The Time I Almost Ended Up on ESPN….

September 20, 2017

Oh yeah, it came close. Real close. Here’s how it went.

Sometime in 2007 I did a show at in the town I cut my comedy teeth in, Amarillo, Tx. We all started at The Amarillo Comedy Club down on Polk street. When I started it wasn’t 6 months or so later that the owner, Kelly Moran died and the club shortly followed. Aaron Baker secured a new venue in a Pizza place / bar what ever the hell it was. The Comedy side was called Lone Star Comedy Club in the old 42nd St Brickhouse. I became a house MC there and later started featuring and moved on.

I lived in “Bomb City”, so named because of the nuclear warhead storage and maintenance facility PANTEX, for about 16 years.  Amarillo is a terrific isolated Texas town. The show was in a neat little downtown bar called “Burberry’s”, it was a favorite watering hole when you came home to Amarillo to visit.

If memory serves me right, it was Kristin Key’s show an she asked my friend Aaron Baker and I to open up. I can’t recall exactly if that was the lineup, but 84% sure. My set wasn’t my favorite; I was reworking and tooling classic bits trying to make new before I discarded them entirely.

At the end of the evening I walked around the bar visiting with folks with backpack in tow. In this backpack, I typically kept my CD, a sweat rag or two, maybe some cologne for post show smelliness. Back then, I used to drink…. a lot. It was part of my persona, my stage character, my coping mechanism, it was everything. A frosty Shiner Bock was my best friend.

As I made a “beeline” to the bar to retrieve the South Texas Treat, I heard someone at a booth murmur “….its fags like this with their backpacks.” I stopped in my tracks. Not my best show, not my best attitude, and yet this asshole was now making me the butt of his comments. It was enough to make me stand. I had been shit on enough for the night and I wasn’t going to let him get the best of me.

He sat on the end of a large round booth. He was holding court with 6-7 people hanging on his every word, including the 6 he uttered out to me, as they snickered. As my feet knew to no longer go forward, I turned to the table, and said “what the fuck did you say? You referring to me?”

It was then, I knew immediately, this son of a bitch was a man. A great big bastard. Sitting down I knew he was 6’6″ tall and every bit of 225 lbs or so. The problem is, I won’t step down from a fight, even when I know I’ll likely get my ass whipped, there is a sense of dignity and respect that I should uphold and stand for, regardless of how many ribs were to be broken.

So he rose from his booth, and we did the thing that big men do, where you chest off and get in each other’s face……more than likely because you BOTH really don’t want to fight, but neither can say it. So you typically dance like this till someone breaks you up or some other distraction bails you out. We keep jawing at each other and making threats, I at a paltry 6′ at the time looking up promising to “fuck him up”. Finally someone with more sense than either of us, gets in the middle to separate us. We both had fists folded, cocked and ready for fire. I wasn’t having it…..shitty set than this asshole? Nope he was going to get the brunt of it.

I continued on the course to the bar to get that now EVEN MORE desired Shiner Bock. As I lean on the bar and talk about the ordeal with others who watched from afar, a friend walks up and says, “Man, you should have let him hit you, GUARANTEED you’ll be on ESPN the next day?” I asked him, ‘What are you talking about?”, he replied with “Don’t you know who that was? It’s RYAN LEIF! The NFL flop.”

Ryan had taken the job as Quarterback’s coach at West Texas A&M in Canyon. He had not been arrested yet for stealing pills, but his other antics and legal issues lent him to the news a great deal.

15 minutes, later Ryan Leif walks back up to the bar near me as I watch NHL highlights on the monitor above. “Let me buy you a beer.” he asked. “No thanks” I added. He then said “you know I was just fucking around, we’re cool right?” I said, ” You just don’t want to be in the news again ‘ NFL Bust Ryan Leif tangles with D Room Comic.” He laughed, and said “Yeah, I don’t need anymore problems.” I added, “then don’t be a dick. Someone is going to lay your ass out, one day, and it may have been tonight.” He answered “Probably,” and tapped his beer neck to mine and walked off. Prick

I would see Ryan on and off in town, and once, he saw me, he comically ducked as if to hide from me, then to give me the hand clasp and a “What’s up funny guy?”

Looks like prison has done him well.

Advertisements

The Not-So Perfect Storm

May 22, 2015

Look….I know, I find myself in some awkward predicaments. I swear it’s not from poor decisions, more from exposing myself to multiple opportunities. This story really ranks up there.

I’ve been without my Gall Bladder now for three years. Since then my digestive track is completely unpredictable. Sometimes…it decides to do things with out asking me, like nearly shitting myself. Now, I have a complex about using public restrooms to “go #2” as my daughter says. They are rarely clean or comforting. So I have learned which public facilities are the best nationwide.

I happen to be in Dallas shopping and often, my restroom of choice when in a mall is Dillards. The handicapped stall has it’s own sink in it. Superb. We were under a spring Tornado warning this particular afternoon. Of course I have gastro issues so I am in the restroom.

Then it happened, a vortex was spotted a mile away and the sirens went off. The store management demanded that all customers and employees make their way to the Customer Service hallway and restrooms.

Oh. Shit.

I have to button it up, no more than a minute after the announcement, people start coming into the restroom to seek shelter…..in reality they should get OUT of the restroom to seek shelter from what I did.

I was mortified. I couldn’t walk out of the handicapped stall with all these people…yes men and a few women. I am sure a few likely were laced with skin cancer after ingesting the odors I created. With a pop of lightening, god blessed us with an immediate power outage.

People hauled ass out of the restroom into the hall where the security lights were on. I mixed in with them as if I was with them all the time. One guy says, “thank god, I couldn’t hold my breath much longer.” I said yeah, “someone shit their pancreas out in there.”

When the alert was lifted, I left.

Talent Show

February 12, 2015

I have been holding this one under my belt for a while, I don’t know….maybe because it was super weird and hard to swallow. This one is completely non fiction, and as my urban, much younger than me friends say; this shits real. All the names and locations will be omitted or changed to protect the innocent, and what have you. If you’re a fan or a colleague, you know this already….I don’t get heckled or challenged much by anyone. It spells doom for those that do, yet to be frank, I’m a nice guy, and I rarely attract that. I have very little interest in that type of exchange.  That is likely why you don’t hear of me talking about audiences very often in road stories or blogs. More likely than not, it’s some sort of insane, twisted, Seinfeld-ish plot of misunderstandings.

Often I am asked to MC events or be the “celebrity” host. Trust me, I have no illusions. If they want to use that title, then that’s great. An invitation to be the MC of a school talent show was delivered via email and my schedule allowed me to be there, so i said “Sure, why not.”

The warm up act was a band made of school teachers and officials. A police man, a coach, maintenance guy, etc. They were pretty good, and really rocked along. I noticed one of the members was wearing a pair of hearing aids and was really killing it. Great musician.

After a few rousing late 70’s early 80’s Rock anthems, they introduce me and the kids recognize and award me with cheers and applause. It felt great! They did their home work they sort of knew who I was. My opening bit went like this:

” How about the________band? They were great huh? You had a cop,  coach, a janitor…..it was like a poorly put together Village People. (LAUGHS) And what about _________, now we know why he has those hearing aids from rocking out at home on the guitar.”

Nothing special. Cute. The audience liked it, and I proceed hosting this event for a good two hours. In between acts I interviewed the contestants Seachrist style, asking the judges for input. We announce the winners and close the shows. I move over to the bleachers to take a seat. Small droves of kids, staff, and parents come to thank me, and share with me how much better this year’s program was, and they thought I added to it.

Now….hearing aid guy is next. I am sitting down, and he extends his hand, so I reciprocate in a handshake, and he says:

” I just wanted to tell you….Fuck You.”

Initially my thoughts were, he’s kidding… he’s having fun, but there are still children and staff around. Now I’ll start it over and give you the dialouge and I’ll put his words in black and mine red…like Jesus….in the bible:

” I just wanted to tell you….Fuck you.”

“Ok. Thanks?”

“Well you ruined my day and I wanted to ruin your’s. I’ve only had these for a few weeks and I’m real sensitive about them.  I was really looking forward to this day, and you ruined it.”

*** to think that my little comment RUINED the day.

“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Just a harmless joke. I feel bad you felt like that. I apologize.”

“I don’t know you and I don’t who you think you are, but you’re not my buddy. You can’t talk to me like that. It’s a disability. You didn’t make fun of __________who is in the wheel chair did you?”

“No. She wasn’t playing in the band. “

***His face gets beat red. I’m trying to ask him to step outside or at least around the corner so the kids and parents don’t have to endure this. By the way…..we are still shaking hands.

“I’m probably going get in trouble for this.”

“Oh, no. In fact I’ll make sure of it that you won’t”

“You won’t make sure of anything. In fact if you mention it again to or I hear you talk about it,  I’ll take care of you.”***He lets go of my hand and starts to walk away.

“Not sure if you know this, but you sounded great today.” Stopped in his steps….paused and walked on.

People that know me, know I can’t stand it when someone feels they are a victim of my work. It eats at me, for days. This one did for a year. I feel terrible, when someone when feels this way. Did he handle it right? No….absolutely not. Should he have been reprimanded? Fuck yes. Do I care? No….life moves on. If  he or I are still hung up on it, then we have more serious issues.

The situation now, is really funny. Sure it’s the “Hind Site 20/20” thing. It’s in the rearview, so we can look back and laugh at it. Wait….I mean I can look back at it and laugh. Besides my last comment to him makes me the winner.

Princess Mittens

June 28, 2014

So, there is time in life where you have to do something you really don’t want to do, but know it’s the right thing. This case is a kitten called Princess Mittens.

Screw you. I did not name it that. My 6 year old daughter did and here’s why.

 

Our master bathroom is spacious; the kind homeless people pray to sleep in. One day as I stepped all of myself out of the shower and started to dry the mountain of man off, I hear a growingly louder, “daddy, daddy!” It’s my daughter making her way to the double french doors that separate the bathroom from the bedroom. In total fear she see the gear that made her, I yell “Just a minute”….as I see the door handles start to turn.

I knew I had to save her. So I lunged for the door in an attempt to keep her from opening them. Remember there is a lot of me. It’s like a mastodon taking a bath…. there is water all over the floors and walls. It’s safety hazard.

 

As I reached up for the door handles, I slipped on the hard wet surface sending me up and then parallel with the floor in mid air for a second. As I started my decent my abnormally large feet kicked the doors wide open splitting my big toeing nearly half.

The doors swung wide open, with my 6 year old daughter in full view of the beginning and end to life. Wet, naked, and now bloody, she does the only thing she knows to do. Haul ass. Leaving me in a pool of naked, fat, wet, blood.
The irony was I was angry at her for not administering first aid. For god’s sake there was blood up and down the door jam and door.

 

Hoping to avoid therapy, I bought her a kitten. Enter….Princess Mittens.

IMG_1804

The Pain

January 25, 2014

So I work a lot of Corporate gigs, especially around the holidays.  The reality of it is they pay well, and they take real good care of you, however they are often the toughest rooms to work. They are not ideal, and depending on the corporate climate can be often unpredictable.

This last week I was booked through an agency for a national corporate meeting of a popular rent-to-own furniture store chain. When I arrived I was informed by my contact how grateful she was that I was able to fill in at the last minute, which I found confusing since it was on my books for over 3 weeks. Whatever, I’m there, they are there, who cares let’s do a show.
Now….there was some corporate upheaval, since the company absorbed a competitor and they were all in the same room together for the first time against their will, and there was some “shit going down”. Yet to make things better,  they had just started eating. Nothing makes stand up better then to have people’s back turned towards you while they eat. That’s not that big a deal…I’m pretty good, at taking control.
BUT WAIT!!! Here is how I was introduced:
“ Allright, guys, let’s get ready for tonight’s comedian. You can hear him on XM comedy, and have seen him on TV. Now he wasn’t our  first choice, he is the substitute comedian. The real comedian got the flu. But he should be ok. Welcome Daryl Felsberg.”
You don’t know want to know how the rest of it goes. You KNOW how the rest of it goes.

 

Ouch?

June 13, 2013

It’s no secret that in the last few years, I have allowed my health to slide. Fortunately I miss what I used to do and what I was, that I am slowly working on it to get back in shape. I’ll get there.

About month or so ago, I started to experience a sting when Peed. Yep. When I peed. I started taking some medicine for a urinary track infection which was diagnosed by my good friends at WEb MD. After three days it started to get a little better, and only stung at the end of the pee.

Then we ate dinner at Dodies on Lower Greenville in Dallas; a lovely little cajun restaurant that has become one of my faves. When we made it home, I went to go deliver my pee as normal. At the end of the pee it stung for a second, then my wiener, made a “Pfft….Peeeeew” sound and shot a rock out of my dickhole. It hit the toilet with some vigor and even a ping sound , then fell to the back of the bowl on the rim. I sat stunned for a moment. I wasn’t sure that all that just happened. I picked it up and to my surprise I delivered  the most beautiful kidney stone.

A Penis Pebble

A Cock Rock

After analyzing it, it was best to get a photo of it next to a penny to show it’s gigantic dimensions. “Oh No you din’t!”. Oh yes I did.

photo

when you make something like this, you are pretty god damn proud. In fact some might say it would take a mammoth penis to deliver such a thing. But what I really found is that after the rock dried, it showed some beautiful sediment type lines…..like a mountain or something. I made something that god would have made. I am unbelievable.

photos

Mom, Death, $1,000,000, Life

March 26, 2013

So I generally reserve this space for a story of how someone wronged me, and ended up on the short end, or something obtrusive and funny to primarily me. Instead, something  has brewed in me all day that deserves to be shared. 

Today my mom had her 57th birthday. Sure most folks have a mom, and most moms are ultra-uber special to them, and rightfully so. Mine is different. She asks of nothing; dealt with what seems like chronic pain and sorrow, and yet has recently realized the value of her life and empowered a new attitude. It’s invigorating to me and rewarding as a son to see. 

Without being real lengthy, let me explain why mom deserves every great thing she gets. She was raised from a poverished – lower income family in the 60’s with a alcoholic father who would die before he should and before his youngest daughter turned 14, my mom.

She got pregnant with me when she was 17. My dad did the right thing and married her. He loved her, and she loved him. He couldn’t offer her much, but he took care of her. Ninth grade education of a man would earn you a mediocre life and less than stellar career options. These jobs delivering milk, driving a truck, would land you in a 600 Sq ft 3 room house….with a kick ass chicken coop. If it bothered mom, you didn’t really know. She was that good. She is what love is. 

Later my father landed a big job in the oil field. In the early 80’s next to underwater welding, it was one of the toughest jobs there was; the safety precautions were minimal, and those without educations could land decent paying jobs. Dad moved mom into a 3 bedroom 1100 square foot house, since my brother was on the way. 

Mom picked up a job here and there at a hospital, or the census, what she needed to do to feed us. There were many times there was enough food for us but not for her; her excuse was “i’m not hungry.” That’s a mother’s love. Sometimes we had hamburger helper with out the hamburger. Life was tough. Mom rarely bought clothes, and she NEVER put her needs in front of us. 

So with that said, Mom sounds like she is really a saint……put up with a lot of shit. Couldn’t get any worse right?

My mom for years tried to go to college so she could create a better life for us. All she wanted was a 2 year degree to be an LVN…..that’s it. It seemed every time she would try her hand at college, something would happen; my dad would get hurt, she would hatch my sister, or my dad would get laid off. Again, putting her dreams and desires behind everyone else’s

in 1989, at the age of 37 my father passed away, while my mother was nearly done with college. I was 15 the oldest of three and my mom was only 33. Talk about a blow. But you know what? She finshed. She did it? For her? Nope, she now had to raise three kids. She did it for us. She didn’t go out looking for a replacement for Dad, she became our dad too. When pops did die, we had nothing. Nada. We were borrowing a car. She made sure that we got our school yearbooks, that we went on school sponsored trips, etc. She pulled double duty and did it well. 

As I experienced success as I matured, I tried to share those rewards with my mom as most kids do. I gave her nice things, that she felt she didn’t deserve. She often returned them and spent the money on the grandkids. 

Mom buys christmas gifts year around, in anticipation of giving them to family friends. The awesome part is she forgets in November what she bought in June. She always thinks of everyone else. 

She has her faults. We all do, but it doens’t matter. I always thought she was soft and timid, when in reality she was tougher than I ever could be. As I enjoyed a fast track to success and couldn’t do any wrong she loved me equally as I tumbled down from a “7 figure” life. She loves her 3 kids, unconditionally, and she’s proud of her grandkids. I see her changing her life habits to make sure she can enjoy her grand kids, and someday great grandkids. That’s love. 

Love isn’t always just a hug, and some words. It’s doing what you have to do to make sure someone you love enjoys a full comfortable life….but don’t forget to say it now and then. Folks need to hear it once in a while. 

The “wives tale” is that a man will marry a woman like his mother, thank god. I’m lucky; and it’s true. You should see my wife, she’s a hell of a mom too. Thanks mom. 

 

When It’s Ok to Poop the Bed

January 31, 2013

Those that follow my comedy know the possum story rather well….and you should that’s a piece of literacy that shall be entered in to libraries….if they are still around. Sooooo, if you love stories of unexpected hillbilly vermin……read on, friend, read on.

As I have said before we have spent the last 4 years living in rural East Texas…..the country. It’s a pleasant change to the pace of the city. With it comes chaos and other shit I don’t care for. 

One morning I awaken from a sleep of peace and beauty (clearly a dirty dream). I put on my glasses and I see what seems like a 8 inch spider on the ceiling. My immediate thought was “holy shit. that’s a big spider!” I am able to see so much detail; his furry legs, and crazy eyeballs,…like he was right there. He was.

Apparently the spider was on my glasses. I immediately go to wipe him off, when I realize he’s not going anywhere. Yep….he was on the inside of my glasses. I hurled my glasses and he was killed by a shoe. See?…..that’s when it’s ok to shit the bed. 

Silly, the Kid

December 16, 2012

During the holidays, my booking efforts shifts from clubs to corporate gigs. Those are often Christmas Parties for some company at a country club or restaurant. They often pay better, but are more challenging. 

I had a short string (three nights) of corporate shows and my 10 year old son was going along for the ride. Now, before I am judged please keep in mind that my son has done stand up, and on corporate gigs he sells merchandise and acts as a road manager. One of the nights was for a city  Christmas party; expectantly a tough show. Few government parties are much fun. I was shocked that they even had a Christmas party not a “Holiday” party. There were some smug humans, there that found  nothing in life funny….and I assumed soon enough, me too. 

When we arrived my son and I were sitting in the back and scouting the crowd and the room. We learned that the PA would be a Karaoke machine. It’s a recipe for failure. The boy said “dad, when you go up open with this.. tell them that if they miss something it’s ok, because the jokes would be on the Karaoke monitor as you’re saying them.”

Funny. See the kids gets it and he’s 10.

On the stage were two stand up pianos, and I jokingly said “we should do dueling pianos”. My son, kidding said he would go up and play. So we made a plan, if the show started to eat shit, I would invite him up to play for the crowd.  

So 20 min we did better than I thought, and as I was talking to the crowd I started fooling with the piano. I looked to the back of the room to my boy, and through the Karaoke machine, I said ” hey son, you want to play a few for the audience.” He said sure. The crowd started clapping, as he made his way to the stage, I told the crowd that he was  a classically trained pianist that had been taking lessons since he was 3. I said “Hey, play that little Christmas tune your mom likes so much.”

 

Here’s the best part. He doesn’t play. Not a fucking lick. 

 

Without missing a beat he pulls himself to the pianos with all seriousness, as I just looked off into space listening, he just started hitting keys and not making any music what soever. I looked off making faces of content and approval. He banged on the keys with the conviction of someone who thinks they are good and know what they were doing for nearly minute. 

Half the room got it, the other half was mortified….I was never prouder. 

 

He left the stage to applause and bewilderment. He pulled it off. Never giggled; had a straight face the whole time, he played the part. I did another 30 minutes of stand up, got out and headed to the hotel. We laughed and thought how funny it was, how we acted as if we thought he was so grand at playing. 

I’m easily amused. 

Open Mouth Insert Ass….or however that goes.

August 11, 2012

For the first time in along time we took a family vacation, against my will. Because it wasn’t just my wife and kids, it was mom in law, father in law, step father in law (oh yeah, don’t make me explain), sister in law, brother in law and nephew. Whew!

We all went to Cheyenne Wyoming for the Frontier Days Rodeo. Now I know what you are saying “Daryl, you’re into Rodeo?” Nope. But it’s like the AFC Playoffs; you go if invited, even at your expense. Well, one of the events we attended was a Country Music Concert with A Band Perry, and Brad Paisley.

The opener, that Perry Band thingy, they took a intermission…in a rodeo arena to get the stage set for the headliner Mr. Paisley. They had a couple large jumbo screens for everyone to enjoy the shows. During the break they show commercials on these screens and at first it went to EXTREMELY BRIGHT WHITE for 20 seconds.

It was so painful and awful. For comedy sakes I yell, “You’re giving us cancer!” Right at that very moment the woman in front of me had already stood and lighted her cigarette! Yep, right as I yelled it.

She turned and said “Yep you bet your ass I am” in a disgusted voice. I stood quickly and said I was referring to the screen, and she waved me off. Then she said “I already gave both my tits to cancer”. I felt like shit. I explained that I was a comic, and not an asshole, and was just trying to make those around me laugh. She kept waving me off. So I gave her a card and said “email that address on their and they will send you a free CD. I feel bad, the timing was horrible.”

Then she had to explain the WHOLE thing to her husband. Who was a native American, or an angry Mexican, I get them mixed up often. I was uncomfortable. Once it was water under the bridge, we sat back down and I told my nephew what happened, and then I said this. “She said she lost her tits to cancer….and she still smokes.” Right then there was a pause in the crowd. She heard that too. Fuck.

I’m an asshole.

PS: If you read this Frontier Days smoking lady, I am sorry. It really was like a bad Seinfeld episode.