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September 4, 2017

Road Comedy Recap: House of the Rising Mohegan Sun (and Soccer)

by J-L Cauvin

This weekend was another weekend on the road, which of course meant bus rides, many hours reading and watching TV shows in solitary confinement, solid laughs and disappointing merch sales.  However, this weekend was a unique one because it involved working a casino and also going to see my nephew in a soccer tournament.  So lets’get into it:

Friday – Empty Seats to Hear JLC Speak

Friday morning I made my way to Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch Transbridge Buses (the RC Cola to Greyhound’s Coca-Cola and Peter Pan’s Pepsi in the competitive world of bus/human trafficking transportation).  The ride took just over 3 hours to get to Wilkes-Barre, PA, which was late, but not too late.   Unfortunately I missed the local bus that goes to Mohegan Sun (the next one would have required a 3 hour wait in the Wilkes-Barre bus depot, which makes Port Authority look like a Saudi Prince’s palace) so I got a Lyft to the casino.  When I arrived at my hotel room I was greeted by a TV that could not spell my name correctly (3rd time in 5 visits), but it was still a nice try. I then ate a feast at Timbers Buffet (comedians get 2 comped tickets to the buffet and since dinner is the most expensive meal it makes #ComedyMogul sense to use them for dinner), limiting myself to only 3 desserts with my meal (#PilotSeasonApproaching) and headed to the show.

Port Authority Bus Terminal – gateway to the world’s capital!

It was Labor Day weekend so I expected lighter crowds, but when I arrived at the club there were 2 people (normal shows are over 200 people easy – they almost always pack the room).  By Friday showtime the crowd had swelled to an almost unmanageable 33.  I did have a very good set and sold a few CDs so I had post-show milkshake money at the Food Court Ben and Jerry’s.  Shout out to the husky white kid who made the milkshake – maximum thickness, while still drinkable. Just like the plump, tongue-studded waitresses at the casino Johnny Rockets’ presumably have their skill set advertised, it made sense that this kid had milkshake making talent (Jon Gruden “arm talent” voice).  The only downside to the night was that a new bit I am working on as a Dog Profiler (figuring out based on fears and reactions what happened to my dog Cookie, in her past – answer: she was molested by a black UPS driver in Kentucky) went well, but was not perfect enough to make a YouTube clip for you 34 blog readers).

Sold out seats to hear JLC speak… not so much

Saturday – Power & Reading

Having recently gotten into the guilty pleasure Power on Starz (the 1st two seasons I watched on Hulu) I had only 2 days left in my week long free trial on Amazon Prime Starz Channel. I had watched season 3 after returning from Ohio and now had 5 episodes left, plus Sunday’s season finale.  For those that don’t watch let me explain Power.  It is a bad, but entertaining show about a drug dealer trying to go legit as a club owner.  I have compared it to Skittles. I like Skittles, but I wouldn’t claim them as a good meal.  The sex scenes are absurd (romance novel erotic or steroid-fueled, prison-style hate fu*ks, but not much in between), the violence even more absurd and the way 50 Cent, who has executive produced the show, has clearly influenced plot and character development to keep his character alive for 2 seasons too long all point to a terrible show, but I have enjoyed it nonetheless.  And as a bonus, the blessed wife of Carmelo Anthony is on the show in all her La La Land glory, raising the important question: How does a double chin, no finals appearing adulterer keep a woman like that when her options are pretty much limitless?  Even funnier is to hear her character in earlier seasons, pre-Melo stripper pregnancy, counseling her friend to leave her cheating husband. So I woke up Saturday, had a cup of black Power coffee and watched 5 episodes bringing me up to date.  To balance that out and because I am a man of diversity and versatility I then spent 3 hours reading the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Goldfinch in the casino food court as obesity scooters motored about. So after consuming the artistic equivalents of Nerds candy and kale salad I showered up and went to the club.

The Saturday show was a nice large crowd (relatively to Friday’s) and I sold some more CDs and then did my traditional “run through the casino as fast as possible to my hotel room because I don’t want to be tempted to gamble my cash pay for the weekend” walk to end the comedy portion of the weekend. Normally this is where the recap would end, but this was no ordinary weekend (sung like Sade). Sunday, by a scheduling coincidence, would take me to my nephew’s soccer tournament in Allentown (sung like Billy Joel), PA, just an hour away from Wilkes Barre.

Sunday – I’m Gonna Get You Soccer

Knowing that I would need to get to my nephew’s games in Allentown I looked up buses from Wilkes Barre to Allentown, two small, but significant cities in eastern PA.  None exist.  I would have had to take a bus back to NYC and then get on a different bus line to go to Allentown. Insane.  So, because I would be representing the entire Cauvin family at the tournament on Sunday, my brother got me a Lyft from the hotel to the soccer tournament.  I got picked up in a Nissan Juke, which is a car that would not be big enough to act as a casket for me, but I still made due. My driver was on time, the ride was smooth and without delay and the conversation pleasant.  So my brother tipped him a Lin Manuel Miranda via the app… but only gave him 4 stars.  My brother is one of those guys who I think treats ride app ratings like movie or restaurant ratings.  In reality 5 stars is the grade for no complaints (versus a movie where it means instant classic/perfection). When I told him he was a tough grader he said “If he had gotten you booked on Comedy Central I would have given him 5 stars.”  So let it be known that 5 stars on Lyft is an impossible grade for any human being to get, let alone a driver, from my brother.  Maybe John Wick could make it happen, but other than him, no one.

Clouds, rain and 10 year olds playing soccer

When I made it to the tournament I saw the different teams and parents.  It always feels like there is one parent on every soccer team in America who looks like he is a high ranking member of Blackwater – like during the weekends he is a quiet parent who does cross fit and wears shades and hair gel, even for cloudy youth soccer games, but during the week is ordering black ops for profit in third world countries.  But most parents just look like regular folks.  My nephew’s team is a diverse mix of black kids, a few white kids, a Latin kid and then two long haired blonde kids (both very good) who looked like a tribute band to Nelson (and the games did in fact take place during AND After The Rain). Their first game, which would get them in the tournament finals if they won was against a team that was physical and 99% white (their best and dirtiest player was a bi-racial kid – he looked like a miniature Aaron Judge, including mohawk, so I felt a begrudging pride). Their defense and goalie tandem consisted of a Spencer, a Remy and a Brooks, so I assume when these kids are not defending the goal they are defending white culture and heritage.  Well, thanks to an assist from my nephew, my nephew’s team won a tense 1-0 game (MATCH) to make it to the finals against a team from Maryland called Pipeline. And to quote the philosopher JR Smith, my nephew’s team would indeed get the pipe.

I erroneously/racistly thought a mostly Latino team had made it to the finals. Instead, the Latin team was actually beaten by Pipeline, a mostly white team (multiple kids with highlights in their hair, which is deluxe white, especially in a tournament for 10 year olds).  This team, as it turns out would give up their 1st and only goal in 4 tournament games in the last 10 minutes of the finals. They whooped my nephew’s team 6-1.  I think with better coaching strategy they could have lost 3-1, but a win was never in the cards.  My nephew’s team is coached by a tall, good-looking British man, who probably wooed the parents with his tea and crumpets, but the Pipeline team was coached by two guys who looked furious that their town had cancelled the pee wee football league.  The head coach, who gave a very nice speech at the end of the tournament to his team and to my nephew’s team was an insane person on the sideline. And his assistant coach was about 6’3″, 340lbs – you know, that ideal soccer body. My nephew’s team was smaller, more timid and less skilled than this team ( I genuinely think half of the kids would be playing youth football if their town had a team).  But at this point I think America should have to call youth sports “Before Black Kids Hit Puberty” Leagues, because these burly white ten year olds that worked over my nephew’s team ain’t all turning into JJ Watt and Rob Gronkowski. But still they were tougher, better coached and stronger, which is basically 95% of winning at youth sports.

So that was the weekend. Meanwhile, back in NYC, my girlfriend gave Cookie a bath and a new toy:

Cookie, holding it down at home.

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