Don’t know where Haliburton is? Neither did I when I first got the gig sheet. All I knew was that it’s 3 hours away. Not every gig is in a Comedy Club. Some are in different venues that have hired comics for the night. They transform(or try) a dining room, bar or community centre into a comedy stage. Like tonight. Most comics in Toronto call these “Supple Runs,” in reference to the agent that books them. These are my favourite shows to do.
The first part of the Supple Runs, for me at least, is meeting my ride. I don’t have a car, but I come baring gas money. Depending on how well I know the comic, the first half hour or so in the car can be awkward. But most comics have a simple way of solving that problem- a fine smokable.
First off, I barely ever smoke pot. I was chronic in University, but now I’m a one-trick pony, and my trick is beer. I’m good at beer, like Serena’s good at tennis. I definitely never smoke before I go on stage. I did once in Mississauga years ago and the crowd definitely knew I was high… or maybe I just thought they knew… But this is a 3 hour car ride, plus the traffic is really bad. Surely if I smoke now, I’ll be normal by my show, right?
The following is a real entry from my journal that I wrote while I was high on the road. There might not be a lot of full sentences. Don’t judge me. Just imagine yourself somewhere around Lindsey, ON on route to Haliburton(my career is on fire.)
“Smoke joint. Crave chips. Driver craves Starbucks. You wonder if Starbucks sells chips. Driver can’t find Starbucks, so he stops at Subway. Awesome. Subway sells chips. You pee. Driver buys you a 6″ Veggie Delite Sub. Back in the car. Finish eating sub. Fuck. You forgot to buy chips. You try to get your mind off chips by counting barns. 1…2…3… Check Facebook on phone. Maybe the driver will get lost, have to pull over at a gas station and ask directions. Then you can buy chips… 12 … 13… 14… Check Twitter… Maybe Driver will start to crave chips and/or just pull over for chips cuz he’s board of driving. Oh, look. There’s a car dealership. Why do they only sell trucks? There’s a lawn chair store. We must be close. Goat Rentals? Oh… Boat Rentals. Need glasses. Godfathers Pizza? Didn’t your parents take you to a Godfathers Pizza when you were a kid? Whatever happened to Bonanza? And Mr. Mikes? You miss the taste of the hot dog at Zellers Skillet Restaurant… turn right. Are we there yet? No, another boring highway. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Let everyone know you want chips. Oh crap. Forgot to count barns. Let’s just say 23.”
And that’s me writing high. Apparently weed makes me write about myself in second person. Three and a half hours and only one pee break,(hold your applause) we arrive at our gig. Well, first we drive right by it. But after the U-Turn we see it.
Now, this is why I love Supple Runs. When you drive hours outside the city to perform for people, they’re so grateful. They treat you so nice. Free dinner, free drinks(my personal fave, but don’t worry- I never over endulge. I’m a professional. Although I wish there was a classy way to ask for a roady.) The chef even comes over to personally offer us his specialty, five alarm wings(did I mention I’m only %67 Vegetarian these days?) I definitely want the wings, but I’ll wait til after my show. I have to do 15 minutes. If the wings rumble something in my digestive track, I may run off stage after five.
It’s thirty minutes to show time and the MC is not here. I hope this isn’t one of those shows where he runs late, and I have to host. Not that I mind hosting, but when you’re on stage, and you don’t know when the next act is going to enter the building, you find yourself looking at the door a lot. You just have to keep going until he shows up.
He phones. He’s near, but he’s going to be late. Fewf. I’ve done shows where one comic doesn’t show up at all. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, and I have to fill 40 minutes, don’t be surprised if you hear my B-Sides.
The show starts 20 minutes late. MC does his thing and brings me up. I do my 15 minute spot(okay, I did 17-not horribly over time.) It’s a good set. They’re loving all my material, although my flushing babies down the toilet joke gets a big “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear. There is one guy in the front row who looks like MACGruber. He has his back to me, and is probably one of those hill billy guys who think women aren’t funny. I make fun of him behind his back, miming his body language. The crowd laughs. I’m happy with that. I return to my regular jokes. As I’m on stage I think to myself, “Ya, the weed definitely wore off. I’m fine.” (I was probably telling a joke about a vibrator while this thought occured.) I finish on a big laugh, as we all love to do.
Now it’s headliner time. And time for my five-alarm wings. Mmmm…. good wings, but lets be serious. I’m a Mexican trapped in a Canadians body. Haliburton hot is not hot for me. Still delicious though. I wash them down with a pint of Coors Lite(my working beer.)
On the way home we’re disturbed by the songs playing on the radio. MC Hammer, Alannah Myles… time to slip in a Tony Krolo mix. We enjoy another fine smokable. It’s too dark to write this time. Three hours later, he drops me off at my door step. I thank him for the ride, a great show(we did sell out Haliburton- a wopping 70 seater) and say goodbye. As he drives away I bolt into the convenience store. I need chips.
ps Why can’t I stop all this double spacing?