I'm a One Eyed Jerk. Thank goodness Owen Straw bailed me out!

Hi! I'm Jake!

This is a story about how if you neglect your car, that will come back to bite you when it is most inconvenient.

It was a Tuesday. First, I went to Laughs Comedy Spot in Kirkland, Washington. Then I went to One Eyed Jack's to host their gong show. Laughs started at 8:30 and went to 10:00. One Eyed Jack's started at 10:00. I needed to check in there at 9:30. That's cutting it pretty tight.

I wasn't worried, though, because I did the same thing 3 weeks prior and it turned out fine. 3 weeks ago, the owner of Laughs, Dave Dennison, helped me make both shows by putting me up 6th. Sweet.

Actually, that night 3 weeks ago was pretty cool. I got to Laughs, had a fun set, then drove to One Eyed Jack's. I made it there in plenty of time and had a really easy show. Basically, only 1 gong show contestant showed up- and no judges showed up. Tom, my contact person at the gig, paid me anyway. "Well you still drove up here." I did a 15-minute set, got some cash, then went back to my host's place in Seattle. Tada! Easy money. The plan was to replicate those results.

I was really excited to do their open mic because I haven't been able to do much new material since October. All I did for the 1st 3 weeks of November was comedy competitions. I competed in the Seattle Comedy Competition, the Boston Comedy Festival, and the 1st round of the Laughing Skull Competition. 5-minute contest sets don't leave you much room to mess around. Holy crap! I was backed up! I couldn't wait to dump out some new jokes.

I had a blast at Laughs. Dave put me up 10th. That was a bit later than I went on 3 weeks earlier. Instead of getting out of there at 9:10 or so, I was going to get out of there at 9:30- the same time I had to be at One Eyed Jack's. I wasn't too stressed, though. I called One Eyed Jack's and told them I'd get there around 9:45. No problem.

I had a fun set at Laughs. Doing new material feels awesome. It's like having a new girlfriend. You know? You're excited for the few weeks before you notice all their problems. It's great! I cranked out 4 new minutes and a revision to a joke I'd been working on. Ahhh! That felt good.

Also, I saw Nancy Reed and Vince Fluke. Their 1st round of the Seattle Competition was the week after mine. I met Nancy back in Colorado when she and Susan Jones worked Wits End. I had just met Vince but he seemed really cool. He was a Canadian with a slightly British accent. He lived in both places.

I knew that Vince needed a few bucks. He is staying in the Seattle area for an undetermined amount of time and he needs some gigs to make that work. I suggested he come win the cash prize. Also, he could talk to Tom and emcee the following week. Cash twice.

After my set, we should have bolted out the door. However, it took 10 minutes to say goodbye to everybody. We got on I-405 north to Lynnwood. We were 3 miles from Laughs when I noticed that every time I hit the gas, the car SLOWED DOWN. Uh oh. Usually, it does the opposite. We were right next to an exit. I was going to take it and go to a gas station. Then, right at the last second, I noticed there was no gas station so I stayed on the highway until we rolled to a gentle stop on the side of the road. Crap. It was 9:45.

I was not sure what was wrong with my car. The "I need gas" light normally comes on when I have about 1.5 gallons left. It did not come on at all. I tried a couple times to start the car. Nope. Nothing. Then I noticed my phone was about to die. I thought about calling AAA to give me gas or a tow or something, but I knew they wouldn't get there for an hour. Plus, I knew they would keep me on the phone for 15- minutes while my phone battery died like my car.

Uh oh. What if I ran out of oil? I haven't gotten an oil change in nearly 5000 miles. I panicked for just a second. Then, Vince told me not to panic. Ok. Good idea. I stopped panicking.

I needed to be at One Eyed Jack's in 15 minutes. Actually, I needed to be there 15 minutes earlier at 9:30. The show started in 15 minutes, though, so I should really be there for that. I had to come up with a solution. That was that.

I called Owen Straw, another comedian. At Laughs, he performed 2 sets after me. I asked him to go to the gas station next to the club, borrow their gas can, and put a gallon or 2 in it. Owen was on it. Vince stepped outside the car and had a smoke. I stayed in there and reassured One Eyed Jack's that I would be there by 10:00. I had already called them a couple times that night to tell them I would be there at 9:15, then 9:30, then 9:45. I would end up calling them a couple more times.

It was 10:00. Owen still wasn't there. I decided to call him and just ask if he'd take us to the show. We could worry about the car later. I had to make the gig. He didn't answer. I tried a couple times. I couldn't get a hold of him. He must be at the gas station.

That's when I noticed that my blinkers were slowing down. Huh. Odd.

Just when I was about to call Owen a 4th time, his van pulled up super-fast in front of us. He screeched his tires as he stopped. I think a dust cloud settled around his red tail lights.

He had bought a gas can and 2 gallons. I took the gas from him and ran back to my car. Then I ran back to his van. "Could you stick around a bit just in case?" I was worried my weak-butt battery was dead from the 15-minutes it had to run the blinker. My battery sucks!

I nervously tried to pour the gas out quickly. It wasn't coming out! What the heck! Then, I got it to dribble out. Clearly I was doing something wrong. I had to keep doing it wrong though- because I was in a hurry!

Cool. I got a gallon or so in the car. I tried to start the car. Nothing. CRAP! I did not have jumper cables. I used to have jumper cables, but I gave them to Ben Slie, my roommate back in 2001, when I got rid of my VW and my Taurus. If you don't have a car, you don't need cables.

Crap! I was starting to feel really needy. Fortunately, Owen had cables. We hooked them up and lo and behold... my car started! Yay! We said quick goodbyes and got to the gig at 10:30. If we had called AAA, we'd still be waiting for them to show up.

We were slightly late. I found out later that the reason my "I need gas, Jake" light didn't come on is the fuse that goes to that light had gone out. For the want of a nail.... For the want of a fuse, my gas light went out. For the want of my gas light, my gas ran out. For the want of gas, my car died. Because my car died, my battery died. Because of all of this, I was late for the gig and owed Owen Straw $15. When I run out of gas, I do it big!

Whatever. The only reason this story has a happy ending is because of Owen. I owe you big time, dude! If he didn't show up and bail me out, I would have definitely missed the gig. Plus, now I have a gas can. Anybody have something they want me to torch? Anybody have something they don't want me to torch?

Because I really needed the cash, Tom had given me the emcee spot. Thanks, Tom! The contestants included a karaoke singer, a blues singer with a psychedelic bass guitarist back-up, a Michael Jackson impersonator with one hand, and Vince. Vince ended up winning the 1st place prize money. Yay!

The one-handed Michael Jackson did a really good job, though. Vince said something like "It actually makes sense that he only has 1 glove." Ha. True enough. The real Michael Jackson used to wear just 1 glove. He had 2 hands, though. Not sure why he only had 1 glove. It's not like he couldn't afford the 2nd glove. He had all that Beatles money!

1 of the judges came up to me after the show. She told me she was a hair stylist. I told her I cut my own hair. She said she could tell. She told me to stop doing that. Good idea.

Bye! I'm Jake!

P.S. Boobs are cool.