At this point, the 401 is becoming as familiar as the University-Spadina Line on the TTC. My afternoon starts off like any other. I call the night bartender, and beg her to come in an hour early because my gig is in the boonies again. She says “Yes.” Thank God, or the people of Rodney might have been drunker by the time I hit the stage(if that’s possible.)
I meet my ride, the Emcee, at Finch Station. Finch is creepy, but if I’m punctual, and he’s punctual, all should be good. I get a text saying he will be in a big golden Nissan Murano. Crap. What the fuck does that look like? My dad’s a used car salesman. He would be so disspointed to find out I don’t know my Nissans from my Chevys. So I wander around the passenger pick up, peaking into any car that’s gold, goldish, brown or even orange. Why can’t any comedians drive Smart Cars, or Mini Coopers? Something I could easily spot. Just as I’m about to be the biggest creep at Finch Station, I spot the Emcee. Fewf.
I get in the car. I’m exhausted. I want to recline the seat and pass out. Five days of work, one class at George Brown, and who knows how many nights of drinking have all piled up into this one moment.
“Here. I brought you a bottle of water,” Emcee dude says. Hey, that’s nice. I thank him.
“Do you like John Mayer?” He asks. Wow. Now I feel like I’m being picked up for a date.
“Have you heard his latest album?” Um… not gonna lie. Off the top of my very tired head, the only John Mayer song I can think of is that “Run through the halls of my high school” one. I take a stab at the question.
“Continuom?” Fuck. I’m probably not even spelling it right.
“Nope, that’s his old one.” Ha. Finally somebody on the Yuk Yuk’s Roster who knows more about John Mayer than me. He pops in the CD and we enjoy Mr. Mayor all the way to the 401, and through the cluster fuck traffic on the 401 that you can actually check into on Foursquare.
We talk about apps for our iphones. He shows me a few new games, which amuse me enough to wake me up. I notice someone driving in the opposite direction, flashing his high beams. That means the Cops are ahead, right? We slow down. Then we pass the cops. Thank you, random driver. I don’t know who you are, and I’ll put a million dollars on the fact you don’t read my blog, but thank you. As we pass London and St. Thomas, we decide to use the google map on our phones to confirm our destination. I google the address of the gig. He googles Rodney. We get two different locations. My instincts tell me we’ve missed it. I tell him we should turn around. Obviously, a guy nice enough to play John Mayer for two hours, is a guy nice enough to take my advice on directions. Guess what happens?
Five U-Turns and two phone calls later, we arrive at the gig. The headliner is already here. I’m not particularly sure I like him. I’m not sure he likes me. But in this war, Comedians vs. Rodney, we are allies. We talk about the food options. He points to the food station, where I can have pizza, or meat on a bun. He recomends meat on a bun. Thanks. We seem to be getting along. That’s good. I prefer not to have enemies in this business. I walk towards the food, but then notice the bar. You can’t just buy beer here in the Rodney Recreation Centre, though. You have to buy tickets first, then you can exchange your tickets for beer. The ticket options read, “3 For $10″or “7 For $20.” Was having one beer an option? I guess not. I bust out $10.
As I’m in line to retreive my beer, I wonder how many of these little tickets I still have from Dave & Busters. There’s probably a stuffed animal in Vaughan waiting for me. My “Wack-a-Mole” skills are off the charts. A big dude let’s me go in front of him. Wow. Some V.I.P. treatment here in Rodney. It turns out he’s one of the organizers.
“I think we’re going to run out of beer tonight.” He says. Yikes. Did they under prepare, or is this crowd over drinking?
The show starts. The emcee hits the stage, which is already set up for karaoke after comedy. The venue is a hockey arena that has turned into… what is this place…? It’s not clear. But now that I think of it, the bar is where I would go to rent my skates. And as suspected, this crowd is drunk. Well, maybe not the whole crowd, but definitely the front row. I watch the emcee do his act, which I know is good. He’s doing well, but the front row won’t shut up. He starts roasting this girl in the front row. I’m laughing my ass off. I can never tell if people like that want to be burned, or just deserve it. Behind me I hear someone say,
“The ambulance is here.” That’s right. This wholesome fundraiser for a Pre-School has turned into debauchary, before I even have the chance to do my “I didn’t know I was pregnant” joke. A couple of guys from the front row run outside to say goodbye to their friend. Maybe this is normal here. I don’t know.
Shit. The emcee is getting ready to bring me on. I’m not going to lie… I’m scared. They are ready to heckle, and I’m ready to cash in my second and third drink ticket. I start off my act, committing to the idea I’m going to get these people to listen to me. This is my first heckle:
Okay, I know some of you know what I look like. Thus far, I’ve had nobody confuse me with Justin Bieber. A flat Julia Stiles, maybe. A young Catherine O’Hara a few times, but no one has confused me with a young, Stratford boy with a bowl cut- though our boobs are probably the same size. She continues to scream “Biiiiiieeeeeeeeebbbbbbber!” I’m not sure if she’s shouting it at me, at her friends, at the whole world… I don’t know. But when “Bieber Fever” starts to interrupt my comedy career, I’m at a loss. Luckily, the two kids(let’s hope they were 19) come back to their seats from seeing off their ambulance riding friend, they change the topic of heckling.
“You’re hot!” Um… no I’m not. I’m wearing Uggs and a plaid shirt. Maybe that’s high maintenance, Prom Queen material here in Rodney, but I’m not hot. Plus I could fit four Duran Duran albums between my age and yours.
The rest is a blur… Trying to tell jokes, trying to ignore the girl who keeps screaming “Bieber!!!!!!!!!!” I should have bought 7 beer tickets. As I leave the stage, people say good job, but I don’t really believe it. One woman comes up to me and says, “I can’t believe you’re 30! I thought you were 22!” Okay, I like Rodney a little more after that one. But then I go pee, and get scared, cuz I hear girls talking about how they used to go to Harveys and blow spit balls into stalls where people were peeing. Ack!
Earlier in the night, the Emcee purposely backed into his parking spot, so we could make a faster exit. At this point, I’m so happy he did. We get a text from some other comics who are in Hamilton. They say we should stop there on the way home for drinks. And you know what? Hamilton is very appealing after a night in Rodney.
xoxo, Comedian Girl.
P.S. Hess Village is quite the drinking experience. If there’s a big line up for the bathroom, it’s probably because people are having sex in there.