Why do I do this?

29 02 2012

I intended to start a series of blogs discussing my worst gigs ever but decided to delay that release to discuss a very frustrating evening. I was booked to close a show at Finnegan’s Bar in Herndon, VA. The show was scheduled to start at 9:30pm which in the comedy world means 10pm so I expected a late night. The minute I arrive I asked where the show would take place and was pointed towards the stage which was located directly in front of the bar and beneath two wide screens. It is hilarious that I just mentioned this setup in my previous blog…it is the classic bar comedy show set up. I’ve seen it 100 times. I’ve done it 100 times. Whatever.

At this point, I was feeling a tad nauseous and my stomach was hurting so I asked for the bathroom location. A fellow comic pointed the way and I quickly made my way to there. Without getting too graphic, lets just say my ailment would require some private time. Fortunately, the bathroom stall was a filthy mess and the lock didn’t work. Not only did it not work but the stall door would just swing open on its hinge without even being pushed. There was absolutely ZERO chance I was going to conduct business under those circumstances. Conveniently, this was the only stall on the premises. Great design. So, I informed a fellow comic that I was going to walk across the street to find a bathroom.

Unfortunately, just about every establishment was closed except for Zpizza. As I walked inside I realized there was a public bathroom but it was located all the way in the back and I would have to walk right by the staff to get to it. Considering the damage I was about to inflict on the toilet, I felt rude to just walk in there and unload my cargo without at least buying something. So, even though I wasn’t hungry, I paid $10 for a small pizza for the rights to use their bathroom. Trust me when I say, “time was of the essence.” Plus, can you imagine the stories these guys would tell about me if I hadn’t bought the pizza? They would talk forever about the time the psycho walked into their parlor, DESTROYED the commode, and walked right out. I had to buy the pizza….it was the right thing to do.

I pinched a loaf, grabbed the pizza, and walked over the Finnegan’s. I sat down at the comic’s table and asked if they wanted the pizza since I really wasn’t even hungry. Immediately, the owner/manager/bartender guy pounced on me. I don’t remember his exact words but they involved several F-bombs while he told me to get rid of the pizza or get out of his bar. I was immediately enraged. I tried for about 30 seconds to explain to him that his non-functioning stall could be blamed for the entire incident and if he had been more attentive to his bar, the situation could have been avoided. Not surprisingly, the conversation went nowhere. Plus, I sorta dropped the whole thing as I had made up my mind at minute .36  I was leaving.

I apologized to the other comics and took my pizza home. On the way home, while raging, I decided to sample the mushroom pizza. It was easily the worst pizza I have ever eaten which is hard to imagine considering I have an incredible tolerance for crappy pizza. It tasted like a diaper. Absolutely wretched.

In looking back at tonight, I really can’t blame the bar owner/manager guy for taking umbrage with me bringing a pizza into his establishment. However, he could easily see that I had ordered a drink at his bar so I wasn’t like I was just free loading. Plus, I’m sitting with the other comics so he obviously knew I was a comic. Since I’m his paid entertainment for his Tuesday night crowd, couldn’t he cut me a little slack? Regardless of whether I’m his entertainment for the night, couldn’t he have taken a little softer line with me? Would an ounce of respect and decency been so much to ask? Lots of questions I know. I kinda felt bad about walking out on the show but in hindsight…not really. Comics get disrespected all the time. We have the hardest job in the room but we get treated like we are a nuisance. We are underpaid, underappreciated, and basically considered an expendable commodity. Well guess what buddy…me and my $10 pizza will never step foot in your “establishment” again. Good luck with that. I hope the next time someone tries to drop a deuce at your filthy pub, they do it on your face.

I still can’t believe tonight….I drove 40 miles and paid $10 to take a dump at the worst pizza restaurant ever. Herndon, you’re dead to me.




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