1 of the unique things about being on the road for 20 years is that you often drive by places that you had forgotten about or you wonder if you had been there before. If you’ve been to the Dakotas as many times as I have, the Watertown’s, Aberdeen’s, and Brookings’ can start to confuse you. The Hy-Vees and Taco John’s seem to be all in the same areas.
While driving to Sioux Falls I went through a town named Windom, Minnesota, which triggered a couple memories.
The hotel that I stayed at there is 1 of the strangest concepts ever for lodging. It’s called the Guardian Inn and as you can tell from the photo below, your room includes your own garage. Now the weather can be pretty brutal during the long winters of Windom, so I do understand why someone might want a garage when staying overnight, but I still can’t see it being a good idea for 12 months. This might be why there are only 2 of them. (Web-research shows there is another Guardian Inn in LeCenter, MN. Make your travel plans accordingly.)
So I see this garage/motel and it triggers my memory about the show the one night I performed in Windom. Now my guess is this was over 10 years ago, but occasionally you have someone who stands out which helps bring you back.
The show took place in a dumpy bar in Windom. My best recollection was that it had some type of plywood stage. Glamorous, right? Well, I’m doing the show and somewhere in the middle I start being heckled. No problem. In a room like this, you kind of expect it and I’m pretty fucking good at being the ringleader for the Circus. What made this heckler out of the ordinary was he had …wait for it…a voice-box.
Yes, an actual voice-box. You know like the one’s you hear people use in those infomercials to stop smoking. The voice-box that seemingly every hack comic from the 80’s and 90’s replicated in some bit by putting the mic up to their throat and mimicking. Well this guy was the real deal. I promise you that you have never really been heckled until you have a voice-box guy comment on your material. I can’t remember how I handled it, but I will tell you I destroyed that dump. Huge laughter. For 1 night those people in Windom laughed as hard as anyone else did on the planet on that specific date.
I know that sounds like hyperbole, but every once in awhile you have some foreign element thrown into a live show and if the comic can handle it with grace and wit, there is no prepared material that can top it. I’ve had a few of those nights.
As I’ve stated many times, my meaning of life is WHO LEAVES WITH THE BEST STORIES WINS! Unless you’ve done a comedy show in dive bar being heckled by a guy with a voice-box and then celebrated it by having a whole town buy you shots only to have the owner drive your car into a garage connected to your motel room…well, that my friends is 1 of those nights you realize you did your own version of walking on the moon.