Two Fiddy

Hey there ‘Redheads… Welcome to this blog’s 250th installment. Any other blog of this kind would have about 3 times as many, but I’ve never been about the quantity…or the quality, now that I think about it. Here’s to 250 more chances to mildly amuse you. I’m altering my usual blogging habits for this post. Usually, I wait until about 11:30 or midnight to milk the blog teat, succumbing to eventual exhaustion as I type into the wee hours of the morning. Today, I’m fresh as a daisy and will have one less excuse when this blog barely passes for mediocre.

I’m back from a comedy road trip that took me to Comedy Zones in Kentucky and West Virginia. The hills had eyes and they were smiling in my general direction. This was my second time back to these two clubs, and the shows went better than the stereotypes of the region might suggest. I had the pleasure of working with two time New Orleans entertainer of the year, Mutzie. Mutzie is a cool guy with an interesting look to him that I can only describe by putting it in old school pro wrestling terms. Imagine if George “The Animal” Steele talked like Dusty Rhodes. I’m glad the shows went well, because the weather stunk out loud. I had a 7 1/2 hour drive on Thursday. I didn’t rain for about 15 minutes of the trip. I didn’t see the sun until my drive home on Sunday. The sky was a depressing blanket of clouds…an AIDS quilt of clouds for the entire weekend. In order to at least simulate sunlight, I decided to make a return trip to the Eastern Kentucky Science Center to check out the afternoon planetarium show. I’m sure you’re asking yourself what you might find at the Eastern Kentucky Science Center… Does it house Col. Sanders’ top secret 11 herbs and spices? Well, here’s one item on display…

Luckily, they also have a planetarium which, just like last time, I had all to myself. The program they had this time was about the Hubble. Nothing too fancy. It was like looking into a giant ViewMaster that’d been left in a hot car. Afterwards, I was treated to a complimentary laser light show set to some of today’s crappiest rock hits. I was kicking myself, because one of the choices I was offered was Laser Praise. If there’s one thing lasers have yet to fully convey, it’s irony.

Onward to the next exotic port of call, Charleston, West Virginia. When I got to the hotel, I made the discovery that there was a casino with a poker room about twenty minutes away. Let’s see… Idle time? Check. Extra cash? Check. Horrible judgement? Check. I’m not going to get into specifics, but I’ll throw a quick stat at you. My average per minute in the casino was -$4. From my hopeful entrance to my shameful exit, I lost $100 in 25 minutes. Actual poker table time was more like 5 minutes. I can’t even say I played horribly, because what I did doesn’t qualify as playing poker. I got played. I was a goddamn slot machine with a sweatshirt on. Rather than buy back in to try and win my dignity back, I sulked back to my car, went back to my hotel room, and watched a marathon of Bully Beatdown on MTV2.

As bad as I got beat, at least I could rest easy knowing that I had a sure bet that paid off on Sunday. Go ahead and check the last installment…I called the Chiefs over the Redskins. Two field goals against the worst defense in the league. This team is so inept at scoring, they can barely get in a 3-point stance. I expected to see Snyder fiddling while the fans burnt FedEx down. The Native Americans that are suing the team over the name can just site the last six games as exhibit A that the Redskins are offensive. I do feel bad for Jim Zorn. He’s like Wallace Hartley, bravely trying to make some music while the Titanic sinks into the drink. On Monday, he had his play calling duties forcibly stripped from him, and I’m pretty sure he had his credit revoked at Eastern Motors.

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a huge comedy festival descending on the DC area this weekend. Tig Notaro and friends brings us The Bentzen Ball. 50 comics, from Patton Oswalt to Sarah Silverman to a cavalcade of local comedians. I’m not one of them. Don’t let my veiled bitterness keep you from checking it out.

To be continued…

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Title Pending…

Hey there ‘Redheads… Sorry for the lateness on my blogness. A combo of being busy and being lazy has left the blogging in the lurch. If you’ll allow me to shed some light on recent events, I’ll allow you to pretend to care. Deal? Cool. You’re tough, but fair. I hope everyone got their taxes in on time. As per usual, I waited ’til the last minute to get my return signed, sealed, and delivered. Once again, I’ve limboed under the poverty line. Just to ensure a decent refund, I declared all of you as dependants. If you didn’t get your taxes done before the deadline, I hope you got a chance to appeal to a higher power by throwing yourself in front of the Popemobile during his visit…I hear that counts as a blessing. In preparation for the Pope’s visit, all Popeye’s restaurants are adding a comma after the first “e” and an exclamation point after the “s”…

POPE, YES!

Wow…that was stupid. I’m rusty…lay off.

Last weekend, I hit the road on a two stop trip that took me to exotic ports of call Prestonsburg, Kentucky and Charleston, West Virginia. A seven hour road trip, just in time for gas prices to go higher than Woody Harrelson on April 20th at 4:20. The prices on the gas station marquees were posted with numbers cut out of magazines. When a tank of gas costs as much as an X-Box game, you try to savor the flavor and not burn through a tank in a day.
One thing about driving when the weather gets nice, bug guts. I had so many insect entrails splat on my windshield, it became a big buggy cataract. The first stop was the Preston Station Comedy Zone at the Prestonsburg Inn, just off Country Music Highway 23. This was my first time playing this room, and I was more than a little worried it was going to be like the scene in The Blues Brothers…”What kind of comedy do you usually have here?” “We have both kinds. Country and Western.” Thankfully, it turned out to be a fun crowd and a great room. According to Mike, the manager, it’s the longest running one-nighter in the country. They haven’t missed a Thursday night in 18 years. The first comic on their stage was Jeff Foxworthy…the second was Carrot Top. I had the pleasure of working with the affable Monte Allen. Very funny guy who never saw a shot he didn’t like. All it took was the mere mention of tequila, and the crowd sent so many shots to him, the stage had an undertow. And he had a toast for each one he took. After the show was done, they took away the stage to reveal a dance floor for some boot scoot boogie. While I was packing up my CDs, I noticed this sign posted outside the door:

“Drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy or prior to conception can cause birth defects.”

This sign is a little off point. Yes, drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects. Drinking prior to conception just helps you ignore the defects of the person you’re *ahem* conceiving with.

On Friday, with only a two hour drive to my next stop, I went in search of an implement to kill some time with. I found a perfect place to draw a chalk outline around a couple hours, the East Kentucky Science Center. Stop laughing. What seems like an oxymoron is home to a planetarium. I haven’t been to a planetarium since I was about 8, so I figured it why not sit back and take in some space. Turns out I was the only one who did that kind of figuring…I chatted up the ladies of the EKSC, caught up on all the office gossip, played with the crap in the gift shop, then got a private showing of The Planets. I sat in the theater’s sweet spot, let my pupils dilate in the darkness, and listened to the dulcet voice of Kate Mulgrew tell me about the weather patterns on Jupiter. Two hours successfully dispatched…onward to Charleston, WV.

I pulled into the South Charleston Ramada Plaza hotel, home to the Charleston Comedy Zone. I was met with good news and bad news. The bad news: the hotel was full and they didn’t have room for the comics. The good news: they were sending us to the Hampton Inn about 20 minutes away. Twist my arm, why don’t ya? Sure, it stunk that we wouldn’t be staying on-site, but Hampton Inn is the Park Place of Ramada properties. And the wing where our rooms were was brand spankin’ new. Couches, flat-screen TVs, the works. The first night of shows, attendance was a little thin because of the Carrie Underwood/Keith Urban concert in town, but those that did show up were a fun bunch. Saturday was pretty uneventful. Nothing good was playing at the nearby multiplex…seriously, there’s some shit in the theaters right now…

Anywho, I feel this blog losing some steam, so I’ll just say that a good time was had by most. I’m looking forward to hitting the road again next weekend to play Cozzy’s in Newport News, VA, then in a couple weeks to play the LOL Comedy Club near Raleigh, NC.

Once again, it’s Passover. Another in the series of Jewish holidays with the theme: They tried to kill us. They didn’t. Let’s eat. So, once again, here’s one of my favorite Passover songs…won’t you sing along?

To be continued…