Stanhope

Doug Stanhope is a standup comedian whom I first heard about from a fellow Porcupine several years ago. Not only is he really funny (in an outrageously vulgar, dark, ohnoheDIDN’Tjustsaythat kinda way), he’s a self-described anarchist!  In fact, he set up an exploratory committee to run for President of the U.S. as a big-L Libertarian back in 2007.  He’s publicly endorsed Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and the Free State Project.  So when, a few months ago, I heard he was going to do a show on Oct. 18th in New Hamsphire, for only the second time since I’ve lived here, I immediately bought a ticket and set up a Facebook event to encourage my friends to go, too.  49 people RSVP’ed yes (and I know of some others who didn’t RSVP, but attended). I think it’s fair to say that Porcupines packed the house that night.  As Carla Gericke, President of the FSP, quipped, “Man, if they drop a drone in here, they’d whip us, whip us good!”

I was coming down with a cold that day and feeling pretty crappy, and actually considered not going.  A friend gave me a rousing pep talk via Facebook instant message:

WAT!
YOURE GOING
YOU CREATED THE FB EVENT
HAVE SOME GODDAMN VITAMIN C AND GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER

The show was at Milly’s Tavern, a bar in one of Manchester’s famous mill buildings. I checked the menu online and was gruntled to see they had some extremely tasty-looking cocktails. That, plus the pep talk, plus knowing I’d hate myself if I flaked, motivated me to put on pants and drive to Manchester. By the way, Stanhope has been calling his current tour the Shit Town Tour, but did put the following disclaimer on his blog: “*Not all towns on this tour are Shit Towns but they worked with the routing”.  Anyway, I <3 Manchester, or ManchVegas as I prefer to call it (others call it ManchGanistan).

The show was scheduled to start at 9:00PM, but I planned on getting there early to get a good seat (it was General Admission). Good thing, too, cuz by 8:00PM the place was already packed; I wound up taking one of the last available seats at a table with strangers. They were very cute strangers, so this wasn’t too much of a burden. Figuring the waitresses were going to be overworked and service might be spotty, I immediately ordered two vodka martinis and some sweet potato fries. Later in the evening, I ordered one more martini.

Now, I don’t know what the hell happened… maybe it was the full moon; maybe it was that I’d been feeling sick to begin with; maybe it was the fact that I’ve been eating “paleo” (kinda sorta) for the past 3 weeks; maybe one of the cute strangers roofied me… but those three martinis hit me harder than anything ever has. I remember watching the opening act, Junior Stopka. And I remember bits and pieces of Stanhope’s show. But pretty much everything else for the rest of the evening is a blank.

IM documentation of mental downward spiral
8:17PM – brain still functioning normally; I send friend instant message “I don’t know if I can save you a seat; I barely got one myself/I’m sitting with cute strangers”

Next IM, sent at 9:13PM; mental function clearly deteriorating rapidly “Come to me my love! You can sit on my lap!”

Her response: “drunk already?”

My cunning retort: “Lolol I ordered two martinis at once. Girl Scouts plan ahead, bitch!!!”

25 minutes later, I IM: “Come to meeeeeer”

Now, clearly something is awry here; my spelling and grammar are nigh on impeccable no matter how trashed I get. See that superfluous r at the end of “me”?  I call shenanigans.

At this point, the World According to Sandy goes dark, stuff continues to happen, I hear I was actively participating, but remember almost nothing about it. Apparently I was chatty Cathy after the show and could barely be dragged out of the club. I purchased an autographed Stanhope tour poster (it’s quite cool, actually, and features ducks, ummmm, mating…).  Then we adjourned to the Quill, a members-only club owned and operated by Porcupines. Stanhope and his opening act came, too!

This could all have turned out dreadfully, but my most excellent friend who had pep talked me into going in the first place (and, in a tiny bit of self-defense but not really cuz I feel like an ass about this whole thing, had told me I could crash at her place in Manchester if I wanted to drink), heroically took my car keys, babysat me for the entire evening, force-fed me pizza in a futile attempt to soak up some of the vodka, and just generally went above and beyond, both as a friend, and in demonstrating that there are perfectly good non-governmental ways to keep drunk-ass shitheads off the streets so as not to be a hazard to themselves and others. She also thoughtfully took notes on some of the silly things I said and did while out of my head, so that we could laugh at them later.  Here are some highlights:

Exclaimed, en route to the Quill: “what is that enormous thing there? it looks like the Eiffel Tower!” (It was the steeple of a Catholic church. One which I have seen dozens of times before.)

While clomping down the stairs of the Quill in Doc Martens: “I’m so graceful. I’m a gazelle! I’m a gazelle!”

Shouted at random intervals: “LIBERTY IS MY BOYFRIEND!”

So… yeah.  Several of my friends met, chatted with, and/or took photos of Stanhope. I hear he was funny. Fortunately, I got to meet him the first time he played Manchester (maybe I’ll dig up the old blog post about that later). Probably a good thing I was unable to approach him this time.

Final quote of the evening: “I am not actually in a state fit to be seen in polite society at the present time.”

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