One Night At The Strip

One Night At The Strip

Last night at the Strip was one of those nights that remind you why it’s called, work. The night began normal enough with my arrival at the club 10 minutes before showtime. Most of the crowd had been seated, and the showroom was filling up. After weeks of sub-freezing temperatures, the weather rewarded New Yorkers with a 50 degree Saturday and people were out and about shedding their cabin fever. The first of two shows I hosted went well. All the comics had good sets. When the first audience let out, and the second show people were lining up, I stood in front of the club acting as bouncer. Folks were coming up to me asking if the line was for people with reservations and did they need reservations. One woman asked if the second show had been seated yet. I looked up and down the line that wasn’t moving, giving her my answer. Suddenly a short perky woman with glasses asked me if she could get a good seat because she had a friend with her from Ohio and really, really wanted to sit near the front. After I explained that it was a first come first served situation, and there were 75 people in front of her, it probably wasn’t going to happen. She attempted to charm and joke her way to the front of the line, but I wasn’t having any of it. I knew she was going to be trouble in the showroom, and I would have to deal with her. Sure enough, as soon as she had the opportunity she chimed in. “He’s from Ohio” when I asked the crowd who was visiting. She tried a few times to involve herself in the act, and I had to explain that she was a member of the audience, and people don’t pay cover charges to hear other audience members. The nice way wasn’t working, so I pulled the curtain on her “show” by asking the guy from Ohio to stick his dick in her mouth to prevent her from talking.

In the second half of the show, I was on stage between acts and somebody threw something towards me. It came from the opposite side of the room from chatty Kathy. It missed, landing behind me. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I threatened to jam it down the throat of whoever tossed it. Even though It turned out to be a paper airplane, but that didn’t matter. You don’t throw anything onto the stage at a show. No one put in a bid for my wolf ticket, so I didn’t have to engage in physical violence. (Or run out the side door). I knew the general area of where the missive came from, and I gave them the stink eye, but didn’t have them thrown out. It would have been difficult to do anyway since the club no longer hires a security guard.

For the most part, audiences are generally well behaved, and incidents are rare, but on this night there were some guys seriously wanting a story to tell. My guess is they’ll leave out the part about the jamming down the throat.

William Stephenson

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