I have been busy these last couple of weeks in the comedy department, travelling to Harrisburg, Greensboro, Baltimore, and most recently, Youngstown. Big thanks to Dave, Tony, Crystal, and the rest of the fine staff at the Funny Farm. This was my third time working for them in their third different location. The previous two were located in hotels, but this new one is a more permanent comedy compound that is a converted Damon's Steakhouse. Nice place. When I pulled into the parking lot, I didn't know what my accommodations were going to be. The lovely Crystal informed me that the club rented a nearby apartment for the comics to stay. Groovy. I got the following directions to get there: Go around the building and turn left. Go past the trailer park and look for the house with the Winnebago in front and turn right. You'll see a four-unit apartment building on your left. I say again, ga-roovy. I got there and met the headliner, Bill Scott. He informed me that the cable was out, so there wasn't a functioning TV. Upon further inspection of the apartment, we also found that all of the towels left for up were damp and moldy. And there was a persistent funk coming from...somewhere. My first guess was the crawlspace that I found in my room. It appears we were stuck in the renter's sequel to The Shining. Luckily, I had decided to bring my PS2 with me to use as a DVD player, so we weren't completely lost. The only other source of entertainment was a wooden cabinet that slid open to reveal an 8-track/record player/stereo. The knob for volume was labelled "loudness". We found a selection of polka cassettes for the 8-track and an Up With People record, which we immediately attempted to play backward to summon a denizen of the netherworld who could appreciate this place. After the show was done on Thursday night, Bill and I went to the all-night K-Mart to grab some supplies for the rest of the weekend...they were out of holy water, unfortunately. I did pick up a fresh towel and a cheap deck of cards and poker chips. Luckily, Bill was a fellow degenerate gambler, so we spent a large chunk of time playing heads up poker. We figured we had nothing to lose.
On Friday, Bill and I went to the local mall to kill some time. While were chowing down on some mediocre pizza from the off-brand Sbarro clone in the food court, Bill dropped some knowledge on me. He was enjoying a grape Fanta with his cheesy shingle and he asked, "Do you know the story behind Fanta?" I did not. Apparently, Fanta is the brand that Coca-cola came up with so they could continue selling soda to Germany during WWII. They didn't want pictures of Nazis drinking all-American Coke, so Fanta was born. Our sick minds wondered what the ad campaigns must've been like. I came up with Fanta: The final solution for your thirst.
On Saturday, emboldened by my success playing poker against Bill, I tried to raise the stakes of my disappointment, by driving 45 minutes to nearby Chester, WV to check out the Mountaineer Casino. Unfortunately, the one tournament they had running in the poker room was a $235 buy-in, which was a smidge too rich for my blood. So, since I had come to play cards and lose money, I bought in for $100 in chips and sat down at a $1-$2 no limit table. I won one hand as was feeling pretty good, then I was dealt King-Jack and the flop came Ace-King-Jack...two pair. The turn was a five. Then the river was a Queen. So there was a potential straight on the board that I didn't have and the guy to my left raises to $40. I had already called previous bets on the flop and turn, but he didn't seem like he had the ten. I called. I turn over my King-Jack. He turns over Ace-Queen. I begin muttering to myself. I think I spent more time driving to the fucking casino than I did at the table. That was worth it. Luckily, I sold enough CD's to offset that lapse in judgement. Fun bunch of shows in Youngstown and Bill was great to work with.
This week, Oct. 1st - 5th, I'll be hosting the slate of shows at my favorite club, the DC Improv. After four weeks on the road, it'll be nice to play roughly 20 minutes from Stately Stern Manor. I'll be working with Jim Florentine for the second time in three weeks. He was fun to work with up in Baltimore, so this should be a good week. Come check us out.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the current political and financial climate that is currently swirling around us like the ghosts that seeped out of the ark at the end of Raiders (don't look at it). Sarah Palin looks like she won a reality show to get on the Republican ticket. I caught part of her interview with Katie Couric. The phrase "moose in headlights" comes to mind. I do, however, think that John McCain is the best candidate to lead us through the impending depression...because he lived through the last one. I don't understand the bailout. I have no head for money. I had all of my assets converted into skee ball tickets. I just want someone to put it in terms that I can understand...
Happy New-Jew Year to everybody. It's 5769 and still no flying cars...come on people.
To be continued...