Butchke time

29 Apr

When I first strolled through the Vortex last night, I made a mental note that it was a weirder crowd than usual, mainly due to a demographic I had never seen in there before.  I am used to people with all manner of tattoos, body modification and gender confusion coming together to share burgers and brew.  Whose presence would make me stop and scratch my head?  What could possibly look out of place here?  Old Jews.  Once I went to the Laughing Skull green room it made sense.  I met self-described “Borscht Belt” comics Ira and Irving Bagel.  The Bagel Brothers.  Oy to the vey!  I was immediately offered a piece of Werther’s candy by two dudes sporting poorly spirit gummed bushy acrylic moustaches, thick black glasses, old man hats and dueling aluminum canes.  “Sweet  Jesus,” thought I.  This is going to be a long night. Our dear friend Tushar Singh started the ball rolling with an enthusiastic “Namaste!”  Did I mention the new demographic in the restaurant?  Well, they wandered to the Laughing Skull.  Tushar, though from Alabama, doesn’t look like he’s from around here.  I think the audience loved him for that and then they bonded over having experienced reverse bias.  Because he’s Indian, people immediately assume that Tushar’s smart and industrious.  I know that we are all collectively politically correct now and are supposed to blab on about how it’s wrong to profile and people should be judged on individual merit.  Whatever.  I would be thrilled if I could be lumped in to a stereotype that people associate with good things.  The Indians are focused, the Jews are good with money and community building, blacks are assumed to be athletic and vocal superstars, the Mormans are really nice…I’d take any of those prejudices.  As it is, I get lumped in with Buckhead housewives, who are categorically believed to be bad drivers who have married up.  Maybe the whole being seen as an individual might be better for me after all.  Meh.  Athens resident Luke Fields followed with true tales of what it’s really like to live without health insurance.  By now, you all know that I have a doctorate from the University of Dr. Drew.  Luke has received a similar degree, but he attended the College of Web MD, with a residency at the Center of Wikipedia.  It’s cool to be able to diagnose your own parasites, prescribe DVD box-sets and medicinal marijuana for treatment.  Clearly, he’s a really good doctor, because he looked totally healthy to me.The Bagel Brothers came out and warmed up for the headliners, comic duo Trevor Williams and Adam Newman.  The Bagel Brothers have a lot of “variety” in their act.  Think of what you would expect at one of those Catskill Mountains camps.  Shalom! It was strange to me that I never actually saw the Bagel Brothers in the same space with Trevor and Adam.  I think that something could be askew.

Trevor Williams, a UGA alum, has abandoned the South to live in NYC.  Apparently as long as you avoid the crap tourist traps, it’s a pretty okay vibe.  However, he still manages to spend enough time in his old stomping grounds to have noticed that Atlanta has gotten to be quite the foodie city.  It’s true.  I feel spoiled by all of the great places we have to dine out here.  While we are experiencing a lot of “farm to table” food trending now, the restaurant scene in New York is decidedly more uppity and pretentious.  Like pretty much all entertainment people, Trevor turned to working in a restaurant for a steady paying gig.  He had to supply a head-shot to bus tables.  Even though he describes his look as being “half retarded Jude Law”, it worked out. But he talked about the hiring process like it’s a bad thing.  I dunno.  I wouldn’t mind if Waffle House could force something like that as a part of their job application.  I mean, if you have to look at everyone while you’re eating, they should look at least as good as the bread basket.  Food for thought.  If you manage to get to one of the shows this weekend, you might want to do a warm salt-water gargle and some vocal scales before you leave the house.  There is occasion for a sing-along.  Three words: Monkey & Casio Keyboard.  Get ready to bring out your clapping hands and whoop-makers.  Adam Newman is recording a cd this weekend.  He covered a lot of material from explaining his love of haggling to score a good deal, Anne Frank…a first for a comic show, I think, dog-sitting, whether or not Snoop Dogg had a ghost writer for his memoir, working with kids while not being a molester, Jim Varney, and a fondness for truck stop employees.  Who doesn’t love them?  Adam talked a bit about past jobs like working the graveyard shift at Kroger and the really well adjusted people who shop for niche items at 3:30am.  Adam also once worked in a sandwich shop that bought their pickles in huge buckets.  On the side was a picture of warning for what NOT to use the buckets for.  His story brought up something that I spend too much time thinking about myself.  You know how you will get a plastic bag inside of something and it may say something like “This is not a toy”?  Why are there such obvious disclaimers on products and machinery?  It’s because people are dumbasses and at some point that very obviously dumb thing being warned against has been done.  And that’s how you instigate a baby funeral.  How can something so sad be funny???

But wait…there was more!  After Adam’s set, special guests were announced.  It was The Nyc Brothers; Johnny and Joey.  Guess who was hiding behind tight black t-shirts, shades and hair gel?  Yep, it was Trevor and Adam.  “Niiicce!”  Oops, was that a spoiler alert?  The Nice/Nyc Brothers are a riff on the Dog Brothers of Long Island.  They were two shvitzy shmegegi brothers featured in one of those MTV Sex in the 90s specials.  I am pretty certain they are the Godfathers of the Jersey Shore cast.  It’s nice to see that a legacy endures.

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