Thursday, December 16, 2010

East Coast Millan (Part 3)

Before we knew it, we were at the house. My GBF had been driving. He turned onto the block and cut the lights a few houses down. We silently rolled up alongside the curb and shut off the engine. We all looked at each other and started to argue about what to do. I was scared. It was all very Pulp Fiction/Seinfeld to me.

While my GBF was arguing with his GBF, I looked out the car window up at the house. It was an older looking house. It was unkept. There were only a few lights on inside. The house was scary. The neighborhood was scary. Gay guys can argue forever so I finally said, “Let’s just go around back. See if there’s a ton of dogs or anything going on back there. If that doesn’t work, you two can knock on the front door, while I hide in the bushes. I’ve got the cops on speed dial, if we need them.” We quietly got out of the car and ran up the side of the house. There was a lock on the fence into the backyard so we had to hop it. I had on high heels. Dog ownership can be brutal. This was turning into a nightmare. The backyard was empty and an overgrown mess.

We walked around the entire backyard and found nothing. We were walking around the side of the house to go back over the fence, when a car pulled up. We threw ourselves up against the broken shingles and ducked down. A tall guy got out of his car along with two puppies. Mutts. He walked right into the house. We listened for barking. Nothing. My dog barks when someone enters a house. Any house. Even if it’s a house on TV. Always. The panic on my face that we didn’t hear anything coming from the house must’ve been obvious because without speaking we all jumped over the fence and ran to the front door. GBF’s GBF ran right into the house, so we followed him.
Not knowing what to expect. Crazy high on adrenaline and fear. Hoping we would find my dog and get her out of there. And then I saw her and screamed her name. She was sitting on some old guy’s lap. She leaped off his lap, and jumped into my arms. East Coast Millan was there. The other guy with the mutts was there and confused. GBF started saying my name. My dog was wagging her tail. I looked over at East Coast Millan and screamed, “What is my dog doing up here in Westchester? Why haven’t you called me back? What the hell is going on?”

East Coast Milan stuttered and stammered from shock and from my demands, but before he explained anything, he introduced me to his father and brother. As I started to calm down, I noticed his father was in a wheelchair. He brought my dog up to see his wheelchair bound father. As it turned out, his father loves Dachshunds, and he thought it’d be a nice thing to do. His brother is also a dog trainer. All of them love Dachshunds. This is what I get for having a pure breed.

I realized I was standing there in front of three grown men and that one was in a wheelchair, and maybe that should’ve been enough of an explanation, but it wasn’t. I yelled at him for not calling me back. For taking my dog out of the city. For worrying me to death. It was very unprofessional. How could he do this? My friends chimed in and backed me up.

East Coast Milan didn’t know what to say, and his father who was in the wheelchair felt bad for me. He apologized and told me how much he’d enjoyed spending a few days with my dog. It reminded him of when he was younger, before his stroke, when he could walk. Then I felt bad. Really bad. As soon as anyone pulls the “when I could walk” card, they could puke on your face and you’d be apologizing to them.

Then GBF, GBF’s GBF, Me, East Coast Milan, and his Dad and brother were all hanging out hearing stories about when East Coast Milan’s Dad was a dog trainer and some of the dogs he trained. He and his sons both had taken such a liking to my dog. They were really nice, and I was happy my dog who had disrupted and barked at everyone for months brought joy to someone else’s life. We ended our visit/kidnap/rescue mission with hugs and directions on how to get back to NYC. East Coast Millan assured me that my dog was now a quiet well-behaved dog.

Driving back to the city nobody spoke. I had really been wrong about East Coast Millan. He was weird, but he was all heart. The best part was that my dog was cured. My friends dropped me off a few blocks from my apartment. I walked my

dog, and she was quiet like a mouse. Wagging her tail. Happy as could be. It had all been worth it. I walked into my building, and I was talking to the doorman. Usually my dog would be going nuts, but she was calm. It was so nice. But then a Doberman walked out of the elevator and my dog barked and barked and barked some more. And then a woman walked out of the elevator without a dog, and she kept barking. All the way up to my apartment, over to her bowl, she stopped to drink some water, and then she barked over to her bed. I started cracking up laughing. After all that, but I was just glad she was back.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

East Coast Millan (Part 2)

East Coast Millan then proceeded to call me every day. I got a full report on her activities and what was going on. She was coming along fine and getting along with the other dogs. He had 7 puppies that she played with all day. She was still scared of the bigger dogs, but that would come in time. I was so happy. World’s Greatest Worker was walking dogs for him now, and she had seen my dog and thought everything looked good.

But then all of a sudden, the calls became less, and then they stopped. No return phone calls. I called World’s Greatest Worker to see if she could find out what was going on, and nothing. She had been walking dogs, but she hadn’t been to his place. I asked her to go over there to see what was going on. What she found? Disturbing.

East Coast Millan was in love with my dog, no doubt, but he was taking things too far. He had her on a leash attached to his belt, and she followed him everywhere all day. He told World’s Greatest Worker it was for trust. We both thought it seemed fishy. World’s Greatest Worker took my dog for a walk with East Coast Millan, and she was seemingly cured. No barking. Nothing. But he said he needed to keep working with her, and then went back to his place and told her he was going to take a nap with my dog.

I’d never seen Cesar Millan sleep with any of the dogs on his show. East Coast Millan finally called me back and left a message saying things were going well, but it’d take a little longer. But I still had this nagging voice inside me saying, “What the hell is this guy doing with my dog?” Why did he need her for a few more days?

Crazy busy with work, it actually helped that he had my dog, but I wanted her back sooner than later. World’s Greatest Worker went by his place. He wasn’t there and neither was my dog. When she inquired where the barkiest dog in Manhattan was, they told her that East Coast Millan had taken her to his house upstate! Dognapping? I furiously started calling. And calling. And calling. I left message after message, but when I came back from my meeting there was still no answer.

I called my GBF and my GBF’s GBF (My Gay Best Friend’s Gay Best Friend) and told them I needed their help. We were going to steal back my dog. Luckily, World’s Greatest Worker was on the inside. She got the address up in Westchester of where East Coast Millan was staying and GBF and GBF’s GBF and I rented a car and took a ride. We figured we’d have to case the joint, and then get my dog. We all wore black, but since we live in NY, that’s all we really own. We went once it was dark.

My GBF thought we should just go up there and tell him that we were taking my dog. But my GBF’s GBF didn't agree. He thought this place up in Westchester might have tons of dogs. We might have to call the cops, animal control, who

knew what we were getting ourselves into? GBF’s GBF thought I should stay in the car, while they knocked on the door, pretending to be lost and then storm the place. I didn’t know what to do. I just wanted my dog back and couldn’t believe the steps I had taken to try to get a quiet dog. I cursed myself. I cursed East Coast Millan. This never would’ve happened with Cesar!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

East Coast Millan (Part 1)

I have a dog, and my dog likes to bark. She barks all of the time. The only time she doesn’t bark is when I’m not there. If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? It might be more like that in regards to my dog barking when I’m not home. Who knows? She’s nervous. High strung. Protective. Crazy. It’s hard when you’re a seven pound Mini-Dachshund. Life must be a scary place. Life in NYC: Even scarier.

When I moved to California, she became a different dog. Of course, at first she did her usual “Barky McBarkerstein” routine, but after a few months she started to enjoy the California lifestyle. She entered into LA LA mode. She became lazy, if you will. I thought she had become a pothead, this dog had such a turnaround. Nothing seemed to bother her. The sun shined every day. She’d lay in my beautiful, spacious, cheap (compared to NYC) apartment, and bask in the glory of West Coast living. In LA, nobody reads books, and dogs don’t bark. It's a real utopia.

But it didn’t last because then I moved back to NYC. High stress. Cars honking. People everywhere. She was back in the big city, and not only did my dog start barking, but she became even more pissed off than she was the first time we lived here. I had to do something. Fast.

When I came back to NYC, I moved into my GBF’s (Gay Best Friend's) apartment for a short time. He had just bought a new apartment, while trying to sell his old apartment. Now he owned two apartments. Gay guys have so much money, it’s unbelievable. The building was upscale. Very upscale. And I was living there illegally. There were doormen. Neighbors. People who didn’t want to hear a barking dog. And there were other dogs that didn't bark. My barking dog was disrupting the peace and harmony that all of these other dogs had created in the building. I was trying to move into the building unnoticed. Impossible. Something had to give.

I wished I had taken my dog to Cesar Millan, while I had lived in LA. Cesar Millan, the world-renowned dog behavior specialist who takes dogs from nuts to normal on his hit show on Animal Planet, was just what I needed. That’s the dream of every unruly dog owner. That Cesar Millan will swoop in and calm the most savage or barky of dogs. But my dog in LA was on best behavior. I didn’t need Cesar. Now on the East Coast, I was in desperate need of help. And then one day, my prayers were answered.

Enter East Coast Millan. The dog whisperer of NYC. But instead of a “ssshhhh, ssshhhh.” He said, “Fooey!” I’m sure he wanted to say “Fuck!” but he was on the Upper East Side. I liked how he rolled. Instead of being fit and Mexican, he was fat and white. Instead of being charming and wise, he was rough around the edges and looked like an ex-con. East coast, baby! All the way! But the one thing he did have in common with West Coast Millan was that he was magical with dogs.

East Coast Millan met my dog, and in one fell swoop while she was barking and acting like a nut, they fell in love. He lightly tapped my dog and said, “Fooey,” and my dog paused. She walked over to him and started wagging her tail. She seemed docile. I’m not sure if that’s how West Coast Millan does it. You know, the whole “falling in love” thing, but this was how East Coast Millan did it, and it worked.

I took his card and called his references. Everyone gave him rave reviews. But...he wanted to keep my dog for two weeks. He needed her to be with other dogs night and day. He wanted her to be in stressful situations and learn not to bark. He told me we’d be reprogramming my dog. The references were people like me. They thought East Coast Milan was a little weird, but that he had done wonders with their dogs. They loved him, and he loved their dogs. He was a third generation dog trainer. It was in his blood. He was almost a dog himself. What did I have to lose?

While I was deciding if I should hand over my dog or not, one of my friends was looking for a job. She’s a writer and needed some extra dough for the summer. She’s also the world’s greatest worker. East Coast Millan was looking for some dog walkers. It seemed like a perfect fit. World’s Greatest Worker met with East Coast Millan, and he hired her on the spot. It made me feel better giving my dog over to East Coast Millan knowing World's Greatest Worker would be hanging around.

I dropped my barky dog off at his place, hoping she’d be okay. The place smelled like dogs. I met the other guys that worked there, and they were also a little rough. It reminded me of some halfway AA house. East Coast Millan assured me that everything would be fine, and that if my dog was trained quickly, she’d be home even sooner. What a relief!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Rescue Dog (Part 3)

I went back to the pet store and tried to return the dogs. Only two of them: Cocoa and Cappy. I figured the pet store would notice if I tried to sneak Diego in as well. I looked like a mess and pleaded my case to the owner. Diarrhea. Crying. Cleaning. I told him everything. He looked at me with pity. I had Cocoa and Cappy in a bag. It was like Macy’s. Sorta. He wanted me to try to keep them for a few more days. If things didn’t get better, then he’d take them back. A few more days? Was this guy nuts! My mind was searching for a solution to this problem. And then I saw it. Pet Store Boy. Luckily, he was there.

I told Pet Store Boy about my dog troubles. We put them in the back of the store, and they ran around and played. He was petting them and thought they looked fine. I tried to use my feminine wiles, hoping he’d take the dogs, but I looked like hell and smelled like puke. It wasn’t working. I almost started crying. I was having a break down while talking to Pet Store Boy, and he still wouldn’t budge. I guess break down doesn’t equal sexy. I needed somebody to take these dogs. He still wanted to go out. Go out? I’d never be able to go out again. My life was ruined. Someone. Anyone. Take these dogs now!

I put the dogs back in their case and started to close it up. They were panting from playing, and they looked so happy. Cocoa was licking my hand. Cappy was giving me sad eyes because he couldn’t play anymore. Suddenly, I felt bad. How could I return dogs? This was nuts. I looked into their eyes and knew what I needed to do.

Back in my apartment with all three dogs and a bottle of wine, I started drinking. And then drunk dialing. I called one of my Aunts. Every dog she ever had was someone’s mistake. She already had a dog that someone had rescued from the pound right before it was euthanized. I wanted somebody to euthanize me. I needed help. I told her about my problem, and she decided to take Diego.

Love Him But Hate Him would be relieved. Not that he had been any help. Hate him!

Diego left the next day and things became much easier with only two dogs. My BFF came back from her trip, and she took Cappy home. One of my cousins was going to take Cocoa from me in a week. Things were finally looking up.

It was the night before Cocoa was about to leave, and she was curled up on my lap. I was writing material, and Cocoa was falling asleep. I was thinking about how hard it was going to be to give her away, but that it was probably the best thing for her. As though she was reading my mind, she looked up and stared into my eyes. It may have been because I was tired, or because of all I had been through, or because I was getting attached to this dog. But the way her eyes looked into mine, it’s hard to explain. She wasn’t looking at me. She was looking through me. As if she was looking at my soul. I sat there explaining to Cocoa why it’d be better if she lived with my cousin. It’d be a better life. A backyard. Kids. Everything a little dog like her had probably dreamed of. I told her I didn’t think I could handle

the responsibility. The commitment. But she just kept looking at me. Staring. Unflinching. I told her I was sorry, but she was going to move out of the city to the country. I stopped talking, and she rested her chin on my knee and gave a large sigh. It was the loudest dog sigh I had ever heard. It made me laugh. I called my cousin and told her I was keeping Cocoa.

A few weeks later, she started barking. Barking at everything. Every minute. All of the time. People in Manhattan might hate owners who get their dogs at pet stores, but they hate a barking dog even more. But I’ve learned how to navigate the pretentious Manhattan dog world. I tell people she’s a rescue dog, and all is forgiven. It’s not exactly a lie. Rescued from the pet store and from almost being returned. Not exactly a rescue dog, but kinda. Either way, I’m glad I kept her. When Cappy and Diego come over all of the dogs play. They bark up a storm together. Probably reminiscing about old times, when they were almost sold back to the pet store, but their cuteness won out. I’m glad it did.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Rescue Dog (Part 2)

Diego, Cocoa, and Cappy were so good their first night. They played well together. Ate their food. All three little dogs snuggled up on the dog bed I bought. It was precious. Absolutely precious, until I heard crying, yelping and screaming at 5 a.m. Cocoa had this cry that was more of a scream. I had gone to bed at 2 a.m. What the hell was wrong? I ran out where the dogs where and found they just wanted attention. Why they wanted it at 5 a.m. was beyond me, but it didn’t really bother me. It was their first day. They just needed to get adjusted.

And then Cocoa puked. I cleaned it up. Cappy had diarrhea and Diego walked in it. I cleaned it up and then cleaned the dogs. Cocoa puked again and Cappy rolled in it. I cleaned it up. Then I cleaned them. Crying. Yelping. Puking. Yelping. Crying. Puking. Diarrhea. I cleaned it up. I cleaned the dogs. I cleaned myself. I fed them. I cleaned them up. I walked them. They puked. They cried. I didn’t have a minute for anything except to take care of these dogs. What the hell was going on?

I brought all three dogs to the vet. While sitting in the waiting room, I had all three dogs on my lap. They were small enough. This woman sitting next to me said, “Where did you get all of those puppies?” She was all smiles. Then she heard the words “pet” and “store,” and her face twisted in disgust. There’s a reversed snobbery in Manhattan regarding where you get your dogs. You’d think the Manhattanites would like if you spent money on your dog, but it’s just the opposite. If it’s a rescue dog, people think you’re a wonderful person. If it’s from a pet store, that same dog makes them disgusted.

The vet wasn’t too thrilled either that Cocoa and Cappy were from a pet store. One of them had some kind of bug, and now they all had it. The vet figured it was one of the “pet store” dogs. I knew nothing about dogs. I didn’t know it was bad to get your dog from a pet store. It was as if I had been living under a rock, not knowing about the hierarchy of acceptable dog purchasing in Manhattan.

Three sick dogs. It had been a only a few days, and I’d been up around the clock caring for the dogs. Trying to bargain with the dogs. Wishing they didn’t have liquid shit coming out of their asses every 5-minutes. Hoping one of them wouldn’t step in it if they did. Praying they’d go to sleep. But they continued to be sick. They continued to step in each others mess. They continued to roll in each others vomit. The only time they slept was when I wasn’t home. Otherwise they were up. Up. Up. Up.

After a week it started to become a nightmare. No sleep. My apartment smelled like a combination of diarrhea and puke. I never wanted to go home. I ran out to do shows, but then worried about the dogs, and would run back to take care of them. I was afraid something would happen.

When I have a problem, one of my favorite things to do is to throw money at it. Since I couldn’t take care of the dogs on my own, I figured I’d pay someone to help me, but once I told dog walkers or day care centers that the dogs were sick, they were unwilling to help. Money wasn’t working.

I looked like hell. My whole job was cleaning up puke and poop all day. Plus don’t forget about all of the crying. I called the pet store, and told them what happened, but they had no remorse. They told me the puppies must’ve gotten sick from Diego. I knew that wasn’t true. Damn pet store. What did I expect?

My BFF called me from her trip and could tell I was about to have a break down, but there was nothing she could do. Love Him But Hate Him also knew I was having a hard time, but he hadn’t found a home yet for Diego. I was in Puppy Hell. Sure they were cute, but I had done this to myself. I love shopping, but who buys a dog as an impulse purchase? They weren’t tic tacs. They were living, breathing things! But now that I had these dogs, I had to do the right thing. The responsible thing.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Rescue Dog (Part 1)

My friend, let’s just call him, Love Him But Hate Him, is one of the most hysterical people I’ve ever met, so you love him. But he doesn’t always think things through, so then you hate him. He works 12 to 14 hours a day, but decided to get a dog. Bad move. I was out shopping one day when Love Him But Hate Him called me and asked me to go check on his dog Diego. He was going to be stuck at work late again and was worried about the dog. No problem. Until I got there. No water. The place smelled like urine. His wee-wee pad was full. With no food out Diego had eaten part of a book. Living in these squalid conditions was horrible. I put the dog on a leash and took him back to my apartment. What else could I do?

I left Love Him But Hate Him a message telling him I’d be keeping his dog until one of us found him a new home. I would’ve loved to have kept Diego, but my life was too busy. I worked all the time and was away most weekends doing comedy. I couldn’t keep Diego forever, but I could watch him for awhile. Now I had a dog, but not much else. During the "rescue," I looked through the apartment for dog supplies, and there

was nothing. I dropped Diego off at my place and looked for a pet store.

I walked into this pet store on the Upper East Side, trying to make my way to the back where they keep the dog food, when this little 2-pound-nothing dog caught my eye. This big, fat guy was holding the smallest dog I had ever seen. I started to talk to him about the puppy he was holding. He was going to buy it for his wife. The pup looked scared. He asked me if I wanted to hold her. If anyone ever asks you to hold a puppy your first response has to be no. Never hold a puppy. Do you hear me? Never!

The puppy had been shaking, scared and sad, but now she was licking my face and wagging her tail. The fat guy said, “I can’t buy this dog. This dog is yours. It’s your puppy.” I said, “But I just came in to buy some dog food.” He said, “I don’t care. That’s your dog.” Unsure of what to do I called my BFF (Best Friend Forever). I told her that some fat guy gave me a puppy to hold, and now he’s telling me it’s my dog. She said, “Do not move. You’re not buying a dog. I’ll be right there.” Meanwhile, a pet store guy saw me holding this cute dog and came over to start selling me. Pet Store Boy was cute and flirty, but wasn’t he just trying to get a sale?

My BFF found me in a back room with Pet Store Boy while playing with Cocoa. Naming the dog within five minutes of meeting it is a bad sign. Cocoa was running all over. Playing. Nipping. Feisty as hell. So cute. My BFF said, “Yea, that’s a cute dog, but you’re not getting it. You already have Diego.” I said, “I know, but...” That’s how it went. I-know- but, I-know-but. Pet Store Boy was selling us on the value of having more than one dog. They’ll play together.

They won’t be lonely. You won’t feel guilty. During this back and forth, something caught my BFF’s eye, and she asked Pet Store Boy to get it down. It was a dog. The dog looked like the dog I was about to buy. Small, cute and fluffy. She looked at the dog for five seconds and said, “I’m getting this dog.” I said, “You’re getting that dog, but I’m not getting this dog?” We spent 3-hours in the pet store going back and forth about getting the dogs or not.

Four thousand dollars later, we walked out with food, supplies, dogs and Pet Store Boy’s number. We had charged our dogs. It seemed so wrong. Poor Diego didn’t know what was about to hit him. My BFF was going away for work the next day and asked me to watch Cappy for three weeks. In 24-hours, I had gone from no dogs to three. How hard could it be?


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recipe For Disaster (Part 3)

I took a break from cleaning and ran to the bathroom. This bridal shower was work. I came out of the bathroom and saw Eye Candy. Alone in the hallway, we started talking. Then we started kissing. Next thing I knew I was pinned up against the wall. I did want to tip him. But then Tea Bagger’s Mom walked out of the bathroom, making as much noise as possible, breaking us up. I got myself together and went back into the room.

Tea Bagger’s Mom was starting to read the cards out loud. Since the mom had seen me making out with the waiter, I thought I should try to atone by continuing to clean up. I was on one side of the room. Time of Our Lives was on the other. Tea Bagger’s Mom read the first card. “This is from Susan. Hi, Susan.” Everyone looked over at Susan. “Susan’s recipe for love is 1 cup of hugs, 3 Tablespoons of affection, 1 teaspoon of kisses and a pinch of adoration.” Everyone at the table nodded their heads. Tea Bagger’s Mom said, “Oh Susan, truer words have never been said.” Were these people on crack?

“Okay, our next recipe for love is from...” This time she was reading Time of Our Lives card. I wondered what bullshit she’d come up with. Tea Bagger’s Mom was loving this. She must’ve waited her entire life to read these dumb cards. Even at some of the worst bridal showers, I never listened to this bullshit. “Her recipe for love is 2 Cups of Understanding, 3 Tablespoons of Forgiveness, 1 teaspoon of Fun, sprinkled with a dash of tenderness. And a heaping tablespoon of Mother’s Advice."

Tea Bagger’s Mom ate it up. The room erupted into applause while everyone beamed at Time of Our Lives. Tea Bagger’s Mom looked at her and said, “You are such a wonderful friend to my darling daughter.” Time of Our Lives was hysterical. She had really laid it on thick to Tea Bagger and her Mom, but how much longer could I listen to these damn recipes? So I continued to clean.

Tea Bagger’s Mom went on. “Our next recipe for love is from...” And I hear my name. All eyes are on me. I look over and Time of Our Lives won't look at me. I knew I hadn’t written a recipe for love. I had been making out with Eye Candy. I had been cleaning up. I hadn’t been near those cards. Time of Our Lives was the devil! Tea Bagger's Mom read

on while everyone’s eyes were on me, “Recipe for disaster...” And even though it said disaster and not love, she kept on reading. “1 cup of tell him he doesn’t appreciate you, 2 ounces of resentment, 1 ounce of disgust, 3 heaping tablespoons of NO SEX AT ALL!”

The entire crowd had been mouse quiet the whole day, but this recipe had them up in arms. I’ll never understand why Tea Bagger's Mom kept reading the card. I was bright red. Time of Our Lives was acting shocked. Tea Bagger’s Mom looked at me and said, “You are a disgrace to bridal showers!” Was that the best she could come up with? It was almost a compliment. I heard one of the old ladies say, “I saw her scowling during Bridal Bingo.” I wanted to kill Time of Our Lives and die at the same time. Tea Bagger’s Mom finally got it together and said, “Okay, let’s all move on. Next we have Nancy’s recipe for love,” and she started reading a new bullshit card.

I escaped from the room and met Time of Our Lives out in the hallway. We laughed hysterically, and I told her about Eye Candy. We were laughing so hard we almost peed. Eye Candy was there and took us away from the bridal shower to a wedding that was going on in another part of the hotel. We boozed and partied for the rest of the night. Time of Our Lives hooked up with someone. I hooked up with Eye Candy again. We knew we probably weren’t going to get invited to Tea Bagger’s wedding, but we didn’t care. We laughed. We partied. We danced. At around three in the morning, when all was said and done, my old friend looked over at me and said, “Time of Our Lives?” and I said, “Definitely.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Recipe For Disaster (Part 2)

Who created bridal showers? Some cheap ass who decided they were getting married but didn’t want to buy all the necessary things you need when you live on your own. Once you’re married you have two incomes. Shouldn’t you be able to buy plates and glasses yourself? And why do I want to watch you open all this shit? We know what you’re getting.

Tea Bagger’s Mom came up to the front where the gifts were being opened and said, “Everyone. Everyone. Gather round. We’re all going to honor the bride.” And she made everyone get up and form a circle around Tea Bagger. What the hell was this? Tea Bagger’s Mom went on, “Don’t forget she gets something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,” and she handed Tea Bagger a box. Tea Bagger’s Mom made everyone get up for this? I wanted to strangle her with those pearls for wasting time. It was so quiet in the room you could hear a pin drop. Were the guests dead, or were they that boring?

Tea Bagger opened the box and pulled out blue panties. I was pretty drunk at that point, and before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “Luckily, that wasn’t borrowed.” No laughter. Nothing. Time of Our Lives started cracking up. Just like old times.

Now that the circle fiasco was over the games were beginning. Bridal shower games. Easily the worst part. The first game was Bridal Bingo. Yes, you heard me right. We were going to play Bingo. Only instead of having to call out "B12," we had to call out

things like “ring pillow” and “wedding march.” I wanted to march. I wanted to march right up to Tea Bagger and say, “Sorry you don’t have friends, but this bridal shower is why. We are out of here.” But the booze kept flowing and Eye Candy was getting hotter by the minute, so I sat there while Time of Our Lives screamed out “pewter” and some old lady jumped up and yelled, “Bridal Bingo!” I guess Bingo was fitting for this crowd.

Next we played Bridal Word Scrabble. Who thought of these games? Were we going to play Bridal pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey next? There was really no imagination going on here. I was in charge of this one. Everyone got a list of scrambled bridal words and had to unscramble words like “knot” and “mother-in-law” in ten minutes. While everyone’s head was down trying to figure out the words Time of Our Lives and I did a few shots. One of the guests was a Scrabble Rainman of sorts because the time wasn’t even close to being up when she screamed out, “Bingo!” She was obviously confused, but she had the entire list done. I’m sure it was fixed.

The remnants of our games were everywhere, and Tea Bagger wanted everything cleaned up. I was cleaning and Time of Our Lives was handing out the last game. Blank index cards. Tea Bagger's Mom wanted everyone to write down the ingredients to a good

marriage. Their “recipe for love.” I knew from my married friends that meant alcohol and porn. I couldn’t wait to see what this crowd came up with.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Recipe for Disaster (Part 1)

Everyone has one friend that is extreme. Last minute they’ll drive to Atlantic City and gamble all night. They’ll start a new business in a week. They’re in love. They’re in hate. Life is a constant adventure. My friends say that I can be that person, but I also have that person. I became friends with my twin-lost-at-birth extremist when I moved to NY.

We met at one of my sales jobs and became fast friends. Whenever we went out, she was always looking for us to have the time of our lives. Always. We had fun, but after a review of the night, she’d ask, “Time of our Lives?” It’s hard to claim that you’ve had the time of you life. It’s an elusive thing. We had outrageous night after outrageous night, but still we never felt as though we had reached the pinnacle, the top, the ultimate. Time of Our Lives would look at me at the end of the night and say, “Almost, but not quite.”

I lost touch with Time of Our Lives, once I left that sales job. She had moved out of the city, and we saw each other less and less until it had been a few

years. Another co-worker from that job, who I also hadn’t kept in touch with, was getting married, and I got an invite to her bridal shower. I hate bridal showers. Talk about a waste of a day. It’s Saturday. I’ve worked all week. And now I have to sit at lunch somewhere and “Oh” and “Ah” over toasters and silverware. Please. I remember I had been planning on sending my RSVP back with a “no” since we barely kept in touch, but then I ran into the bride-to-be. She’s a nice girl, but a little conservative. Today, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was part of the Tea Bagger movement. That’s what I mean when I say she was conservative. We were never great friends, but we all worked together. Tea Bagger asked me as soon as I saw her if I was coming to her shower. Surprised that she’d put me on the spot like that, I couldn’t think of a lie. Nothing. I had no choice, but to say I’d see her there. Damn my mind for not working faster!

Tea Bagger was having her bridal shower at the Four Seasons in Manhattan. Seriously, where the hell was the wedding going to be? I was hung over from the night before and could barely raise my hand to hail a cab to get to there. I was dressed in black. I had really been dreading this shower.

But then I walked in and saw Time of Our Lives, it was great to get back in touch. I guess this shower would be good for something. There was this long table with about 50 women and me and Time of Our Lives. It was a lucky thing that we were both there because all of the other guests were 65 plus. Did Tea Bagger’s mom have her when she was 100 because she looked old too? She had on a thick pearl necklace, and she was even more uptight than Tea Bagger. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Where were the

other bridesmaids? Friends? Anyone in their 20s? This was nuts.

Apparently Tea Bagger’s friends must’ve been better at lying than me. The waiter came to take our drink order so we started early. It’s the best thing for a hangover, or a brutally, boring bridal shower. He was cute too. Eye candy never hurts.

Time of Our Lives and I started having fun by drinking too much when Tea Bagger started putting us to work. Tea Bagger’s Mom told us to help her with opening the gifts. I usually drink and go to the bathroom during that hour but not this time. This time I was writing who gave her what. Time of Our Lives was handing her gifts and opening them. We were both making some dumb hat out of bows. A dress out of toilet paper. It would’ve been a nightmare if we weren’t getting drunk. It was as if we were the hired help. WTF?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Disgruntled Worker's Dream (Part 3)

The only way you moved up is if you kissed IRA's ass. So Single Forty-Something must’ve sucked at ass kissing because it took her years to move up. I might’ve liked her back when she wasn’t pandering to IRA. But then she must’ve got good at it because now here she was in NY. And I’m sure now that she’d done all that ass kissing, she wasn’t going to let it go to waste.

I realized she wanted to please IRA and what a pain in the ass that was, but there were other managers in the company that were able to walk that fine line. The line of making IRA like them without being a Pitt Bull. But for Single Forty-Something it wasn’t possible. She was a control freak by nature. She had no choice. And I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t happy with her. Most people were looking for new jobs. They hated working for Single Forty-Something. Now it was months later, and people were wishing for Drunkie Boss to come back. Oh, how the tides had changed!

After I was honest with Single Forty Something about not loving how she managed me, she found out I was pursuing comedy. She freaked. Literally. I had a car and lived in Manhattan, and so did she. She’d stalk my garage and ask the guys what time I left. She’d call my clients to see when I had last been by and what we talked about. If I called out sick, she’d drop by. She questioned everything I did. Watched my every move.

I kept hoping things would get better. Despite all of this, I was one of the top sales reps in the company. I thought she might ease up, but no such luck. She made my life hell, and then she did the unthinkable. She stole work that had taken me six months to complete and presented it as her own at a meeting to IRA. I finally had enough.

The end was here, and now that I was a comedian, I had a plan. I invited her and my team to a comedy show, and I wrote some jokes just for her. About her. The disgruntled workers’ dream. My bits were all about my job and my boss. The dumb products. Corporate America. Micro-managers. Stolen work. Everything that had transpired in

the last two years working for this chick. Strangers laughed hysterically. It felt good.

I walked off stage and the rest of the show took place. I had been looking at my team and Single Forty-Something before and after my set and there was a marked difference. I had killed that night. I felt free. She came up to me and said, “You’re very talented.” Holding a piece of paper, I said, “Thanks. Here’s my resignation.” And I walked out of the club and never looked back. The beginning had been good. The middle had sucked. But it was all worth it in the end.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Disgruntled Worker's Dream (Part 2)

Our new boss was female, over forty, single, and miserable. She gave us each a packet of her expectations of us. Expectations? I think Drunkie Boss just expected us to show up. She then read the list out loud. It was a very long list. Not a good sign.

She had been working at the company for years and seemed to worship the job. Bad combo! We all know the type. Single Forty-Something felt like if she wasn’t going to have a life then you shouldn’t either and the absence of us having a life was outlined in that packet. Packets at work equals nightmare situation. Talk about a buzz kill.

But I decided to put my best foot forward and try to get along with Single Forty-Something. It worked in the beginning. I’ve never not been able to get along

with someone in the beginning. The beginning is the best part. Love the beginning. But then the middle started happening and that seems to be where I usually tend to fuck up.

During the middle I tend to be honest instead of just saying what they want to hear. How long can you say the things that people want to hear? I felt like she was micro-managing me. She’d correct words I said in front of the customers. She had this problem with saying the word “just,” so if I said it, she made a point to correct me. We had expense accounts and were supposed to use them at our discretion, but she controlled every purchase. She yelled at me all the time for wearing short skirts and for flirting with clients. Degrading me in front of the clients. No money. No shirt skirts. How the hell did she expect me to sell the crap products I was pushing?

If things went on like this, I knew I’d never do well. I only do well when the boss leaves me alone. So I decided to talk to her. I specifically told her what she did that made me uncomfortable. Big mistake! Apparently control freaks don’t like honesty. At all. From that day on, things only got worse, and I knew I was leaving the middle and getting towards the end. Another job was going down in the dust fast!

It’s not fun jumping from job to job. I tried to appease and rationalize why Single Forty-Something felt the need to be so controlling. I didn’t want to enter the end phase of this job. But the middle was sucking, and it was impossible to go back to the beginning.

The company was a boy’s club. Big time. I’ve yet to work at a company that’s a girl’s club. The president of sales was a short, red-nosed, drunk, Irish guy who thought he was a comedian. So if he thought he was a comedian, then you better laugh at almost everything he said. Only you had to know what was supposedly funny and what was serious. He was worse than the IRA.

At sales meetings he’d tell these canned stories of when he was in sales and how he saved the day. Everyone was forced to act interested and laugh. Pathetic. IRA’s ego was huge. When you interviewed for the position, he made

you wait at least an hour for him. Was this guy kidding?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disgruntled Worker's Dream (Part 1)

I’d been working at a sales job right out of college, and even though I thought sales wasn’t for me, I went right into another sales job. Sound familiar? Let’s see, I hate this job so let me get another job I hate. The American way really, but while working in sales I thought I could figure out what I truly wanted to do. After some serious soul searching (beer & pot), I knew I wanted to be a stand up comic, so I started being a comedian on the side.

There I was, at another sales job again, but the bright side was that my boss was great. He was older and drank too much. Sometimes it’s good when you have a boss who has problems. They can be so wrapped up in their own shit that they don’t notice what the hell you’re up to. I like that. I’ve always been an autonomous person. I don’t need direction. I don’t want somebody telling me what to do or when to do it. My job is to increase sales. Okay, that’s what I’m going to do. But why would I want someone to spell that shit out for me every day? When your boss has problems they don’t have to time to spell.

This was a big reason I took the job. The boss left you alone. Perfect. But after a few months of working for Drunkie Boss, he was demoted. They put him back in sales. Isn’t it usually the other way around? Usually when you’re a problem, they promote you. I was hoping he’d at least become my boss’ boss. Giving me some protection. Someone on the inside. But poor Drunkie Boss must’ve pissed someone off at the top, because he had to go back to sales. I knew I was going to miss him. He was always late. Only wanted to meet in dark places. And I could bullshit him forever. Great boss.

Now my fellow team mates and I were going to get a new manager, and I was the only one who was upset about this changing of the guards. The

chances of us getting someone as disorganized and unpredictable as an alcoholic were slim at best. Late. Unprofessional. A dream really. Long shot we’d get another one like that.

The major gripe of the other members on my team was that he yelled. My job before this one was working at a place selling some shit where almost all of the sales managers, including mine, did Coke. Working with a drunk guy seemed like a relief. He was tired and late. A Coke head is up and angry. Coke heads throw things.

Drunkie Boss only yelled at me once. I yelled back, and told him to cut the shit. We never had another problem. I should’ve trained the others on how to deal with dysfunctional bosses, but hadn’t thought of that. We met our new boss at a meeting, and as you can imagine, it was bad news.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

3 Shows, 2 Hecklers, & 1 Bottle of Vodka (Part 3)

I got to my last show for the night. Another cab. Another 15 bucks. This night cost me more than I made, between the cabs and the booze binge that was about to happen. This was one bullshit night. I walked into the club to see my BFF sitting in the audience with eight other people. Doing a show for an audience of nine might be worse than doing a show for kids. The best part of the night was getting bumped. Where was my depression bed when I needed it?

The show was just starting and the MC was getting the shit heckled out of her. There were two guys in the front, and they wouldn’t shut up. It’s the usual stuff. She’s giving it back to them, but with only nine people in the audience, it’s all falling dead. The MC went around and asked everyone their name, and I paid attention. She brought up the first comic. He pretty much struck out. The room was dead. The energy was dead. I needed a drink. But I have this annoying rule about being professional, and I never drink before a show. It’s ridiculous, but it’s what I do. The next comic asked someone in the audience her name, and the woman got pissed that she had to say her name again. Not only was the comic getting heckled by the hecklers, but now some bitch was giving him flack.

Next comic. Same thing. Annoying hecklers. Angry audience. What a night. I felt myself not wanting to go up. I thought about what a shitty day it was, and how much I didn’t want to work at that new sales job. I thought about how low my bank account was, and how much I wanted to move out of my apartment. I thought about the guy. I thought about my life. And then it was my turn to perform, and I was called up to go on stage.

But this time, I wasn't myself. I wasn't going to do my set. I wasn’t in the mood for the hecklers. The audience. The night. I went up and said, “I want everyone to just calm the fuck down. It’s too rowdy in here. Calm down.” It was nice to curse again. And then, “I know everyone’s name, so I want everyone to relax.” I looked at each audience member as I said their name, and then to the two hecklers I said, “And your name is Shut the Fuck Up and your name is Fucking Annoying.”

All my anger about my old job, new job, ex-boyfriend, day of depression, shitty apartment - everything came out. I had them from when I knew all their names and renamed the hecklers. I heckled the hecklers. I heckled the lady who was a bitch to the comic who couldn’t remember her name. I heckled my BFF. I heckled myself. Making fun of myself for getting so mad. Everyone laughed. Especially the hecklers. They loved it. It was great. A release. I only performed for nine, but it felt like nine hundred.

I walked off stage and grabbed my BFF. We were laughing about the whole thing when Shut the Fuck Up and Fucking Annoying came over to us. I was a little worried. I’ve never wanted to make anyone feel bad during a show. They were looking at me, and they were unsure if they should approach, so I said, “Hi.” The one guy said, “Thanks so much. We had the best time.” The other guy said, “We really needed that laugh. One of our best friends just died.” People say all sorts of things to you after a comedy show. This was a new one. My day might’ve sucked, but it was nothing compared to what they were going through. I was angry. They were angry. All that anger somehow put on a great show. You never know what kind of pain another person carries or what might lift that pain. It felt good, and it put all of my stuff in perspective. I told them I had needed it too, and thanked them for being good sports. They wished me all the success in the world and left. And then I was lucky enough to leave with my best friend, and we went and got wasted.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

3 Shows, 2 Hecklers, & 1 Bottle of Vodka (Part 2)

I dragged my ass out of bed and ran across town. At the first club, the regular MC was out, and the comic that was filling in for her was someone I knew. A really good comic, but she didn’t know how to run a show. Next thing you know, I’m bumped. In other words, I’m not performing. In other words, I could’ve continued to lay in my depression longer. And this was just the beginning of the night. When I found out I was bumped, I didn’t even care. I actually felt bad for the host because she was so apologetic. I always feel bad when someone else feels bad. I started apologizing for her not being able to run a show and for bumping me. Normally, most comics would be pissed if they got bumped. At least disappointed. I felt like saying, “Seriously, can you help me get bumped from the rest of my night? Week? Life?” Break-up/Hell Job depression can do this to you.

Now I had to drag ass downtown. The first two shows were really close together in time, but far in distance. I hopped a cab, sat in traffic and hoped to get bumped from the next show. No such luck. I got there in time and waited to perform, only to see that there was a full audience which made things easier. Things were looking up.

But then right before I went on, I was told that I needed to keep it clean. Things were looking down. As I looked out into the audience, my face turned into a question mark. There were kids. I was booked on some kind of hell gig with kids. There is nothing worse in life than doing comedy for children. I’m no Soupy Sales. No Captain Kangaroo. No Fucking Big Bird. Who the hell thought it’d be a good idea to do comedy shows for kids? I couldn’t curse. I couldn’t talk about sex, drugs, or anything inappropriate. What was left?

I racked my brain to think of my kid friendliest material and was able to make it through my entire set, but it was a struggle. It wasn’t fun. And it made me even more depressed. Am I so foul mouthed and jaded that I can’t get through a set without cursing and talking about sex? The answer was, I could do it but it was with great difficulty, which was disturbing. After the show, I called my BFF (Best Friend Forever) and told her what happened. She was having a bout of depression herself and decided to meet me at my last show. We figured as soon as I was done with my set, we’d go get wasted. Alcohol solves most problems.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

3 Shows, 2 Hecklers, & 1 Bottle of Vodka (Part 1)

It was late. It was the third show of the night, and I was exhausted. As a general rule, a comedian does better when there’s a full crowd. More people means more potential laughers. There’s energy in the room which gives the comic energy to put on a good show. Everyone wins. But when there’s not many people there? And you’re already tired? You can imagine how tough it can be. But you still have to get it together. That’s your job.

This one night I was having a hard time getting it together. Being a comedian is like being in sales: nobody really gives a shit about your personal life. When you’re in sales, you have to put on a smile and play nicey-nice with the customers. When you’re a comic and your personal life is falling apart, you have to play laughy-laugh with the audience. You better take that shit in your life and make it funny or else nobody is going to like you. Except for the circus, nobody wants to watch a sad clown.

That day I had barely been able to get out of bed. I had broken up with another guy and was having a “why can’t I stay in a relationship” moment, when I got fired from my sales job only to be hired at a new sales job all in the same day. Only the sales job that had hired me, was the worst job ever. I didn’t really want the job at all. I interviewed, because I knew I was getting fired. I was getting fired, because I was a comic. I needed a sales job because I was a comic, and comics make no money. And the circle goes round and round. So there I was: no boyfriend, fired and hired in the same day, and sick of all of this shit. I had talked to a good friend about what to do regarding the job, and she told me to grow up. What the fuck?

Somebody once said, you can lay in bed all day as long as you get up and get on with it the next day; so that’s what I did. I laid in bed all day. Only I had to get up and get on with it that night. They never told me what a bitch it would be if you actually had to get up and get on with it the same night. Apparently there’s a real momentum to the day and after laying in bed, you don’t want to get up and get on with it. You want to continue to lay. Now it’s different if you’d been nursing a hangover or having sex all day. Hangover recovery or sex day - easy to get up. Laying in depression - hard to get up. I wish someone would’ve told me that.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Got Balls? (Part 3)

I was standing in the back of the room, unable to think straight, when the woman running the place came over and told

me we were starting in a few minutes. She said the audience was packed with high school wrestling parents. They were having a benefit at the club that night. She wanted me to talk them up. Immediately a joke popped into my head about wrestlers, but I was questioning myself. Am I funny? Is that a good joke, or will it be insulting? Should I say that? Second guessing yourself equals death.

I was interrupted by the Headliner who started to give me advice. It was similar to the Middle’s advice about being myself. I nodded my head and said, “Thanks.” But all I wanted to do was run. I needed to get it together.There was a minute to spare, so I ran into the bathroom. I locked the door and gave myself the "bathroom chat." I looked

at myself in the mirror and said out loud, “You are funny. Fuck last night. You can do this.” Then whenever I talk to myself in a mirror, it makes me laugh, so I started laughing. I heard the music playing, and I ran out.

I was introduced, and I ran up on stage. I stopped thinking about my tight jeans, the old bastard, last night, everything. All I could focus on was the crowd. The energy was amazing. The place was packed. These people had come for a show. I grabbed the mike. And I decided to go for it.

I said, “I’m your MC tonight. I heard there are some parents in the audience.” They clapped. “And your kids are wrestlers?” They clapped and cheered. It was about half the audience of probably 200 people. I said, “You must be so proud of your sons...those anorexic faggots.” The audience exploded. “They’re always spitting in a cup, trying to make weight. Popping boners the entire match. This is a sport? I’m so sorry your sons wrestle. How upsetting for you.” More laughs.

It was a good show for me. I could’ve read the dictionary, and they would’ve stayed with me. Once they like you, they’re yours. After I got off stage, the energy was high. I set up the other two comics for success. That’s the MC’s job, and I had done what I needed to do. The other two comics killed. The show was amazing. It was just what I needed.

When the show was done, I was getting my stuff together to leave. The Middle and Headliner came over to me. The Middle said, “I couldn’t believe when you said that thing about the wrestlers. I died laughing.” The Headliner agreed, “I don’t know if I would’ve said that. Nice job up there. You’ve got balls.”

The woman running the club had complimented my job, and that made me happy because I knew my manager would get a good report. But compliments from comics are scarce. They meant more to me. I wanted to hug both of them. I wanted to tell them about what happened the night before. I wanted to tell them how relieved I was that it had gone over, and that I had a good show. But I didn’t know these guys, and we were talking about balls now. So I smiled and said, “Thanks. See ya around.” And me and my new set of very big balls walked out, happy to be back.