Friday, December 31, 2010

A Personal Year-in-Review 2010

Typically, I like to spew out a reasonable summary of the events of the year, and there's been plenty to talk about...An Election Year, the Glenn Beck Rally, the Rally for Sanity, Palin, Obama, the KFC scholarship, Jesus' Worst fans, another year of fun-yet-scary media debauchery, the list goes on....BUT, this being a close-of-the-decade year I decided to do something a bit different and give a more brief and personal send-off to 2010.

First, if you don't have plans tonight, and live in Pittsburgh, consider coming down to Papa J's for their New Year's Eve bash. I'll be doing jokes for a bit along with a few other locals followed by music via DJ for the remainder of the evening...That being said this is the first-time for me, not just in comedy but in my life, having a NYE gig of any sorts, which is kind of particular I suppose. I had an offer in '08, but that year I did a show on Thanksgiving, so the girlfriend asked me to promise there would be no NYE gig, to which I obliged.

Overall this year has been a pretty solid one for me in terms of comedy and career, so I'd like to thank everybody who has shown their support in any and every way, whether it be coming out to the gigs, booking me, letting me open for you, sharing advice I actually asked for, talking shop, listening to me rant when things go lousy without throwing a foreign object, or even having a few drinks with me to cope with gig cancellations, for the sake of time and space I'm not going to be too particular but you all know who are, thank you a million times over, it means the world and then some.

Thank you to everyone that made this year's Holiday Ha-Ha a great one. We had over 100 in attendance, and featured sketch and a music ending for the first time ever. To all the comics who dedicated their time and effort and all of those who came out, thank you for making it a memorable one.

Right before I left my house to head down to Club Cafe, I was perusing through Facebook, mainly to cope with being nervous, and I noticed the profile of my old roommate Kimmie from when I lived in Nashville. I realized I hadn't heard from her in awhile and decided to do a profile-check to see what she was up to. I found out that Kimmie passed away. Kimmie and I were roommates for around three months, and although we only crossed paths for a short time in both of our lives we stayed in touch fairly regularly. Kimmie's husband is a trucker, so she would move around often, but I'd usually hear from her via e-mail every so often and usually I'd get a phone call from a number and an area code I didn't recognize whatsoever, to be pleasantly surprised that it was Kimmie's new number and she was living somewhere new and enjoying it, or in some cases looking to leave and head elsewhere. She was a true free spirit but more importantly one of the most genuine people I had ever met. We lived in a Youth Hostel, and Kimmie made pretty much everybody passing through feel right at home by introducing everybody and more often than not preparing a meal for them. She did this out of her own generosity, she was never formerly hired by the place to do any of this, and to my knowledge she never received any financial compensation of any sorts, she just genuinely loved travelers and loved to have a good time and wanted to share that with others. Kimmie was always very encouraging of me at a time when I didn't have a clue what I should've been doing, and when I told Kimmie that I had started doing stand-up she was very encouraging, and told me that that seemed to be a perfect fit and she couldn't wait to see me live. Thus far in my lifetime, I can honestly say people like her are rare, and I'm lucky and honored for her friendship...I'll miss you Kimmie, have a good time on the other side. --Ron

Well, so much for the "brief" part of this post, all-in-all, 2010's been a great ride, and here's to 2011. All the best.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Ha-Ha! ONE WEEK!!!

Just a cordial reminder that this year's Holiday Ha-Ha Comedy Show is happening one week from today!!! December 29, 7pm, Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA. The show will feature sketch, stand-up, out-of-town guests and perhaps even a musical number or two. I think I speak for all of the comics involved when I say that we are very excited about this show. Tickets are still available and they are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Any questions feel free to contact me. I sincerely hope to see you all there! Last but certainly not least, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Ultimate Hell Gig

It was an all-day festival, middle of summer in Pennsylvania about 20 minutes outside of Pittsburgh at a large fair ground. They never tried anything like this before, the entertainment was to be all comedy, beginning at 10:30am and ending at 6:00pm. The booker called all of us participating into a meeting the night before and she gave us our slots. I was given the 4:00 slot and was to do 30 minutes. There were two people after me. All of the comics on the show, including myself, were pretty much at the same level in terms of work we were getting and how far along we were on the ladder. To put it more bluntly and in comedian terms, no headliner/TV credits on this show. I usually don't let this kind of stuff get to me but one of the people after me happened to be a comic I didn't care for very much. Not only his act but as a human being I thought he needed kicked in the throat a couple of times. I was pissed he was after me as the boooker seemed to have given us our slots based on her perception of our skill.

The next day, I showed up at 10:00am as that was check-in time. The booker approached me, "Ron, I was kind of hoping you'd do the warm-up in addition to your slot, you need to be on at 10:30am, that cool?" I said sure. I figured I just had to introduce the event, thank people for coming, ummm, in a situation like this should one tell people to silence their cell phones? I figured I had a few minutes to decide. As I was about to go on stage the booker approached me again. "Ok, so go until about noon." "What?" "Go until about noon." "That's an hour-and-a-half, that's an awfully long time for a stand-up, it takes years and years for people to develop a full hour-and-a-half they can do all at once." "Well, you're not allowed to do any of your material, so that's fine." "What?" "Your 4:00pm slot is for your material, this 10:30am-noon slot is for crowd work only. You said you would do it, if you back out that's fine but I wouldn't bother contacting me for dates in 2011." I didn't want to lose a year's worth of dates from a booker I worked for regularly, so I sucked it up and went on stage. The stage was about 10 feet from the ground. The closest audience member was a solid 20 yards at least away from me. An hour-and-a-half of crowd work. I greeted the crowd, backs were turned, reverb from the microphone, somebody coughed. A couple children were playing in the fields a ways off. I was mostly ignored. I turned to the sound guy and asked if the booker was still around. "Nope, she left." I bailed. I didn't know what time it was, but I bailed. I told the people the comedy would start back up at noon and I'd be on at 4 and to stick around. A couple people clapped. I took the subway back into the city and went to my apartment. My girlfriend was just waking up and asked me why I was home. "It's going to be a long day, are you coming to the show?" "I wasn't planning on it." "Well, you won't be missing much, when it's over, I'm going to need a drink." "What's your slot?" "4." "I'm surprised you're not closing out of that bunch." "Whatever, we all get paid the same I think."

I returned to the grounds and nobody seemed to have cared that I bailed on my hour-and-a-half of crowd work. I saw the comic I didn't care for that was going on after me. "I'm pumped I'm closing this, it pays twice of what the rest of you guys are making, isn't that weird? I mean, I do the same amount of time, but I get paid twice as much, dude, maybe she'll let you close next year." What a dick. I try not to be petty when it comes to stuff like that and of course jealously gets one nowhere, but this guy's just a flat out chode. I agreed with him that it was odd and walked away. It wasn't worth it to retaliate, why stoop to his level? I waited around for a few hours, bought some candy, the crowd seldom paid attention to any of the comics. At one point a water-gun fight broke out. Later, a couple started making out near the stage and the dude went right up the girl's shirt in front of everybody. At about 3:45 I started to get closer to the stage. Just then I noticed my parents had arrived. "We saw this in the paper, saw you were on it, thought we'd get out of town for an afternoon, how's it going?" "Eh, to be honest, I'm not looking forward to this, sometimes it really feels like a job, this is one of those times." "When are you going on?" "4." Brief moment of silence.

Then my dad piped up, "wow, it's pathetic you're not closing this shit." "What?" "Seriously, that guy (comic I don't like) is a total hack, I'm pretty sure he stole his closer from CK, he sucks." "I agree." "Yet he's closing the show and you're not. Seriously, it's pathetic." "It's one booker's opinion." "It's pretty sad Ron, we need to get going actually, we're going to miss your set." "You just got here." "Yeah, I forgot we have stuff to do." Unbelievable. So what if one booker thinks I shouldn't be closing the show? I can't let this crap get to me, especially not now. As I'm trapped in thought I get a tap on the shoulder, it's the MC, "hey man, I need your intro." I looked towards the stage and the comedian on stage was humping the stole with three people watching and laughing and applauding and the rest of the audience still had their backs turned.

I woke up. I was thirsty. Yup, friends, it was a dream. There is no subway in or around Pittsburgh, that's the kicker. Not to mention I don't think either of my parents are familiar with the term "closing" in terms of it being used as comedy-lingo near synonymous but not quite with "headlining." Although, to all my comedy friends out there, I'm a bit disturbed at how possible that dream could actually be. Oh, and neither the comic I didn't like nor the booker were actual people, all sole residents of my subconscious, though I guess if they were people I probably wouldn't divulge their identity anyway. If you need me I'll be at the park doing 90 minutes of crowd work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On the Holiday Billboards

In New Jersey the American Atheists posted a billboard in regards to the holidays that had the words "You KNOW it's a myth" with a nativity scene underneath. David Silverman, president of the group has received some coverage on the issue and I wanted to find the most entertaining interview of them all so I looked no further than Faux News. See said interview here:

Puppet-talker Megyn Kelly wanted to know why the billboard had to be so confrontational, which she exemplified by beginning her interview with, "way to ruin Christmas, Dave." Passive.

Honestly, I think the billboard is a bit on the obnoxious side, you know what else I found obnoxious? The hotel desk clerk in West Virginia last year that when I wished her Happy Holidays glared back at me and threateningly wished me a "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Same with the Catholic League that put up an opposing billboard and then insisted on wishing David Silverman a Merry Christmas.

Now, I find myself in a nice position here as I have friends and family that range from Priests to devout Atheists and everything in between. I don't think any more or less of any of them because of their beliefs one way or another because I know their character and that's what matters to me. That being said I get to play spectator and enjoy Church-members getting upset about something they shouldn't give a shit about, and an Atheist organization that should probably find a better way to spend their budget. Although, I guess they can't take the money with 'em. And I really enjoy some of the Christians that refer to evolution as a "fairy tale." I want something credible, give me a talking snake damn it!

Lastly, let's not make this about the children, shall we? "I don't want my children seeing this sign calling it a myth, blah, blah, blah," kids see billboards for booze and strip-clubs and casinos all the time, it's life. Seeing a billboard from someone with an opposing view-point shouldn't be feared, hell, it should be embraced. Learning that not everybody is like you is a valuable lesson to learn, or parents, spin it to your advantage. David Silverman is really Santa's elf and he's testing all the boys and girls who don't believe in Jesus. If you close your eyes and say "I do believe" every time you pass that billboard you're going to get that over-priced crappy toy you won't give two shits about next year. You're welcome Christian parents.

Morons have all kinds of different religious beliefs, even non-existent ones. There's morons on the left, morons on the right, and plenty o' morons in the center. This moron would like to wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

10 KFC Tweets for the Prize

First we had those artery-clogging food bowls, then we had two pieces of fried chicken substituting a bun, it seemed there were no more possible ways for Kentucky Fried Chicken to declare to the world:

“Humanity, we think you’re going down the toilet, and we may as well capitalize on it!”

But now, KFC is offering a $20,000 scholarship for the student with the best “tweet.” That’s right, scholarships in the past have been awarded on various merits such as stellar grades for four years, an essay possessing an advanced understanding on a certain topic, music or athletic ability honed from years of hard work and effort, or in some cases being left-handed and wanting to study accounting, but with KFC, all it takes is a sentence.

One sentence and likely procrastination on a social network. If that doesn’t encourage scholarly excellence, I don’t know what does. Still, while I’m not sure if graduate students qualify or not, I could use an extra 20K. Here’s 10 tweets in an attempt to chase the prize:

I ate your macaroni and cheese once, had the squirts for a week but still passed a final #KFCscholar

I wore a Colonel Sanders tie to prom #KFCscholar

What you call creativity I call playing with your food #KFCscholar

Even as a little kid I knew which state you guys started in #KFCscholar

Because I happen to collect undernourished chickens that can be yours if…#KFCscholar

Because I can taste the difference between you guys and a Hungry Man #KFCscholar

Because the combination-Pizza-Hut-Taco-Bell song is always first on my iPod playlist #KFCscholar

Because I always remembered to pick up something for the dog, pay it forward! #KFCscholar

Because I can write more than 140 characters #KFCscholar

Because my dietary choices are well-informed enough to never eat your product #KFCscholar

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Report on the Rally for Sanity

The last 48, or wait, has it been 72 hours? Since Thursday night at around's Sunday now...and I need to find a place to go later so I don't have to give children any candy. Ok, now that I've established time and place, I had a great time during the Rally for Sanity weekend, I say weekend because there were events the night before, I was lucky enough to be a part of one of them, but, I'll start chronologically.

Thursday night, I came home around 10:30ish to discover that my cat Lucy had been acting odd all day, she used the bathroom in the tub which is very unlike her, and her urine was discolored. My girlfriend said it was likely a UTI. Agreeing that this shouldn't wait until after the weekend we took her to a 24-hour Pet Hospital in Castle Shannon. The Vet was able to see her relatively quickly and we collected a urine sample for him to make diagnosis easier. We explained our situation that we were heading out of town to DC and would be back Sunday. She did in fact have a UTI, the Vet gave her a shot and a pill that we had to give her orally. He told us to give one to her on Friday, then resume the dosage on Sunday when we got back. He wasn't too thrilled that we'd be skipping a day which made me a bit nervous. So anyway, Lucy was pretty traumatized as she is not one for vets, she hissed and screamed like a banshee the entire time and was pretty ticked in the car too. When we got home she was tired and aloof likely due to the shot and all the action she had been through. I've concluded that Lucy is not a huge fan of authority, she's a loving cat in any situation except Vets and she wasn't a huge fan of airplane security either. I always thought if she was human she'd be an Audrey Lorde type.

Anyway, we got home late Thursday night and decided to pack in the morning and were exhausted blah blah blah.

The next evening I performed at the DC Arts Center for a pre-rally Political Comedy show/party. I had the most fun I've had at a show in awhile. There was a great line-up including Lizz Winstead (Co-Creator of the Daily Show), John Marshall (Writer for Chris Rock and more), Jeff Kreisler (MSNBC, Bill Hicks' Spirit Award) and a bunch of others that were radio personalities, comedians, and even some pundit professors. It was inspiring and humbling to share the stage with so many diversely talented and accomplished people that all came together for a pre-rally show! Crowd was great too, the show went over 2 hours and the energy seldom if ever withered.

Between post-show chatting and traffic I didn't get back to the place I was staying until around 3am, fueled by post-show enthusiasm it took me a bit to get to sleep and a few hours later it was time to get ready for the Rally. I brushed my teeth, splashed some water on me (GROSS!) and headed out with the group. We had VIP passes which meant we could get closer to the front and didn't have to be amassed in quite as many people.

The Rally was packed, with many different groups represented including Marijuana Law Reform activists, Media Matters, Free Press, and people that were just plain fed up with the insanity. I won't get too far into describing the event because I'm sure the blogosphere is already flooded with reports and I'm sure Faux News already reported accurate accounts of the turnout (there were 20 people there).

I'll point out two things, one not-so-good, and one good.

First, one of the guest performers, described by Stewart as a brilliant song-writer, brilliant performer, he's here to premier a new song, I had to convince him to come here... (Holy shit, this is it, the Boss, right?)

...(Maybe Willie Nelson?)

...Ladies and Gentlemen...(this is gonna be good!)

...please welcome, KID ROCK!

...? What?!?!

If you were watching the event on TV and heard what sounded like a thud at that very moment it was the adrenaline of thousands of enthusiastic rally attendees falling through the floor that were expecting a new political song from Bruce and instead got Kid Rock. I'm not even pushing my own taste here, because I was far from alone in this sentiment. Kid Rock got a less-than-enthusiastic response as I personally had to struggle to hear the applause after his song, and what I could make out sounded little more than a courtesy clap from a few that probably felt guilty, considering how many people were there that's not too impressive. The seven-year-old girl they brought up doubled the response he got, I'm pretty sure a stranger could've went up on stage and farted on a snare drum and would've gotten about the same response as Kid Rock. In fairness, when people are expecting Bruce Springsteen that's tough too live up to, still, we got Kid Rock. We were hoping for Filet Mignon, and we didn't even get a Big Mac, we didn't even get a sloppy joe, we got, like, dog food.

Anyway, that was the only disappointment, the other part I'd like to highlight was the very end.

I've often felt, and I could be totally wrong, but one of the reasons Jon Stewart is where he's at, and I'm sure there are many, is because of his ability to break that fourth wall and go from comedian/pundit to citizen, when appropriate. I've felt that way even before I did comedy, and now that I do comedy I find it that much more impressive. In the end Stewart crossed that line to an extent I've never seen since Crossfire in 2004. He even acknowledged it at the beginning, quipping that he knows there's only so far a comedian can go and he'd probably hear about it tomorrow. Like any rally, he summed up the intention of the event, the call to pursue sanity, I personally really enjoyed the simile of the media being like a magnifying glass, it can highlight our problems so we can solve them, or it can burn ants.

Anyway, that's my two cents I feel is worth sharing, again I could've given a play-by-play, but I'm sure there's plenty of that on the web already and better accounts than I would've been able to give anyway. After the rally we were exhausted and decided to head back to Pittsburgh early. Lucy didn't miss a day of medication that way. Right now, she's pretty much back to herself, though she's not a big fan of the pills, beats a shot I'm sure. I've got Misfits to listen to, then I've got work to do, then I've got to get depressed about the fact that I used to celebrate Halloween for a month and I haven't even dressed up in three years, then I've got football to watch. Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Open Letter that Should be Sent

Dear Facebook, Thank you for giving me something to blame procrastination on.

Dear Procrastination, I blame Facebook.

Dear Christine O'Donnell, Wow. Here's to at least a month or so of lazy punchlines, surely I'll find myself among the guilty party.

Dear Jethro Tull, Please tour with Spirit of the West, that would be super amazing.

Dear Tea Party, Legit grassroots movements aren't funded by billionaires, just sayin'.

Dear Morrissey, Not cool dude.

Dear ICP, I'm no theologian, but I can't find "we've got great shirts for bitches" in the bible anywhere.

Dear "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Go away. Please.

Dear Joe Biden, Do something.

Dear Marcellus Shale, Thanks alot, now all of the rural land in Pennsylvania can be the same quality as the roads.

Dear Person who's not sure if that last one was pro or con, Drive in Pennsylvania sometime.

Last but certainly not least,


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Show 9/25 Postponed (other news guaranteed lousy too)

I just got off the phone w/ Hamell's management and the venue. Sadly, Ed took sick during the drive out here, and the show has been postponed.

For all of you who purchased actual tickets from me, of course I'll get you your money back, however when the show gets rescheduled those tickets would be honored, so you've the option of hanging on to them.

Obviously this is a pretty big bummer. First and foremost we all hope Ed's OK. He's one of the most dedicated performers I know, so he certainly would never cancel unless he was truly too sick to play. Hopefully it's nothing serious. To all my friends that were going to come out, I'm very disappointed to have such lousy news, I even tried to see if just having a comedy showcase was an option but due to refund policy and so forth the venue needed to postpone the event.

I do appreciate Ed's people and the venue for their timely communication and understanding. I know this may, in some ways, seem a bit much over a canceled gig but shows like this are among my favorite to play, and as this fall has not been an easy one, it's safe to say I'm fairly disappointed. I'm not going to use this forum as an opportunity to vent about the state of things because that's not my goal with this (or any) blog. But, geesh, I'm hoping for a slight turn of the tide soon.

Next post will be topical and (potentially) entertaining, complete with the cynicism and misanthropy that keeps me on stage. Promise.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome Back NFL Sunday

Another premier NFL Sunday and yet again I found myself willing to deal with the TV-radio delay than listen to the vomit-inducing verbal-abortion sports announcing on Fox. It gets increasingly more painful every year. I hate to come off as such a shallow critic here, but...I just can't be kind about this...I've tried...I can't even be constructive at this point, it's just awful, completely awful. I've considered delivering my own alternative...somehow figuring out a way to podcast live during Steelers' games and provide live commentating with a couple others. Based on my interpretation of the law that would actually be legal too. Alas, I don't want to be on that side of the coin, I'm no sports expert, I'm sure there are plenty out there far more qualified, they need to find their way to Fox.

The Quaran burning didn't happen. Rev. Terry Jones changed his mind and it was because a) he realized it was barbaric, insensitive and hateful b) The Al Queda issue or c) He had bad indigestion as the night before was burrito night.

If you guessed a) you're too optimistic for your own good. Brace yourself for a lifetime of disappointment.

If you guessed b) me thinks you're correct.

If you guessed c) you and Terry must be golf-buddies.

Taylor Swift wrote a song based on her emotions from the incident where Kayne West interrupted her VMA acceptance speech...after all if there's anything the music industry wants it's a song people can relate to about an issue that's important. It's a VMA for crying outloud, take a lesson from Kurt Cobain, he kept his VMAs in his bathrooms on top of the toilets.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Glenn Beck and Numbers

Glenn Beck and Numbers
by Ron Placone on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 12:38am

As we all surely know the Glenn Beck rally tragically occurred this past weekend. The media have reported numbers ranging from 87-to-500 thousand in attendance. Know what that means? As a nation, we no longer agree on numbers.

That’s right, numbers are subjective now. There are 5 people in attendance. Really? Are there 5? What is the event? Is it a Tea-Party rally, or a rally for Universal Health Care? Is Faux News reporting? There might be 5, or there might be 25, or there might be negative-up-teenth-forty-one-ty. You might be thinking, “gee Ron, that last one even a number.” Hell no it isn’t. Haven’t you been reading up until now? We don’t use those anymore.

Turns out if we want honest journalism anymore we need to add an arithmetic section for all journalism-related college majors. Perhaps Glenn’s university has Journalistic Arithmetic. When in doubt, always take the, dare I say, “conservative” approach...Old Glenn estimated there were “over 1,000 people in attendance.” Play it safe, play it cool, play it obvious. Glenn went on to say that “some people may not like me very much.”

On the other side, I’ve got some shows coming up as Fall is approaching. Eastern-PA, WV, Pittsburgh all on the list with some more in the works. Keep-a-checkin’ keep-a-livin.’

Friday, August 13, 2010

Louie and Buses

The obscurity of Megabus is over. Friends that travel, take note. Don't get me wrong, it's a great way to travel, but word is out. My bus, Pittsburgh to New York City, was packed, and not just with youngsters with some time to kill but with families, older people, students and everything in between. But, with AC and free-wifi this is no complaint, yet the days of Megabus being a best kept secret are, for better or worse, over. Personally, I've been on the west coast until recently, so I myself am a late bloomer. Of course, on the way back from NYC the stinkiest dude imaginable sat next to me. I've had worse, because I've ridden Greyhound an unhealthy-amount-for-any-lifetime amount of times, but this guy smelled like hell. I put the A/C on full blast just to try to air him out. No luck. My sleep was interrupted by the occasional bump in the road followed by an unpleasant aroma invading my nostrils uninvited. To my very pleasant surprise the guy got off at State College. Good. Maybe he'll take a class on hygene.

NYC was great. Got to catch a sneak peak of my buddy Jeff Kreisler's one-man show based off his book, "Get Rich Cheating." The irony of the situation was that Jeff's book/show is a satire on the powers that be, corporations, politicians, etc. in the guise of a how-to manual, and this sneak-peak took place at the Border's Books located on the one and only Wall-Street. That's right, enemy's layer folks. I asked Jeff it that was his idea and he told me that it was, in fact, the stores'. Goldman Sachs surprisingly didn't make an office outing out of the event.

Outside of that I did a few sets, met some new people and even ran into an old friend or two, shows went fairly well. I walked through Little Italy completely alone and got depressed that I was by myself and wasn't on vacation. I did, however, splurge on a cannoli.

Just as Megabus is no longer a secret another outed secret is the fact that Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert is a babbling moron. See video.

This guy is spreading his "terror baby" theory without any evidence whatsoever and then lashing out like a rambling fool not even fit for an Alex Jones' fanatic whenever someone questions him on it. And when I say fanatic I mean fanatic, the kind that don't question anything and don't shower ever...and then sit beside me on Megabus.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It Could be a 'Dud'ley

I wish I would be paid a dollar for every instance where the media points out the fact that Tactless Tony's replacement happens to be if that's significant.

I mean gee, the American corporate brand has served us so well the past few years, just look at Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, HALLIBURTON! If that leadership stamp doesn't scream ethics and security, I don't know what does.

I find BP's ploy to make this epic disaster an issue of nationalistic pride shallow and elementary at best, however they'll likely be successful.

I mean hell, he can RELATE more right? He lives here, he's a good toutin' 'Merican! Sadly, assumption says the world looks the same on the deck of a private yacht or through a multi-million dollar home where all your needs are met ten-fold. You want someone that can relate and feel the effect of all that's going on? Try hiring one of the shrimp captains that have been out of work and still are.

Let's get Captain Bubba-Gump in charge of the realms: "OK, you know all those resources we have? We're going to divert all of our energy into CREATING A CAR THAT RUNS ON AIR!! We're going to break this declining method of obtaining energy so that way I can go back to doing what I do best which is bringing YOU delicious SEAFOOD! Anyone have a problem? Here's an oil pipe, put that in the ground and the other end up your ass and let me know how it goes." I want to see what that guy can bring to the table.

Now some of you may think I'm being nit-picky here and that's fine...but I encourage you to check out this article

See that? Those ol' CEOs were just hard-working chaps like the rest of us, and good ol' Dudley, he's the same way. Does he have any plans to finally fix this mess? Is he working around the clock to solve this crisis once and for all? Who cares! He was born on the same pile of rock and soil as the rest of us.

Instilling nationalism at a time of crisis has quite the success record when it comes to bending the populace to your whim...just ask some guy named George how it worked for him when he wanted to spy on his own citizens, or a guy named Glenn how it helps with his ratings, I'm pretty sure it worked wonders for some dude in Germany named Adolf.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Take a Bow, Fall

"People spend alot of time worrying about how something can't work instead of how it can."

It's actually inaccurate of me to put that in quotes, because I'm paraphrasing somebody else. Not just somebody else, but I can't remember whom. Not only can I not remember which person but they may have gotten it from somebody else, or a book, and I don't know the reference. Yet, I'm leaving it. I want this blog post tragically flawed with no option but to shrug, much like our civilization.

On that, I recently made a life decision and will be starting a Master's program at Duquesne University in several weeks. No, I'm not quitting comedy, and I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, comic to make the two co-exist. Again, focusing on the can here.

BP will remain a corporate villain in the eyes of the populace until of course the newest line of affordable mid-sized automobiles is released. This will conveniently coincide with the mid-term elections where the Democrats will yet again prove their only consistent ability is the ability to shoot themselves in the foot. On the bright side, the irony will still be thick enough to cut with a knife.

I personally enjoy the dissection of BP's practices, just to clarify, I'm not defending them by any means, but are we delusional enough to think that they're the only oil company out there to enforce shoddy safety procedures in exchange for padding their own pockets? It wasn't too long ago the Daily Show uncovered that in fact their safety tactics are parallel with other major oil companies.

Other criticisms have included the lack of diversity in the upper management.

Are all of the above reasonable criticisms? Absolutely. Does it piss me off? Yes. Is it surprising? Of course not. Major oil companies rake in billions while trying to squash any opportunity to advance more environmentally sound forms of energy, they cut corners without any regard for their employees or humanity in general, and we really expect to walk into their offices and see a group of people holding hands singing "We Are the World?"

Let's save the delusions can we? In the past few weeks I've come across people that support the war, supported bush, yet they're huge activists now because they avoid buying their gas from BP, you know, that locally owned franchise where it doesn't affect the people responsible for this mess one bit whether you shop there or not.

"Holy shit, sales are down in Millvale? Forget about wanting my life back, repair the well permanently immediately, bring the troops home, let's invest in electric cars"--Tony Hayward, September 2010, just months after ill-informed morons drove an extra 10-feet to the Exxon Mobil.

If you're so committed to said cause don't simply boycott BP, get a bike. If you go said route make sure you don't follow any traffic rules whatsoever and then complain about how people don't share the road, you'll fit in quicker.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

An Open Letter to Tony Hayward (BP CEO)

Dear Tony,

Boy, what a minor inconvenience this turned out to be. Looks like it's more of quite the disaster, and frankly I don't think a complimentary candy bar to all Louisiana residents is going to cut it.

During your 7 1/2 hour probing you graced us with many eloquent and informative answers including but certainly not limited to:

"I can not say."

"[I'm] not prepared to draw conclusions about this accident until the investigation is complete."


"I was not involved with that decision."

That last gem is in reference to the criticism of BP's choice of casing. I'm sure at your level passing the buck is something you could do in your sleep, hell, something had to get you where you are. It's tempting, I'm sure it is, I'm sure everyone would go that route if it wasn't for...what's the word I'm looking for...sometimes causes one not to sleep...oh yeah, values!

Anyway, I'm not here solely to criticize your line of work or the work-culture you adhere to, that's a book I hope to write later in my lifetime. Rather, I'm here to present you with an exercise, a true test of self-will, maybe something that could move things along.

I heard on NPR (they talk about you too quite a bit, you're getting a new fan club I swear) that one in every eight British men would give up sex for the tournament's length if it meant that England won the World Cup. Tell your wife you have an idea. No shaggin' tell this thing's fixed. The only hole you'll be pluggin' will be in the Gulf. You two can even make a little rhyme out of it. "If the water's still black Tony gets none in the sack." You want your life back? Well, the "small people," as you like to refer to them as, want their lives back too.

You seem to be unresponsive to government pressure, and I'm sure the metaphorical Obama ass-whopping is all but laughable considering the fat check you cats wrote during the election.

So maybe some good ol' fashioned sex-less pavement-pounding work is what you need. Come on, Tony, feel like one of the small folks for once. In fact, on behalf of myself and anyone else on this planet that has to spend day after day at a job where they bust their ass to put food on the table: Get to work. Don't even bother getting in front of the camera, don't issue anymore apology videos, just get to work. And open your checkbook Tony, because it's time to pay...maybe you should be part of some of those casing decisions next time.

I'm an artist Tony, we'll always and forever be very different you and I. Amen.

--Ron Placone

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Road First...

This past weekend marked the first time in my nifty little career that I did a run and every stop on the run had a skyline. In fact, most of the time NONE of the stops have a skyline, let alone all of them. SOME of them have even stumped Google maps before...what is the zip of this place?...I'm checking many of these people carry guns everywhere?...Wait, how many KKK members live near this town?...Can I get anything other than Rush Limbaugh on the radio here?...These are all questions I've asked myself at various times, you get the idea.

Alas, this weekend Thursday night was Pittsburgh, Friday Columbus and Saturday Cleveland. I was opening for Hamell On Trial. If you haven't heard of Hamell yet, Google him. There's a documentary about his life and career coming out soon.

Anyway, the Pittsburgh show was a great time. Though, it started out a bit rocky, while trying to park Ed (Hamell) got a flat, right in front of Club Cafe. Pete, the sound guy from Club Cafe, came out and gave Ed a hand with getting the flat off. Me, being the handy man that I am, decided to be useful the only way I was able to be...I watched Ed's gear. It didn't walk away. A couple people that were there for the show lent a hand as well, which was cool, a few drunk people from down the street offered some unsolicited advice too, that was not-so-cool, but they meant well. Turned out the bolts were on pretty solid. I called Triple A. I explained the situation to them and they said they'd be there in about 45 minutes and I'd get a 5-minute warning call. I told them that 5-minute warning call wouldn't help me much if I was on stage. I decided it'd be easiest if I called Triple A after my set and by the time Ed was done the tire would be fixed. I always enjoy watching Ed play but I had two more dates with him so I knew I could always catch the next night.

So we put the doughnut in the trunk and I told Ed I'd call after my set and not too worry. We both headed up to the dressing rooms and I started to go over some of the newer things I wanted to try. Show was a good time, I called Triple A after my set, they came and were done before Ed was finished with his set. All's well that ends well.

The next night in Columbus was fun as well. Since I was the opener some of the crowd was still trickling in during my set, which made it a little difficult because at times some members of the audience would be on one page well others would be on another because they just arrived. Towards the end though, we were all together, and the room was solid, laughing and ready for Ed.

Cleveland was enjoyable though was by far the most difficult show for me. First and foremost, it was a matinee, day can always be tough. Second, it was by far the smallest crowd. Third, there was an opener before me, so at least half of the people there were expecting the person they came to see to grace the stage next and instead they got me. Regardless, I got through the set, did the time Hamell wanted me to do and seemed to be fairly well-received, I at least got the vibe nobody was turned off to it.

I wanted to try to check out the Springsteen exhibit at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame but that morning I overslept.

Pretzels, energy drinks, and SKYLINES this time!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Deciphering Office Titles

I've worked in an office for longer than I'd ever planned to in my life. When I was 18-ish one of my biggest goals for adulthood was to never end up in a cubicle. Sadly, I failed at said goal. Guess I couldn't conquer never. While the above-mentioned is disappointing it has allowed me to view office life through my own direct lens. Here's a little translation to what positions actually entail:

Vice President of Operations
--You've done the same thing for over 20 years. At this point, you've been around so long they had to up your salary and give you a brand new title.

Assistant Vice President of Operations
--You have a family member very high up. So high up that the money in the budget that was going to go into extending benefits went towards creating an unnecessary position for you because you were never able to accomplish anything on your own. Everybody smiles at you while simultaneously wishing you would get run over by a bus.

Administrative Assistant

Personal Assistant to _______
--You're a gopher and you're sleeping with your boss.

--You have an entry level position, stay where you're at and don't ask questions and you could end up being a Vice President of Operations.

Specialist--You're an officer with a college degree.

Facilities Maintenance
--Whenever it's Burrito Day in the cafeteria, you're due for a rough afternoon.

Quality Assurance--You're over-anal and generally don't work well with others, likely resulting from a lousy sex-life.

Upper Management--Once a year you need to address everybody else and tell them why nobody will be getting raises next year.

"We Value You As An Employee"--Big Brother's watching. Enjoy the Starbucks coupon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shows of Neatness

Amici, I'm exhausted. Flat out, point blank, I'm freaky tired, freaky busy, all the time. I don't mean to lower the mood, but I'm too beat to come up with anything witty or creative so may as well just say what's on my mind. Fatigue people, fatigue.

Anyway, I've got some kind of neat things coming up.

Friday, May 14th, I'll be hosting my good buddy Anthony Rankin's CD release show. Anthony's been a very close friend of mine for 20 years, literally, which is weird to think about because that's a bench mark of sorts, 20 years. You always hear older people say, "yeah, 20 years ago in my day, things were better because I'm nostalgic, bias and mawkish and you are in the unfortunate position of being within ear shot yappity yap yap." So, it's weird I've had friends for that long, and I have a few of them. That I'm still in touch with that is, regularly, we've been friends for 20 years. Anthony's one of those people, and, well...this may be the worst plug for a show ever written by anyone in the history of live performance.

All joking aside for a second, Anthony is among the most talented musicians I know and is without a doubt the hardest working. He's been doing his thing since Jr. High and has recorded oodles of songs. His newest album is a culmination of his career thus far, bluntly speaking, it's a collection of great songs, material which in my humble opinion is his strongest to date. I highly recommend coming to this show, May 14th, 7:30pm at Fate Nightclub.


On June 3 Hamell on Trial is coming back to Pittsburgh. Club Cafe, 10pm. Yours truly will be opening again. For those that made it in March I hope to see you again, and for those that missed it, Celebrate! For your second chance is here! If you don't know who Hamell On Trial is google it, then do yourself a favor and come out on June 3. It's like Lou Reed meets Jello Biafra meets Jack Kerouac damn it come to the show. I've known this guy since I was 19, when I first met him I had blown off work, he had on a Bukowski t-shirt and I had on a Sonic Youth t-shirt that my girlfriend in a fit of evil made me get rid of last year. I don't know why I remember what the both of us were wearing, or how it's relevant, but, whatever. I think I remember because I personally have been looking for a Buk shirt for awhile but never seem to find the right fit on EBay.

Anyway, I've got other local and road stuff coming up on the weekends as well per usual, but those were the two things I wanted to highlight. I'm to bed, later than usual. Again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Laura Bush memoir and Goldman Sachs

Laura Bush has a memoir coming out. Topics include the potential poisoning her and gw were victim to in Germany and that her husband's main priority as president was preventing an can find this in the Fiction section of all major bookstores.

Laura Bush also mentions that a 1963 car crash in Texas that killed a schoolmate caused loss of faith, to bad that didn't have the same effect on her husband or we could've avoided all that abstinence only bs. The moral of the story: blame an invisible supreme being in the sky when you run a stop sign. The insurance company will buy it, promise.

The Federal Reserve issued their statement in regards to the current economy. Transcription below:

"Oops...our foul...f@!k it, let's go bowling!"

Goldman Executives issued a statement saying they have "No Regrets"...Ted Nugent is already working on the tribute song.

"We've got No Regrets!
We made some rockin' bets!
We've got money, we've got power,
O what a bummer, your deal went sour!"

(insert cow bell)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Little Pittsburgh Riffin'

Do you think if the Pope coached the Pittsburgh Steelers we never would've heard about the Roethlisberger thing but then he would've randomly been traded to another team and we'd all wonder why?

I'll be at Spring Carnival at Carnegie Mellon University this Friday, 5:30pm. There could be thunder-storms, and no I don't mean that in the cheesy faux-wrestling advertisement way, I mean literally, it may storm. I did a folk festival once in the Western Washington mountains where it stormed the entire weekend and people were staying in tents. I was the MC in between bands. I'd try to do a joke and I'd look at the band huddled on the stage, trying to keep their instruments dry because the stage was leaking, waiting for me to introduce them and get the hell of stage. I guess what I'm getting at is no matter what this shouldn't be a new experience per se, but could be interesting. At the end of the day, there's nothing stopping me from heading over to Panther Hollow with any and all friends in attendance. So come on down to Carnival rain or shine. Now that was cheesy faux-wrestling for ya.

I just got back from New York last night, had a long day, so tonight I nestled up to the Penguins' game. I've always been fascinated by the post-game locker room interviews after a tough loss. I'm no athlete but I kind of feel like a bad game is similar to a bad set from an emotional stand point. In fact I remember once last year during the Stanley Cup tournament I was hosting a weekend in Seattle. The first show was beyond awful. Small crowd, no energy, I was the host so I was up first. Tried everything I could to get them into it with no avail, boy did I shit the bed. Set the tone for the rest of the show, everybody bombed, even the headliner eventually just started rattling off his jokes like a laundry list. The next day the Penguins blew it against the Red Wings, big time. Fleury let go 5 goals and had to be pulled. I was watching the game with one of the comics from the show last night, "that's me dude, holy shit, I was Fleury last night, that's what that set felt like, please let tonight not be a train wreck." Go figure that night both shows were sold out and the crowds were great...and of course the Pens went on to win the Cup.

Anyway, post-game locker room, I don't know how those guys keep their composure all the time, if I had to have a post-set interview after a bad set, a really bad set, it wouldn't be pretty...

"Well Ron, really tough set tonight, crowd wasn't into you, guess that confederate flag in the corner of the venue could've been an indicator that this just wasn't going to be your night..."

"Stupid people are breeding, they're the only ones breeding, I'm not funny, there's nothing to hold on to, as a species we're done."

"...ok, actually the question was 'would you have changed your closer?'"

"Your mom's a closer."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Following Should NOT be April Fools' Jokes


1. Honey...I'm pregnant!

2. Babe, I know you want kids and I don't...As a healthy compromise I got us a dog and myself a vasectomy, surprise!

3. Ann Coulter just gave birth to twin girls.

In the office:

4. Go up to your boss eating a fiber bar and say "I know you wanted the stool sample first thing in the morning, I'm still working on it."


5. Wal-Mart just bought out every non-commercial radio station in the US. When we say 'edgy' on the airwaves we mean Creed.

6. This is going to be the year for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

7. Turns out root beer cures the common cold.

8. Letting your cats lick your arm-pits is the equivalent of breast feeding for them due to the minerals and salts in your sweat...also like breast feeding said practice is nurturing, tickles a little and when done in public people tend to stare.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Inspiration Penetration

The other day I was walking around and I saw a guy on a bicycle, he had a giant hiker's backpack on, which I'm assuming contained all of his possessions, and he had a tiny boom-box across his handle bars...blaring the theme from Top Gun.

I stared upon this brilliant rider with the utmost envy (which may or may not say something about how content I am these days). Nonetheless, here's a dude that had the world by the balls. Peddling like a champ, going against the wind as if to say "what's next America? What else do you got? I bet half these people have office jobs that they hate that they don't have the gull to quit, I'm beating those minions damn it! People do crazy things for the illusion of safety...they'll forfeit civil liberties, stay at a job they hate, move to the suburbs of a city that's boring to begin with, join a cult, join a religion...and I don't even have a helmet on!"

There rode by a dude I wanted to have a beer with. That guy had shit figured out.

When Antisthenes got in trouble for jerking off in public he simply responded, "I only wish rubbing my belly would have the same effect in getting rid of hunger." I'm paraphrasing, but that's hysterical.

Dear Corporate-Media-Cherry-Picked American Populace, Why weren't you so concerned about costs when the last dude was sending us to war? That shit's expensive too ya know.

Dear Joe Biden, I'm glad you dropped the f-bomb, I wish that was the only bomb you or any other world leader would ever be allowed to drop.

Dear Ann Coulter, People have the right to protest, it happens. The First Amendment goes both ways. Instead of making your speech anyway, you went for the publicity stunt and tried to play the victim. I don't know what that's all a-boot, but you don't expect people to fall for that, eh?

Sometimes, you just gotta ride a bike with a boom-box and rub one out on the neighbor's driveway.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jesus' Worst Fans

I wrote this a little while ago and sent it out. Sadly, nobody picked it up. So, by default, it finds its home in the realm of "Thoughts, Rants and Cold Coffee."

Jesus’ Worst Fans

At times I wonder if Jesus Christ feels a little bit how I imagine Johnny Depp must feel. Do the two of them at times, maybe right before bed, sigh to themselves and exclaim: “Damn…over half of my fan-base completely misses the point?”

That’s what I imagine. I can’t imagine a beat-enthusiast out of Kentucky who wanted to pursue music and toured with Hunter Thompson under a guise relates to the 20-and-under crowd that house the Jack Sparrow poster next to the Jonas Brothers.

Likewise, I can’t imagine that Jesus…well, no explanation needed there.

To narrow it down to five is anything but an easy task…I’m sure I’m missing a few gems to say the very least. Nonetheless, out of those that have successfully sought out the public eye and pummel in their dribble on a regular basis, here is what I deem to be, based on my individual level of blood curdling, Jesus’ five worst fans.

5. Ann Coulter. Granted, Palin’s already stealing whatever thunder she has left. Palin’s got a family in the spotlight, is reasonably attractive, and her adam’s apple doesn’t have its own zipcode, old Ann just can’t compete. Though, her philosophy to ‘perfect’ the Jews, the John Edwards slandering and the fact that the whole Playboy thing was a hoax (the general populace doesn’t deserve to be frightened so) earns her a much coveted spot in the top 5.

4. Bill O’Reilly. Only in America can the angry bordering-on-hate-speech ramblings of a sociopath barely fit for a five star dive bar receive national broadcasting on the nation’s largest media mogul. Bill’s watering down of every issue, spoon-feeding information to his ideal audience (people that don’t think or ask questions), his obnoxious and narrowed nationalism, and of course the baiting and bias labeling of his guests, especially those without religious convictions (Richard Dawkins interview anyone?) gives him #4 with a bullet.

3. Tim Tebow. This one isn’t necessarily directed entirely at the individual. This is more for all the athletes, actors and actresses, musicians and whomever else that always insist on thanking Jesus or God for an award they receive or an athletic victory they accomplish. It’s a bit arrogant can’t we all agree? Bob Knight had it right: "God couldn't care less if we win or not. He is not going to parachute in through the roof of this building and score when we need points." Tim Tebow and co, take notes. Jesus doesn’t care, and if he did than he must prefer the Crimson tide over you, so sad.

2. Rick Santorum. Iraq does in fact still have those weapons of mass destruction, and if you’re a homosexual there’s nothing separating the love between you and your partner and bestiality. This is the world according to Rick Santorum, and yes, he’s breeding. Afraid? Me too.

1. Pat Robertson. How could it be anyone but? What’s happening in Haiti is a total and complete tragedy. A bigger tragedy, the fact that Pat Robertson was born with a tongue. Pat’s the king of televangelism who’s compared the Democratic congress with Nazi Germany, Feminism with witchcraft and family destruction, and has called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez…all in the time of…one of the most pacifist philosophers ever recorded in history. Ol’ Patty brings in millions through his gospel of hate and intolerance and is, as far as I’m concerned, Jesus’ worst fan. And on the eighth day the Lord said thou shalt create a propaganda hate-spouting media powerhouse and shall name it after the carnivorous members of the Canidae family, or if that’s taken go for the less original and more blatant Christian Broadcasting Network.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It's not often that I'll put something out about specific shows but this one is something special...

March 3, 10pm, I'll be opening for Hamell On Trial at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh, PA.

Hamell's one of my favorite performers to watch. A couple years ago I opened for him in Bloomington, IN where he previewed material which would later become his award-winning One Man Show, "The Terrorism of Everyday Life."

From his website:

"Hamell on Trial is a one-man punk band and by punk we mean (mostly) loud, fast music informed by politics, passion, energy and intelligence, played by a guy with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor. His ninth release, a double-disc set titled Rant & Roll, launches Hamell into new territory, capturing not only an award-winning, hour-long performance, but the Kerouac-esque story of social commentary through years on the road."

I'm very excited to be a part of this show and am really hoping for as much friendly support as possible. I've got advanced tickets for sale, they're only $8 AND here's the best part...

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and want tickets, contact me, and, as long as you're not too far out there, I'll deliver them to you. Yep, much like what the Penguins do except instead of a worldly, Stanley Cup-winning athlete hand-delivering season tickets for one of the most popular sports in the world, you'll get me. My eyes will likely be blood-shot from sleep deprivation, my clothes most likely won't match, BUT...I may have a sports jersey on. And I'll be delivering tickets to a one-night-only rock n roll show that if you're reading this I guarantee, you'll enjoy.

If you're in Pittsburgh and have been wanting to see me but haven't gotten around to it, this is as good an opportunity as any.

Shameless self-promo over.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


This weekend was a pretty stellar one for shows. Friday I opened for my buddy Anthony Rankin at PD's Pub in Squirrel Hill. Had a great time and while music shows, at least in my experience, are usually not the easiest stages for comedy I had a great time on stage and got to watch some stellar music from an excellent band. Last night I did a show in White Oak, PA to a sold-out crowd that was there to laugh and enjoy a comedy show, which makes all the difference in the world. My 30 minutes up there felt like 10, I can't say that happens too often, was a nice way to end a month. I learned a few things too...calling Christopher Columbus an embarrassment to Italian-Americans in a room full of older Western PA Italian-Americans proved a bit too risky, fortunately was able to get the room back with the relationship material. So it goes, if I didn't want to take a risk or two and put something challenging out there than I wouldn't be doing comedy, I would've went into juggling.

That was the good news, now for the not-as-good news. First, I will very much miss Franz from the Hold Steady. The Hold Steady has been one of my favorite bands to see live the past couple years. Franz, for those of you that don't know, was the keyboardist. He recently parted ways with the band. Back in Indiana I interviewed Franz for submission to one of the local media outlets, to be honest I can't remember which, it may have been for the radio, I honestly can't recall. Anyway, as soon as I got him on the phone my reception was terrible and it wasn't picking up on the audio equipment at all. I couldn't decipher anything he was saying. I was too embarrassed to tell him that I jacked up the equipment so I just cut it short after about four questions.

"Wow, that was short."

"Yeah, it's a 30-second segment short thing we've been working on." Total bullshit. Anyway, my interview with Franz didn't work out. But, it did give my girlfriend and I two free tickets to their show in Indianapolis that night.

Friday night before the show at PD's I did something I've never done before and hope to never have to do again in my life, I didn't tip a waiter. Gave him nada. This dude was the worst waiter I've ever had in my life, ever. First, dude forgot our ticket, completely botched it. Which, no biggie, mistakes happen, the show wasn't until 10. He never re-filled our water, never checked on us, at one point I saw him walk by and look at us, he had an "oh, shit" look on his face and then he looked down at his tickets. He never turned us in.

Finally after 30 minutes we asked about our food. "I'll go check on it." 10 minutes later dude shows up, checked on another table and then turned to us, "o, I checked on your food, there was some conflict in the kitchen, they'll take half-off your meals, sorry about that." And then he gave a whatever wave. This dude was totally checked out. You don't give a customer a whatever wave, he was down to 10 percent at this point. Especially since he lied. Conflict in the kitchen? Really? My girlfriend ordered a salad.

We continued to wait, I told my girlfriend if our food didn't come by 20 after we were walking out. It came at 18 after. The waiter said he'd get me some ketchup, I told him please. I also told him I had somewhere to be so could we get the check now. 10 minutes later he dropped off the check. Never apologized, never asked us how it was, nothing. I never got my ketchup either. I had to go to the hostess and ask for ketchup. O, I almost forgot, at one point said waiter dropped a plate of food all over the floor, never apologized to anyone, goes without saying at this point. To top it off, he didn't CLEAN IT UP. One of the other waitresses cleaned it up for him 5 minutes later. Let me point out too this establishment was not very crowded.

Now, if you're going to be a piece of shit to customers, that's your choice, you can deal with the consequences of getting a low gratuity, but if you hang your co-workers out to dry too, then you don't deserve a penny as far as I'm concerned. In case you're wondering, the food was mediocre at best.

When I got my tab I wrote a big fat ZERO on the tip. Then, I wrote an explanation on the back of the receipt.

"You did this to yourself. Just so you know I'm a multi-millionaire. I've invested well and I've cashed in. Whenever I go out to eat I hand out $100-bills just because I get a kick out of making a stranger's day. In fact, I'm so well off that I'm able to dedicate the rest of my life to my childhood dream of being a stand-up comedian, check out my website. Come out to a show sometime, I may talk about you and how shitty you are at your craft."

I don't want to say the name of said establishment, but if you ever find yourself in the Regent Square neighborhood of Pittsburgh I recommend eating anywhere that isn't Dunning's Bar and Grill.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sam I am

When I'm in an elevator I wouldn't normally frequent I always tell any stranger I may be riding with that I'll see them tomorrow.

I was desperate for work. We all were. This was back in '07. The economy was fine, being in a small college town with no industry was the issue. My roommates and I used the same resources and eventually we realized we were all applying for the same jobs...which helped in the end because we could tip each other on which ones were the pyramid schemes.

The ad said "Get Paid to Wave." I could wave. Hell, I had just gotten a degree a month earlier, this should be cake. At the interview guy told me he was also looking for someone with a background in marketing. Marketing. I took a class on that in college. The professor had a thick East Coast accent so I just remember him saying MAHketing all the time. I also remember a girl I was seeing at the time was taking the class and found it necessary to study way more often than I did. During our study sessions I'd read for about 20 minutes or so then I'd get bored and would try to get her attention by doing the hamburger. (If you're confused, Google it, and then do the hamburger at the next party you attend, it's the new craze.) Then I'd fart. Things with us never worked out. Though, to date many of my exes have been to every single comedy show...I've bombed spirit.

Anyway, marketing, I could do that. I told him so. And for that season I wrote radio commercials, press releases, newspaper ads, and then I'd go out on the streets in costume and hand out coupons, talk to the public, whatever was necessary. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Speaking of radio, the job worked around my shift at the community radio station which was a 1-3pm on Friday afternoon, prime afternoon music mix. Our ad-pool was top notch too.

Ode to simpler times.