Baton Rouge Journal Part 3: The Fedora & The Long Train Ride Home

So Saturday night seemed like it would be a tough night, following a very strong Friday night of shows. LSU had their first home game of the season Saturday night, which I feared would mean that the only crowd we would get would be disgruntled LSU fans, sort of resembling.  It turned out that the 8pm crowd was fantastic.  The material killed and the incredibly high percentage of plus size women (they were so plus-sized I thought about referring to them as multiplication sized women) were very forgiving of me mocking them.

So after three shows, which I was very proud of under my belt, all I had to do was get through the 10pm show unscathed and I would have
a perfect weekend.  I think you know where this is heading.

The 10pm crowd rolled in and did not look any different from the other crowds.  Decent size and just one drunk big girl who was trying to make the emcee’s set about her.  So I got on stage and felt pretty sure it would go well.

First two jokes – barely a response (admittedly I forgot to try a new one, with local flavor, about how I cannot eat catfish because it feels weird eating something with a mustache that isn’t an Italian woman).  I think one woman laughed really hard at one of the jokes so I said, “Hey everybody, she’s right, just to let you know.  That joke is awesome.”  Then The Bitch In The Fedora started talking (sounds like a companion play to The Motherfu*ker With The Hat) and so did the table which seemed captained by the aforementioned drunk big girl.  At that point it became sort of a war.  The Bitch In The Fedora kept saying things and stepping on punchlines like I actually wanted her opinion.

I should note that women in fedoras are a particular pet peeve of mine.  All women who wear fedoras should be forced to marry all men who wear sunglasses indoors and they should be forced, with all of their offspring, to move to an island which will be called Douchebag Island where their collective delusional sense of cool cannot infect normal people.  When I worked at the Bronx DA’s office if I were receiving a domestic violence complaint I would ask the woman one question: “This is awful, but before we proceed I need to know one thing, were you wearing a fedora when your husband punched you?  Oh you weren’t?  Phew – great to hear!  We will nail that son of a bitch!”

So when you take a dumb and rude southern woman and place a fedora on her head it is as if you have just made me an awful sundae and it now has its cherry.  So the set went on and I won constant laughs from about three tables and stares like I was speaking Arabic to the rest of the crowd (actually if I was speaking Arabic I probably would have at least gotten booed which would have been a reaction of some kind).  I did get one boo from another woman when I mentioned Obama even though I specifically requested no one boo or cheer.

So after my set I went out to the bar connected to the club and watched the locals.  I have said this before, but there is a real degradation of our culture going on.  We are rotting at the core.  Hollywood exports so many ideas and cultural trends to the rest of the country, which now lacks any kind of identity.   The small towns and cities of America truly feel like testing grounds for reality show fashions and trends.  Like instead of testing makeup on monkeys, we now market test the power of The Real Housewives, the Kardashians and Jersey Shore on ignorant small town folk, who are all too eager to adopt someone else’s identity.  I was particularly disturbed by a woman who appeared to be grinding her daughter on the dance floor, apparently trying to entice her daughter’s friends to get with her.  She was very surgically enhanced and appeared physically fit so to me she was just another cougar a/k/a awful parent.  Then the emcee told me something remarkable.  This woman was not the mother.  She was a friend.  She was 31 and her younger friend was 26.  I honestly thought the woman was 50. So on one hand I was happy that she was
not the girl’s mother, but on the other hand I was looking at a 31 year old woman who had literally tanned, implanted and hair-dyed her way to looking like a mash-up of Pamela Anderson and Richard Harris.

But just as I was deep in my analysis of the Benjamin Button of southern whores I was then approached by The Bitch In The Fedora.   She offered me the following gem (while still wearing her fedora):

“Hey, I thought you were good.  But you’re from New York right?  See that’s probably it.  People probably didn’t get you so that is why
no one was laughing.”

I said, “Oh, maybe, yeah ok, well thanks I am glad you liked it.”  That took all of my energy.  90% of my trip was fun and a success (I ate IHOP, I worked with a great headliner, Rahn Ramey, and had three excellent sets), but as comedy can do, the last note was a sour, fedora-wearing one.

I went back to the hotel after that because I had to be awake at 400 AM for my shuttle to the New Orleans train station to take The Crescent – the 30 hour train from New Orleans to New York City.  So after 2 ½ hours of great sleep I made my way to New Orleans for the longest continuous trip in my life.  But unlike my other long train rides, this one I prepared accordingly.  I reserved a roomette, which is basically a closet with two seats that convert to a small twin-width bed and a tiny toilet located in the space where a full size-width bed would end.  It may actually have been possible to take a shit and still be lying down on a majority of the bed.

Just as I thought I would be the world’s most comfortably buried alive person fate intervened.  The door to my roomette was missing a large pane of glass, which means that even with the curtain pulled over people would be able to hear me speaking to myself in different celebrity voices as well as the sound of my sh*t hitting a steel toilet.  Naturally, this was unacceptable so I asked for a different roomette.  None were available, but fortunately a room (no ette) was available.  The rooms are literally double the size and include a separate bathroom as well.  I felt like such a lucky baller that once all my stuff was in my room I immediately went to the peasants in coach and began offering women the other bed in my room (“that’s right I got a bed to spare motherfu*kers” was what I was yelling in the snack car) in exchange for favors of the flesh.  It did not pan out, but I think they at least respected me even if they didn’t outright love me.

For some of you the idea of being in a small room on a train for 30 straight hours may sound like torture, but to a comedian living in a studio apartment it just sounds like another 1.25 days.  So perhaps if comedy doesn’t work out (it’s getting there) I could have a future as a CIA operative in withstanding torture tactics.

So thank you very much to Rahn Ramey, the Baton Rouge Funny Bone, the first three crowds and small pockets of the fourth crowd, and the
people of Amtrak.  And everyone else I spoke of well in the first two parts of this Baton Rouge Journal.  God help the rest of you.