I've trekked out to the WI area more times than I can count now. I'm sure if I wanted to be technical I could revert back to my website schedule and count, but.... I'm too lazy. The first time I was in WI, a bartender offered me a Spotted Cow beer. Now? Every time I'm in WI? I make sure to have one.
Most people who know me, or have worked with me, know that if I have ANY driving at all to do? I will nurse ONE beer at a show and that's it. The older I get, the less I can tolerate alcohol and with the exception of ONE speeding ticket, my driving record is perfect. I do not desire to acquire a DUI at this stage in the game, ESPECIALLY out of state.
That said, I landed in Janesville WI on Thursday night. Great show. Got to meet a new comedian. Always happy to be booked with someone I know, but just as excited to work with someone I don't know.
Friday night I had no show. Call it a small snafu. I drove on Friday late morning to my next hotel in Beloit WI. My show Saturday night was in Orfordville, and the town is small enough they just don't HAVE hotels. So, I check into my hotel in Beloit but I'm too early. I knew this would happen. The receptionist (is that what the check in person at a hotel is called? It matters?) went ahead and gave me a room key and told me to just come back at two.
I went to Wendy's and ate while I read some Stephen King. Hey, if I'm going to be in the MIDDLE OF FUCKING NOWHERE, damn straight I'm going to creep myself out further by filling my brain with King-like scenarios. I was cherry picking stories out of "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" because I haven't touched the book since I bought and read it the first time almost 20 years ago. I could've puked when I realized I've owned that book THAT long, that it was THAT long ago I bought it but... puking on this trip would be saved for later.
My room number was 144. This hotel had doors that faced outside as well as in. When I saw room 141, around the corner from room 140, I assumed I'd found the correct hall outside to my room.
Room 141 gave way to the 130's. I found this out after loading myself down like a pack mule with all my stuff and had to turn around and head back to my car. Rather than reloading the hatch my lazy ass threw everything in the back seat. When I finally fount my room ---- all the way on the NEXT section of rooms, totally out of numerical order with anything (weird) I lugged my bathroom bag out of the car first, setting it behind me. In a blink I must've FORGOTTEN that I put it RIGHT THERE, because when I backed my ass out of the back seat with my other bag? Yes, I tripped over the Diva Dome Construction Luggage. I had time to think "My ass is going to connect with pavement" before my ass did, indeed, connect with the pavement. All that was hurt was my pride. I don't THINK anyone saw me. I didn't hear muffled laughter or outright chuckles. If I'd seen me fall? I'd have laughed. I did a nice two step shuffle stumble trying to prevent it from happening. I still haven't checked my back to see if I'm bruised. Fuck it, it was funny.
So I had, basically, a "free day" on the road..... In Beloit WI. Woo. Fucking. Hoo.
I read. I worked out. I walked around WalMart for something to do. Bought a cheap and ugly new purse because that's how I roll.
I went to "The Pub" that night --- the bar so nondescript that it merited such a nondescript name -- to grab up a Spotted Cow and people watch. It was Karaoke night. I listened to a blind man sing "Paradise By The Dashboard Light". Both parts. Went back to the room. Watched TV. Fell asleep. ROCK AND ROLL LIFE, BABY!
Saturday's show was awesome. I met another new comic who was, for all intent and purpose, my husband shrunken down about half a foot. I shit you not people he was so much like Pat in manner and look it was comical. And? Just talking with him made me a little home sick. Okay, a lot home sick. But we hit it off instantly --- one of those people who is never a stranger.
My heart hurt a little that Mikey was a guitar comic. It made me miss Drew. I've thought of Drew every trip since his passing but this was a little heavy. Mikey was funny. Drew would've loved the guy. Still, watching Mikey on stage made my heart hurt a little, and I felt Drew everywhere. More than I have the last few shows.
Me and Mikey hit "The Pub" again. I now had a Karaoke Partner and we sang "Paradise" as a DUO this night. When I approached the book to pick another song, I shit you not that book was open to Johnny Cash and my eyes zeroed in on "Folsom Prison Blues" in an instant. I had to bite back tears in that moment. I waited for my girlie fit to pass, sang some Green Day..... and knew.... I was drunk. My beer bottle was magically NEVER empty. Mikey and I did a shot for Drew and then the bartender told me I could zip up that birthday cake vodka with some pineapple juice. It's called a Pineapple Upside Down Cake shot. I don't know how many I had. I know it was one too many.
Some Cowboy named Wyatt who told me he was 57 but I know damn well had to be in his 60's kept talking about my cute ass and attempting to rub his cowboy parts on me while I sat at the bar. He was a wee bit more hands on than I prefer strangers to be, sure, but I'm a flirt and strung his yippe-kye-aye ass along for a while. What? I'm an attention whore. You people think that only happens online? Pffft.
I was outside smoking when that last shot hit me. I don't know what it is about me and drinking anymore. I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine and then HOLY FUCK I AM NO LONGER FINE. I know I have a good 20-30 minute window to GET TO A TOILET before things start fountaining out of my body.
Mikey was now not my comedic brother nor my karaoke partner but my body guard as he tore me away from Letchy Cowboy and walked me to my room like a gentleman.
Just in time.
What ever I ate that day had digested enough to make it to the bottom exit for another moment. In THIS moment what was in my stomach was taking the exit elevator UP and I sat on the cold tile hugging the toilet while sprays of Pineapple Upside Down Cake shots hit the toilet water like the venom of a snake shooting out in violent fashion. THREE times in my life, IN MY LIFE, I've puked from drinking. Two of those moments were after comedy shows. I need to just stop doing shots.
Drove home totally fine -- no hangover. Unless you count beer shits. Seriously, it was like I was skinning a skunk. I feel bad for the other women that chose to use those rest areas in that moment.
Oh, and I don't know WHAT the fuck kind of bugs inhabit IN that hit your windshield and leave MUSTARD YELLOW splats but..... they smear and leave nasty greasy spots when you try to off 'em with your wipers.
Ah, road life.....