CSI: Mankato

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I woke-up in my hotel in Mankato, Minnesota, to get the standard breakfast fare, and discovered the elevator wasn’t working. Not only that, but any attempts to make it to the lobby were met by a Sheriff standing guard, telling me the hotel was now a crime scene. Apparently, someone had gotten killed, and there was a dead body still festering. I made my way to the mock breakfast area in the bar next door, grabbed a few items, than headed-out to Moorhead, MN for my NYE show. I wasn’t about to stick around to find out what happened. I was in bed by 11 pm since I had to wake-up at 6 am for the 9-hour ride back to Chicago. On the way home,  I picked-up $130 in frozen tamales from La Loma Tamales in Minneapolis that I’d pre-ordered. 

One place I never expected to perform in this lifetime: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Every Chicagoan knows that people in Green Bay, especially Packers fans, hate the Bears, and vice-versa. The show was in the Atrium, inside Lambeau, for about 300 concession workers right before they played Dallas in the playoffs  I was fully expecting the crowd to hate me, as soon as they announced I was from Chicago, so I was surprised at how well the show went.  Ironically, a few weeks later, I had a 4-show run starting at UW @ Green Bay. The next night, Groundhog Day, I was supposed to do a show in Ishpeming, Michigan, way up in the Upper Peninsula. However, due to a dispute with the landlord, the venue got changed at the last minute. Because it was a fundraiser, the town rallied to find an alternate location, and the show went-off without a hitch. As an added twist, I’d somehow contracted a fever the night before, and still had 2 shows left on the run. There’s nothing worse than being sick on the road. 

On the way back while traveling thru Iron Mountain, Michigan- this Trooper that was bored senseless and didn’t have anything better to do…pulled me over.  I sensed he was in a bad mood, cause he accused me of going 68 in a 55. When I insisted that I wasn’t, he proceeded to shake me down, by demanding $100, or telling me he was going to keep my license. I had a similar scenerio in Ottawa, IL back in October of 2013 – of which I proclaimed it the “Worst Town in America”. I recently read they got hit by some tornados…what a shame ! Iron Mountain gets my #2 ranking for WTIA. As if things couldn’t get any worse, my hotel room in Madison, Wisconsin – for my show in Middleton, was haunted. I couldn’t sleep a wink. I was kept awake by what sounded like waves crashing against a barge that I was on, in the middle of the ocean… only I wasn’t anywhere near an ocean. I came pretty close to checking myself into the hospital- as my fever was now at its peak, I could feel my body burning up. I managed to do one more show in Dennison, Minnesota, than drove home and slept for days. 

I had a blast on my Iowa & Missouri tours in February. I had fun shows in Ottumwa, Algona, Versailles, Jefferson City, and Joplin. I got to work with my comedy pals Bryce Stanley & Cornell Nichols -and even got $150 in tips after my show in Joplin. So Yin/Yang was back in full swing from the highway robbery back in Iron Mountain.  I decided to stop at Budget Liquors in Normal, IL -on the way home, and buy myself a bottle of Blanton’s bourbon as my reward. I used to buy booze here when I was in college. I casually mentioned to the clerk the year I graduated, and he replied that was the year he was born. Man, did that make me feel old.