Chicago Recap

I’m still recovering from the whole experience. So much happened in less than 36 hours. Lets do a quick recap.

Started with getting a ride to the airport from my buddy, Dustin Ybarra. We take my car. He jokes about driving it to San Jose.

I start to go through security and realize I forgot my sweater. How dumb is going to Chicago in a short sleeve shirt. Luckily I have something that is kind of a sweater. I make a note of just staying inside as much as possible.

The seat next to me on the plane is occupied by an off duty flight attendant that is very talkative. She shows me pictures of a cake she just baked. Part of me wants to be an asshole but I humor her and tell her the cake looks great. There is a tiny plastic baby sticking out of it.

I have to change planes in Denver because I booked my flight with Travelocity and that’s what happens when you get cheap tickets.

As soon as I get to Denver, I get a call. The gig has been cancelled. Flights from LA to Chicago have been cancelled. Jo isn’t going to make it.

I remember that my buddy Cisco is performing at the grand opening of the Chicago Laugh Factory with Russell Peters. I think, “I hope Cisco is the ‘Comics need to help comics’ kind of comedian and not the ‘Sucks to be you’ kind”. I’m in luck, he is the former.

I try to see if I can still get a change in flight so I make it seem like an emergency happened and I have to go back to LAX. I don’t get specific because people have a better imagination than any lie I can come up with.

I talk to an agent who calls in a supervisor who has me call reservations who tells me all I can do is buy a ticket back. Damn! The supervisor says he’s going to work the system and get me a discounted price of $150 to fly back and I can use the credit for my cancelled return ticket later. The flight is at 8:45 PM. It’s 1:20 PM. I deny the flight while trying to still make it look like an emergency.

So… what do I do. Do I go back to LA and just work on this website or do I take the trip to Chicago? A long time ago, I told myself that sometimes you just need to experience life. I decide to go to Chicago. I tell Jo’s assistant that I will just end up taking the trip and I’ll see them when I get back.

I eat Pizza Hut.

I call Cisco and get the hotel info. I call Shams and brag that I’ll be in Chicago. I call my mom to see if I have relatives that live there. I tweet to see if I know anyone out there. I’m ready to go to Chicago with a flimsy sweater.

Jo calls me. He tells me to come back to LA and he’ll get a quick gig for us. Just come back. Oh man. I’ve got 20 minutes before the flight boards to figure out how to get my discount back.

I head back to the counter only to find the off duty flight attendant that was sitting next to me there. She listens to my story. Unfortunately she can’t change the ticket but I can go to any American Airlines counter and get the fix.

I head to the next open counter. The ticket agent is busy boarding a flight. I stand there looking as distressed as I can pull off. I do this by adjusting my back pack alot. This is also the counter that will be boarding my Chicago flight. As I stand there a few things happen.

The off duty cake baking flight attendant is now on duty and going to be on the Chicago flight. She sees me standing there and tells the other attendants about my situation. They are concerned. A different supervisor shows up but is busy finishing off the boarding of the current flight. She ignores me.

The Chicago flight starts boarding. I look at the departures. Every flight to Chicago but mine is being cancelled. I walk to see if any other American Airlines counter is open. Nope. Back to life, back to reality. I can miss the Chicago flight and wait for the ticket agent to be available. I think, “Maybe they’ll cancel the Chicago flight and I can get a refund. C’mon cancel c’mon.”

I get a call. It’s Jo’s assistant, “The gig is back on. Jo will be there in the morning.” Huzzah! They start boarding my group. Group 4 because I check in when I get to the airport. I know, I know I can just do it online.

I board. The cake baking flight attendant is concerned but I tell her I have help waiting for me. “I’ll be heading back in the morning.” I sit and I’m ready to just relax.

Just then, I can hear the flight attendants say, “William, he’s back here.” They called the original supervisor onto the plane to help me get my flight back to LA. AHHH!!! I let them know that I have accepted my fate and have dealt with going to Chicago even though it pains me. William leaves the plane. Whew!

The attendants are taking extra care of me. Talk about guilt trip at 30,000 feet.

I land in Chicago. I write the attendants a little thank you note and let them believe they have helped me through troubling times. Who am I to burst their bubble? They may never help anyone again if I do that.

I take the train to downtown. I take the bus to the Laugh Factory. It’s too late. Everyone left. So I taxi over to Cisco’s hotel. I spend the rest of the night hanging out with all the comics from the show and Tom Green. I talk to this comic that is performing at Zanies all about script writing. Probably a little too much since I’m becoming passionate about the subject.

Cisco and I head to the room only to decide we want to go to CVS. Just a few blocks. At least I have my flimsy sweater.

FUCK!!! It’s cold!!! It’s snowing lightly. I buy a parfait three days from expiration. We walk back and see party dressed chicks leaving a pub stumbling and drunk. Ass exposed because their skirts are too short. We offer to help them walk to their car but just like party chicks are they ignore us. “Bitch, you got cottage cheese thighs! I’m about to enjoy a parfait. I’m already at my daily dairy limit” is what I think.

We get to the room and watch Married With Children. It’s the same episode I saw the last time I watched Married With Children. Cisco lets me know that if I want to get a spot at the Laugh Factory, he’ll ask Russell for me. Of course I would love a spot at the Laugh Factory. Time for sleep.

We’re woken up at noon, typical comic wake up time. Russell is headed out to eat. We quickly get dressed, I put on my flimsy sweater and we head to his room.

Russell realizes that I’ll be freezing and offers his extra sweater. A huge relief for me. I’m tiny, mexican and from Texas. Not compatible with being a couple blocks from Lake Michigan.

We go to eat at the Original Pancake House. I want to order what was a variation of their Dutch Baby but was told it would take 35 minutes to cook, so I order a crepe.

40 minutes later, our food arrives. It’s pretty delicious.

Back at the hotel, I’m exhausted but don’t know why. Jo will arrive in 4 hours so I sleep.

Bad move because not only am I still exhausted, my body has that weird “Why the hell did you wake me up” feeling. I pack up. I leave Russell’s sweater with Cisco with the knowledge that I will be shivering the rest of the night. Jo’s friend Marlon picks me up and we head to the gig.

The gig is at a beautiful theater. The people working are mostly girls and they attend to my every need. Fortunately all I need is coffee, a burger and a hair dryer.

I do my thing. I introduce Jo and I taxi over to the Laugh Factory.

The second show is just getting seated. The line is around the block. Cisco’s phone isn’t working. I’m stuck outside the club in my flimsy sweater. As a comedian, you want to say, “But I’m funny sometimes, please let me in.” I have to wait until I see someone I recognize.

The ticket girl lets me stand inside because she feels bad for me. Russell’s assistant sees me and lets the owner know that I’m with their crew. “This guy is a comedian.” Owner, “Ew. We don’t like comedians.” Ha ha, you got to take the punches in this business. People love you more if you have thick skin.

Show starts. I’m do my spot. It’s a great club and the laughter hits like a bolt of lightning. It always feels good to prove you are funny to people you were hanging out with earlier. People trust you more after they know you can handle the stage.

Russell hits the stage and I head out to find Jo. He’s at the Scout. Taxi!

I get there and the place is bumping for what looked like a bar more than a club. The night is filled with all kinds of music. Wonderwall, Big Pimpin’, Sexy and I know it, Otis, Jesus Walks, N*ggas in Paris, etc. I think, “Man they love Jay Z out here.”

Jo is having a blast but no one from the show is there. Nothing worse than doing a show and not having one person to remember you hanging around. It’s vain but that’s why we do comedy. It feels pointless to even explain that I’m a comedian, really I am.

We leave the Scout and head over to another club that doesn’t close until 4 AM. Man I’m glad I ate that burger earlier. At the club they are playing Otis, Next Episode, 99 Problems, Dub Step and N*ggas in Paris. “Fuck, they love Jay Z out here.”

No one from the show was there either. I decide to just enjoy what I can. Don’t want to be the bitter guy at the club. That is until this drunk chick leans on me to steady herself while she takes her heels off to dance with another guy. FUCK THIS CLUB!

3:30 AM rolls around. We have to be at the airport at 6:00 AM. We take off to get some kind of sleep.

Wake up at 5:30 AM. Get to the airport. I say goodbye to Jo. My flight is at 9:05 AM so I have some time to do nothing. Best nothing to do is eat McDonald’s.

I get on my flight. We stop in St Louis. I have a 3 hour wait. I try my best to sleep on anything. I find two seats with a missing armrest and lay down. I eavesdrop on old women talking about Starbucks coffee prices and how ridiculous it is to pay $3 for it. I think, “People are still having this conversation?” Then someone drops their Starbucks drink. Old Woman, “They should let you refill that for the price you pay.” People and their terrible attempt at sarcasm.

It’s finally time for my flight to board. I see TSA agents at the gate. They are putting PH strips into people’s drinks to check for something. These are drinks that these people bought inside the terminal. Have we gone mad?!?

I get on the plane exhausted, then I realize I forgot to put on deodorant before the show. I might be stinky in my flimsy sweater.

This kid with a broken femur sits next to me. He’s young. Not sure how young but he’s at the age where typing his drink order on his i-pod and showing it to the flight attendant is cool to him. That age. “Gotta keeps things interesting!” I think, “I’m 29 and I’ve never broken a bone so you are pretty stupid to me kid.”

We take off. This kid is eating nothing but skittles and drinking Pepsi. I realize how old I am because I think, “That’s terrible. Those chemicals aren’t good for him. I’m getting sick just knowing he’s eating like that. I need vegetables.”

We are getting ready to land. I’m reading the 48 Laws of Power because I want to learn how to destroy someone. I’m on Law 19 – Know who you’re dealing with – Do not offend the wrong person.

The kid wants to look out the window, so I open it for him because I imagine it’s quite amazing to him to look outside. In doing that I realize it is pretty amazing to look outside a plane as it’s landing.

Then the kid informs me, “You’re gonna have to turn off your light.” WHAT!!! I opened the fucking window for you kid. I let you experience the full amazement of flying coach. You think I wanted to sit next to the window?!? No I didn’t but because I almost cancelled my flight two days earlier, I got stuck with this seat next to you. You’re trying to tell me… so on and so on. I’m about to actually say this but then I remember Law 19. This kid might be someone later. I’ll let him slide.

I look out the window as we land. Traffic looks bad for no reason. Lots of unclean pools in LA. As we land, I look forward and through my peripheral I see that the little bastard turned off my light while I was distracted. You’re lucky we’re getting off.

3:40 PM. I head to the restroom, change my shirt and wait for the Fly Away bus since I couldn’t find a ride. I tell myself not to give anyone a ride to the airport for the next 3 months. I’m punishing them all for making me ride a bus.

Anthony says he’ll pick me up after work at 5 PM. This bus feels like it’s going to take a while anyway.

I was wrong. So now I’m stuck waiting at this weird bus port. Anthony is stuck in traffic. I’m hungry so I walk over to a mexican restaurant right next to the place. Don Diego’s. Across the street is a strip club. Classy block.

I sit down, I order Caldo De Res and I wait. The place is playing Big Pimpin. Just kidding but how funny would that have been. They are playing loud banda music. Like really loud. I’m about to text Anthony that he is going to hate this place but I stop because he won’t arrive soon.

I was wrong. Anthony strolls in, sits down and informs me that I’m right below the speaker. He hates this place. We move to another table but that music fills the place like sand poured in a pot. Completely. Anthony orders an horchata. The food is taking a while.

The music finally just stops but that’s when another patron decides he’ll take it upon himself to sing what lyrics he knows of whatever song his drunken mind chose. Anthony is started to get red.

After half a minute of bad singing, Anthony decides we need to just leave. I realize I haven’t gotten my food so it doesn’t matter if we leave.

I was wrong. As we leave, we are chased out by the drunk patron. “Hey you pieces of chit! Why don’t you pay for your food! Pieces of chit!” Anthony, “What food? How about you pay for it with your singing!” “Hey you piece of chit! You’re a piece of chit! Pay for your food” Then the drunk patron’s drunk girl comes out. “Hey piece of chit!” Anthony is actually engaging in a heated argument. I would’ve just kept walking. The guy follows us to the car and his girl stands behind the car. She starts taking pictures of the license plate. “Piece of chit!” is the phrase of the day. I throw my stuff in the car. The guy is banging on the window. The lady won’t move. The workers pull her out of the way because Anthony is backing up. They threaten to report our plates. Anthony tells them to do it and then in perfect Spanish says, “Go back to Mexico, fucking wetbacks.” Use their own language against them, that should be a law of power. They take more pictures but it doesn’t matter because all that we wasted was a glass of horchata, the car has Texas license plates and it’s James’s car anyway. We’ll never drive it again.

We go to eat Thai food. It was delicious. We chat for an hour. I’m coasting on fumes at this point I’m so tired. We jump in the car only to find out that Anthony left it on and the doors unlocked the whole time. Thank God no one figured this out.

Finally at 8:30 PM, I’m home. I crash out. I wake up at 12 AM ready to go to a comedy club. I look for my keys. I call Dustin. “Hey do you know where my keys are?” Dustin, “Um hold on… oh… I have them.” At least he didn’t take my car to San Jose.

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2 Responses to Chicago Recap

  1. Mylyssa says:

    I laughed out loud at this. Quite a few times. You should report back on your adventures more frequently.

  2. Irma Naranjo says:

    You have a very tough job ! I’m exhausted just reading your story. Keep them coming !

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