Back in Chicago, my friend Rob, who was always a frat-guy-who-was-actually-funny-and-cool (read: likes sports and beer, isn’t shitty to women, can take a joke), got engaged and used it to mess with me.
Not how you’re probably thinking, though. He didn’t lord it over me, or tell my then girlfriend that she and I should get married too. No, just now that women were off limits completely, he became the guy who didn’t know how to hit on women at all—but did (pretended to). And I was his friend. Who had to stand there, and be identified as his friend. His goal, I think, was to get me to walk away and/or to tell him to shut up.
I don’t remember all of his hijinks in this arena, but I remember one clearly. We were at Sluggers, a notorious north side Chicago bar for drunk Wrigleyville white people (I.E. Rob). It was crowded as hell and, just as I was about to suggest we leave, a girl asked Rob if he knew where the bathroom was.
Her: “Do you know where the bathroom is?”
Rob: “Hey, what’s up? You’re cute!
Her: “Um, thanks. Can you tell me where the bathroom is?”
Rob: “What do you do for a living?”
Her: “Wha…I work in human resources. Can you just…”
Rob: “That’s awesome!”
Her: “Can just you tell me where the bathroom is?”
Me: “It’s against that wall.”
Her: “Thanks.” [walks away]
Rob: “Sweet, come back when you’re done. We’ll be right here. YOU’RE CUTE!!”
Just to make me squirm. What a magnificent jerk. Next time you’re in a crowded bar, yell “YOU’RE CUTE!” across the room. At anyone. Watch whoever is near you, that knows you, wince at least slightly.
BTW, Rob is now married with two kids. One of which has Down Syndrome. He started a charity called “Stand Up For Downs.” If you’ll be in Elmhurst, Il Saturday, September 27th, come see me do comedy at Fitz’s Spare Keys to raise money and awareness.
I’ll get Rob to tell you you’re cute.
I saw a toddler in first class with me and thought, “Yeah, you need that legroom. Asshole.” After that, though, I realized I didn’t even pay for this seat. I got upgraded because a friend reminded me to add my ff# to my ticket online. You, know, like an adult should have remembered to do. Also, what, this kid shouldn’t sit next to his mom? I’m the asshole.
But if he bought that seat with his own money somehow? Go fuck yourself, kid.
Ah, I blew it. Wrote about how I wanted to tell you a story, but didn’t have time, and wrote about that. THEN didn’t tell the story!!!! What an asshole.
Last weekend I was in Seattle for Bumbershoot, and it was a lot of fun. A lot of my favorite comedians, all them good friends, and some really great bands. Even had a special guest for the weekend. Anyway, I was the only person in my time slot (or so I thought), but it turned out to be an unbilled Maria Bamford! Score!
So the weekend was a blast. Highlights included seeing Elvis Costello, Wu-Tang, a live YMIW with friends, doing a set at a local bar afterhours, and partying afterwards with old and new pals at maybe the best divey karaoke place I’ve ever been to. Jello shots? I shouldn’t, but okay, I’ll have three. Singing “I Want to Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston? I should, and did. I think it’s my new go to. Think what that song needs is to be covered by a drunken baritone.
Anyway, the story. The last show Maria and I did was on Monday at 8:00. All the other shows were earlier in the day. I’d just finished my last set of the fest, and introduced Maria. She came out, we hugged, and I went backstage where the stage manager and a crew member were waiting for me. Let me pause to say the shows were in a theater, not a club or a bar. I hugged the stage manager, and when I pulled away I saw her eyes were wide and had a look of fear in them. Turning around, I saw a shorter stocky man standing there. He’d ran onstage and followed me back past the curtain.
"HI!," he said, "I know this is weird!"
It took me a second to realize the situation, and how bad it was for the people who worked there. By the look on their faces, they felt it a real violation. And really, it kinda was. I mean, you don’t go where you’re not invited.
"I just wanted to meet you!," he said. I shook his hand, not really knowing what else to do. "I couldn’t find you on Grindr, and didn’t know how to get a hold of you!" I said, "Well, you didn’t find me on there because I’m not gay," still shaking his hand. I was smiling, and so was he, but I didn’t know what else to say. "Sir, you have to go," said the stage manager. "But how do I get a hold of you?" asked the man. "Uh, twitter," I said, not knowing what the else to say. I didn’t want to say the obvious, which was, "You just don’t, man. Sorry. I don’t know you." He was escorted off the premises.
Later that night, having a drink with a friend, I looked at my Twitter notifications. Sure enough, there he was.
He’d written “I just met you bad stage!”
Bad stage, not backstage. He even had a space between Bad and Stage. I like to think it was his little joke, and that he wasn’t just smashed on something when he wrote it.
Back in high school when we won the championship, I dumped a huge tureen of hot soup on our coach. From behind. I didn’t realize you traditionally do it with Gatorade or water, both cold. I’d only seen it done on TV.