Travel Thursday: Funny St. Louis

Fortified by a cheap yet tasty dinner in the hotel’s café, and with no woman to complain about not going to some fancy restaurant, I debated: should I go back to the room for some TV viewing, or find some other way to pass the night in this burg?
I asked the desk clerk for his opinion on this weighty matter. “Comedy club around the corner,” came the curt, alliterative reply.
Well, no tip for you, I harrumphed as I exited, not bothering to ask which corner; I’d find it.
Ten minutes later I was ensconced at a table in the back with a good view of the small stage, mostly due to there being hardly any crowd. The waitress assured me that would change later as she grumpily put the soft drink in front of me. What the hell was wrong with this town tonight? What happened to all the nice people I’d met before?
“Haven’t seen you before,” came the soft lilting voice standing beside me.
Okay, I have to work on keeping the telepathy, or wishful thinking, contained, at least until it would do me more good. I looked up, hoping not to find a hooker, though of course looks didn’t always tell the story.
I liked the story her looks were telling, though. The business suit seemed a bit incongruous, though with the blouse kinda wide open and the miniskirt very short, it didn’t hurt one single bit.
“Just visiting,” I finally replied, figuring I might as well keep the conversation going, at least until a comic showed up.
“Too bad,” she grinned. “I’m a better act than these guys.”
Well, things just got more interesting. So, was she a professional comedian who liked to dress up like this, or a businesswoman with a comedic dream?
I’d have to find out. . .
“So, thinking about it logically, does this mean you’re not performing tonight?”
She tried to look surprised, but ended up grinning to make sure I knew she was playing. “Unfortunately so. But if you’re still around tomorrow. . .”
“Convince me.” I pulled out the chair just enough so it wouldn’t hurt her.
She introduced herself as Starr, “with two r’s.” I didn’t ask if it was a stage name. Not playing straight face, but not guffawing either, I let her run through her best jokes, then told her, “Sounds good, but I’ll have to listen to some of these guys to see how you compare.”
“That’s hardly fair.” She did her best not-whine, almost succeeded.
“Life’s a bitch.”
Sigh. “Yeah.”
“Because if life was a slut, it’d be easy.”
Luckily for her a comic started his act, so she didn’t have to come up with a comeback, not that she had one. And luckily for the comic, she couldn’t stop laughing.
But as soon as that comic ended, she grinned wickedly and whispered, “You wouldn’t be afraid of having sex with me, would you, big guy?”
“I’d be afraid of what you had to say after! That seems like the only jokes female comics make.”
“Well, at least you’re not against female comics,” she sighed hammily. “Of course, if men were better in bed. . .”
“So you know for a fact you enjoy women more than men?”
She gaped into my grinning face, not having a comeback for that, and not expecting to have to think much tonight. She’d have to up her game if she was going to make me return tomorrow.
On the other hand, none of the comics so far had been very impressive, we both thought.
She hung out at my table for the next comic, who didn’t get many laughs even with this low-brow audience, and he seemed genuinely surprised when his joke about his uncle using Viagra bombed.
“Know why that didn’t work?” she whispered.
“Because it wasn’t funny?”
“Ha!” She suddenly looked around sheepishly, because that had come out too loud, but no one had noticed. “True, but that’s the kind of joke you have to make about yourself, otherwise it just seems sad.”
“If he’d made the joke at his own expense, would it have been funny?”
“Probably not,” she conceded.
“So he’s got too big an ego?”
I grinned at her; the exasperated glance she returned told me she’d caught my gist. Needing to recapture lost ground, in a way she knew never failed, she asked me if I could tell how old she was.
“That outfit makes you look older than you no doubt are, so I’ll say 28.”
She looked positively stunned, then wondered if I’d fudged then on purpose, then realized she felt too good to question it. “I’m 34, dummy.”
“Even better,” I grinned again, but didn’t tell her why, and she was afraid to ask.
“I’m not too old to be wearing these clothes, am I?”
That was an invitation to look her over, if ever there was one, though it was obvious to see that such a body begged to be showed off. Her breasts were large enough to make themselves known no matter how many buttons were done up, and her legs were too beautiful to hide as well.
And she knew it, of course. A little early in the relationship to be begging for compliments, I thought, but what the heck, if it got me in. . .
“You’re a leg man.” It was not a question.
“You’re a leggy woman.”
“That’s why I wear short skirts.”
“Oh, is that why?” I pretended to bend down to look under the table, but with a smirk she crossed her legs. “Don’t worry, I promise not to look up your skirt.”
She stared at me, waiting for the punch line.
“Oh! Unless you want me to.”
She couldn’t stop the chuckle, which kinda destroyed her entire scene. But she knew just how to get it back. “Just so you know,” she winked, “I don’t give blow jobs.”
That was interesting, for the moment, anyway. “Why not?”
“I won’t swallow sperm for the same reason I won’t eat eggs: I won’t ingest future children.”
“What about caviar?”
“Yeah, that’s how it tastes to me too.”
She laughed meanly.
“So there’s not much to say about the egg thing, but giving oral sex doesn’t mean you have to swallow.”
“Damn, I knew eventually some guy would catch that!” She looked both annoyed and happy.
“I think you’re just a heterophobe.”
“Not THAT again!” Feeling like things were happening too quickly, she nervously got up and told me she had to convince a few more people to come to her show before she could rest.
“That shouldn’t be hard,” I grinned. “Should I save your seat?”
“Unless something better comes along.”
I laughed incredulously, and she firmed up and plastered her best fake smile back on before beaming it at a couple a few tables over.
Bored seconds later, I fought the impulse to take out the bag of sunflower seeds. I’d been trying to quit for a while now, without any kind of success. My last resolution had been to not salt till the afternoon, but I couldn’t remember one time I’d been able to hold out till lunch.
The manly thing to do would be to quit completely, but there was no chance of that; I was brave, but not that brave. Besides, to do such a thing would be against the public good. Nobody got as ornery as I did when I ran out of seeds, or gummy bears for that matter. Why, if I quit, I might end up killing somebody!
When looked at it from that angle, it was more like the continued digestion of salt was a personal sacrifice I was making for the good of others! Not just that, but I was actually being forced to compromise my health in the name of public safety. Why, I’m an unsung hero!
I reached into my pocket and hurriedly dropped some seeds into my mouth, yet again realizing how good it was to think things through.
Starr made a full round of the venue without much success, according to her estimate of how people should have reacted to her; the whole thing was written plainly on her face. She gave me a smile, then noticed one more stranger, in the corner, who was just sitting down. . .
Luckily, it was close enough for me to overhear everything, because we were between comics.
“Never seen you before,” she tried with a smile that was getting falser as the night wore on.
“That’s cuz I’m just here to perform,” he said with a slur and raised glass.
He might have been saluting her, or mistook her for a waitress as he asked for a refill. Either way, she didn’t like it. Drunks were never funny, especially those who thought they were.
But she didn’t leave fast enough.
“I got an idea: let’s play carpenter!”
Sighing, and against her better judgment, she asked suspiciously “How do we play that?”
“First we get hammered, then I nail you!”
“Huh. I can do a better routine in my sleep.”
Scoff. “Women can’t be comics.”
“Huh? Are you mental?”
“Just because all the guys who want to sleep with ya say you’re funny doesn’t make you funny.”
Furious, she went with, “Just because people laugh at your hideous face doesn’t make your jokes funny either.” Inwardly she cringed, knowing she sounded like an eight-year-old, but saw it got the job done.
Feeling both incredulous and irritated, though mostly at herself, she turned around and, asked me if the chair was still empty.
I passed on making a thorough check of the chair and merely pulled it out for her without looking away from the comic coming on stage. “Talk to everyone?”
“I scoped out the sitch,” she tried.
“I hope that stands for situation. Any commits?”
“Nope. You’re my only hope.” After a second, she added, “Obi-wan.”
I laughed. “That worked. I’ll definitely be here tomorrow.”
“Oh goodie!”
I stared at Starr, wondering how she’d managed to say that without moving her lips, only to find the particularly skanky-looking waitress–not the grouchy one that brought his first drink–had snuck up on us, depositing a fresh glass in front of me while not-so-subtlety ignoring Starr.
“I’m gonna nail that bitch,” she growled, though waiting till the waitress left.
“Figuratively, I hope.”
“No kidding.” She let the lesbian undertone go this time. “She’s all yours.”
“Not in a million. That’s lower than I can go.”
“Hell would wave down at you,” she agreed, happy to see me grin at that.
“Wanna hear about the time I had three major porn babes in the shower?”
“Too bad. It was a crowning achievement.”
Of course, I’d been photographing them for a shoot, but she didn’t need to know that. Yet. Luckily she hadn’t made a joke about getting tested. Or else she was distracted by a familiar-looking guy taking the stage.
“So can I tell ya some jokes?” the drunk comic smarmed as he took the stage.
“Doubt it,” she muttered, then grinned at me.
“Don’t be catty,” I told her primly, and she laughed and poked me in the side. As always, I know women are comfortable with me when they think they can smack me around, even if it’s one of those little taps on the shoulder to cover their blushing.
“Master of innuendo,” I muttered after a particularly vulgar joke; luckily she wasn’t taking a drink at that moment.
“Hope you didn’t like his set,” she murmured as demurely as she could some minutes later. “I’m crying, but in pain, just so you know.”
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s a dry seat in the house.”
“Yeow!” But then she showed me the wickedness in her smile. “That one gets you dinner before the show tomorrow.”
“Really? Will you be there, or do you give out gift certificates?”
“Best you leave the jokes to me, stud. You just sit there and look pretty.”
“And eat.”
“And eat,” she admitted. “Don’t order eggs.”
“Looking at you makes me want bacon.”
No way was she touching that one! But she couldn’t help some lip-licking and, “Mmm, can’t wait for tomorrow.”
I opened my mouth to tell her she didn’t have to, but she grinned as she put a finger to my lips, then got up and left.

{Don’t worry, there’s travel stuff coming on the next installment. . .}



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