So, a friend of mine from California comes into town…well, actually, Ft. Worth, but I don’t mind making the drive. He’s in town, plus, downtown Ft. Worth is a a cool hang.
My buddy from Cali is a comedian. Let’s call him “KG.” I’ve often thought that stand-up comedians (especially the good ones) are similar to musicians, especially jazz musicians. Both have to:
1. Learn the basis of the art form
2. Create a singular and identifiable style (or disregard all of them in a fashion that is unique)
3. Abuse substances.
KG is a good up-and coming comic, and has had a good deal of exposure. I watched his set (mostly hilariously improvisational material) from a dark corner of the club. Of course, if you’re going to a comedy club, you have to dress nicely, without overdoing it (men in purple plaid suits, and women in church hats, I’m talking to you), and I felt as if i was pimpin’ pleasantly.
Woe be unto ye who fails in this requirement. Especially if you are in the front row.
I must preface the next section of this story with a bit of personal info:
I am a fairly large man. A fireplug, if you will.
I’m not very tall, but I am very broad-shouldered.
If I was a prize-fighter of some sort, I would be in the heavyweight division.
My feet are large enough to stamp out a campfire.
So, during the show, a guy comes over to me and asks me where the bathroom is. I tell him that I don’t know (It’s the truth!)
I continue watching the show.
A few minutes later, another guy comes up and asks me what to do with some pieces of paper that I assumed to be coupons.
I politely inform him that I have no idea of what those are or what to do with them.
Then a woman asks me where the bathroom is.
It finally dawns on me.
A big guy, dressed nicely, sitting by himself on a stool.
THEY THINK THAT I AM THE FRIGGIN’ BOUNCER!
I ignore this internal revelation.
So, the show’s over. KG is signing autographs, taking pictures, selling merch, etc.
I’m just kinda hanging around the general vicinity, not saying anything to anyone.
I’m bored. Time for an adult beverage.
I wask into another room at this club. I hear demonic moans, wheezes, and other unidentifiable guttural human sounds. Demonic sounds. Yes. The vocalizations of the Spawn of Satan.
I make a beeline for the bar.
Get to the bar (busy), and order a couple of drinks. As soon as the drinks are placed in front of me, my homie KG finds me, and I pass him a beer. Cheers! Bottoms up. We start talking about the show, the patrons (especially the woman he singled out in the audience because he noticed her highway construction orange toenail paint. In a dark club, no less. Hell, we are in Texas), and other comics. It was all good, until some guy covered in jailhouse tattoos started chatting me up. It was cool at first: typical guy stuff, checking out chicks, etc. Then came the question:
“Hey, you want some Xanax?”
Mr. Jailhouse tattoos just offered me illegal prescription drugs! At a bar. In front of the bartender, whilst shaking said prescription bottle around, rattling the pills. For some poor unfortunate souls, that sound is a rallying cry to do regrettable things. For me, that sound, combined with the situation, is a resounding WTF?! I had my phone in my hand, and while Mr. Jailhouse tattoos wasn’t looking, I text KG a message:
“This @!&% just offered me Xanax!!”
KG sees my text, and tries to muffle his raucous laughter. I politely decline the fruits of the medicine bottle, and make way elsewhere. And again, more people mistake me for a bouncer.I tell the actual bouncers that they owe me a salary, due to the fact that most of the patrons don’t notice things that the bouncers in this club wear. Things like…oh, a uniform with the club insignia, name tags, earpieces, etc. You know, stuff that’s not noticeable AT ALL.
Fast forward to the next night:
I’ve got a gig at the grand opening of a new club. I’m wearing my evening pimpery. Looking, feeling, and smelling like a million bucks. I am greeted by the owner’s brother:
“…Oh, ok…you’re the trombone player in this band! I’ve heard about you. Nice to meet you!”
He then takes a step back, looks at me again and then says:
“Damn, man. You’re the trombone player? You’re looking more like the bouncer.”
I give up.