thursday: terrible set. given an unsolicted lap dance by a woman with the size, shape, and face of jonathan winters. she knocks an entire pint of beer down the front of my person.
fri: terrible set. i am heckled by two drunk men in the front row wearing complimentary hard rock cafe tshirts, which i instantly know will end poorly*. i refer to one of them as “cosmonaut” because i detect a russian accent. they are removed from the club, but not before yelling to the entire audience “we’re not gay!” doorman tells me the man was not russian, he was slow. in what i can only politely refer to as a strange choice, they sat a drunk retarded person at the front of the stage. coincidentally, that very day i answered an interview question for therumpus.net that asked “how would you handle being heckled by a person who is quite literally retarded?” here is my exact answer from 12:30pm that very day:
-are you trying to tell me that a retarded person has the capability of also consciously being an asshole? And would so choose to go to a comedy club to harass the performer? I think you just created a supervillian named “Pizza Party.”
needless to say, Pizza Party’s strengths are greater than we thought, because he revealed himself to me no less than 8 hours after i invented him.
saturday: terrible set. my musings on life are failing to no end, but the headliner’s asian-eye glasses and dunkin’ donuts employee impersonations have them falling out of their chairs. at some point during my set i almost wished my hooters hot wing-induced diarrea would come back right there, on stage, just to see what it would be like. i wanted to skip the metaphorical “shitting on the stage” and just get right down to it. i’d continue doing my act, but uncomfortably wince and blow wet lunch remnants right through the back of the jeans i’d been wearing for three days. “anyone dating tonight? [shrappp] anybody on a date? [whraphphp] oh, god. what’s your name, sir? [thrphrphrphr] can i get another budweiser up here?”
one more show tonight. check the calendar for more dates!
*my luck with hecklers has never been any good. three weeks ago i mocked a heckler out of the bar i was performing in to a pretty humiliating degree. after the show, the bartender told me that they all knew the guy because they had all gone to high school together, which is when he’d shot his girlfriend twice. the reason he wasn’t in jail is because it was an accident, as she was only trying to wrestle the gun away from him while he was trying to shoot himself. then the bartender joked “hey, maybe tonight’ll be the night he actually goes through with it!”
Yeah! Sweet press for Matt Braunger, a comic to watch!
With the Letterman appearance, a gig on the final season of “Mad TV” (including a jaw-dropping part in a “Weight Smashers” ad parody), a new role as a detective on the Internet satire series “Ikea Heights” and this summer’s release of a comedy album, “Soak Up the Night,” Braunger acknowledges that he finally has some momentum. But he’s also a realist and knows that such momentum is “an ethereal thing,” so really, he’d rather say, “Yes … with a question mark after it.”
Whoa, unexpected mention of Ikea Heights in Variety.
man, that guy with the tattoo scribblings on his forehead has been in the bathroom for a long time.
i decided to not worry about it too much and fiddled with which brand of cigarette i would try next. new to smoking, the idea of brand loyalty had not yet manifested itself. it was out of sheer boredom that i was getting into such a foul habit, and the rack of a hundred options hanging above my head eight hours a day helped it along quite well. i thought about newports but it was raining and the idea of my lungs burning that cold burn was a real turn-off. they seemed much more of a summer cigarette, the menthols. i went for marlboro reds and watched men fill up in their holiday best. the women and kids sat warm in the cars with casserole dishes on their laps, off to family.
half into my third, tattoo face came back in and put the bathroom key on the counter. he caught me off-guard with a genuine “happy thanksgiving.”
"yeah, you too." the fact that this guy even knew it was thanksgiving, let alone wishing it to be a happy one put a little bit of shine on my otherwise dull afternoon.
the next day i was cleaning the bathroom at work and saw the spoon on the floor, bent up and burnt. and i thought turkey made you nod off. i threw the spoon in the trash, lit the last of the marlboros, and got to work on the sink.
(stories from when i worked at a marathon gas station in the mid to late ’90s) lace gloves and stilleto boots would’ve been fine for the city, but this fella was strutting around a gas station in wood dale, illinois. not necessarily the friendliest place for a post-era glam cock (souped up on some kind of accelerant, no less.) he asked for cigarettes—menthols. it worked out that most of the speeders smoked menthols. i slid them across the counter and asked if he wanted anything else.
"nah, man, nah."
as he made his way towards the door, the newspaper caught his shadowed eye. the front page story was something regarding health care. he grabbed up the paper with one hand and slapped the front of it with the other.
"see, man, this is exactly what i’m talking about. they keep the poor sick and down and out, because it’s the poor who want the change. if they let everyone get the medicine and the help they needed, then the poor would be strong enough to rise up, and then we’d have the revolution! the poor are a threat to the powers, man. they have all the strength but they’re too sick to use it."
he didn’t wait for a response. he just threw the paper back onto the stack and walked out. a few days later, i was working the morning shift when an elvis impersonator came in. he had on street clothes but the sideburns were still glued to his face. looking for exact change, he spilled his pockets onto the counter. there were several condoms mixed in with the coins and string. i stopped myself before making a “burning love” comment; nobody needs that kind of shit that early in the morning, regardless the line of work.
despite knowing that ultimately i chose all 2,000+ songs i have in the pocket juke, the random play option was downright scaring me tonight with its accurate accompaniment of my mood. i said “you keep this up and i’ll happily trust/accept a world governed by robots.” it answered me by playing ‘bastards of the young.’
i’m preparing my introduction to our steel dictators and i suggest you do the same.
as an aside, i did a show to a bunch of old people tonight that did not laugh when i said “quick announcement: there’s a studebaker in the parking lot with its lights on, license plate number 7. i’ll make this quick so we can all get up at 5:00am and have half a grapefruit.” some demographics are hard to crack.
derrick was a black guy that loved ‘november rain’ by guns and roses, so we got along pretty well. we had to on account of it being just us in the stockroom. the place was called plasticworks which is what it was, and derrick called our boss “chuckles” instead of chuck, which i got a real kick out of. chuck was the president of a middleman distro place that handled really stupid little plastic things that appeared to have no purpose in the world.
one day i asked derrick why the myth of black people loving watermelon existed (it wasn’t an insult—we were very open with race issues). he said he wasn’t sure and that he didn’t much care for it himself. then i said i was really tired, which was a mistake. derrick subscribed to the philosophy that energy begot energy. he would say it even. he yelled, “energy begets energy, kyle!” and then he picked me up and stuffed me in the garbage can. derrick was real strong.
we would challenge each other to foot races around the building or have snowball fights in the winter. we’d find new places to eat or challenge each other to taste the chemicals we found around the stockroom. one day, chuckles got a brand new chevy tahoe. we were supposed to load it up with samples for a trade show, but instead we just drove it around back and stood around it. we leaned on the hood and smoked cigarettes like it was ours. derrick started picking at the pinstriping and muttering about it being a piece of crap. he pulled off a good four inches and then tried to stick it back on all crooked-like.
"how far you think i could jump this thing? you think i could catch air?" he said, pointing at the steep driveway running along the loading docks.
"probably, but you won’t do it," i said.
"psh, screw you i won’t do it." derrick never said "fuck" because he didn’t swear because he was christian. that didn’t stop him from ruining company property or smoking newport 100s all the time though. he almost cracked the computer monitor once when we were playing with an improvised golf set, (it was just a broom and these novelty corvette golf balls—there was this whole aftermarket corvette division of plasticworks that chuckles’ brother ran from michigan—it’s not important).
so he gets in takes the tahoe down to the end of the loading docks and i give him the all-clear signal. he punches it, and it starts going really good. he hits the ramp part of the driveway and the tahoe extends the shocks but doesn’t leave the ground. he brakes fast and jumps out, scared and excited.
"so?" he said, checking to see that chuckles wasn’t coming.
"so that sucked," i said. "you got nothing."
"psh, screw you. running race, 3-2-1 go!" and he took off in a sprint. i acted uninterested until he came back, thinking i wasn’t in to it. that’s when i got my switch on him and took off running. i beat him like usual and when we got back to the stockroom, he stuffed me in the garbage can.
a memory i almost forgot: it was summertime and i was hired to be a waiter at the olive garden, but a few days before i was supposed to start i broke my shoulder backyard wrestling. my mom took me to the hospital and yelled at me about inherited alcoholism the whole time. this just came back to me a few weeks ago, and i feel it speaks volumes.