We are officially half way through the tour, if you are counting shows. Now if you are counting miles, we’re not even close. We start the day, again in Oxford, and again for me at Bottletree Bakery. (I had to include this pic since I didn’t get it added on the last installment. What do you think, young Hemingway, or as I claim, young version of the guy from Jurassic Park?)
It is not to be a really long drive today. We are performing just outside Birmingham at VII Lounge. Since this leg of the trip is are the first roads I am not AS familiar with, I gave up the driving seat for a bit. Ever since I was a child I occasionally get a little motion sickness. Out of an overabundance of caution, I picked up some Dramamine. This would prove to be an interesting proposition, and to this day I’m not sure exactly what happened. Knowing that Dramamine makes you sleepy, I got some coffee to go with it, so maybe I would be somewhat alert.
Oh, but I did NOT remain alert. I got higher than a kite! Off Dramamine. Took two, and drank my coffee then didn’t remember anything past Tupelo. It was like somebody turned off a light switch on my brain. I would occasionally wake up, but have NO CLUE what was going on, or where I was. I did wake up as we arrived at the VII Lounge. I don’t know what the other guys were thinking as we arrived, but I knew it was going to be a challenging evening. We were in that part of town with the “Old Mall.” You know, the mall that everybody used to go to, but now is just a Burlington Coat Factory and not a single other store you had ever heard of.
We had some time before the club would open, so we decided to grab some food. Not being familiar with the Birmingham area, I went to my resource for all food related things down south, Rick Shaw. Rick is a comedian friend who used to work for Stuckey’s and traveled extensively in the southern states. He also knows good food, so he is my go to. Per his recommendation we went to a place called Niki’s West. Niki’s is an interesting place, imagine a Furr’s Cafeteria style place, but with the most amazing southern cooking you would NEVER expect to get from a cafeteria style restaurant. I only kinda remember Niki’s, because as you will remember, I’m stoned off my gourd on Dramamine. The guys would tell you that my eyes looked like the lights were on, but nobody was home. I was so out of it that as soon as I ate, I went back out to the car and slept in the parking lot for, I have no idea how long.
Back at the club, we were greeted by an absolutely wonderful cast of characters that run the place, and run the comedy there. Now, let me clarify, while the part of town left me with questions, the club is NICE! Very well setup, great stage, good sound system, and very comfortable seating. We had so many opening comic’s I’m not actually sure I got all their names. I was thrilled though that my 2nd cousin, an attorney in Birmingham was able to come with a few of her friends. Thanks for being there Maloree!
This was the first really challenging audience we had come up against. Billy’s topical humor went over better than my stuff did, buy a pretty good bit. He closed the show. Ryan’s nerd humor was largely lost on much of the audience. In fact, one of the biggest laughs he got was naming, from stage, a King and Queen of hating him. The queen had the best line of the night. Billy said something about them not thinking we were funny and she said “You ain’t wrong Baby.”
Having said that, I don’t think they actually hated us. The audience was very kind to us after the show, didn’t avoid eye contact, shook our hands, and actually bought DVD’s too. There would be little to no sleep tonight! We hadn’t set up a place to stay, so we headed on to Raleigh NC for tomorrow’s show. A drive that proved to be more difficult than initially anticipated.
Next installment… Rain, rain, and more rain, along with some embarrassment in front a “Public Enemy.”