Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Loring Park Episode #35: Comedy is Easy, Living is Hard (SEASON TWO FINALE!)

Previously on Loring Park: "I'm sorry you had to go through that," he said, and that is when I realized how blue his eyes are. Oh, crap.


"If you want to bring a ... friend ... to Thanksgiving, just let me know," Grandma Shirley said the week before. I had her on speaker phone when Jared and I were getting ready and he cracked up.
"No, Grandma, I don't have any ... friends ... right now," I moped. "Just a lot of pals."

Thanksgiving was lovely and uneventful. I only felt stupid about being single because Grandma thought Dane's friend Walter was coming, and so there was an empty seat next to me. My grandparents sold their house and bought a new townhouse in the same city, and there was no yelling, and I only said the F-word twice.

The next day was BLACK FRIDAY at Mall of America! AAAAGGGGHH! I worked from 930 to 630 and then did two shows at House of Comedy as an emcee.  Midway through the first show, I was at a bar when a drunk guy came up to me, as his wife was rolling her eyes in the background.

He was in a Pittsburgh Steelers hoodie and their 21-year-old daughter was mad because she didn't have her ID and can't drink, so she just wanted to "do rides" with the 17-year-old daughter. The wife keeps saying how she had to go to the bathroom.

"Hey, buddy," he slurred. "I don't have a problem with gay people."
"Good," I smiled through gritted teeth, wondering why the bartender doesn't see me. I'M THE ONLY ONE HERE.
"Gays and lesbians, I'm cool with them," he slurred again. "My best man at my wedding was gay. JACKIE!! I'm telling him about Jeff!"
"Leave him alone!" she yelled.
"Jeff was my best man. You guys would be great together. He's pretty crazy. We went to the gay club once, he kept taking his clothes off."
"Yeah, that can happen ..."
"Aww, man, you'd LOVE Jeff. You guys would be such a great couple. Like, he's GAY. Like, you're gay, but he's like ......... Really, really, gayyyyyyyy."

THAT'S when I got mad because not only is it super obnoxious when people assume that two gay people will automatically be a perfect match, but he had just seen me talk for ten minutes describing relationships with gay men who use Axe grooming products, do pantomime golfing in lieu of dancing, drink beer and can't name a single show on Bravo. Not only was he drunk and obnoxious, but HE WASN'T EVEN LISTENING.

It was still an enjoyable evening. Before the show started, the wait staff informed me that an 18-year-old boy was going to be in the front row and he was being shipped off to the Navy the following day. "We thought you should be the comic that mentioned it," she said.

I called him out during my set and he waved. "Well, hello, sailor," I said. "Don't worry. I won't hit on you. It's awkward. And I only put out for Marines." Then he winked at me. After the show his bro-ski friends shook my hand. Life could be worse.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Loring Park Episode #34: Tangiers

Previously on "Loring Park": Jakey and Kevin went to a Sadie Hawkins party! A new friend was made at Valleyfair! Triangle communication! Everything old is new again ...

I love the title of this episode. It implies new beginnings, new friendships, and foreign lands.

It's also the name of a super-trendy straight bar in the North Loop that we'll get to later, but still. I like the sound of it. Tangiers.


We were at The Saloon on a Sunday night and Joey was planning to come out to his parents later that week. It made me appreciate my own family and I enjoyed being a fly on the wall listening to Quinn give him advice. I was fine enjoying the moment.

A few days before, Joey and I got in an argument and I cried all day before being a grown-up about it. He slammed the door of Ryan Robertson's car and sent me an angry text message, and I found myself trying to be consoled by Ryan and his friend who was dressed as a seahorse for Halloween (best costume ever).

"Whenever two girls fight, it's always about a boy," I said sadly, and the seahorse nodded. For the last few months, I had thought he was "over" me and not amused by me, and he had thought I had grown distant. I have learned that you actually have to communicate with people when your feelings are hurt, or else feelings just get more hurt. Also, I was in a really bad mood the week before because I lost a $100 bill at The Saloon. Adulthood remains elusive. Nevertheless, our tiff only made our friendship stronger and made me appreciate it more, and I felt bad that for the last six months I had allowed my mind to be wrapped solely around one person. I was getting over it and his unexplained absence would not faze me.

"Where's Wesley been?" someone asked me.
"He's sick," I said before ordering a Ketel One Lemonade.

"Where's your broski?" someone else asked me later.
"He has to work a lot," I said before getting a refill.

Joey came out on a Thursday and I had it marked on my calendar. Jared and I were proud gay parents and had I been more organized we would have thrown a dinner party.


That Friday, Tan Man invited me over to his house for game night and a fashion show. Tan Man has abs and laughs at my jokes and I am waiting to find out he's a serial killer, but until then, I am going to enjoy our time together. He has a house in Uptown and I was intimidated because two other friends were there. The boy was a make-up artist who looked effortlessly amazing and the girl was a fitness trainer. I felt pale and out of shape and awkward, and I didn't want to drink because I was going to drive us to Tangiers (a place I had never heard of, but which was having a fashion show for G-Star Denim! Fun and fancy!).

"Oh, just have one shot of tequila," the girl said.
"Oh, I don't know," I said. "When I have tequila I say things that I don't mean. Well, I mean them, but they're unkind and they shouldn't be said."

             THE SALOON – NIGHT
After months of awkwardness, QUINN is trying to have an adult conversation with JAKEY, who has just had a shot of Jose Cuervo.

I think you’re a very good person and I am happy to know you and I don’t want you to feel awkward around me.
I think you and Wesley should just fuck already.
That was crass, Jakey. I am trying to have an adult conversation with you.
I’m sorry. I had tequila.


----END SCENE---

"OK, fine, just one," I obliged. Tan Man turned on his Pandora Station to '90s music, and we enjoyed the Spice Girls. Then "Always Be My Baby" came on.

"This song is kind of sad," Tan Man said. "I think I'll change it."
"If you change Mariah Carey, I will punch you in the dick," I said. "Oh my god! I can't have tequila."

Another friend of Tan Man's came in and she was tall and had alabaster skin and lived in England and was going on a date with a guy who liked to go hunting.

"Oh, he's like a broski?" Tan Man laughed. "Jakey! How's your broski?"

Tan Man ordered a car, but they could only take four passengers, so I went with Tan Man's friend and he and the girls met us later at Tangiers. It had fun ambiance, and I recognized the receptionist from Jungle Red! Mercifully, she did not ask me how my nether regions were feeling. I would later find out that three of my co-workers were there that night, but I didn't see them! We kept the theme of fanciness by going to Jetset.

I never feel like myself at Jetset, and was hoping to run into Under Armour or Local Celebrity (I never talk to Local Celebrity, but he is dreamy and somehow his presence calms me). I didn't, but I ran into Cooper and Robin, the latter of whom was throwing a Sadie Hawkins party in a few weeks.

Remember when Kevin and I went to the Daisy Duke/Sadie Hawkins party last year? Well, I was invited again, and immediately asked Kevin on Facebook if he wanted to go with me. A Sadie Hawkins dance in high school is when girls ask the boys (I, um, never got asked. Go figure!), so it was my understanding that a gay Sadie Hawkins party is when gay boys ask more masculine boys to be their dates. I was greatly looking forward to it, and I knew that Joey, Quinn and Chuck would be attending as well.

"I'm excited for the party!" I told Robin. "I'm bringing a date. His name is Kevin. He was at the party last year."
"I don't know him," Robin said. "But that's totally cool."

Tan Man met us at Jetset, and I felt fancy like a Target corporate gay.