was brought to us by a local, non-profit organization called Bad Ass Boxes. This family-run organization delivers boxes of essential items to our Special Operations troops deployed all over the world, one platoon at a time.
I have to say that the greatest gift of Bad Ass Boxes is their President, Andrea. Where the female comics she works with call themselves the cougars of comedy, Andrea is certainly the cougar cub: young, beautiful, energetic, and sharp. When I asked her about how this organization started, she blatantly explained that she was drunk at a whiskey bar, talking to a couple handsome servicemen who were being deployed the next morning. After hearing this, she excitedly exclaimed, “I’m gonna send you something!” One hangover and two aspirin later, Andrea realized, “Aww, shit. I told those guys I was gonna send them something.” This is how Bad Ass Boxes was born.
“We all say, ‘I support our troops!’ But how?” Andrea asks. “I felt like I couldn’t truly say that unless I took action.” And she did. A few months after that conversation at the whiskey bar, Bad Ass Boxes sent its first shipment of boxes.
“We applied for our nonprofit status and it took quite a while. Obtaining non-profit status can be a difficult and lengthy process, so instead of waiting for acknowledgment, Andrea’s company kept sending boxes to our troops. “But we didn’t stop there.” She said. Her organization kept sending boxes to our troops. As her organization grew, she found her niche within the numerous, non-profit, box-shipment organizations. She opened careful and limited communication with the stealthy Special Ops troops, who are sent out to clandestine destinations. These soldiers are so isolated out on the field that they are easily forgotten. Bad Ass Boxes sends detailed deliveries to their entire platoon based on “request lists” they receive through their private communication.
Andrea continued her work, and like a serendipitous blessing upon her organization, Andrea received a letter in the mail on 9/11, 2015, revealing their accepted non-profit status. “How awesome is that?!” she reveals, beaming with gratitude. “That just blew your mind, right?”
What blows my mind is how one person can make such an selfless decision to dedicate their life to caring for others. Andrea is truly mother, wife, sister and saint to many of these soldiers…the majority of whom she has never met. On her website, www.badassboxes.org, you can read testimonials sent directly from soldiers who receive the blessings that Bad Ass Boxes send. “Never underestimate the power of something as simple as a prepared meal, a Lego set, or a lava lamp to improve the morale of a soldier serving in a deserted area,” Andrea reveals.
How do you support our troops? Please visit the website. There you will see that they are still receiving donations for our troops who are still being deployed in 2017. Andrea states, “Every dollar makes a difference, just like every care package helps a soldier.”