Okay, so I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but to be fair, that night I was preluding to in the last blog was so tragic I had to get really drunk to blog again. I even mis-typed my login name when signing in. I’m hammered, eating pizza by the slice, listening to an “On-the-go” mix I made for the gym… another place I haven’t been recently.
That night… that show… I knew I didn’t want to do it. And I know some of you have read that creepy book “The Secret,” but I haven’t. Even if I had, I’m still sure that show would have gone the way it did. As usual, I take public transportation there. I check into the street car on “FourSquare.” The points I get by doing so, might be the highlight of my night. On the way there, I get a text saying “We’re running ahead of schedule-you’re going on earlier.” Great. Just what every comic wants to hear. Everybody’s still sober.
I walk in the bar. It’s my first time at this venue, and secretly I hope my name is not on the list. Nope. My name’s on the list. And they’ve made me a name tag to wear around my neck. I immediately hit the bar and buy something bottled. I see another regular from my work.
“Hey! I hear you’re doing comedy here tonight! Can’t wait!”
I’m not going to lie. I don’t know his name, but I know what beer he likes to drink, as well as his favourite menu item. I force some enthusiasm, and shove the neck of the bottled beer safely into my mouth. Then the regular that booked me for the show spots me.
“Hey, there you are! You’re on next!”
Next? I’ve been here for two minutes. Thanks for the warning. I follow him back stage. He introduces me to the host, who has clearly ignored the intro I gave him, and downloaded something word for word off the internet.
“Now, remember to keep it clean,” he says.
“What? I was going to do all blow job jokes.” I say. Everybody back stage laughs. This is the best laugh I will get all night.
As I stand off to the side of the stage, I watch the host.
“And now it’s time for the comedy portion of the night!”
As he says that, every kid in the room runs to the front of the stage and sits cross legged. They are excited. I think they mistook me for a clown. They’re highlights. I’m no Carrot Top. I take the stage. I hope I can dig myself out of this…
I do the traditional thing of asking the crowd how they’re doing. They seem to sound okay. The children are excited… for now. I start to hear noise behind me. It’s the band.
“Oh, don’t mind us. We’re just going to do our sound check while you’re on stage,” a bandmate says. Ummm, excuse me? You’re just going to fiddle your guitar while I’m in the middle of my act? It’s bad enough I have to curb my act for the elementary school that’s just plopped itself in front of my stage, but now I have to speak over instruments? How am I supposed to make fun of the Leafs like this?
And I did. I had no choice. Every time I was half way through doing a joke, I heard the bass, the guitarist, or even worse, the drummer. No comedian wants to hear “Ba-dum-sshhhhhh!” after a joke.
Two minutes into my set, I adandon my act, thinking, “I’d rather eat shit talking to the ten year olds, rather than eat shit with my actual act.” At one point, I believe the kids are digging me, but that was probably just good old fashion comedian’s delusionalism, keeping my ego in tact. I leave the stage, at least five minutes before I had to. I make no eye contact with anyone. I head staight back to the bar.
Sometimes its hard to get a drink in a bar. You know the feeling, “Am I invisible to the bartender?” Not tonight. She saw me, and came dashing over.
“Steam Whistle please.” I say. She turns away and grabs the beer. As she pops it open, she shakes her head, and says, “Tough crowd.” Oh great. Just when I thought the people in the back of the room weren’t listening, it turns out they were.
“Well, I didn’t do what I normally do. I couldn’t. There was kids here.” Oh God. Does that sound like an excuse? It’s not. I really did NOT do my act. Do children even know what a vibrator is? Hopefully not.
“Sure… Six dollars.”
So, I ate shit, and paid full price for beers. The kicker? The regular from my work who made me do this show, was in the band that followed me. The second number they did was a cover of “Who Let The Dogs Out.” And sadly, that got a better response than me.