The last blog post I did about being on the road was about flying in a private jet and performing in theaters. That is a total aberration from what my job is usually like. Yesterday I drove 11 hours to get to my gig, then ended up hitting the stage after 10 central (which is more like 11 eastern time, which is my body clock time) Finished well after midnight. Days like this didn’t used to impact me, but now that I’m in my 40’s, I notice it takes more out of me.
The show was a hotel bar, which I generally like since you can walk back and forth from your room. Unfortunately there was a old drunk man sitting at the bar who was not a fan of comedy. The stage is at the other end of the venue, so that helped, but the old coot was so loud that you could hear him pretty clearly 100 feet away. He blathered on during the feature act, who plowed through his show adeptly. My feature act is a comic from Toronto, who while at the same time he was onstage for 25 people in South Dakota, his comedy special was being aired for the first time on the Canadian version of Comedy Central. Oh the glamorous, but schizo world of standup.
So when I get onstage I’m kind of hot about the drunken old man, so I start talking about him. I have a hard time ignoring things like this. I tell the mainly college age crowd that this is why you will never see your social security, because of old drunks like this who are spending it all trying to forget the waste their life was. I added that his wife is probably some blue haired bitch dropping pennies into slot machines hoping the spinning fruit will dull her brain from having to live with this walking cirrhosis of the liver.
I don’t figure he is listening, since he paid no attention to the opening act. I just needed to vent and I feel it is a mistake to not call-out rude behavior. So I go on about the pathetic nature of my family life when Pabst Gray Ribbon stands up and starts to come toward the stage. He tells me I don’t know anything about wives. He’s had 4 of them. Shocker is my response. Then I ask if he is still married. Nope, they all thought I was too big of an asshole to stay with. I offer up a positive that at least they got that right. BIG LAUGHS.
He had a rednecky accent. I asked him where he was from. He told me southern Iowa. I offered back I was sorry to hear that because I grew up in Iowa. I mentioned that I must come from the part of Iowa where they have schools. He then asks me where I’m from. I mention that I’m from the same place I told him 10 seconds before. (guy more drunk than I thought). He tells me ( and the rest of the audience) he is a pipe fitter. I told him I don’t care what he calls it, I don’t judge anyone on their sexual preference, so why don’t you just call yourself gay, instead of using a term like pipe fitter? MORE BIG LAUGHS.
His response is to ask me again where I’m from? I tell him Iowa, but like his ex wives I moved to get away from assholes like him. I then mentioned that most people from Iowa are good people, so I’m guessing he is actually from South Dakota, but as part of his keeping his citizenship in the state, he is forced to tell people he is from Iowa.
Big surprise his next question is…where am I from? I figure I will pick a different place, since this was getting to be a little too Groundhog Day like, so I go with New Jersey. He roars back, well that figures. He then asks where I’m off to the next day. I said he could water board me and I would never give him the location of my future dates.
He then stumbles out of the bar and off to his hotel room. From that point on the running gag between the audience and me was WHERE ARE YOU FROM? I was basically running on caffeine and adrenaline by the end, but everyone had a good time. I found out that I was older than a few of these college students parents but I continue to connect comedically. Who knows if in 20 more years I won’t be performing for these students kids.