Free Comedy Hour

December 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm (Uncategorized)


There’s this little place not too far from my apartment that puts on free improv comedy shows a few nights a week.  I went a few times months ago because a girl I work with was in some shows, and someone I’ve been kind of dating performs there now.  Last night I met up with a bunch of his friends and we hunkered down with some $2 Miller Lites in anticipation of a good show.  Oh, in reference to the picture we were sitting at the table right up front and in the middle.

The way the show is set up allows two different teams (red and blue) to “battle” one another for about thirty minutes.  They each do a variety of improv sketches, while getting ideas from audience members.  The group I was with sat for three shows, so we were there for about an hour and a half.  I’m not going to lie, not everything was funny.  However, most of it was pretty entertaining and I laughed out loud numerous times.  Considering I paid exactly nothing to get in and watch, I feel like it was quite a deal.  All of the groups are in actual improv classes, and the order in which they performed indicated at what level they were in the course.  The last group to come out had been performing the longest, and they did just about everything in rap.  Imagine a bunch of gangly white dudes wrapping about bunnies and the merry little elves.  Yup, pretty funny stuff all around.

We hung around for a bit after and imbibed some adult beverages, but before I knew it, it was time for me to go home.  Sometimes having a regular job when everyone else around you is either a teacher or a student really blows.  Anyway, my air mattress and I parted ways from the group and headed on home.  Why did I have an air mattress, you may ask?  Well, I never know where I’m going to end up on any given night.  Actually, I loaned it to someone and just had it returned; hauling it on the L and bus was just a perk for me.

After I departed the L, I stood waiting for the bus (which the lady working behind the glass in the station assured me was on its way).  I have this uncanny ability to walk up to a bus stop or train station right as the bus or train I was meaning to catch pulls away, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that I was in time to nab the last bus of the night that goes directly by my apartment.  As I stood there, trying to extract warmth from an air mattress in a box, a woman standing outside of the bar next door began talking to me while she had herself a cigarette.  She was probably my mom’s age and quite chatty, either by nature or by alcohol.  We started making small talk and I learned that she (Sandy) has lived in Chicago all her life, although she wishes she grew up in a smaller town.  She works for a tight wad boss in a stock brokerage firm and he just sent his twin boys to their first year of college at my alma mater (obviously he’s not too cheap).  She called me out on being a Chicago neophyte and asked me point-blank how old I was.  Since I was obviously much younger than her, I didn’t mind answering honestly.  She was quite surprised and told me I look much younger (that’s a good thing, right?).  Then she said I look just like a young Sandra Bullock.  I’ve had complete strangers confuse me with the waitress from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and many people have told me I look like Melissa Joan Hart (I am not so fond with either of these comparisons, by the way) but Sandra Bullock was a first.  Although if it means I look like this, I’ll take it:

Honestly, I don’t really see the resemblance.

After a few more moments standing there chatting, Sandy invited me into the bar to meet her nephew, who is apparently in the Navy and is in town for the holiday.  Could this be the set up that the New Orleans psychic was telling me about?  I’ll never know, because I simply wasn’t in the mood to be introduced to some drunk lady’s nephew.  Instead I decided to catch that last bus home, since I loathe wasting hard-earned money on a cab.  Before she went back into the bar, Sandy told me that if I needed anything at all or changed my mind on the beer, to simply tap the glass and she would come get me.

I like to think of her as my drunken fairy godmother, there to lead me out of harm’s way near a brightly lit bus stop.  Oh, the good people of Chicago, how I adore you!

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