As a comic, it’s a given that we’re expected to tour the countryside, work in shady bars and do the funny for the money.
I’ve always battled with the idea of travelling to the smaller towns and performing my brand of urban, undercover fag comedy for the gun-toting freedom fighters that live in our country’s underbelly.
Still, as I inched along the highway towards my next gig in Kelowna, even I had to admit that K-town isn’t exactly a hick town. Of course, it is known for its conservative politics and the ever-lovely anti-abortion billboards that decorate your drive into town. But alas, as a Canadian entertainer I have to take the work I’m offered–even if it means I’m not getting an abortion while in town.
So with gold stars and rainbow kisses in my eyes, I schlepped up the mountain to Kelowna and found myself only slightly nervous.
And by slightly, I mean that I had only thrown up four times and practiced my escape route from the stage to the hotel twice.
I ended up at the gig way early. I figure why barf and cry alone in the hotel room when I could do it in front of my potential assaulters?
As I was looking around the bar, judging every book by its cover, I kept reminding myself that at least my husband and child would be able to get something from a wrongful death suit. Like the Golden Tee arcade game covered in beer and blood in the corner or the framed photographs of the Pope’s visit to Abbotsford hanging proudly on the walls.
I blinked. Then all of a sudden the host is doing my intro, I’m swallowing the puke in my mouth and making my way to the stage, perhaps for the last time ever.
Now for those of you who haven’t seen my act before, why the fuck not? Do you live under a rock? I’m practically Canadian Royalty, you ungrateful bastards. All right, here’s the crux of my shtick: I’m gay, but I’m not really gay-gay. (That last comment probably just pissed off half the West End.)
In a nutshell, my act is a combination of me living life as a committed stoner, a father and husband, and most importantly, as a dirty pig.
I decided I would ease the crowd into shit with some weed-related humour, then drop the dirty cock lover bomb on them and watch them sizzle with hate.
Then I would invoke said escape route and spend the rest of the night with the aforementioned weed fetish, crying in the fetal position on the floor of my lonely hotel room.
To my astonishment, I actually found myself having a really great time with the crowd; so far my jokes were going over incredibly well. I was working up the courage to drop the gay bomb when next thing I know I hear myself blurt out: “Who needs weed, though, when you can have a big juicy cock, am I right?”
Okay I didn’t exactly say that, but my joke went something along those lines and all of a sudden the crowd fell dead silent, staring at me like I had taken the town’s last roll of toilet paper.
I felt the silence slowly killing my soul, my ego snaking its way through the exit doors. I mentally went over my escape route in my head as I felt my legs tense up. I hadn’t run in years; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever run, but I was getting ready to.
Then I thought: fuck it, they may not have ever seen one of us up close before tonight, but these fuckers are leaving here with a bit of gay pride. So I just kept rolling with it. I went off about how I was an undercover fag. Surprise K-town, we’re everywhere! Put your asses to the wall, there’s a big hairy queen in the house!
Then it happened, what I had feared would never come–the laughter! Next thing I knew these crazy hick bastards were hooting, hollering and clapping!
Eat that Stephen Harper, this queen’s entertaining the country folk with his dirty-talking gayness.
I left the bar that night not only feeling elated that I was alive and intact but, in a twisted way, I was kind of thankful that Kelowna was being so nice to me.
The next day, the treats just kept piling on top of one another for me to revel in. I woke up around noon to screaming and laughing coming from outside. Curiosity kills the cat but sometimes rewards the fag.
There I was standing on the balcony staring down at the pool deck watching in utter disbelief as about 30 teenage hockey players frolicked around in their boxer shorts. Some were swimming, some were wrestling and some were just walking about in their soaking wet underwear.
Apparently, the hotel I was staying in was also home base to a pack of young hockey players in town for a tournament. As if that weren’t enough, the hotel even bumped me up to a snazzier room for the “inconvenience.”
Inconvenience my ass! Kelowna, why didn’t you tell me sooner? I had no idea you could be so gay!
Knowing that my husband was at home with child for the weekend, I had to call and gloat. I didn’t care if he continued his sexual holdout for another month, it’s the little things like this that make life worth it. Well that and Percocet.
Thankfully, being the good husband that he is, he talked me out of gang rape and put me back into family zone. Although I’d be lying to you if I said the spank bank had no recollection of the poolside incidents. It did and will for years to come.
Kelowna, you little devil you! Perhaps I can be so bold as to say that in the end, my own heterophobia was in fact worse than your expected homophobia.
Or maybe I’m just not that gay; either way, we will always have the poolside and for that, I thank you.
All in all, I lived, I learned, I laughed and I jerked off. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m late for my abortion.