So, what do you do when the weather is blowing like snot and the roads may be perilous? Why, you go to Hamilton to do a show, don’t you, silly? Last night had Andrew Evans, Brian Hope, Mister, Rebecca Köhler, and I packed into Brian’s minivan and braved the elements to Hamilton to perform at Slàinte, an Irish pub in the Fionn MacCool’s type family and by far the best one I’ve seen. Lots of wooden beams, exposed brick. Really nice. No seriously. Yes, I’m aware it’s in Hamilton. No I’m not making a joke. Look…shut up. Stop laughing…
We booked it out there for two reasons. One: It’s a show. Two: Looking at the line-up, our convoy represented 75% of the acts that night. So we had to go. Since no one else had a license, this left me to be the designated driver. That’s fine. The Pontiac minivan handled fine in the snow, and it truly was built for drivers. Had a steering wheel and everything.
So, the night is run by Shannon Bell and Bill Davern who alternate as MCs throughout the show. They put the block of us on the last five slots of the night, ensuring that we were going nowhere. The others able to imbibe proceeded to pound beer into them while I sat back drinking ice water and did my best Oscar™-winning portrayal of a man largely indifferent to the whole “needing of a beer”. The night was quiet until we hit the stage, admittedly. I was first of the pack and did the email piece to see how it would fly. Quite well as it turns out. As the crowd waned, the other TO folks still did really well. Testament of the material I’d say.
Wanting to get home so I could finally have a pint myself in clear conscience, trying to herd a pack of well-beered comics into a minivan away from a bar is like trying to push soup. Andrew needed to get wings and a salad, and Mister kept repeating “So, what are we doing? Do we have time for another beer or what?” with the regularity of a scratched album. Finally getting everyone into the van, I assumed the position that’s usually reserved for the guy in the middle seat in the back. Driving home and being the only sober one, I was in a cone of silence getting directions from Brian in the shotgun position. Conversation nuggets whizzed by me at Vimy-Ridge speed and all the while I was being paid as much attention as Dane Cook should be getting. The lot of the DD. Don’t know how you other designated drivers do it. No really, I don’t, since I’m usually passed out in the back singing to the radio telling you how amazing Radiohead are while you’re at it.
1:15am back at Yonge & Mount Pleasant to find that not one bar is open. Not one. Brian had to get up at 5:30am or something like that for a train that would put him in Ottawa performing at Absolute Comedy, a place owned by an old friend of mine Jason Laurans who I worked with in Ottawa, and he’ll be taking the stage with another buddy of mine, Doug Funk, who I worked with a lot during my time in Waterloo.
Small damn world, but I still wouldn’t want to drive through it all. Not with a load of boozed comics, anyway.