Lard Tunderin’ Bay
Normally I’ll go out of my way to do a spot, pretty much anywhere. Thunder Bay fell in my lap, so how do I refuse? Besides, I’d be on a show with Brian Hope and Andrew Evans. So, at least there’d be Thunder Bay to go and sight-see. I did this on the back of using Air Miles, thinking the flight would be close to free. Once the booking fee through WestJet was added in, I’d be making a total of $8.66. I was able to make money on the trip, but it took me winning some cash at the Thunder Bay casino. With Andrew booking himself on a different flight, Brian and I arrived on Thursday evening to find out that our flight originally booked for 9:15 departure would be delayed for more than an hour. So…off to the bar, then.
No bars made themselves available so we found our way into the Mahogany Grill bar across the street from Terminal 3, settled in for a couple of pints that, when the bill came, weighed in at $10 per pint. Of Keith’s. This would turn out to not only be the most expensive beer of the trip, but also the biggest at-once purchase. This includes an eventual car rental when we soon discovered after half-a-dozen cab rides that there is a mathematical anomaly in Thunder Bay. Any two given points are at least $20 away from each other by taxi. This portion of the blog brought to you by Enterprise Car Rental, folks who don’t giggle when you ask them, “What’s your cheapest car I can get today?”
Slipping into Thunder Bay proper using newly rented wheels, we hit the Sleeping Giant, which seemed to impress only me, the Terry Fox Memorial, which seemed to impress everyone, and then the show at the Eclipse Tavern, where everyone was impressed by the treatment. The sound system, stage, lights, and after some judicious moving of tables and chairs, the room was set up properly. Fire it up. Hosting as I did in front of a crowd between 30 and 40, it became instantly apparent that not only did the crowd like to drink, but they had no problem talking to each other after jokes. Good natured, but definitely distracting. Hats off to Mickey who showed up and truly needed some pie to be stuck in his pie-hole. But, I’ll take a whimsical drunk over an angry one any day. He was harmless.
Everyone on the show did well. The comedy portion of the show went for approximately two hours with breaks for bathroom runs, cigarettes, and $3.00 shots. It is Thunder Bay. With it closing in on 10:30, they fired up the hypnotist, who admittedly had a hard room to impress. I’ve worked with some hypnotists on shows before and even with large crowds, it can take a while to get enough volunteers for hypnosis. With a small, and by this time, kinda tippy crowd, it was going to be rough. But he barrelled on regardless able to get two people to go under. Definitely a tamer show than others given the number of times he had to reset the folks to sleep, but what you going to do?
What do you do? Get three hours sleep, share a room for two with three comics for two nights, one sleeping on the floor, and one that snores like someone moving a stove around a kitchen, and hop on a plane out of town at 6:30am. The fact that the bar had Labatt’s Crystal didn’t help my cause much either. Oh, and it was sold at a price much less than $10 per.