Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Play the Part of the Little Mute Girl...Action!

I created this blog like the day after I got hired for my job in Savannah with the intention of blogging everyday beginning with the day I moved here. Well, here we are 5 months later, and I'm churning out my first post, and it has nothing to do with Savannah...yeah, that sounds about right.

So, being that there's nowhere to see stand-up comedy in Savannah other than the Civic Center which only gets big names like Lewis Black, Sommore, and DL Hughley, I constantly check the websites of my favorite B-list comics to see if they're coming anywhere within driving distance of Savannah. Well, about 6 weeks ago, I discovered that two of my all-time favorite comics were doing a show together in Atlanta. So I invited all my friends to meet me there...and two actually showed up. Being that the drive from Savannah to Atlanta is about 5 hours with all the necessary gas, pee, and Starbucks breaks, I decided to make a weekend of it.

I scheduled lunch with my 9th grade history teacher, formerly Ms. Young, now Mrs. Jackson, at Copeland's in Buckhead. I've been dying to see her since I graduated high school 6 years ago, and I've been dying to have wood-grilled chicken with yams since they closed all the Copeland's in Alabama more than 6 years ago, so this lunch was win-win. The food was delicious, just as I remembered it, and seeing Mrs. Jackson and her daughter was absolutely wonderful.

Following lunch, I met up with my high school classmate Kate. She and her boyfriend Michael had driven in from Auburn to spend the afternoon with me and then go to the show last night. We decided to do the World of Coca-Cola tour. I arrived before Kate and Michael, and as I sat in the big park between the World of Coca-Cola and the Aquarium, I felt like the prom king. Hundreds of people there, snot-nosed kids running around and screaming, fatties, baldies, pregos, and a parade of bad haircuts. I probably saw ten people with either better genetics or more style than me; it was quite the self-esteem booster.

After Kate and Michael arrived, we bought our tickets and did the World of Coca-Cola tour. Interesting enough for $15, but Kate and I were all in it for the last stop on the tour: the Tasting Station! A giant room with a big counter top for each continent and that continent's Coke products. Most stuff was weird but not bad, but the last thing I had was the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. It's called Beverly and it's sold in Italy. It tastes like vinegar and toilet water. Absolutely disgusting!

On the way out, we stopped in the gift shop, and as we stood in line for Michael to pay for his stuff, I saw the most disturbing sight of the weekend. A family: the dad is a soldier--clean-cut in his military uniform. The mom is about 10 months pregnant, looks like she hasn't had a bath in days, and looks like she fell out of the trailer park tree and hit every white trash branch on the way down. So all of that, I'm used to; Mrs. Greaseball isn't my first experience seeing skanks. The kicker is the kid. Can't be more than 3, and that's probably a liberal estimate. Little boy with...a pierced ear! What the hell?! I begged Kate to ask the mom what the deal was and why they had pierced their toddler's ear, but as she pointed out, the mom, severely pregnant as she was, could've probably kicked Kate's ass.

So, the comedy club is through some obscure back hallway of this weird biker-themed bar and grill in midtown. I was really worried that it was like one of those weird sex places like in Vegas where you go down the dark corridor and it's like a mass glory-hole and there are naked women masturbating behind Plexiglas windows...turns out, it wasn't. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My friend Samantha came in from Birmingham via her parents' house in North Georgia to have dinner with us and go to the show. All the servers at the restaurants looked like art school grad students. The girl waiting the table behind us had two French stick figures tattooed in the center of her back...and the reason I know they were French stick figures is because the guy stick figure was wearing a little beret. Another waiter had Adam Lambert get the picture: just really hipster kids. I'm sure they were smoking weed on their breaks....allegedly.

So we finish dinner and go down the back hallway to the comedy club. Now when I say "comedy club" I mean a tiny room about the size of a high school classroom with about 50 folding chairs and 3 rows of booth seating set up like a judges' panel. Very intimate, and I loved it, but it was not at all what I was expecting after having seen shows at The Stardome in Birmingham. I thought the wooden booths would be slightly more comfortable than the metal folding chairs so we grabbed the back row which was still only 40 feet from the stage.

The club requires a two-drink minimum and had two bartenders--a girl and a guy. The girl was the main one who took care of the four of us (me, Samantha, Kate, and Michael). Like the servers in the restaurant, she was a hipster. Bleach-blond hair shorter than mine, wearing some little headband with like a feather or a flower or some other symbol of femininity to signal that she wasn't some twink who'd be dancing at Pirate's Booty later that night. Anyways, she was ridiculously ditsy, and it took her three attempts at making change for us before she got it right.

But there we were, sitting in the club with our drinks waiting on the show to start. I had been excited all day and was on the verge of jumping up and down in anticipation about seeing two women I had watched on TV since I was in high school. We sat through the emcee's mediocre set and then a lovely black lady's set...I think her name is Joelle. She was pretty funny, but I see why she isn't headlining.

And then the moment I had been waiting for: Jackie Kashian bursts onto the scene. Brilliant and hilarious! She even closed with a joke from like 8 years ago that I had asked her to do via our Facebook communication (I'm a dork...I know it, you know it. Let's move on.) But during the middle her set, this drunk girl in the second row interrupts her when she was talking about how ridiculous it is that we spend thousands of dollars to keep 20 year old pets alive when they're really sick. So Jackie responds, "Uh...ok, Miss, do you have a cat or a dog?" "A dog." "How old is it?" "Four." "Well, you're dog's fine then, so fuck off!" The crowd goes wild! The whole set was great, and I hope I can see her again soon.

Then it was time for the headliner: Maria Bamford! Her set was amazing and hilarious too, but the most interesting part was her interaction with the drunk girl. The girl keeps interrupting her and so Maria asks the guy she's with how he knows her; the guy says it's their first date. Poor bastard! It's bad enough he was with this alchy, but what came later was just tragic. So, the girl keeps interrupting, and Maria tries to handle her in different ways. "I know some people like to play a part in my show, so I'm going to give you a role: I want you to play to the part of the little mute girl. Just sitting there, quiet as can be...action!" and then later "You seem to think that this isn't a comedy show, and tonight, you're right. This is an intervention. Myself and everyone in the community has gotten together to tell you how we feel when you make a jackass of yourself at comedy shows. We're going to go around the room using 'I' statements to tell you how this makes us feel. I'll start..." Now, I saw her do this in a video clip from Jamie Kennedy's documentary "Heckler." The response usually ends "I'll start. I you should shut the fuck up!" But unfortunately, Maria didn't get to do that, because when she says "I'll start," the drunk girl interrupts AGAIN, and says something like, "Just keep going." So at that point, the male bartender finally wised up and comes and escorts the drunk girl and her boyfriend out. And Maria is like, "Oh, I hate to have to do that, but it's better that she left now before I start saying things like 'Don't they have a curfew at the whorehouse?' and I don't want to go down that road." So then Jackie comes out and takes their seats to watch the rest of Maria's set and we all clapped and went crazy! She finished her set and it was great! The whole show was great and I love them both now more than ever!

Sam went back to her parents' house in North Georgia, and Kate and Michael went back to Auburn. It would've been ridiculous and unsafe for me to drive back to Savannah that late, so I got a great room at the Hilton Atlanta. I had a room on the 14th floor with a beautiful view of the cityscape.

The whole trip was wonderful, and it was so good to spend time with Mrs. Jackson, Kate and Samantha :)