Tip Your Waitstaff, or They'll Beat The Fuck Out of You.

The first (and only) time I worked at the Improv in Tempe was December of 1995, and for me, the barometer of how successful a week had been was still whether or not I'd gotten laid. I remember the staff had a football pool of some kind and I made some kind of wager with a waitress with the pretense of "chicks don't know dick about football". I don't remember what the wager was exactly but I know that it was sexual in nature and I know that I made the bet in the presence of the rest of the staff, one of whom I was to find out later was her boyfriend. She'd played along with the bet at the time because they were keeping their relationship a secret. Evidently there was a club rule against interoffice romance. He wasn't really taken aback by the bet, as it was all done in a jokey-flirty manner but I still thought I might be able to fuck her.

After the last show of the week, Sunday, the three of us went to a disco night at some dance club and started in on the Goldschlager pretty heavy, so the rest of this story is told with a standing "To the best of my recollection". I do remember at one point in the evening, while boyfriend was out dancing and the girl and I were talking about road trysts, she asked me, hypothetically, if I'd respect her in the morning should she fuck me. And I'm sure that it may have been strictly hypothetical but at the time, in my booze-saturated head, it meant she was going to blow off her boyfriend and fuck me. We stumbled out at last call and they drove me back to the comedy condo, the boyfriend driving her car and me, in the back trying to focus and still somehow thinking I could still pull this off.

They dropped me in the parking lot and I said good-bye and thanks to the boy and then leaned through the window and gave the girl a big sloppy kiss goodnight, smiled and weaved my way inside. I stood in the condo laughing for a few minutes listening for the car to drive away, part of me actually thinking she might leave him with her car and come inside. I could still hear the car running after a while so I walked back out to see what was going on. Boyfriend was standing outside of the car, yelling through the open window to his lady "...no, he owes you an apology!" I went over and said that if anything, I owed him an apology but I think I said it in a way that insinuated that I didn't owe her an apology at all, since she wanted to fuck me. This seemed to rile him up even more, who'da guessed, and after a long exchange of words he grabbed me by the throat and slammed me into a car. The girl dragged him off of me (probably leading me to believe that she really wanted to fuck me) and tried to cool him down. I went back over, full of adrenaline and beer-bravado and after another few heated words, head-butted him in the mouth. This was another poor choice in a long night of them but the ensuing scuffle was brief and again, she pulled him away, sat him on the curb and tried to calm him down, while, perhaps, devising a plan to give him the slip and come fuck me.

The drink policy for comics at the Tempe Improv is that you are assigned a member of the wait staff each night and you order through them rather than going to the bar yourself. That night this guy had been assigned as my waiter and had politely refused my gratuity. Now, as he sat enraged on the sidewalk, I thought I was hilarious for walking over and saying "I guess you want that dollar now.". This set him off completely. He sprang from the curb breathing fire and chased me as I ran airplane-style around parked cars, adding in a few Curly-esque "Woo-woo-woo's" before finally running out of gas and falling down on the parking lot where he promptly began delivering a well-deserved ass beating. I've always had a problem with nervous laughter, one that's gotten me hit by any number of girlfriends in the heat of argument. The more you yell at me, the harder I laugh. I can't help it. I'd wished I could at this point because as the waiter sat on top of me punching me in the back of my head, I continued to laugh which only seemed to goad him into hitting me harder which made me laugh more, etc. And he was really beating the fuck out of me.

Finally somebody came along and tried to get him off of me, to which he replied "He tried to beat up that girl!" Now this guy chimes in with "Oh, you like to beat up chicks, huh?" I managed to squeak out, "No I didn't, go ask her." The passerby asked her, she, of course, denied it and the pummeling stopped just as the police showed up. They separated us and sent us on our way, him with the girl (who, after seeing how much punishment I could take, most certainly wanted to fuck me) and me with a broken nose, chipped tooth, various contusions and a commitment never to drink Goldschlager again. I spoke with the manager of the club the next day after he'd spoken with the other two and found out that the only punch I landed, aside from the head-butt was a nice closed-eyed roundhouse to the head of the girl when, at some point, she'd stepped in to break it up. I've never been much of a fighter and probably wouldn't have done any better sober, aside from not being in that position in the first place. The manager asked if I wanted him to take any action against the waiter and I told him no, it was certainly a beating I was asking for. In fact, when I look back at my younger days, I'm surprised that I didn't get my ass kicked a lot more often. One heavy-handed trouncing in all these years of being an asshole is pretty good odds, although I think I'll quit while I'm ahead