I am not a man of distinction. I never have been.

I fell asleep during Cirque du Soleil. I laughed during What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

When I'm on a date, I open up the glove box and offer the lovely lady accompanying me the opportunity to choose from an assortment of coupons from local eateries.

I shave every third or fourth day and I don't know how to tie a tie. I am – without a doubt – not someone who appreciates fine art.

With that said, here is my review of Fringe Festival 2004 - in an Olympic Medal format.

Parking was not easy. My first assignment of the weekend was the One-Man Lord of the Rings Trilogy located off Rollins Street. I arrived an hour before the show was scheduled to start and was told the parking lot was full. I then explained to the police officers manning the entrance that I was a writer reviewing the productions for Orlando CityBeat.

Amazingly, parking spots became open. It was an act of God.

Note to anyone reading this: If you can't find parking, say you're a writer. Evidently, that is part of a code in some underground vocabulary shared only between paid civil servants and the upper echelon of elitist art-deco society.

Inside the venue, I attempted to procure my ticket to the show. I was told I was required to "donate" $5 for a Fringe Festival button. I declined. Upon doing so, I was told without my button, I would not be allowed into the shows. I then made a $5 "donation."

Gold Medal
Man 1, Bank 0 (running time, 75 minutes):
Written and performed by Patrick Combs, Man 1, Bank 0 is the true story of Combs' adventures depositing a junk mail check for $95,093.35. What ensued after his initial deposit is both hilarious and amazing.

On its own, the story is marvelous. It's the type of tale that inspires the phrase, "Only in America." But no story can be properly be told without a gifted storyteller. Combs fits the bill.

Displaying an almost Crispin Glover-like cadence, Combs controls the room with a genuine approach to storytelling that invokes the type of comfort normally reserved for friends and old acquaintances. He captivates the audience with a story so staggering, they're forced to immediately invest themselves in the character.

I don't want to ruin the ending. I encourage anyone reading this to see the performance. Combs is destined for big things. Man 1, Bank 0 is only the beginning of what I assume will be an illustrious career.

Final word: This is – by far – the best performance I saw. I can't recommend it enough.

Silver Medal
MeMeMeMe (running time, 60 minutes – actually ran in 30+):