Not a big fan of cattle. Hopeless, bulging pounds of bovinity, snorting and rustling their divergent ways to their designated food-group future. It's all a sad, smelly process, one best left to the better-looking cattle hands who enjoy that kind of thing.
But it's exactly that kind of odorous thing that I'm currently not enjoying, fresh from overpriced entry into the Improv concourse on Church Street. I say concourse because, when it comes to sold-out nonevents like this particular Dave Attell tongue-lashing (you know, TV's Dave Attell), the lobby of the club disguises itself as a sweaty theme-park line.
So it's bar disguised as line, or line disguised as bar; either way, it's not exactly the kind of line I like to talk about at bars (snort). If the journey is indeed the destination, then there had better be some kind of liquored-up amphetamine binge parading as a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, because this sucks cow ass. Even worse, it sucks in that lazy, straight, fat-people kind of way peculiar to the rears of cows. No velvet ropes, just elastic belts stretched between metal poles, suspending disbelief long and far enough to imprison better judgement and inspire a bar brawl. Did Dodgeball just let out? Jeez.
Some Orlando-style busker (meaning a missed-opportunity Rob Thomas accident) croons from the unfortunate vantage point of, say, 12 inches above the ground on some mock stage. Everything here feels forced, even the poverty.
"No one knows what it's like, to be the sad boy ..." he Dursts, adding unnecessary brown-eyed emphasis to "behind blue eyes!" And I'm dead. Fall on me. Oh, shit. I said it.
"Don't faaaaallll onnnnn meeeeee," he digs deep into his college three-CD changer, causing Michael Stipe to role over in his assumed vegetarian grave.
Now, admittedly, I'm already closed off in that mealy-hamburger kind of way, having recently survived a fun-free family barbecue: basically, dealing alternately with a 2-year-old repeatedly falling in the grass and ordering me to do the same, and also with a rapidly drunkening boyfriend saying things like, "Daddy needs a drink!" in his best Boss Hogg. You'll forgive me if the words "don't," "touch" and "me" are ringing choruses in my grass-stained head.
Immediately following my pork-and-beans resignation, I grabbed a fellow she-man and hightailed it to the Parliament House for a precomedy elixir aimed at clearing my senses and turning me back into my happy-no-lucky self, freshly pirated Beastie Boys booty in hand. They're funny, right?
"Your hair looks great!" snided one tender of bar toward my fresh-burnt follicles. "I can almost see right through it."
"Yeah," the other shirtless liquor-dripper poured. "Almost like an angel."
Almost. Anyway, as a fat man falls asleep at the bar ("so many meds!" they gossiped, audibly), a pyramid of plastic cups is lined up around his swollen head, hoping for mass destruction in some ornate Egyptian sense. Clever and mean. That's what I need. Check, ch-check, uh, check it out.
But my snotty Burroughs whip-snap is duly snapped now, and I'm glaring at a line of cowpoke nonmovement set to the tune of fraternity fallout. Things are going nowhere. In an odd twist, a gaggle of latecomers latch trunk to tail like kids at a museum and attempt to bum rush the entrance, causing a line moderator to stand up on the bar and scream at us all like the fat kids we are.
"If everyone doesn't get on this side of the pole," he nyah-nyahs, "nobody's getting in!"
If I hadn't forked out $50 of my drink money already, I'd be dancing on the pole, making my way out the door. But I'm destined to be branded on my way to chuffy chuckling, despite my ambitions otherwise. This column has to be about something, right?
The whole point of my being here was to seek knowledge from the master of drinking while you work: Dave Attell (he being the star of the most satisfying televised indulgence out there, simply by poking his bald head into bars and eventually ending up at city sewage plants. He's the night-life digestive system. He's my hero). So I thought I'd stick around for the end, slyly trail his moon-white complexion and take slurred notes as he stuck his uncommon brand of voyeurism up Orlando's ass. Bring on the damn comedians.
Tonight there will be four, much to my never-abating misery. First, it's Gary, the indigenous Improv opener/booker, who will charm us with populist potpourri like, "I don't care how many Iraqis you stack up in a pyramid. Just make my gas a dollar!"
Whoops and whistles from the crowd are drowned out by their sheer ugliness or perhaps by my propensity toward the drink (the size of teacups, I might add), and Gary shortly gives way to a geeky, non-Beastie Jew-esque hottie. He starts his set by simulating fellatio on a 7-foot balloon, probably swallowing the air as it goes down, although suspended belief makes for a more erotic option. "Great show," I'll blur in his direction, later, while I notice the firmness of his handshake. Straight. Obviously. Ew.
The third luckless pundit is some odd cross between Emo Phillips and Pauly Shore, falsettoing windy observations like, "What the fuck?" in between sweat-drenched obscenities and, well, my drinks.
But Dave, oh Dave, is he ever the funniest asshole alive. Calling for shots to be raised at discussions of anal rape, talking about Ryan Seacrest cumming confetti, dipping here and there into the barely legal Olsen twins. He's everything his censored TV mouth promised, and more. He's also as visibly annoyed as I am at how unattractive and un-anything the assembled crowd is, laying into them without them even knowing it. Everybody laughs. Everybody hurts. Stipe?
By the time I'm nodding off into nonhumorous, non-Egyptian inebriation, I decide it's time to go skip the trailing and run for blanket cover. I've already digested everything. No sense in throwing up. Arriving home, I'm met by the boyfriend, naked and hunched over into his own in the lightless living room. "You really did it this time," I smirk, Martha-ing my George. And I have this strange cowlike feeling that I did nothing at all.