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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When The Town Drunk Tried To Pick Me Up

This is what she looked like before she fixed her make-up.
Being a road comic produces a ton of stories. Some are good. Some are bad. And some are just plain weird. I was doing a gig in West Palm Beach, FL back around 1993. After the show, the three of us comics that performed that night all hit a locals bar, to get away from the fans and the tourists. And that's when the town drunk tried to pick me up

When you're on the road as a comic, there are four things you see too much of - all-night diners, bars, karaoke and strip clubs.

For some reason, everyone after the show thinks we need to see karaoke or strippers. I've spent so much time talking to naked women, I had to get used to them with clothes on. I've also endured more karaoke than one man should have to take. It was only good twice - Rapid City, South Dakota, where the Frank Sinatra of the town rocked the house; and in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where a kid got up and sang note-for-note Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and turned a rowdy Packer bar into a dead silent concert hall. He got a standing ovation.

The other two places comic frequent are the all-night diners. Usually, it is a Denny's or some local late night hash house. In the south, it's always the Waffle House. In the south, the tables are always sticky, too. Not sure why. NO, that's not correct. I know exactly why. The staff cleans the tables with a dry towel. Dummies.

Comics invariably spend a lot of time in local bars and nightclubs with the new fans we acquired back at the comedy show. Sometimes, we sneak away from the fans so that we don't have to keep telling them jokes or constantly being forced to "say something funny."

That's when we wind up in a local dive and the fun begins.

After the show in West Palm Beach, we headed north up the highway. We had a lead on a place where other comics had gotten away from the fawning fans and had a chance to relax.

The three of us took seats at the end of the bar, right at the corner of the dive bar, so we could easily see each other. It was a typical bar - neon beer signs, booze bottles behind the bar, ashtrays and a juke box. Dim lighting, too.

As usual, the bartenders offered us the going rate for comics - FREE BOOZE.

As we told the filthiest and sickest jokes you could imagine (cuz, that's what we do - we've seen and heard it all - the raunchy stuff is the only thing that makes us laugh), there was a blonde woman that sidled up next to me and struck up a conversation. She seemed nice for a woman that wasn't very attractive and we chatted.

A few hours later, this woman in her mid to late 40's was really getting loaded. She was slurring her words and starting to put her arm around me and tell me how wonderful I was. I could feel the trouble brewing and I was looking for a way to unplug this bad coffee.

Drink after drink was put down in front of her and she kept slamming them back. Her amorous side was shifting into a higher gear. I kept trying to ignore her come-ons and keep my attention on the guys that were going to drive me back to the hotel. I sure didn't want to lose them.

When the clock showed that closing time was about twenty minutes away, my new admirer excused herself and said she was going to go to the ladies room. Finally, a break.

As she stumbled through the bar, I noticed the bartenders were laughing. I didn't know why. But when I got a chance, I was going to talk to them about their laughs, which I sensed were at my expense.

About 15 minutes later, my "girl" came back from the restroom and I looked at her. I didn't know if I should scream or laugh.

She had tried to put make-up on while she was completely blind drunk.

Starting at the top of her face, her hair was more messed up than before she left, but it was fluffed off to the side - maybe that was supposed to make her look sexy. It only made her look like she took a header from a volleyball.

She had tried to put on eyebrow pencil. Over her right eye was a big thick black semicircle. Over her left eye was a jagged lightning bolt that started near the top of her nose and shot off upwards and across her forehead.

She also tried to put on eye make-up. She put the blue eye shadow on one eye, but forgot the other. I think she made an attempt to put on mascara because I noticed brush strokes on her left cheek and some marks right below the eyebrow smiley face over the right eye.

Rouge... not a good choice, either. On one side, the bright red powder was caked on like someone had punched her in her cheek. The other side must have been applied when she fell down or tripped over the toilet. It was a red streak that went all the way from her nostril, across her cheek and into her ear.

The topper was the lipstick. She looked like she had applied it while driving a four-wheeler down a rocky cliff. It was close to her lips and even hit parts of her lips, but it was in her nose and ran down on to her chin. On one side of her mouth it looked like she was smiling. On the other side of her mouth, it looked like she was frowning.

Like I said, I didn't know if I should scream or bust out laughing. Everyone around me chose laughter as their response. Then, she leans over and licks my face and says, "I love you." Actually, she said. I-I-I-I-lub-b-b-b-e-w-w-w-w-w. Everyone in the bar was choking at this point. I was in shock.

Then, we got the word that the bar was shutting down and we had to leave. One of the other comics rescued me momentarily and dragged the Miss Florida contestant outside.

I went down to the other end of the bar and said, "What the hell was going on?"

The bartenders could not control themselves. They were still heaving with laughter. One finally said, "She's our town drunk. We kept feeding her free drinks all night, just to see what would happen."

"Gee, thanks. That's a sick way to welcome a guy to Florida."

Outside, chaos broke out because my new "girlfriend" didn't want to leave and she wanted more to drink. She started swinging at the other comics and I stood there in awe, watching the whole mess unfold.

Finally, one of the bartenders had had enough of her mouth and her flailing punches and pitched her in the bushes. OH... that only made her madder.

While all this scuffling was going on, someone had called a cab.

As with most obliterated drunks, they scream, they fight, they swear, they bite, they want a cigarette, and then they pass out. And that's exactly what she did - in the bushes. We had to fetch the smoke from her mouth so that she didn't burn up the bushes or her clothes.

When the cab arrived, we all picked her up and plopped her in the front seat of the van the cabbie was driving. I grabbed her purse and pulled out her wallet. I found cash and a driver's license. I told the cabbie, "Here is where she lives. Here's cab fare. Tip yourself well, and good luck."

For the next half hour, we stood in the parking lot and laughed. I had never seen anything like that before or since, and I've seen a lot.

So, for you people that think being a comic is so great - the tables got turned on me when the town drunk tried to pick me up.

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  1. I did not find this story funny at all.This poor women has a serious problem ang all you people could do was get he wasted and make her the laugh for the night.You are all a bunch of losers.Shame on you.

  2. Dear Anon,

    What you failed to see is that I did not buy any drinks. I did not encourage the behavior. So, ALL of us weren't losers.

    Bars are not places for therapy. If you have a problem, don't go there.

    Did you notice that we sent her home, unharmed?

    I've been around drunks all my life, but not anymore. They ask for their own trouble and they kill people when they drive. We kept her off the road.

    Maybe she won't be so thirsty next time.

    And.... humor is subjective. We don't all like the same things.

    Thanks for commenting.


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