Texas Part 3: Closing, Goodbyes, Snowjob, Malfunction, Conclusion

Hi! I'm Jake!

I recently got back from Texas.  I can say is I can't wait to go back!

It was Thursday.  The sweet blonde had fixed me eggs.  I'd use her name, but let's just call her L.  That sounds more mysterious.  L fixed me eggs.  She felt bad about locking me out, but now I just think it's funny.   I spent most of that day alternating between napping and watching TV.  L and I watched Pirate Radio.  Pretty sweet movie. It's about how during the British Invasion of the 60s, the Brits weren't even allowed to listen to their own rockers on the radio. So, pirate radio stations broadcasted from their sea 
vessels. That's called a loophole.

Jen, my host, is a Chef.  She makes awesome food. She wrote a book you should check out called "Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens."  That day, she was making an awesome cake for her friend's birthday party. If I remember, it was some sort of cheesecake/ chocolate cake combo. I remember the cheesecake part. All I know is it was going inside some other cake and it was going to be awesome!

She invited me to the party. Sweet! I like cake- mainly because it rhymes with my name (Jake).

Also, besides the prospects of saccharine gluttony, I was really looking forward to hanging out with Jen and L. Jen and I had gotten tacos, but we really hadn't gotten to do much else yet. I didn't want to waste the opportunity!

However, I had a conflict.  I had also promised 2 other people (who do not know each other) that I was going to hang out. Occasionally I do that.  I double or triple-book myself.  Shoot! I just tell people I am an artist.  I am.  I like to paint. Truth be told, though, I like to make a lot of plans.  I always want to make sure I have something to do.  It's like when you call a cab: if you just call 1, you might have to wait forever.  Call 3, and 1 of them will beat the others.  That's the 1 you take.  A couple cabbies usually end up getting pretty mad when they show up and you aren't there.

I'm kidding.  I don't make plans like I hail cabs.  I really do call 3-4 cabs but I never purposefully waste people's time and flake on them.  Occasionally, it does happen. You know what?  I am really just digging a hole right here.  Let's move on.

The point is, on Thursday, January 6, 2011, I had 4 cabs' worth of plans.
  1. Earlier in the week, I had told my friend, let's call her Shaniqua, that Thursday was good for me. This was before I knew I was going to sleep all day Thursday, due to being locked out the night before.  The thing is, I had wanted to hang out with Shaniqua ever since I first met her on January 1st.  right off the bat, I was mouthy to her and she was mouthy back.  I like people who can dish it out- yet take some back.  We had tried to make plans a couple times, but Shaniqua had a lot on her plate that week and it appears so did I.
  2. The birthday party, hanging out with Jen and L, and some sweet, invented cheesecake.  I wanted to take this option for so many reasons.  I like cake.  My hostesses were awesome.  I wasn't totally sure when we were going to hang out. That's part of the couchsurfing experience.  You get to tangle your lives with your hosts' and they get to tangle theirs with yours.  Eloquently put, Jake. That sounded dirty and it's really not. My point is it's about culture.
  3. Melissa, Curt's friend who bought us the Maves tickets, and brought us into her home, had invited me to go get some barbecue.  I frickin love barbecue!  She invited me to check out Hard Eight BBQ, in Coppell, Texas. I love Texas barbecue!  Also, Melissa is super cool.  After the Maves tickets, I wanted to buy her dinner.  It's the least I could do.  
  4. My friend, Shane Mauss was in town, headlining the Dallas Hyenas and this was the only night I could see his act.
So, yeah, I over-committed myself.  I talked with L, Melissa, and Shaniqua about how I could manage to see everybody.  If I hung out with Jen and L, then not only would I be unable to see Melissa, but I also wouldn't be able to see Shane's set.  Melissa said we could maybe hang out Saturday if Thursday didn't work- maybe. Friday was no good for her. Friday and Saturday I had shows, so if I didn't see him Thursday, I probably wouldn't be able to see Shane at all until Saturday during the day.  I couldn't see both Melissa and Shane that day, so I would probably have to pick 1 and just not see the other for the rest of the trip.  If this is confusing to you, good.  Then, I have successfully re-created all the thoughts boiling in my sleep-deprived head that car-slept Thursday.

L helped me sort this out. She said she and Jen would have no problem if I just hung out with them later.  Cool.  Shaniqua said we could hang out after the show Saturday.  She was getting off work late that night and so was I.  It wasn't ideal, because I'd have to drive out early Sunday to go home, but at least I'd get to see her.  I talked with Shane.  We made lunch plans for Saturday.  Okay, then!  I was going to hang out with Melissa and go get barbecue!

My conflict resolution process started at around 2:00. It was now 3:15 p.m.  I had just taken the stickers off my scheduling Rubik's cube and replaced them so everything made sense- besides the clunky/crappy sentence before this hyphen. Melissa said I needed to be at her place by 4:00 to avoid the serious North Dallas traffic. Crap!  I better get moving!

Behind Jen's living room couch, I had 2 backpacks and my laptop bag.  On the counter, I had some various snacks including the wasabi peanuts that sustained me on my trip out to Dallas. I packed up everything. Now, I didn't want Jen and L to think I was mad about getting locked out- I really wasn't.  However, this did look suspicious.  When I made the couch request on couchsurfing.org, I said I planned to stay through Sunday. Here I was sneaking out all my belongings like someone who wasn't going to pay the rent.  My removal of my possessions was not a response to getting locked out.  I just wasn't sure when I'd be back and I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed.  I'm sure my hosts didn't think anything of any of this, but I somehow felt like I was being sneaky.  

Anyway, I loaded up the car. The plan was to see if I could just crash in Melissa's spare bedroom.  We'd eat some awesome Texas barbecue. We'd watch movies.  I'd pet her 2 dogs- who go bananas whenever I show up and who sob like little bitches when I leave.  They love me.  Also, I mean no disrespect when I call her dogs bitches.  I love those bitches!  I am a sucker for dogs- and really, any pet who wants to play.  The previous line was a single entendre.  Read it literally, you perv.  

But yeah, I love those dogs.  Maya normally does not like everybody but she loves me.  She is super soft.  I am not sure what kind of dog she is.  I can't remember.  I am species-blind.  Dogs can't see color. I don't judge by species.  This is a weird tangent.  Let's move on.  Maya looks kind of like a toy poodle, but I have been assured she is not.

I keep forgetting to mention this, but this is super-critical.  At some point, during my stay in Texas, I had a leak.  See, I drink a lot of tea.  I like to put honey in my tea.  Honey makes the tea sweeter.  Sometime in the fall of 2010, I had bought a gallon jug of Colorado honey from Sam's club.  I was still working on it before leaving for Dallas.  Not wanting to buy more honey when I already had honey, I took the honey jug with me.  That was stupid.

At some point during the trip, my honey jug leaked all over my floor mat. Right now, as I type this sentence, it is January 21st at 12:04 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.  That honey is still on my passenger floor mat.  The winter hardened it. It is hard as Leroy the Mating Elephant. Yet, any time I accidentally forget about the leak, it sticks to anything I accidentally put on that floor mat.  Passenger shoes stick to it as well.  I put my backpack down there 1 day, and it got all over it.  I cleaned my back pack off.  Yesterday, my Colorado roommate asked me what the sticky stuff was on the couch.  I had to hell her a stupid story about my honey-soaked car. Dang it!  The honey is spreading everywhere!  It has been there for 2 weeks!  I really need to clean my car. I need to make a plan- and stick to it.

After hanging out a bit at Melissa's condo, we got to Coppell around 6-ish (I think).  Smoke billowed from the outside pit.  Before you ever got inside, you got in line.  You walked by a sign that listed all the meats and their per-pound prices.  In this regard, it reminded me a lot of Rudy's BBQ, my favorite restaurant chain ever!  Of course, I got beef brisket.  Duh.  How could I not?  Melissa and I each got a spicy sausage too.  They were gigantic.  We should have split 1 of them. Oh my crap: they also had bacon-wrapped shrimp, sold by the pound!  I got 3 of those.

After getting our food, we went to the register.  I got out my wallet, but she insisted that she pay.  She said she invited me.  I felt like I should still pay.  Oh well.  Free food tastes good!

The brisket was almost identical to Rudy's.  It was soooo good. Rudy's has the best barbecue sauce.  Hard Eight's sauce was not as good, but it was still really good. The sausage was awesome. I saved the best for last: the bacon-wrapped shrimp was incest-delicious.   Whoa, Jake!  "Incest-delicious?"  You like incest?  No. Of course not.  That is disgusting.  However, the shrimp was so delicious that if someone said I could eat all the bacon shrimp I ever wanted- but I had to commit 1 act of incest... I would punch them in the face,  steal all the bacon-wrapped shrimp, and tell my relative to get a cab.  My bacon-wrapped shrimp!  Mine!

For dessert, she had peach cobbler (I think) and I had cherry cobbler (I know).  That was awesome as well.

Overall, Hard Eight is delicious.  They are just as good as Rudy's- but slightly more expensive. Check them out.  Here's a link to all their locations.

Oh yeah: Melissa had called in sick that day.  I don't think she was sick, though.  

After Hard Eight, we went back to her place and watched another movie.  The next day, she called in sick again.

BBQ #2
Curt was working the Fort Worth Hyenas that night, featuring for Matt Golightly.  Normally, after shows, he sells his t-shirts and the DVD we made together, The Jerks of Comedy. We are both jerks and we do comedy.  He was out of DVDs and shirts.  I was supposed to give him some DVDs when he left the condo Tuesday night, but we both forgot. We needed to meet up and rectify this situation.

Also, since I had a surplus of my comedy shirts, I told Curt he could sell them and give me half the profits.  We've done this before. It's a good move for both of us.  While I am making money at 1 club,  he is making money for both of us at the other.  Plus, it's risk free for him; I took care of all the up front costs when I designed, ordered, and bought the shirts.

So, the plan was to meet in Arlington.  Arlington is the halfway-point between Dallas (where I was) and Fort Worth (where he was). We decided to meet at Rudy's BBQ.  Barbecue twice in a row?  I'm CRAZY!  I still had my leftovers from the previous night in my car.

We met at the Arlington Hyenas, where I would headline later that night.  He drove us to Rudy's. I would have, but I had honey on the floor. Rudy's was awesome.  When we got back, we saw 1 of the managers. I gave Curt half the remaining DVDs and some of the shirts.  Then, I took Curt into the club and showed him around real quick.  He had to go.

It was 3:30.  I started driving to Dallas, but then I didn't get on the highway.  I called Melissa.  See, I needed to be back at the club by 7:30.  I could go back to Dallas, take a nap, and come back, but that would mean at least 90 minutes roundtrip.  I'd have to leave Dallas to come back by 6:30 just to be on the safe side.  At best, I'd get an hour nap.  That would get me a little rest, but all the driving would wear me out a bit, defeating the purpose of the nap. Option 2 is I could just stay in Arlington and find a movie or something.  Before we finished our conversation at 3:35, Melissa told me she was on her way to come watch a movie with me.

I went to Arlington's Six Flags Mall.  That place was a total colostomy bag.  As my friend Charlie used to say, "a colostomy bag is a bag for your feces!"  That's what this mall was.  You ever go into a mall where almost all the stores are closed?  That kind of mall is sad.  This mall was too busy slitting its wrists to be sad.  It wasn't sad.  It was pathetic.

After gorging at Rudy's, I had to dump.  I was hoping to get that done by the time Melissa showed up.  You can't invite a girl to the bad part of the bad suburb and then not be there to greet her cause you are making stool.

I went to the bathroom.  That bathroom signified the start of the apocalypse.  3 of the 4 urinals were out of order. The sink was running.  The soap was out.  Someone carved their tag into the mirror. No paper towels.

The stalls were disgusting. I had 2 choices: the stall with a dribble of pee all over the seat, or the stall with no door that had a layer of yellow, caking off the toilet seat. That's right: the yellow was caking off.  The yellow surface layer was all cracked like that super-dry clay you find in the desert.  If you took a cross-section of the yellow, it would look like a rocky hillside. You could determine how long each layer of pee had been there- and what was going on with the guy that sprinkled it.  It was so gross.  I chose the 1st stall.  I could wipe that pee off.  I didn't have my spackle blade to de-cake the other seat.

In my de-peed stall, I saw graffiti all over the place.  Using my red marker Which Wich generously gave me a few days earlier, I added my mark.  Who cares?  

I got all that done by 3:52. Melissa was not there yet. I went to my car.  I figured if I was in it, nobody would steal it.

I called Melissa again.  We had decided to watch the 4:30 True Grit.  I didn't care if we made the previews.  As long as Melissa showed up by 4:40, we'd make the movie. Being as she left her place by 3:30, she should have had plenty of time to make the 35-minute drive from Addison to Arlington.

However... she didn't get to the Six Flags Mall until 5:15.  No movie.  No biggie, though: we Google-Mapped a putt putt golf place nearby.  That would be a fun activity!  Putt putt rocks!  This is where the trouble started.  Google Maps said there was a putt putt place over on Division Street.  When we got to the address, we found that place had closed.  

More importantly, though, Division Street led us right into the 20-block traffic jam radiating in all directions from the Cotton Bowl, a major college football event, happening right then.  Holy crap!  Just like the traffic I encountered leaving Denver on December 30th, traffic lurched forward at a lethargic 5 miles per hour. It seriously took us from 5:30 until 6:45 p.m. to escape it and get back to the comedy club.  the good news, we only put 2 miles on each of our cars doing that.  The people in that crowd drove like dorkholes, complete and total dorkholes.  I was so mad.

We tried to find a coffee shop or somewhere we could go for the remaining 45 minutes I had before the show.  Google Maps told us about a place that was back in the epicenter of the Cotton Bowl hole.  Forget that!  Instead, we found a sad-looking yogurt place called Fro-yo in the same strip mall as the Arlington Hyenas Comedy Club.

Now, I have provided a link to just about every restaurant and place of interest I visited on my Texas trip, but Fro-Yo is lame. If you really want to go there, find it yourself.  

We walk into the yogurt place and we are the only customers.  Flourescent lighting buzzed in the background.  Ridiculous, non-yogurty gangsta rap filled the room.  The cool thing is you picked a cup or a cone and went around to all the soft-serve yogurt flavors and toppings and you served yourself. The uncool thing is they charged you by the ounce- at gold bouillon prices!  It was good frozen yogurt, but the price exceeded the value.  The ambience put me on edge.  I felt like I could be the 1st person ever murdered in a yogurt place. This place was super-sad.  Maybe it would be suicide, not murder.

I bought the yogurt.  Despite Fro-Yo's crappy pricing, I figured that was a small price to pay considering how she bought dinner, I-Hop, and the Maves tickets.  Look: it's not about the money.  I just have a hard time prolonging the existence of a gangster-rap/ we're-really-sad yogurt place.  Oh, well.  At least the sad lady there was nice.  This was probably her last day on earth before her overdose so I guess she had to be.  Angels won't carry mean suicide cases!

Now, I try not to be negative, but I was kind of cranky about how much time I had wasted between 3:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. just looking for something for us to do. I must have been complaining about it a bit because Melissa reminded me "At least you got to see me."  Good point!  She is a very positive person.  That was really cool that she drove all that way just to hang out with me.

She had to go.  She had plans with friends.  I went to Hyenas, 3 doors down.  Aw crap!  The show didn't start till 8:30! I should have checked on that!  Even after all that wasted time, I still had an hour to blow off! That was certainly not enough time to drive back to Dallas or to even to take a snooze in my car. Last time I tried that, it took me almost 3 hours to sleep. Plus, how would that look if people coming toi see the show saw that and then saw me on stage?  You're right: that would look awesome. Let's make out.

I headlined 2 shows at the Arlington Hyenas.  Jen and L came to she show with as couple friends.  I was really glad to see them. Before the show, Jen came into the green room.  Her friend, trying to be nice, paid for their tickets- even though he didn't have to.  I had comps for them so they didn't need to pay to begin with.  However, once they already paid, I couldn't really get them a refund.  This was a lot like that time Jared tried to get a refund on that gay movie he and I went to.  See my previous entry, "Texas Part 2: PLANS GONE AWRY!" to understand the previous statement. Anyway, Hyenas is like the movie theater: They are more than happy to get you in free, but refunds mean paperwork.  That's 2 favors instead of just the 1.  So, this is a lesson to all you readers (all 5 or 6 of you): always say you are with the band- before you pay.

Anyway, it was really good to see Jen and L at the show.  They are both super-cool. So were there friends.  Shoot.  I can't remember their names.  One of Jen's friends stayed with us for 1 of the nights I was there.  Her dog stayed with us too.  I can't remember the dog's name either.  Good memory, Jake!  What can I say?  I spend time with a lot of animals!  Anyway, the dog had a cone on her head because she kept gnawing on her feet till they bled.  I really bonded with that dog.  I kept petting her and telling her the cone would come off soon.  I fricking love dogs!

I had worked with the feature, Ryan Perrio, before. He had a bunch of really funny jokes I had never seen before.  Dominic Harris/ Domsky opened the show.  Cool guy.  Good jokes.  At 1 point, I saw Ryan giving Dominic advice about something. That was funny to me. I don't mean to cheapen whatever advice he offered.  I just thought it was funny. I wondered how many times I have given advice and someone who overheard it was standing there thinking I was full of crap. Probably a lot.  I am kind of a know-it-all. Hang out with me a few years and eventually you'll find that out. 

I had so much fun working the Arlington club that night.  Both shows rocked!  Headlining is so fun. I just relax because I realize it's my show and I can do whatever I want.  You can like it or not. That's your choice.

After the show, L told me that before the show, she had asked Jen if I was funny. L said she really hoped I was.  The same thing happened when I 1st stayed with Jen and Wooley.  I suppose it would be pretty awkward hanging out afterwards if I wasn't funny. Have you ever heard a fake "Good job?"  Both the giver and the receiver of that fake compliment feel kind of slimy. Fake compliments make you feel like you are wearing 3-day-old underwear.  You hope nobody smells a rat, but they do. They do.  Anyway, the show went really well, so fortunately, I didn't put them in a position to lie.  Not trying to stroke my ego here.  I just don't like making people lie.

Also, both Ryan and Dominic did well. The 1st time Jen saw me, Ryan emceed that show.  She said he was funny again. I think she said that.  Am I lying?  I can't remember.  He did well, though.  Whatever.

After the shows, I headed back to Dallas.  Jen and L had invited me to come out to the bars, but by the time I got back to Dallas, the bars had closed and they had already gone home. I really wasn't doing a good job hanging out with my hosts! The whole time I stayed there, I had a ton of distractions. I'm so popular! So, that Saturday, I mainly stayed at their home, relaxed, and watched movies with them.

That afternoon, I went to lunch with Shane Mauss.  We were going to go to lunch at 1 or 2, but neither of us made it to the restaurant until 3:30 or so. Relaxing really slows you down!  It was good to see Shane.  He bought us some fancy pizza at a place by the comedy club.  I think it was called Vapano's  or Vapana's or Vapid or something.  Whatever.  It was delicious.  I had some sort of pesto pizza and he had some sort of chicken artichoke pizza.  I think.  I don't really remember.  We shared though.  Gay.  Thanks for the pizza, Shane!  anyway, it was good seeing him. We had a bunch of laughs and talked about David Lynch movies.  His favorite is Lost Highway.  I was pretty surprised. That is my least favorite.  Actually, not true: Dune is awful.  Good book, bad movie.  That was David Lynch's sell-out movie.

When I got back to Jen's, I ate again. Jen also made us some amazing curry.  It reminded me of the ghost chile curry I had at my couchsurfing host's place in Boston.  The ghost chile is the hottest of all chilies in the world.  It is over 20 times hotter than the habanero.  The Indians have weaponized it.  It will f#ck your face up! Jen's curry was delicious.  It did not f#ck my face up.

I packed up all my stuff again.  Even though I wasn't leaving Texas till Sunday morning, I decided not to stay the night at Jen's.  I wish I could have, but that would add extra miles to my trip home.  Dallas is East of Arlington and Fort Worth. So, going to Arlington , then backtracking to Dallas to stay the night, then passing back through Arlington on my way to Denver seemed dumb.  So, I asked Jared if I could crash on his couch I got done with Arlington and he got off work.  Yes, this is the same Jared who I accompanied to the gay movie.  No.  Whatever you are thinking, no.

So, yeah, I packed up. I pet the cats and the dog.  I hugged Jen and L goodbye.  Then I left. I missed them immediately.  I think I will see them again soon, though- or at least Jen, anyway.

My 1st show on Saturday, January 8th, at the Arlington, Hyenas was kooky.  Before the show, Perrio warned me about the beards.  They told me to look for a table of guys that looked like the roughest Hell's Angels I'd ever seen. Turns out these guys were riders- but not the motorcycle kind.  I've heard of moes, princesses, poofs, bears, queens, lolly-gaggers and fags, but these guys were naturalist gays.  I guess they were the camping, leather-wearing, doing stuff in the wilderness, going back to man's natural primitive state, wildman kind of gays.  They looked like they'd fight you, hold you down, then ride away.

Perrio is a weird dude.  So, if he tells me somebody is kind of weird, I take note. Last time Perrio saw these dudes, apparently the fudgepack leader- I was going to say pack leader but that just sounded funny. Apparently the pack leader, the eldest wildman got a couple pictures with himself and Perrio.  He had his arm around Perrio's side super-tight. He smiled big and wide with isis hand pressed into his rib.  When the picture was done, he didn't let go right away. His hand was comfortable where it was.  His comfort proportionally equated to Ryan's discomfort.

Anyway, the beards sat right up front.  They were all pretty good laughers- except for the unibrow guy.  Unibrow beard didn't crack a smile the entire time. Later on, I think he told me he had a good time, but he sure didn't laugh.  That's how most of the crowd was. I am not saying they were horrible, but they were not my favorite.  They laughed, but not nearly as much as any of the other audiences I had that weekend. I was baffled.  I still had fun, but I worked my butt off to do it! They were the kind of crowd that you kill yourself for, then they don't give anything up- until after the show.  After the show, they come up to you and tell you they had a blast! You did? Next time, show it.

That crowd reminded me of Leslie, this girl who I took on a date back in 2002 or 2003.  She was my friend Dennis's friend.  She came with him to see my show in Greeley. I gave her my number. The next week, she called me every day, 8-10 times a day! Holy crap! Then, she drove from her place in Greeley to my place in Denver and we went on a date. We went to dinner. We came back to my place.  We kissed a little bit, but she told me she didn't want to do any more than that.  Fine.  No problem. The next day she leaves.  Then, suddenly, no more phone calls. Dennis told me she complained that I didn't try anything with her.  Well, what do you want lady? All the signs pointed to "This ain't happenin."  How am I supposed to know you mean "It's on?"

That's what this crowd was like.  They gave me a "this ain't happenin" and then after the show they told me it had been on!  They were the least receptive crowd the whole time I was in Texas. Then, afterwards, they told me they had fun and they bought more shirts and DVDs than any other Texas crowd the I have ever performed for- doggy!

  • Note: I just put doggy at the end of the previous sentence because I was an English major and I am not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition.  I just didn't know how to do it.  
  • Note #2: Yes, I did take a bunch of pictures with the beards. No, the pack leader did not dig into my ribs- or anything else.  They were really good audience members. 
  • Note #3: Also, Leslie kissed like a dog eating peanut butter. 
  • Note #4: I am so thankful I sold all those shirts.  Rent, utilities and all my credit card payments were due and I needed that money bad. Thanks, guys!
The next show was the most fun show I had in Arlington. I sold absolutely no shirts.  Whatever.  Time to go.

After that 2nd show, I talked to Joanna, the manager, and got my money. I said some quick goodbyes to the other comics and to the staff. I gave a couple of them some t-shirts.  I had made some special shirts just for that trip. Since the trip was basically over, I might as well just give them away.  Then, I rushed off to Fort Worth.

The plan was to stay at Jared's.  I got to the Fort Worth club at 1:30 or so.  My hope was I'd be sleeping on his couch by 2:00-ish.  I wanted to get up early and start the drive back to Denver before the snowstorm that Melissa told me about.  Now, I wasn't actually worried about the snow itself. But, Texas drivers can't drive for crap.  Throwing those same drivers on snow would lead to unimaginable misfortune.  They never have snow down there, so they would not know how to handle it. A snowstorm is like hooking up. Yeah, everybody eventually figures out the mechanics, but 1st-timers tend to be pretty sloppy and nervous about it.  That's how people die.  That simile was weak at best- and then it fell apart at the end.

On my way to the Fort Worth club, I got a call from Shaniqua.  We still hadn't hung out yet.  We had talked about it several times, but every time either of us was available, it didn't work out for the other.  So, we decided to hang out at 3:00 a.m., 5 hours before I was supposed to leave town?  That's convenient.

Anyway, I got to the Fort Worth club at 1:30 or so. Curt was there sitting in the office. So was Jared.  Jared said he had to stay a bit because 3 of the waitresses' money was off for the night and he had to rectify that before he could leave.  Curt and I went next door to get pizza.  Yep: There was a pizza place that was still open.  That surprised me. In Denver, everything closes at 2:00.  That's why they call it a cow town.

Curt, Jared, and this other comedian and I were cracking jokes.  Meanwhile, I kept getting texts and calls from Shaniqua.  Curt knows Shaniqua's real name, but due to circumstances I can't get into at this point,  I didn't want anybody else in the room to know who this girl was.  this sounds like a bigger deal than it actually is. Despite the fact that I divulge a lot of info about me in these blogs, I have gotten in trouble from violating a few of my friends' privacy, so I try not to do that here.  I save that for the stage!

At 3:00, the books were still off. Jared was still wrapping up. Yargh.  Shaniqua said I could stay at her place.  Cool.  I went in the office and told them this girl I had met invited me to stay over.  Curt, totally messing with me, put me on the spot "So, who is this girl again, Jake?"  I gave him the "Shut the f up" look.  However, I handled it really well.  "Fine. I wasn't going to tell you guys, but I met this black chick, and her name is actually Shaniqua."

Note: Shaniqua is a name that I have seen several hacky comedians and hacky movies use when they are talking about stereotypical "Oh no you didn't" type of head-bobbing-side-to-side in perfect symmetry with their upraised, long-nailed finger type of black girls.  It's a hack black name.  So that's why I said "her name is actually Shaniqua."

Then, Curt deflected the situation by asking if she was a tranny.  Ha ha. I have a bit in my act about this black tranny I met and how they fooled me.  That got a huge laugh and gave the guys something else to focus on.  A few jabs from the guys and then sweet.  I was out of there.

I got to Shaniqua's at 3:30 a.m.  Yep. That is super-late, but she and I had both gotten off work late and we are both night owls.  Plus, I live in Colorado. Her 3:30 is my 2:30.

In Colorado, you can't smoke indoors at the bars or comedy clubs or whatever- unless you're smoking weed. In Texas, you can smoke cigarettes wherever you want- unless you're smoking weed. Since I had been to both the Arlington and Fort Worth clubs, I smelled all gross and smoky.  I hate that smell! So, I asked Shaniqua if I could use her shower.

Unfortunately, just as I was about to get into the shower, I realized I didn't have a towel. I looked around real quick.  Cool.  Paper Towels.  That'll do pig. That'll do.  So, I took my shower, dried off with a handful of paper towels, and went to throw them away in the trash can- but there was no trash can!  So, like a rational adult, I flushed them down the toilet- kind of.  The toilet was super-duper-clogged. Great.  I just met this chick and before we even hang out for 5 seconds, I tell her I need a shower then I clog her toilet.  If someone came into my house and did that, I'd be a little suspicious. Right off the bat, I'd think they crapped their pants and they needed a shower to wash it off.  I looked around, but could not find a plunger.  I did my best to unclog the clog.  Another way of saying that is I kept flushing the toilet until it was full to the brim and then I left it for somebody else to deal with- doggy.  Screwing up my prepositions again.

I told Shaniqua the whole story. She laughed. Cool. Better embarrass myself now then let her think I ruined her bathroom with a gigantor turd later.  I found out later her roommate used the bathroom the next day and thought that she had clogged it.  Shaniqua let her believe it.

We stayed up and talked for a bit.  She has been going through a rough patch.  She smoked her cigarettes.  Gross. I used to smoke- so I can't judge- but gross. I asked her how long she had been smoking.  2 months.  Oh wow. That is a long habit. I asked her why she smoked.  Her friends do it. Really, peer pressure? The commercials are true? I told her she should quit ASAP.  She isn't that far into her habit, so it should be easy.  Plus, she looks good now, but if she keeps this up for the next 10 years, she is going to look like crap.  I know a lady named Jan and a lady named Becky.  Jan is the older sister.  Becky is the younger.  Logic.  Becky looks a decade older than Jan because she smokes.  Becky's skin is dried out like old pudding.

We talked about a bunch of other stuff too. We both cracked jokes at each other's expense.  I am mouthy, so I like chicks who are mouthy too. The whole time I have known her, she has talked about how down she is right now. However, the whole time we hung out, she was smiling and laughing and talking smack.  It was great.

Shaniqua had a 2nd bed in a spare bedroom and she told me I could use that 1.  It felt like sleeping on a sack of rocks.  So, I told her that her bed was more comfortable.  I asked her if I could stay in hers- no funny business.  Scout's honor.  I just wanted to hold her and then fall asleep.  She was cool with that. I seriously didn't try anything. I was a perfect gentleman. We held each other until we passed out. I had the best sleep I have had in a long time.

I slept so well I didn't wake up until 11:00.  I didn't leave until 11:30. I got to the gas station at 12:00 and filled up. that's when it started snowing.  I went a median speed of 50 miles per hour for the 1st hour of my drive. Texans can't drive on snow for crap!  Also, they don't know what a passing lane is for- doggy.   They wouldn't speed up and I couldn't get around them.  Come on guys!  It's just an inch of snow!  I know you can handle an inch! Entendres.

Finally I got past them.  Then the snow stopped. The real problem began. West Texas is sooooo boring. It's flat dirt for miles. I called every girl I know.  I talked with Shaniqua.  She was going to McDonald's.  I told her I don't eat that garbage anymore. I used to, but it's really bad for you. I told her she should quit eating it too. I am bossy. She said "You want me to quit smoking and quit eating McDonald's? That's pretty demanding for a non-boyfriend!"  Good point.

I ate my green wasabi peanuts for the next 700 miles. I listened to the Pixies and to my "Action" playlist on my i-Pod.  Yep.  I have an "Action" playlist. I am a nerd.   I also listened to The Moth podcast. It is my favorite podcast.  The have the best stories.

When I left Colorado on December 30th, 2010, we had an awful snowstorm until about Trinidad.  When I got back to Trinidad on January 9, 2011, guess what?  Another crappy snowstorm!  Thanks, Colorado!   The difference between these 2 snowstorms is:
  • During the 1st snow storm, I had to go slow because of all the dufus drivers from Denver to Trinidad (yeah, Colorado drivers aren't much better than Texas drivers). 
  • During the 2nd snowstorm it was 9pm so there weren't as many drivers.  However, my wipers crapped out.  I don't mean they wore down and they weren't as effective as normal.  I don't mean 1 of them fell off so I had to rely on the 2nd 1.  I mean they stopped.  My wipers stopped. My wipers were going 1 second, and then right when I needed them most, they just stopped mid-stroke.  They just lay there across my windshield like an extended middle finger.  Meanwhile, the snow flurried down drastically.  It looked like God was puking rice.
I pulled over at the next exit and tried to "troubleshoot." In other words, I called my dad.  He asked me if I checked my fuses.  Check.  He asked me to try gently moving the left blade and seeing if the right 1 went with it. check. It did- at 1st. Then it stopped doing that.  I broke the linkage between the 2 blades. While I was on the phone with my dad, a guy came over and tried to "help" me with my car.  He asked if I had checked my fuses.  Yep. Then, because I was next to the gas pump where I just filled up, he said "I probably shouldn't smoke over here."  Thank you for the help, sir.

He told me to just get a hotel room for the night.  No.  That would not do. I really needed every cent in my pocket. $60 on a hotel room would be a waste of money.   My sister lives in Colorado Springs. He suggested I try to make it there and then stay the night. At first, that sounded good- until I realized that my sister actually lives 30 miles East of Colorado Springs. I might as well just take that 30 miles North and be that much closer to home.  Also, if I finished the trek the next day,  I'd be driving behind 10 times the traffic so I'd get bad mileage, frustration, and all that traffic would kick the dirty melting slush up all over my windshield.  Then, I'd really need my wipers!
  • Note: Dirty Melting Slush is a good name for a band.  Use it and I'll sure you. Or, give me $50 and I won't sue you.
I was still on the phone with my dad. I started driving again. The smoker and I weren't going to solve anything at that gas station. My dad was dead set on me staying at my sister's.  Given the information he had, I could see why he would suggest that. However, what he didn't know is it was so cold out side that the snow was coming down dry.  Nothing was sticking to my windshield! As long as I kept my windshield defroster set to warm- but not hot- I would be okay.  I just knew it. I am not religious, but I kept asking God to keep the snow dry.

While I was on the phone, my dad got a bit frustrated.  I wasn't taking his advice.  So, he put my mom on the phone.  Then she told me they were simultaneously calling my sister.  Dad got off the phone with my brother-in-law and told me I should expect a call any moment now.  We hung up. My brother-in-law called.  I told him what was going on.  He took a more moderate stance.  He could see both sides.  He told me to call him when I got to Colorado Springs.  Then I called Melissa.  She said if it was her, she'd keep going. Since that advice was the closest to my thoughts, I took it. 

After a long, white-knuckled drive, I got home at 12:30 a.m.  I hadn't eaten anything but wasabi peanuts all day.  I was beat, totally beat. This is what it is like to be a road comic.  Even after good shows, and all the adventures you get beat down.  If you want to see what it is like to be stand-up comic, don't watch Comedian, or Funny People, or The King of Comedy. Watch Crazy Heart or watch The Wrestler. Watch someone run their cars and their relationships into the ground- like a joke trucker.  Watch them sleep in their car. Watch them skip eating to save time because they have bad routing in between gigs. Watch them take only 30% of what the booker is charging the venue- because even though the booker is shady, the comedian needs to pay the rent and at least they are getting some money. Then watch them risk their life speeding through a crappy snowstorm without wipers because they can't afford a Motel 6. 

As I collapsed onto the mattress on my cluttered floor, I knew I was home. I fell asleep almost instantly.  

My wipers cost me $200. Both the linkage from the wiper motor and the linkage from wiper to the other had broken.

I still talk regularly with Melissa, Shaniqua, and Curt. I just did a gig with Curt this weekend in Albuquerque.  

A friend at the Dallas club told me the Arlington club closed within 10 days of my headliner weekend there.  She said "you were the last headliner, basically." As I jokingly told the Dallas crew my last night there, this wouldn't be the 1st club I closed- or the last.  After an open mic and a lot of sad goodbyes, the Arlington club closed their doors on January 18th.  Good news, though, the DFW area still has 2 Hyenas and 3 other clubs.  I love that place.

I still have honey all over my car's floor mat.  It got on my backpack- which left honey on the couch, my hoodie, and me several times.

  • Randy, Jared, Billy, Joanna and all the Hyenas crew, for giving me the headliner spots, and for helping me ring in the New Year!  Can't wait to see you all next time!
  • Jen and L, for putting me up.  I seriously don't care that L locked me out! I am just glad we got to hang out and I got to eat your curry. Take that literally.  That is not a dirty joke.  For real, Jen and I are just friends.
  • Matt Golightly for helping me get into Hyenas in the 1st place!
  • Curt, for being my fellow Jerk of Comedy for helping make A Message to Shane Mauss
  • Shane, for laughing at the video we made for you, and for buying me lunch!  Good to see you, buddy!
  • Melissa, for putting me up, for the BBQ, for the Maves experience, and for letting make fun of your silly dialect.  Also, you have cool dogs.
  • Lastly, thanks to my parents, for putting up with me even when I totally disregard their advice.  I love you both!
  • Oh yeah: thanks to all of you who read this!
Bye!  I'm Jake!

P.S.  If there are any typos, I will fix them later.  I am in Albuquerque right now and it is time for breakfast!