When last we saw our intrepid comedians, they were on their way, in the middle of the night toward Oxford MS for a good night’s rest, thanks to “Uncle David.”
It was nice having a place to stay for a couple of nights in a row. We could actually get settled in a bit. However, this was also the first night that multiple gentlemen were to share a room to sleep. An act that would prove deadly to silence. See, it appears that in addition to all three gentlemen being a bit oversized, they all snore like lumberjacks. And I’m not talking a little bit of snoring, I’m talking “can we get a round of C-Pap machines stat.” And according to Ryan, Billy and I managed to harmonize our snoring into one ear splitting cacophony.
My day started, like they all do in Oxford, with brea kfast at The Bottletree Bakery. The Bottletree is an Oxford staple, with some of the most amazing fresh baked items you will ever eat. Oh, before I go much further, I need to give you some background, and let you in on an inside joke to make sense of parts of the rest of this story. I consider Oxford to be a hometown. While I actually only lived there for a handful of years, I spent much of every summer there as I was growing up. And I was growing up back in the day when kids would leave the house in the morning and not be expected back until meal time, or street lights. Now, couple that with a long standing inside joke between Ryan and a friend who told an exhaustingly long story once about this location of an Arby’s and what was there before the Arby’s. The running joke was, when anyone told a long story, that meant nothing to the rest of the group, or just bored them… “It used to be an Arby’s.”
Well, for me the entirety of Oxford, used to be an Arby’s. I drove the guys by where I started elementary school, Arby’s. Where I grew up going to church, Arby’s. Around the University where the oldest building on campus is, the Lyceum, my old dorm, Arby’s, Arby’s, Arby’s. It got so bad, I got creative. We passed over the Tallahatchie River. So I had to point out that while this was not THE Tallahatchie River bridge of Billy Joe McAlester fame, it was the same river. I closed by saying “little known fact, Tallahatchie is an old Indian word… for roast beef sandwich.”
I will say, I bored them to death with Oxford, but as with ANYONE I have EVER taken to that town, they both fell in love with it. Didn’t even have a football weekend in the Grove, or concert in Ford Hall, they still fell in love. Both of the other gentlemen are avid readers, and this town has an incredible bookstore, Square Books. They were mesmerized. Books on shelves, not on screen, with author signatures on many. Billy picked up a Patton Oswalt signed and was thrilled. Ryan could not resist the allure and picked up a book or two as well.
You would think, being on the road, it would be a lot of McDonalds and Sonic, but as I have mentioned before I know good food in this town. Unfortunately Taylor Grocery over in Taylor MS is closed on Wed, which sucked because I had promised some amazing catfish. I made up for it though, by taking them to Ajax Diner! I blew the other Gentlemen’s minds by ordering the 4 veggie plate. Veggie being a relative term, should probably be called the 4 side plate, squash casserole, cheese grits, red beans and rice, and my favorite, butterbeans. They could not believe how good the food was, especially for the price.
OK, this post is becoming an Arby’s. Let’s get back to the purpose of these posts, the COMEDY tour. Tonight we were at The Blind Pig. A thrill for me to be performing comedy in my home town, at a bar I have visited many times. Our contact for the location, Connor King, did a great job of getting us set up with the bar. Unfortunately he had another commitment that night and was not able to be there in time to open for us, but it was great to meet him. And Connor, I’ll be hitting you up again since I am back there often. He did get us set up with an opener James Powell, who did a great job emcee’ing the evening (even though I did call him by the wrong name when I kicked off the show, sorry.) The Oxford audience was one of my favorites, and I believe I can speak for the other gentlemen as well. A special thanks to Thomas Ferrell for coming out to see me. He and I have only known each other for almost 4 decades. What started as a very small but interested audience slowly grew, until I hit the stage to close the show, the bar was pretty full and all having a great time.
Again, being a younger skewing audience, they took to Ryan’s material like a duck to water. Having a younger, and very intelligent audience worked well for all of us, but the adoration we received from the audience the remainder of the evening was intoxicating. We were all walking on a bit of a cloud as we called it a night in the same beds as the night before.
It was a great stop on the trip, and if you want more information… I’ve got all the Arby’s you can eat.
Another state, another great show, another night in Oxford… tomorrow… I get stoned (on over the counter meds by accident,) and we drive by the hometown of Thomas King… but there was no “far.” #TulsaComicInsideJoke