Roaches vs. Man – My Alamo in the Comedy Condo
Week 2 of my San Antonio journey officially began yesterday as I moved from the outskirts of San Antonio into the heart of downtown to work at Rivercenter Comedy Club. A quick breakdown of the two clubs – The LOL Club gets you free admission to the best movie theater in America (Alamo Drafthouse) and quick access to a Cheesecake Factory and a Chick Fil-A. On the downside you are sort of isolated and the only gym you can workout at is Planet Fitness – a gym that bans jump rope and heavy weights, but does have tootsie rolls and pizza parties. Now I am at the Rivercenter Comedy Club. Pluses – near the Alamo, which could be defeated by an athletic high school basketball team (if the tall Dutch were attacking instead of miniature Mexicans it would have been taken faster – the thing is small and short), near a Fogo De Chao (a Brazilian steakhouse that serves unlimited filet mignon) and a free week pass to the Gold’s Gym. There is a movie theater, but it is not free and not as good, though it is a solid AMC. So at this point it is hard to draw an overall winner. Each club has its strengths and weaknesses. The tie breaker is simple:
LOL Club – comedians get a hotel. At Rivercenter – comics get the condo.
Whenever a comedian gets booked on the road there are three possibilities: one is the club provides a hotel, the next is they provide a condo – an apartment the club owns or rents and have cleaned once a week for the incoming comedians (do yourself a favor and DO NOT bring a black light – better to live in ignorance) and the last is that the club provides nothing. Shockingly the lack of any lodging is sometimes preferable to the condo.
The first time I performed at Rivercenter was in Fall 2011 and I did not see one bug the whole week. So despite other comedians ripping on the condo I had no problem coming back to it. And during the day I saw nothing.
I did the show that night and had a great set – excellent crowd. Had fun chatting with the emcee George and the headliner Cory, who was my condo-mate (the headliner gets the room with the 14 inch tube television – BALLER). However, as I walked back with Cory to the condo after the show he began telling me haunting stories about his last time at the club (which was Fall 2012 – so more recent and relevant) and the high quantity of roaches he saw throughout the apartment (to be fair there are a lot of combat traps and 2 bottles of Raid in the condo). And like Beetlejuice or Candyman it was as if Cory summoned the evil spirits of roaches and waterbugs by saying their name because when I got back to the condo I saw a large roach climbing the side of my dresser. I promptly smashed it (#hero), but was now convinced/paranoid that the apartment was teeming with them. I put all my stuff into my suitcase and sprayed every inch of the room with Raid.
We then went out where I decided a few beers might put my already tired ass into a coma so I could pass out without thinking about my new roommates. We ended up going to this excellent place Mad Dog’s British pub, which featured outstanding karaoke hosts (they looked like an older Amy Poehler and Mya Rudolph performing a sketch about two older women hosting karaoke). When Cory and I walked in we got great looks of “who ARE these guys” because Cory is short but very jacked and bears a little resemblance to Michael Vick, while I look like a back-up long snapper for an NFL team (hey we both made this fictional roster). One of the karaoke highlights was one guy wearing a Roger Staubach jersey who did a phenomenal version of Cherry by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. The staff was hot, the crowd was fun and the hosts were great (singing, dancing and joking around – I guess women in their mid forties do have something to contribute after all!) and I started to relax. After a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours we left to go back to the condo.
We were talking in the kitchen area and I was starting to feel comfortable (all the lights on in the apartment) and then a roach just sauntered out towards me in the light of the kitchen. This roach was like Blade – it was of the night, but could also walk in the light. I then noticed one on the wall and Cory informed me that a stain on the floor was his handiwork earlier in the day (dead roach stain, not a Cory stain). I promptly stepped on the one approaching me and declared “I’m out of here.” I felt like those brave souls at the Alamo that I was now so close to – outnumbered by aggressive, tiny, brown creatures. I then booked a room at a nearby Doubletree for a surprisingly low rate (this blog is sponsored by hotels.com). When I got to the Doubletree at 3 am the man at the desk looked at me and said “No offense, but you look deathly tired. Here are a couple of cookies.” And then I fell asleep in my beautiful room at the Doubletree.
Remember the Condo!