Baton Rouge Journal Part 1: Making Friends Despite Fitting…

Yesterday I arrived in Baton Rouge for a second tour of duty at the Baton Rouge Funny Bone – if you missed my first visit last year here is the link to a song inspired by my visit:

Naturally, because they agreed to have me back and pay me money I decided to come back down here.  And I am excited to report that I left an impression on a few people, which is pretty cool considering I fit 80% of the profile of a lone wolf terrorist.

If this guy killed fewer people, but more crowds we'd be pretty similar I guess.

Yesterday after I watched Barack Obama channel some of the great speakers of our time (I kept thinking of Denzel Washington in Malcolm X and The Rock c.1999 to name two) I was disturbed to see a breaking news announcement on CNN that there is a credible, but unconfirmed plot for September 11th attacks on Washington DC and NYC.  First Mayor Bloomberg told everyone to go about their business, which felt awkward because I, knowing that I would be travelling on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, opted for a roomette on a 30 hour Amtrak trip from New Orleans to NYC, rather than a 2.5 hour flight back.  I am willing to concede one to the terrorists,  So with a few months of obsessive usage of bottled water immediately after 9/11 and this trip my career record post 9/11 versus the terrorists is approximately 3,565-100.  So sure, I have let them win a little, despite the fact that well-guarded presidents and mayors have explicitly told me not to do that, but all in all, not a bad record. (side note: all other long train rides that I have taken and will take because I have fear and discomfort in tiny 50 seat planes do not count towards Al Qaeda’s total, but rather towards my general lack of courage).

But one of the things they were specifically warning against was the threat of a lone-wolf terrorist, which made me nervous.  Mainly because I think I fit the profile of a lone wolf terrorist.

  • Beige
  • Foreign name
  • Distrust of women – though unlike terrorists this does not come from some lack of contact with them or some religious doctrine.  However, if you listen to my 2nd CD you will see that alot of it stems from relations with a Jew.  So sort of a wash here.
  • Underemployed in my field of choice
  • Relatively young male
  • Just a handful of friends
  • Sitting alone in a Hampton Inn in a small town in America planning on travelling on 9-11
  • Thick, angry eyebrows

I think you get the picture.  However, separating me (and as Comedian Jimmy Shubert indicated should be part of the screening process for TSA) I am funny.  At this point if someone reads a file on me – my comedy reels would be what save me from suspicion (even though I drop videos like Bin Laden did, but with far fewer hits).  I do always have this fear on the road that I will get caught like Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile.  I’ll be holding some dead body after having tried to provide assistance when I came upon it during a journey in the middle of nowhere looking for a movie theater. However, I will be suspected of foul play immediately when they see the size of me and realize that my claim to be a comedian cannot be substantiated because no one has heard of me.  In other words I will be in deep sh*t unless I can heal urinary infections with my bare hands.

I was just trying to help -I'm a comedian!! Check my website!!1 What NYC clubs am I passed in? Ummm, none, but look, I will be at a bar on Wednesday!!!

So of course when I visit a place like Baton Rouge I always have mixed feelings.  They have a governor of color, but who is radically conservative.  They know how to pronounce my last name, but do not understand half of my jokes.  Its a complicated place.  But I made some friends already so I, as well as the city, can’t be all that bad.

The Old Lady on The Plane

On my Southwest flight down to New Orleans yesterday I got a middle seat, which, given my bulk, is really a scenario where all three of us lose.  I was in Boarding Group C, which in historical terms is like being the guy sitting at the back of the bus that has to get off so that pre-protest Rosa Parks can have a seat.  It’s that bad.

Fortunately I was sitting next to a very nice older lady from Baton Rouge.  Of course I mentioned that my father was Haitian in the first ten minutes of conversation just to avoid any possibility of racial slurs being slipped into casual conversation.  Fortunately she kept speaking to me so I think she was down with the brown (ish).  We had a pleasant conversation and it sort of eased my general terror of flying (if I use the words fear, terror, flying and 9/11 enough in this post I am hoping the government tags my website and boosts hits – even if for a possible investigation. At least my google analytics numbers will go up).

Nice old ladies with no fear make great flying companions (and no she did not look like a female version of Joe Bruno like this woman).

One of her lessons for me, since she recently lost her youngest brother to random cartel violence in Mexico and she and her husband were having medical issues was to live life and not pass up any opportunities.  I then explained to her that I am taking a 30 hour train ride on Sunday out of abject fear, so don’t expect me to go sky diving or sharing needles with Magic Johnson any time soon.

Brad The Van Driver

The next leg of my trip was a 75 minute van ride from New Orleans to my hotel in Baton Rouge.  Trust me – the shuttle cost and Southwest flight to New Orleans is far cheaper than direct flights to Baton Rouge.  It turns out it was my driver from a year ago and he remembered me.  We had a great conversation on football and tennis (which in the macho south is a rare combo I suppose since tennis is mostly for queers and Europeans – hey ain’t they the same thang!!! haahahahahah).  So after that he decided to open up to me on his interracial dating problems (I also mentioned my black Dad in the first ten minutes of conversation).  He is white and the woman he is pursuing is black.  He told me a great story of how they met (at IHOP – the Interracial House of Pancakes) and how he wants to be with her, but she seems uncomfortable with being in a relationship with a white guy (it seemed to be a cultural gap, not a penis issue).  I told him he needs to lay down the law and let her know what he feels and that he cannot be shoved into that friend role that women love to have (because many women are parasitic scumbags) – the guy that gives a woman his love, which validates them, but they return vague, line-crossing friendship and pretend to not be quite sure how the guy feels about her.  I told him he needs to go for broke with her. If it works he has the woman he cares about.  If not, he has his dignity.  And if all this goes horribly wrong and violent I don’t want to say anything further without my lawyer present.

The Mentalist living my driver's dream.

I then met up with Brad and a couple of his buddies to watch the Saints game last night at Chilis.  It really is easy to make friends in this world as long as you get out of the comedy world, which is full of ass-kissing former losers looking to socially ostracize the closest thing to a normal person they can find.  And then of course, getting involved in comedy is a great way to lose your normal friends.  What a business!

My IHOP Waiter

Even though many American towns are starting to blur into the same image for me (strip mall, gas station, fat people, teenage girls looking like strippers, rinse, repeat), I did remember correctly that there was an IHOP across the street from the Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge.  I went once, a year ago, to this establishment, but when I walked in I recognized one of the waiters.  He then recognized me while I was sitting and said, “You’ve been here, right?” “I replied “yep,” to which he replied, “You were reading, right?”  And I had been reading a book last time I was there.  So I was impressed with his memory, but also the fact that in the last year there realistically may not have been one other customer with reading material in their possession.  Amurrrrrica!!!!

I know you! Tall? No, that's not it. Comedian? No, I don't think so - wait I know - you had a book in here!!!

But it felt good to be remembered.  So to my two friends and one person who remembered me in Baton Rouge – I dedicate the four shows this weekend to your kindness and friendliness.  Of course I don’t expect the shows to go that well (especially since Saturdays shows directly conflict with LSU’s home opener).  But at least you will be able to tell the authorities that there is no way I could be a terrorist.