November 29, 2010
3:40 PM – CHAD
It seemed like we were in New York for about four months… not that I’m complaining. I told you about how I lost my camera in the city about three nights ago, the night of that screening in Manhattan, right? I even called the theatre and everything, and they eventually called Bob back and told him they never found the camera. This is something that Bob will remember personally, and it is important that I have him as a witness. I also told you way back on the first day of the trip how we got all those pills in Houston, didn’t I? Well, I want you to know that up until now, I’ve been very proud of myself as far as the pill intake is concerned. As I mentioned, we got about forty valiums and forty somas. Well, I have been very careful to take the valiums one night and then the somas the next, never mixing the two. I know it might sound ridiculous to a normal person to hear this, but I honestly take that as a sign that I’m growing up. I have a problem, however. I mean, beyond the drug problem… I have a dilemma. If I lost the camera last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, then what the fuck was I doing in B&H Electronics on Thanksgiving itself looking for a camera to replace the one I had already lost? Or, let me put it this way. If I had already lost my camera by Thanksgiving, then why was I convinced that I had used and lost it at The Tank a night later and kept calling them on the phone and shit? I obviously don’t know what the hell has been going on, do I?
Here’s what I know for sure. It was absolutely Thanksgiving when I went to B&H Electronics, because they are a hardcore Jewish business with the hats and tassels and everything and strictly follow the Jewish calendar, which is the only reason they were open on Thanksgiving, to begin with. This place gets absolutely slammed with business, and has easily the most intricate anti-shoplifting measures in place of any store I’ve ever been in. You don’t even get to touch your merchandise until after it has been bought and paid for, and you are on your way out the door. To sum it up briefly, you go up to a guy who has the camera you want bolted down on a fucking table, ok? You tell him you want the camera, so he points you to a line and tells you, go wait over there and tell another guy that you want the Vado 4GB Camcorder in purple, because that’s the only color even close to appropriate that is left in stock. This second guy then prints you out an order form, which you take to a line with a bunch of cashiers. You give a cashier the order form, and they charge you for the camera. You pay for the camera, having not even touched the fucker yet. Then, the cashier gives you a receipt that you take to a fourth person who finally gives you your camera on your way out the door. I go and buy a camera on Thanksgiving, with Raphael and Lara Pan waiting outside. I go through the whole rigmarole and check point bullshit, pay about a hundred and fifty bucks for the camera, and finally have it handed to me on the way out. I walk through the doorway, and a fucking alarm goes off. This guy comes up to me and asks me if he can see my receipt for the camera. Keep in mind; they don’t even let you touch your merchandise until after you’ve paid for it in this shylock shithole. I told the guy the same thing I tell the people at Wal-Mart and elsewhere who do the same shit… you know, the people who aren’t even the police to begin with, and even if they were, they wouldn’t have the right to accuse you of theft with no proof, thus no right to search you, but Americans let them rile through their bags every day? Those people… I always tell them no, of course you can’t search through my shit, are you out of your goddamn mind? I usually start out saying that in a bit nicer manner, but inevitably the conversation always devolves into rudimentary phrases such as the previous one. Well, I get into it with this guy, and I really think that he thought he could just search people’s shit anytime he liked. To make sure, he asked me to wait while he went and got his supervisor. By now, a crowd had gathered, and I told him please do, go get everybody right up the chain, so that eventually there are like five Jews there in the doorway telling me I have to show them a receipt before I can leave with the camera. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I had a bunch of weed and some pills in my pockets, so I had to abandon my initial plan, which was to just walk out into the streets dragging all these Jews with me until the police came and broke the whole thing up. My fantasy was that after the cops stopped the fight and were stripping everyone down, they would find the receipt in my pocket and I would be fully vindicated, and maybe even become some sort of local hero in the New York media and then just move there and host the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from time to time. In reality, the police would have found all the drugs and arrested me for possession, along with assault and battery, shoplifting, and all kinds of other stuff. This was the first time in my life that I can really point to and say that drugs held me back. I had to settle with singling out the head rabbi and telling him look, I’ll give you my receipt, but I also want you to take this camera and stick it up your ass, then walk back through all those lines in there and get me my money back. I might even have taken the opportunity to remind everybody how far we were from the West Bank, at least in geographical terms. By the time I got back outside, Raphael and Lara were like, what the fuck took you so long? I know this was on Thanksgiving, because we went to George and Virginia’s house after that and I was bitching about the experience all night, in addition to having to shit really bad and watching the Longhorns lose to the Aggies.
I know this for sure, too. The night that I have been convinced I lost the camera on all the way up until this point (Late January) when I am actually sitting down here and writing this shit was November 26th, 2010 also known as the only night we showed the movie at The Tank in Manhattan. I can remember having it in my Astros jacket pocket at one point when I was talking to George Gierer out in front of the Pork Slap place, and I remember using it to film the introduction and/or question and answer portion of our program. Now, how in the hell could I have still had the camera a day after I was trying to buy a new one to replace it? The only logical explanation is that we have been traveling back through time on this whole trip and I don’t want to rule that out, but I think I might just be all fucked up and have no idea what I’m talking about. Except this: It is now Monday, November 29th (four days after Thanksgiving) and we are in the car leaving Manhattan to haul ass to Providence, Rhode Island in time for a screening tonight, but not before we stop back by B&H Electronics so I can buy that fucking camera… again…
7:15 PM – BOB
I’ve never been to Rhode Island. I don’t know a single person in or from the entire state. We’ll see what she has in store for us. My gut tells me that this week will be a bit of a slow-crawl, but I’m hoping that the Fri/Sat 1-2 punch of Baltimore & Philly will kick us back into high gear before we besiege the south once again.
8:58 PM – CHAD
We’re at The Cable Car Cinema in Providence and Total Badass is about to start. Here’s the Introduction, the very first thing I filmed on the new Vado camera, which sucks by the way:
9:10 PM – CHAD
While the crowd enjoys the movie, I have walked over to The Wild Colonial Tavern, where I will meet up with Bob in a bit. The tavern was pretty cool, but not near as cool as this butthole I filmed on the way over there. This was the second butthole I found on the trip, if you recall correctly (the first one was on St. Augustine Beach, Florida) but this one is manmade, while the first one was definitely a carbon based life form.
1:45 AM – CHAD
We ended up staying with a girl named Ally who worked at the Cable Car Cinema, but that was actually all a big coincidence because we had already been hooked up with her by Raphael’s roommate, Anna before we ever knew where she worked. Anna and Ally were friends back at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) which all the locals here pronounce as RIZ-DUH. Ally had a very nice place, a really cool quilt, and a cat that we were lead to believe would try anything to escape. I don’t remember the cat’s name, so I’m sticking with Dragon. As in, “Jonathan Brisby made possible the rats’ escape from the terrible cruelty of NIHM. He was killed today while drugging the farmer’s cat, Dragon.”
November 27, 2010
3:31 PM – BOB
I’m currently sitting in the NYC Public Library, Mulberry Branch, writing the tour journal. I’m acting like it’s Day 06. If you go back and read “Day 06,” you can get yourself an eyeful of time-traveling lies.
6:14 PM – BOB
The library closed. I’ve moved to the Whole Foods down the street. I crapped out an entry for Day 07. I’m currently writing this sentence that you are reading at this very second. In a minute, I’ll try to find a place to sleep for Providence, Boston and all points beyond on the post-NYC leg of the tour.
10:22 PM – BOB
We ended up hanging out with Raphael, Lara, Eric and Bryant. We headed up to a fancy-ass building up near the Mayor’s mansion. In the lower level of the building was a private screening room that seats maybe 50 people, a game room with video games, a billiards room and then this:
10:38 PM – CHAD
We spent this night way uptown… like further uptown than I had any business being… at the building where Payson’s parents live. There was a big ass game room and private movie theatre in the lobby and that’s where we spent the evening. I remember the first thing that struck me about the neighborhood was that 6-packs of tallboys were starting around just under fifteen bucks a pop in the corner stores. At first I thought that must really suck for the people who lived around there, but then I realized the beauty of it: The people who live there are rich anyway, and making sure that all the goods and services in the neighborhood cost twice as much as anywhere else in the city ensures that riff-raff such as myself that ends up there by chance will know that it doesn’t belong. Anyway, it was me, Bob, Payson, Lara Pan, Raphael, and Bryant. The game room was equipped with a golf simulator, which I’m sure Bob has ample video footage of, so I needn’t get into how one of these things works, but don’t worry, I’d never seen one before, either. Not everything was on the up-and-up, though. In perhaps the greatest tragedy of the entire trip, there was a video game system that had every arcade game of yore that you could possibly imagine… Battle Zone, Dragon’s Lair, all the Donkey Kongs… I’m not going to sit here and bore you with a fucking list, trust me, they had everything but the controllers were broken! I couldn’t play a goddamn one of them. I felt like that guy in the episode of The Twilight Zone who is an avid reader and goes down into his fallout shelter during a nuclear war with all of his books, but then breaks his reading glasses. We had a good time on the golf simulator, and I remember Payson nodding off in the private theatre watching The Blues Brothers. The private theatre, by the way, was nicer than about 90% of the places we screened the movies at on either of our two trips. Next place I move into, I’m going to make sure they have one. The golf simulator, I can take or leave but goddamnit, the video arcade better be in working order.
3:03 AM – BOB
Later, we did this:
November 25, 2010
6:08 PM – CHAD
Here it is, the sixteenth day of our trip, which also just happens to be Thanksgiving. Seeing as how I was up in New York City, this ended up being the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever spent without people in my immediate family (parents, sister, kids and whatnot) so I had to make alternate arrangements for Thanksgiving dinner. Say Bob, that reminds me… Next time you’re jotting down a list of the very few things you ask me to do on these trips, along with write the tour journal, change the music and keep the weed flowing, I feel like you can beef it up a little bit with shit such as pay to be on the road for two and a half months, ditch my son on a dog piss couch for weeks on end, miss shit like Thanksgiving and the better part of my kids’ Christmas and summer breaks, break things off with the only one even close to a girlfriend I’ve had in years, willingly go out and invite criticism and ridicule of my life and be a bad reflection on my entire bloodline in some people’s eyes… just little shit that probably doesn’t seem like a hassle to you or our fans who read about our exploits, but when recognized, they make me feel like I do more than ride shotgun and write funny stories. That being said, you’re absolutely right in that I’ve completely fucked off writing the tour journal and for that, I apologize. Furthermore, it obviously doesn’t break my heart too much to do any of the things I just listed, or I wouldn’t have gone on the trips to begin with, so yes, I’m completely full of shit and can’t wait for our next adventure. Where we going, Europe? That should be both easy to explain to my family and light on the old pocketbook…
Now, what do you need, some funny stories? How about this one… Like I said, I had to make alternate arrangements for Thanksgiving dinner, so I went with Raphael Vargas and Lara Pan over to the home of a couple they know in Manhattan, named George and Virginia. Raphael had explained to me that George was ex-special forces, and had gone on to be a bodyguard for Reagan and Bush Sr. Now, as a person with a notable reputation of his own, I know that you don’t just come right out and ask people about the stories you hear about them, you simply listen to what others have to say and learn what you can first-hand over time. So, as much as I wanted to, I made sure not to question George on how a Mexican (as in born in Mexico) could be whiter than me while also claiming to be Dutch, yet somehow rise to power in the United States Army and go on to protect two of our more notable presidents in recent history, but he did voluntarily tell me a story about how he bit off a guy’s nose in a bar fight and got charged with cannibalism. I mention all of this because it actually sorted out a lot of confusion I’ve had in my life. As you know, I’m a huge Arnold Schwarzenegger fan and love all of his movies. How much do I like him? Well, I typed out his name without using spell-check, if that tells you anything, but there has always been one thing that nags at me about his work. In many of his movies, he plays, like an FBI agent or a police detective, or even a member of the special forces and despite many other questionable plot points in these films, the one that always got to me was how an obvious foreigner could wind up with such a job. Well, meeting George put all of those doubts to rest for me. I mean shit, in Predator, Schwarzenegger played a special forces guy named actually named “Dutch” so for all I know, his whole fucking character was based on George.
In continuance of the complicated demographics involved with this household, Virginia is from British Guiana (I think the whole thing might be called Guyana now) which, as you know, is a South American country that used to be a British colony largely populated by people originally from India, which was a British colony too, at the time. So ethnically, Virginia is of Indian descent. Throw in Raphael, born in Mexico City, masquerading as a Clear Lake, Texas socialite, and Lara Pan, who is a Croatian art dealer by way of Paris, France and you get what is probably the most multicultural event I’ve been a part of since the sensitivity training class I was forced to take as an incoming freshman at The University of Texas. Keep in mind; this is on Thanksgiving, of all days. I mean, the only thing missing was the Indians, unless of course you count Virginia, who is the wrong type of Indian, but uh…. not if you ask me.
Thing is, Virginia has a daughter who was there, as well. She is in her early twenties and is absolutely fucking beautiful. Too beautiful, in fact. You see, I had to take a shit really bad the whole time I was at George and Virginia’s house, but Virginia’s daughter was so fucking fine, I made a blood oath with myself that I would never take a shit as long as she and I were in the same building. Before I elaborate on this particular conundrum, I want to explain to you how this is actually part of a much larger problem that Bob and I have dealt with on these trips… the problem of where to take shits when you’re in constant “guest” status.
First, I want to throw an idea out there to the general public that any of you are welcome to take and make millions from. There needs to be an I-phone application for every major city that tells you where you can go take a shit… not just a public restroom, mind you… but a public restroom that is suitable for sitting down and taking a shit in. The way I envision it, it’d be like a google maps view of the city with a little GPS of where you are and then all the places you can go and take a shit in peace are mapped out. In our travels, we’ve learned some tricks, I assure you. Libraries, for instance, are a great place to start. Just ask a bum, because apparently the only people who go to libraries anymore are bums and/or travelling filmmakers who need a safe haven to shit in. When Bob and I stayed at Bryant Jackson’s house over off Houston Street, we adopted the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library for just this purpose. See, Bryant’s apartment is laid out in a linear manner, to where you have the living room (where Bob and I slept) then the kitchen, then Bryant’s room, then the bathroom. To complicate things even further, Bryant’s shower is in the kitchen… something I’ve never seen before, to be quite honest. Now, I’m not giving Brant shit for his shower being in the kitchen; I’d love to live in his place, ok? But what that does is makes it impossible to even do the shit/shower combo where you go in and turn on the shower, take a quick shit and flush it, take your shower and then just hope that the steam of the shower and the fragrances of soaps and shampoos and the psychological reboot you get from bathing all combine over the amount of time you’re in there to cover up all signs of a shit being taken. Faced with this, Bob and I would just walk down to the Mulberry Street Library in the morning to do our bidding, because the only alternative was to basically go into Bryant’s room while he was sleeping and take a shit on his nightstand. I remember the first morning, Bryant woke up and we were gone, so he called me and was like, do you guys want to go get coffee and breakfast and all, and I told him sure. Then he asks, where are you guys, anyway? I told him we were at the library. He’s like, the library… are you checking out books, or what? I’m thinking, yeah we’re checking out books, alright… I’m thumbing through the Encyclopedia Shittanica as we speak.
Anyway, the other place we were staying, Eric Payson’s high rise apartment over next to the Empire State Building, was a really clean, sanitary environment, ok? Especially the bathrooms, which were sparkly white and to be quite honest, I don’t know if they’d ever been shit in. Well, Bob goes and takes a dump one day, and thank fucking god, I was the next person to go in the bathroom because there were just shit smears all over the inside of the commode. I mean, it looked like they’d just run the Indy 500 in this fucking toilet. I came out and was like, Jesus Christ, man… who taught you how to shit, Linda Blair? He goes I know, but what the fuck am I supposed to do, so I told him just keep flushing big wads of toilet paper down that motherfucker until it’s back up to first-world standards. Apparently, he’d never heard of this trick and was content just going through life as Yakov Smear-noff.
Ok, I feel like the point has been made that taking shits on the road can be tricky business, especially in New York City. So, I’m over at Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of wonderful people, and I have to take one of the biggest shits of my life, but am refusing to do so because there are fine girls in the house. What made it worse was that the food was excellent, but it was just killing me to eat it because I was about to pop like a fucking tick. I forced down one plateful of food, but everyone knows you’re supposed to eat at least two or three helpings at Thanksgiving, because that’s really the point of the holiday… to sit around eating profusely, not being able to believe how much fucking food we have in this country. I honestly feel like having to shit so badly and suffering like that added a human element to the holiday that completely changed my perspective on things for every Thanksgiving to come from now on.
Eventually, Virginia’s daughter leaves to go have Thanksgiving at her boyfriend’s place somewhere outside the city, but I wasn’t out of the woods quite yet. First of all, I wanted to make sure that I waited long enough for her to be completely off the island of Manhattan, lest she double back to retrieve her sunglasses, mittens, you know, whatever. Secondly, and even more of a problem was a fact that the bathroom was just right there in front of everybody, so it’s not like you could just slip off to it and take your sweet time. You’d have to get up, walk right into the bathroom in front of everybody, and basically the clock would just start ticking from the minute you closed the door. I decided to break up the whole ordeal into a series of micro-shits, each one lasting no longer than it would take the average man to go into a bathroom, piss and wash his hands. After about my fifth micro-shit, it started to dawn on me that perhaps I was being a little oversensitive about the whole shitting in other people’s houses thing.
Seeing as how this was Thanksgiving, The Longhorns and The Aggies played each other in football on national television later that night. Needless to say, watching the game this year was quite an unpleasant experience, and not just because George farted right in my fucking face. No, but seriously, I was sitting on the floor down at the foot of the bed and George and Virginia were up on the bed itself when George got up (I’m assuming to go to the bathroom) and as his ass passed over my head, the physical act of hopping to his feet allowed a fart to slip out right on top of me. We all thought this was very funny… me, Raphael, Lara, George’s Army buddy, Forrest, but Virginia got a particular kick out of it, because leading up to that moment, George had totally been the life of the party. He was extremely animated, making all of these puns and sexual innuendos, cracking the girls up and shit, totally on top of his game when his fart just brought him crashing back down to earth. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he hadn’t sunk nearly as low as me, having just had my face shit in, but he was right down there only a rung or two above me in the social pecking order after the incident. In conclusion, The Longhorns lost to The Aggies, capping off their worst season since at least 1997. There was a time when a season such as the one UT just had would have seriously ruined my entire year, but no longer. In fact, I wrote an article once about how everything is different now. I’m going to repost that article for you here in the tour journal, but not today… I’m going to wait for a day further down the road when maybe not so much was going on and Bob and I are short on material, so be on the lookout for it.
11:41 PM – BOB
I drove out to Long Island last night and had Thanksgiving with family today. Nice. The beach was cold as tits.
November 24, 2010
12:07 PM – CHAD
So like I told you, Dan Driskill totally hooked me up with a hotel room in downtown Washington D.C. within blocks of the White House. I’d love to sit here and recant how I spent much of the next day visiting our nation’s monuments, but all I really did was stumble out of bed, take the subway to the bus stop, get on a bus to New York City, and go right the fuck back to sleep. In lieu of any great adventures I had along the way, I’ve slipped in some videos here from a trip I took to Washington D.C. two years ago with my kids. We had a lot more fun that time around:
8:21 PM – BOB
I didn’t really do much today. See:
9:45 PM – CHAD
I specifically remember how refreshed I felt after catching up on rest during the bus rides to and from Washington D.C/New York. Unfortunately, that’s all I remember about this day, except that Raphael went to the movie with me in Brooklyn that night for what would be his second viewing of an eventual four total. He brought along a friend of his who calls herself Lara Pan, and I completely fell in love with her.
November 19, 2010
12:21 PM – CHAD:
We had to wake up in Raleigh today and haul ass directly to New York City for our big Friday premiere there tonight. Along the way, we blazed through Richmond Virginia, Baltimore Maryland, Wilmington Delaware, and Philadelphia Pennsylvania. They’re all on film, if anyone gives a shit:
8:20 PM – BOB
The drive from Raleigh to Brooklyn took eleven and a half hours. It should have taken about eight to nine, but we got lost. The good news is that I hear that if you can make it to NY, you can make it to anywhere. (NOTE: And that’s despite the toll roads):
On the Road in the Car…
Chad’s Phone call Request for a “Stunt”
Drive/Arrive in NYC
Pulling up to the reRun Theater
9:30 PM – CHAD
Ok, so a week or two before we left for this trip, our producer, Mia Cevallos, had been talking to Aaron Hillis, who booked us our week-long run at The reRun in New York City. Somewhere along the way, they decided it would be a good idea for me to do some type of publicity stunt before, during, or after the screenings for the audience’s delight. I told Mia that sure, I would come up with something between now and then, but that it goddamn sure wasn’t going to involve me getting into a trashcan of any sort, which I already had the sneaking suspicion was exactly what the theatre had in mind. Along the way, I also started emailing and chatting back and forth with Aaron, all the while promising that I would do something spectacular, but steering the options away from anything trashcan related. I even told him at one point, you know, why don’t we announce that I’m going to have sex with a minor right there in the theatre and then at the last minute it actually turns out to be one of the Chilean miners and the whole thing had been a big play on words? This was back when that was much more topical humor, mind you.
Well, today we’re rolling up The New Jersey Turnpike about three hours before show time, and Aaron calls us. The motherfucker is at Home Depot as we speak, shopping for trashcans, talking about what color and size do I want. I’m like dude, my trashcan jumping days are behind me… but he sort of skirts around that and tells me the bar needs a new trashcan, anyway. I tell him that as long as the bar needs a new trashcan anyway, then I tend to favor the larger (64 gallon) Toter brand trashcan and have never seen one in any color but gray. I then reiterate that I’m not getting in a goddamn trashcan but I did offer put on a clinic of sorts, where I would teach members of the audience or members of the staff or whoever was interested how to jump into the trashcan and do all of the tricks themselves. He’s like, what tricks? I explained that it’s not just as simple as jumping in a fucking trashcan like some asshole, there is actual skill involved in it, and there are specific, recognized tricks and stunts in the world of trashcan jumping (a world, keep in mind, that I saw come and go years back) many of which I had invented and perfected myself. You’ve got The Guadalupe, where it’s just like when you jump off a dock along the Guadalupe River with an inner-tube, slide the tube under your ass in midair, and splash down into the water sitting perfectly in the tube except instead, you’re jumping off the stage with a trashcan and landing inside it on concrete. There’s The Holy Diver, where it’s basically diving head first off a platform into a barrel of water like the daredevils of yore, except it’s not a barrel, it’s a trashcan and there is no water in it. You’ve got The Grand Prize Game, which is just like the game of the same name from The Bozo Show out of WGN Chicago where the kids would throw ping pong balls into little buckets arranged in incrementally increasing distances away, winning prizes as they went, except you are the ping pong ball and you’re throwing yourself off a stage into a series of trashcans. There’s The Inch Worm, where you stand in one trashcan, bend over at the waist headfirst down into another one, and then “inch” along the floor inside the two of them while people try to break your back. There’s also The Fondren Family Planner, which is really just getting inside a trashcan and throwing yourself down several flights of stairs, but it’s actually only called The Fondren Family Planner because one of the best ones I ever pulled off was on a night at Room 710 when most, if not all of the important Fondren Family members were in attendance. There are shitloads of tricks… King Kamehameha, The Butterball Turkey, Oscar the Grouch, The Walk In The Park, The Man In The Can… too many to name, really. Back when I was into this shit, I was probably the best in the world at it and might even still be, but I’ve moved on, you know? I’m ready for a new generation of trashcan jumpers to come along and take it to the next level, which is why I was more than willing to put on a clinic for the people who were coming to the movie. No fucking way am I going to get into a trashcan myself though, because in all seriousness, I actually have done some other stuff since then creatively, like the movie I’m touring the country with, and I just don’t need that shit anymore.
So, fast forward to the theatre/bar a couple hours later. (Ok, I want to talk about something real quick. We get a lot of theatre/something-or-others on this trip, ok? Most of the places we show at, when we roll into town, it’s not simply a theatre… it’s a theatre/bar, a theatre/museum, a theatre/roller rink, a theatre/something-or-other. I just want to make that clear, to you and me both.) We get to the theatre/bar and everything is going fine… Mark Hutchins is there early on with his wife…Raphael Vargas shows up with this fine-ass date…a girl who used to work at Cream Vintage on the drag when I delivered Whoopsy! Magazine is there… we couldn’t have asked for a better reception when we rolled into Brooklyn.
And thrust upon Chad a shoddily writer Liability Release form:
Liability Form – Evidence
10:03 PM – CHAD:
It was mentioned to me that Aaron had printed something in a magazine promising these people a stunt and he also had a couple of cameramen there to record it, so again, I start getting the impression that trashcans are becoming an issue. The reRun Theater has a really nice restaurant attached to it and before the movie, Bob and I were treated to dinner with Aaron and one of the cameramen who was there to film me making a fool of myself. I had the filet mignon. You and I both know this was the only time in my life that I will ever dine on filet mignon as a guest of honor, so I made goddamn sure and did that while I could. Over the course of dinner, Aaron and I are going back and forth about how I’m not going to jump in a trashcan and he even gets me to sign some kind of waiver that releases him and the establishment of any type of liability, which I found to be extremely unorthodox, but I signed it and told him it was a moot point because I wasn’t going to be doing anything dangerous. Somewhere around that time, I hear a voice in my head… not one of my voices, mind you… but just the collective voice of differing opinions says, “Hey asshole… He booked your show for a week-long run. He gave you a filet mignon. Now, shut up and get in the fucking trashcan.” So, I cut a deal. I told him that if I could get someone from the audience to do a trick with me (which was obviously going to be The Fondren Family Planner straight down the two tiered flight of stairs right at the bar’s front door) then I’d do it too, knowing that nobody in the place is going to have the guts or the humility to try such a thing. I also told him that I’d take a vote after the Q&A and if more than half the people wanted to see me do the trick, I’d do it because I was convinced that having seen the movie and then heard what I was going to say afterwards, most people would understand why getting in the trashcan would be a bad idea.
Stunt I – Chad’s Acquiescence…
Ok, so it’s after the movie and we’re doing the Q&A and according to Bob, I rambled on quite a bit drunkenly and bored the shit out of everybody. In my mind though, I was delivering one of the most impassioned sermons on the state or art in our society to ever be publicly expressed in New York City. My main point was that if I got in the trashcan, it wouldn’t be art, it wouldn’t be real, it would not only be bullshit in that particular moment in time, but it would retroactively go back and turn everything I had ever created in the world of trashcan jumping into bullshit, as well. My main piece of evidence was the trashcan itself… the one Aaron had just bought from Home Depot. Not only was it physically deficient (it was a little 32 gallon piece of shit) but it was completely devoid of any soul or spirit. It had never been used. It was completely clean. In order to drive this point home, I told them the story of Alan Nelson, which is good for Alan, because he ghosted us out in New York and didn’t come to any of the shows, but it looks like he made it into the tour journal, anyway. I met Alan through his brother Pat, who used to work at Room 710 and was not only always a good friend, but he was a big supporter of the stuff I did… my writing and my shows. I always thought that was cool because he was a bit younger than me and it just made me proud that something I did could have an effect on someone from another generation. I used to call Pat Nelson “Butt-Crack Pat” because he always wore his jeans low with no underwear so when he was behind the bar, you had to sit there and stare at about a third of his ass all night. It wasn’t really as unpleasant as it sounds though, because Pat’s ass looked just like a little baby’s. Every time I’d see it, which was usually about fifty-three times a night, I’d think to myself… not in a gay way, mind you… but my fatherly instincts would come out and I just wanted to like, powder it and wrap it up and put it away for him, like he was my kid or something. Anyway, Alan moves into town, and Butt-Crack Pat really wants us to meet because it’s his older brother and he’s also a performer and shit, so Pat gets him to come out to a Frunttbutt show even though Alan was really sick with a stomach virus or something. Well, we get about two songs in, and I notice Alan off in a corner at the 710 leaning over a trashcan with it gripped in both hands, just puking his fucking ass off in the thing. My first thought was, wow, at least Alan wears his pants a little higher than his brother, Butt-Crack Pat, but I also realized that even though that particular trashcan wasn’t “in-play” just yet, it would be. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes later, I’m so covered in Alan Nelson’s puke, I could taste it, and not because any had gotten in my mouth, no, but because there was so much of it on my face, I was breathing it in through my nose and it was cycling all the way through my sinuses. This wasn’t just, had-a-little-too-much-to-drink-on-a-Saturday-night-so-most-of-it-is-just-beer-anyway style puke, either… it was sick-man vomit. Now, was there anything redeeming about being in that situation? Not at the time, no, but years later, I thought it served as a good parable about the difference between an authentic, bar-used trashcan and one that still had the fucking price tag on it. A trashcan at a bar is filled with not only physical perils like puke, spit, broken glass, cigarette butts, and so on, but it also contains the lies, the broken dreams, the tears, the laughter, the so-called good times of all the people who have gotten fucked up there. That’s what makes it a trashcan in a bar. Therein lies the art. (Did I spell it wrong on purpose? We’ll never know, will we?)
Anyway, the crowd wasn’t buying it. They still wanted to see me jump in a trashcan. I even took out the release form and showed it to everybody, trying to explain to them how ludicrous the idea of signing a release just to do one fucking trick would be after doing the shit for real down in Austin for the better part of a decade with no such legal wranglings. I singled out Aaron and the other employees of the club specifically, and told them that even though they might have found the shit amusing in a movie, if one of my old bands were to actually come up there and play a show in real life, we would fuck their place up so bad that not only would they have to stop the performance, but they’d never allow me back in the building again. Nobody cared about any of this shit… the crowd was still split, literally right down the middle in numbers of those who wanted me to get in the trashcan and those who didn’t. Well, my faith in my fellow man was so shaken by then, I just figured if these motherfuckers were there to see tricks, then that’s exactly what I’d show them.
I scooped up the trashcan, told everybody come on, I’m not waiting, and walked right out the theatre up to the front of the bar where the stairs were while everyone was still clamoring to get out of their seats and break down their cameras and shit. I took everything out of my pockets, set the trashcan down at the edge of the stairwell, got in it, and threw myself down the stairs, just like you do a Fondren Family Planner. Only thing is, I wasn’t doing a Fondren Family Planner. I had reached a little deeper back in my repertoire, all the way back to literally the oldest trick in the book. Playing Possum was always fun back in Texas, because it weeded out the people who had seen my shit before from the ones who hadn’t. Playing Possum is when you do one of your regular tricks (The Fondren Family Planner in this case) and then act as though things have gone terribly wrong, leaving you either dead or paralyzed for life. Then, you lay right there in a catatonic trance until either the very end of the night when everyone has gone home, or until the trick itself transcends art back into real life and someone calls in the proper authorities to come and take back charge of reality. As an expert trashcan jumper, I can assure you that this moment always comes… usually in about the seventeenth minute with a standard deviation of four minutes either way. Far and away, the funniest shit that happened before the fire department showed up (keep in mind I was watching all of this go down, floating above the scene of the “accident”) was when Aaron was openly lamenting that maybe the trashcan he bought was of the wrong size and the big ass bouncer goes, “What’d you get, sixty-four gallon?” and Aaron says, “No, a thirty-two. “And the big guy says, “Nah, man. That’s not big enough…”
So basically, I had people just sitting around postulating about trashcan jumping, and the little nuances of the sport, like the proper equipment and shit. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more. When I saw that the fire department had showed up and they were headed inside, I transcended back into my body, got up out of the trashcan, walked up the stairs and ordered a beer from the bar. Eventually, EMS and the police showed up as well. I was summoned to come talk to the lead fireman, and when he asked me what was going on, I told him the truth. I said this is what I do. This is who I am. I have a movie out about me jumping into trashcans. I came out here on tour with it, people came to see it, and this place begged me, amid much fanfare, to do one single trashcan trick for them, so I did one. I even did one of my oldest, most basic stunts, seeing as how they were all newcomers. We had people here filming the shit and everything. It was all very meticulously planned out. I have no idea what went wrong….
Stunt, Part II:
After the Fire Department
2:02 AM – BOB:
The screenings tonight were fucking awesome! These were some of the most rowdy crowds yet. The Hell on Wheels screening was a hoot. There were lots of derby gals (and soon-to-be derby gals) in the crowd, including a cute pack of them right front and center. I did the q&a and only after did I realized that my pants were unzipped. I’m sure that was a thrill for all the front row gals. They bought merch and had me autograph some posters, and I’m certain that this was only the case because my fly was undone. I’ll do all my q&as this was in the future.
The Total Badass screening was rowdy fun as well. And I think Chad did some sort of stunt tonight. Fun.
Thanks Raleigh and NYC, Aaron, Hutchins, Vargas and the hot toll road dames!