Thursday, September 29, 2005

I got the fever baby!!!!

I got the "fever" when I was in Las Vegas.

It was the morning of our last day there. I leave my wife in our suite with her room service breakfast and I go to the casino to get my money back before we leave.

I got the "fever" playing the "Wheel of Fortune" dollar slots. I think they pump inaudible hypnotic suggestions over the casino floor that say "feed me, feed me, feed me over and over again. That way you either go to the buffet or throw another hundred-dollar bill into a dollar slot machine.

I couldn't leave this one Wheel of Fortune machine because...I was "due."

I found myself talking out loud using gambling terms I had never used before.

I'd hit that "max bet" button and yell, "Baby needs new shoes." "Poppa needs to pay the rent." "My wife's been at the "Forum" shops."

No matter how much cigarette smoke wafted over me from the octogenarian who was plugged in to the slot machine on my right I wasn't leaving my machine.

She started getting a little perturbed with me when I kept yelling, "Grandma needs the patch!"

I think she gave me the finger.

It was a little bent and crooked but it definitely resembled the finger.

It was at this moment when a couple stumbled up to the machine on my left. They looked like poster children for Wal-Mart.

He had a tee shirt with a black motorcycle vest over it, blue jeans, long hair, a moustache and a goatee. She had the hair, moustache and goatee and jeans but no tee shirt, just the black vest.
They both had cigarettes hanging out of their mouths.

It's 8:30 in the morning and they're both drunk.

Viva Las Vegas.

He was slurring over and over again that he needed to "F^@(*&G EAT!!!!" and wanders off. She somehow manages to stick a twenty into the slot machine.

Typical of my luck her machine lets out a "WHEEL....OF....FORTUNE!!!" on her very first pull. She leans back to look up at the wheel spinning around and just as the wheel stops on one hundred dollars she passes out with her head tilted back and her mouth wide open.

With a cigarette hanging from her mouth.

It was just hanging there. Kind of stuck on her lip.

I was tempted to use her mouth as an ashtray but I'm sure the elderly tobacco queen on my right would rat me out.

It was at this moment that I noticed the tattoo on her left breast. I wasn't intentionally looking at her left breast but it was sticking out of that black vest taking a look around and somehow I spotted it.

On her left breast was a tattoo of Bart Simpson.

Which is rare....

Flipping the bird.

Also rare....

Pointed at me.

Um.... Not so rare.

I've now been given the finger by the breast of passed out trailer trash on my left and "old mother lung cancer" on my right.

Yes, bring the kids; Las Vegas is fun for the whole family.

And then "it" happened.

I hit the.....






I cash out the machine and grab my ticket.

"Smoke this grandma!!! Hey lady tuck that in, you'll poke someone's eye out with that thing."
I'm a winner.

I'm going to show my wife what a winner I am.

I go back up to our room and act sly.

"Let's go babe. I didn't do very well. I only won....ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!!"

"Really let me see."

She takes the ticket from me.

"That's great honey."

She puts the ticket in her purse.

"Umm... Can I have my ticket back?"


"That's my ticket."


"I want it back."


"I won that money I need my ticket."


"So I can cash it out and have one thousand twenty seven dollars in my pocket."

"What are you going to do with one thousand twenty seven dollars two hours before we leave Las Vegas?"

"Umm.... Buy you a present."

"Really. Would that present be somewhere in the casino?"


"You know that you'll just go right back to the casino and lose it all."

"I'm on a roll, a lucky streak, I'm hot right now, on fire even. I need my one thousand twenty seven dollars."

"You can have the twenty seven."


"When we get to the airport."

"That's not fair."

"Or I can keep the twenty seven..."

"FINE!!! You know I'm a grown man. I can handle myself down there. I'm a mature adult."

"Yes you are honey."

The Las Vegas airport has learned crowd management from Disneyland. The bag check lines are nuts.

"You didn't pack any weapons this time did you? No knives, forks, sharp objects of any kind?"

"Do you want that twenty seven dollars?"


"Then behave."

When we get to our gate my wife gives me my twenty-seven dollars and I go over to the quarter "Wheel of Fortune" slots.

Who is sitting there?

The old nicotine broad from the casino.

I pretend I don't recognize her and stick a twenty into the machine.





I was on a lucky streak!!!

I cash out and wave my ticket at grandma again.

My wife isn't going to believe this.

"Hey babe guess what?"

"Did you win?"

"Did I win??? Did I win??? Um...No...nope...."

"Why are you so excited then?"

"Uh...Oh I just saw an old friend."

"What old friend?"

"Someone I met at the casino. Elderly woman, very nice lady, she pointed the way to the restrooms for me."


"Hey what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

(Quick note)

I skipped a post about Las Vegas. I wrote about the fights and the fight fans we saw in Las Vegas but decided that I just couldn't post it. One of the fights we saw was Jesus Chavez versus Leavander Johnson. Johnson ended up with a subdural hematoma, slipped into a coma and passed away five days after the fight. I didn't know Johnson had been hurt until we got back from Las Vegas. I couldn't make fun of what I saw after learning about that.

Boxing is, by its very nature, an inherently dangerous sport. I don't know whether or not Johnson's trainers could have spotted any signs that he was in any trouble physically before the fight ended. It's just very sad.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I'm just a hunka hunka burnin love...

Have you ever noticed how the rows in airplanes going to Vegas are in seats of threes?

That means there's always an odd person sitting with you.

When my wife and I fly it's always the three hundred pound migrant farm worker who just got through spreading manure and decided, "Hey, payday, I need to go to Vegas, NOW!"

The airlines do it on purpose to get even with those of us that check in and print our boarding passes out ahead of time so we get on the "A" list.

Southwest Airlines has the A, B and C boarding groups. The earlier you check in the better your odds are of getting that all valuable "A".

Basically you start gambling before you even get to Vegas. Because trust me, you don't want to be a "C". "C's" are the odd people that end up being third person in the seat next to you. The ones that are pissed off because by the time they get on the plane all the overhead space is gone and now they have to have the flight attendant check their burlap sack.

But at least they get the peanuts first.

Why do they serve us peanuts?

Who the hell eats peanuts?

I've never come home from a hard day at the office and said, "Dammit woman where are my peanuts? You know I need my peanuts when I get home."

(If I ever said anything even remotely like that my wife would stab me... in my face.)

I think the airlines created the whole peanut thing as a way to keep our minds off the fact that we're thirty thousand feet in the air inside a steel tube going over six hundred miles an hour.

The peanuts calm us. As long as they hand out the peanuts then everything must be okay.

Once I was on a plane that handed out trail mix.

I thought we were all going to die.

I can't help it I get nervous when I fly. A friend once told me that airplane travel is much safer than traveling by train. There are more fatal train accidents than airplane accidents.

Really? Well that maybe so but I've never seen a railroad car fall FROM THE SKY!!!!!!

Give me the damn peanuts!

I don't eat the peanuts. I'm on a diet. I just need to hold them.

I love the ritual that occurs once the plane touches down.

As soon as that "fasten seatbelt sign" goes off everyone releases their seatbelt and stands up, bent over under the overhead luggage compartments, because we're too stupid to stay seated until it's our turn to get off.

I've noticed that getting off the plane is a lot like going to communion. (You're only going to get that if you're Catholic.)

The Las Vegas airport is a trip. Slot machines right there when you get off the plane. You have to be a special kind of loser to get off and airplane and run over to a slot machine.

So I'm playing the dollar slots while my wife is in the restroom and I notice that the only people playing were the people who were arriving.

That's because everyone leaving Las Vegas has no money.

I had a limousine take us to our hotel. I take limousines in Las Vegas because I don't want to end up on that HBO Taxicab Confessions show drunk with a transsexual Korean midget showgirl from Cirque du Soliel doing acrobatics in the back of the cab while my wife yells at me for losing a thousand dollars on the penny slots.

Or something like that.

By the way I'm fairly certain that Nigerian e-mail scam started in Las Vegas. If you don't believe me go there, take a cab.

I love to people watch when I'm in Las Vegas.

There are some seriously beautiful women in Las Vegas. I swear Las Vegas has the most beautiful women I've ever seen. The problem is you don't know if they come with a penis.

You see some serious crazy in Las Vegas.

I saw a woman playing the five-dollar slots at the Venetian Hotel and she was smoking.


And she was holding her cigarette and smoking like she was trying to look "cool" and sophisticated.

I guess at that point it really doesn't matter if you smoke or not.

But you can't look cool.

You cannot look cool smoking through a hole in your neck.


I like to watch the people playing the slot machines in Las Vegas. Different types of people play different machines.

Old people and locals play the penny and nickel slots; Asians and people smoking through a hole in their necks play the five-dollar and up slots and everyone else plays the dollar slots. Until they're down about five hundred dollars, then the dollar slot players become quarter slot players.

I actually saw an Asian man take up smoking and turn into a local right before my eyes.

I not much of a gambler.

I'm a forty eight year old male who comes from a family with a history of heart disease. I can't take the chance I'd hit a jackpot and become so excited I'd just drop dead.

Because that would be "fate".

I don't screw with "fate."

So I just take my wife shopping.

It's kind of like gambling.

Because if she has fun at the "Forum Shops".

I might hit a jackpot.

And she might let me try to get in the Jacuzzi with her again.

We had a Jacuzzi in our suite.

After she had four scotch and waters I talked my wife into a romantic interlude in the Jacuzzi.

My wife is 4'11" and somehow she managed to climb into this thing. I try to step into it but at 5"11" my legs aren't long enough to have one foot in the Jacuzzi and the other on the ground.

This gets bad.

So I lose my balance and fall into the Jacuzzi.

I can't find my wife.

She's under water.

She's drowning.

This wasn't the kind of mouth to mouth I had in mind.So I pull her up by her hair and give her the "Heimlich" maneuver. Apparently that's the wrong maneuver to do when someone has swallowed bubble bath.

Plus I think she thought I was just going for a cheap feel.

Which brings me to why we went to the "Forum Shops" in the first place.

Come to think of it that Jacuzzi story might have been one of those things that is suppose to stay in Vegas.

I wonder if Elvis had these kinds of things happen to him?

To be continued...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I didn't even know she converted.....

I never intended to talk or write about airport security but I can't let this one go.

We are standing in line at the airport waiting to have our carryon luggage and our shoes x-rayed and my wife says, "I suppose everything about our Las Vegas trip is going to end up in your act or in stupid blog of yours isn't it?"

"Excuse me ma'am is this your luggage?"


"Is this your bag ma'am?"

"Yes that's my bag."

"I'm afraid we need to open your bag and search the contents."


"Ma'am, there appears to be a knife in your bag ma'am."

(I do not know this woman.)

"A knife? There's no knife in MY bag."

"I'm fairly certain there's a knife in your bag. Bag check here please."

(I definitely do not know this woman.)

"Sir are you two traveling together."

"Nope. Never seen this woman before in my life."

"He's my idiot husband."

"Agent Thompson is going to open and search your bag now ma'am."

"Why would I have a knife? There's no knife in my suitcase."

"Can I put my shoes back on in case I need to run from her?"

"Sir we don't joke about this sir, I'm just doing my job."

"Here it is ma'am. A pocket knife, stainless steel, three inch blade, inside this black case."



(I always knew there was something fishy about her.)

"That's not my knife."

"Well it's in your suitcase lady."

("Lady?" She was "ma'am" just a second ago, now she's "lady?")

"It must belong to one of our kids. Tony did Anthony or A.J. borrow our luggage?"

(That's it blame our sweet darling children.)

"I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing...."

"You're dead mister."

(Officer she's threatening me...)

"You have two choices."

(Oh God... they're taking her to Guantanamo. I wonder if she can snag me a couple of Cuban cigars?)

"You can check your luggage with the knife, or you can leave it with us."

(That's it? That's all she gets? Give her a ticket, something! Tell her she is not allowed to do any shopping while she's in Vegas.)

"Tony what should we do?"


We're now waiting for our flight......

"Way to stick up for me babe."

"You're a terrorist. I'm traveling with a terrorist. I didn't even know you were Muslim. This is because you watch that stupid show "24" isn't it?"

"Oh you don't know what true terror is yet."

"Is that why you're polishing your Visa card?"

"Very funny numbnuts, just out of curiosity, where are your shoes?"

"What? OH MY GOD!!!! Homeland Security has my NIKE's!!!"


(I need assistance. I definitely need assistance. I'm traveling with a terrorist and I don't have my shoes.)

Viva Las Vegas!!!!

To be continued.....

Friday, September 16, 2005

Henry V's two minute warning.....

I am forsooth leaving anon for LasVegas for the Barrerra vs Pedon fight and to look for more comedic material.

So Friends, Romans, Bloggers, I leave you with this stupid little diddly.

If Shakespeare had been a football fan he would have written something like this:

He that outlives this Sunday, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe to reach the Cheetohs when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Lombardi.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast at his neighbours Big Screen,
And say 'Today is NFL Sunday.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds she gave me on NFL Sunday..'
Old men forget; their wives never forgot,
But he'll remember, about the pizza and
Beers he drank that day. Then shall their names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Lombardi the Vince, Halas the George,
Hayes and Nagurski, Landry and Rozelle, Thorpe and Tittle,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And an NFL Sunday shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of husbands;
For he to-day that eats chips and quacamole with me
Shall be my brother; just don't touch my remote,
This day shall gentle his hangover;
And gentlemen in any country that watches soccer, now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That watched with us upon NFL Sunday.

I can't believe I actually posted this.

I can do better than this.

I'm actually talking to myself and typing at the same time.

My mind is outside my body telling me to do things.

That's an odd feeling.

Or a hangover.

***Thanks to all of you that were at the Comedy Store last night for our benefit show for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. 100% of the funds we collected last night will go to the American Red Cross. Thanks again.***

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I'm watching the Charger game and I am yelling coaching instructions at the TV because apparently I think that there is some way for the San Diego Chargers coaching staff to hear me so that they can deal with the fact they haven't had a pass rush SINCE LESLIE O'NEAL PLAYED FOR THE TEAM!!!!!

When in walks my wife.

I have two options at this point.




So I'm sitting on the couch trying to slit my wrists with the DVD Remote....

The conversation went something like this.

"Why do you yell at the TV?"

"Because through the magic of TV they can hear me?"

"Don't be a smart ass. It doesn't make sense for you to be yelling at the TV."

"It helps to relieve stress, it's like smoking."

"You don't smoke."

"Okay it's like a heroin addiction."

"You're making jokes about heroin addiction? You think people that have drug problems would think that's funny?"

(She's trying to break my concentration. I'm trying to coach here...must...not...let...her...speak....)

"SSHHHH!!! Just let me yell at the TV in peace please."

"Oh you did not shush me."

(Time to die Iron Eagle!!)

"Shush you? No I was going to swear but I held back to set a good example for our grandson. That's what I was doing, the SSHHHH sound, I almost swore but I held it in. I should at least get some credit for that. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GIVE TOMLINSON THE F*&^*^G FOOTBALL!!!!!!"


"Nice Example. The whole neighborhood can hear you yelling at the TV."

"I'm part of the new Neighborhood Watch Program."

"You are really pushing it mister."

"I'm begging you please let me watch the game."

"Are they still running a zone defense?"

(What? Jesus Christ she's pretending she knows what a zone defense is. There's got to be a way to kill myself with this remote. Maybe I can electrocute myself.)

"Really? Zone defense. Would you say the Chargers run a "plethora" of zone defenses?"

"Yes, El Numbnuts. They run a plethora."

"Honey, what's a plethora?"

"Don't make me have to kill you."

Women, and I'm speaking to all of you, you will never understand football.

Oh you fake it.... But you don't really understand it. It's a lot like sex... actually...we're okay with that...ummm...keep doing that.....

I know there are a few women getting pissed off already.

What if I can prove to you that there is not a woman on the planet that truly understands football?

Are you willing to take a little test?

Okay I want all the women to say the following line. But you can only say it if there is a man with you when you do. I don't care if the man is ninety or nine. He can even be gay. Okay maybe not flamboyantly gay, just mildly gay. But a man has to hear you say the line.

Now ladies say the following line out loud.

"The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field."

That's what I mean.

Now men, say it the way it's supposed to be said.


Even the gay guys got it.

Men, how many of you got that sour feeling in the back of your throat when you said it? How many of you felt your eyes get a little misty?

Women will never get it.

We love football.

Not because of the game.

We don't really care about the game.

We love it because it's ours ladies.

It's all we have left.

You've taken everything else.

Our closet space, the good spot on the couch, our ability to pick out our own clothes, our dignity, our egos and our manhood....

But you can't have football.

It's ours.

Oh you try.

It started with the cheerleaders.

Who the hell cares about the cheerleaders during an NFL football game? I have never heard 35,000 people at an NFL game shout to the other half of the stadium, "We've got spirit yes we do, we've got spirit how bout you?"

(Quick off topic question.) Is it just me or does it seem like high school cheerleaders are always the girls who are the most fertile? That just popped into my head, sorry.

Then there are those so called "sports reporters."

Nothing is more annoying than those female "sports reporters" that try to sound intelligent when they're standing on the sidelines reading from a cue card.

They don't get it.

First of all it's football.

There's nothing intelligent about it. Have you ever listened to John Madden? Does he sound intelligent?

It's not about intelligence!!!!

Wait... that didn't come out right...

Football is ours and there's nothing you can do about it.

Well...there's that one thing.


Never mind.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Miracle of Our Lady of Target

Sometimes it takes just one little thing to shake you out of a funk.

It started with smoke coming out of my blender.

I had a smoking blender.

So I head to Target or as the wealthy people who shop there say, "Targeau" to buy a new blender. Target is the rich man's Walmart. You can always tell who the rich people are at Target because they're wearing designer clothes that are supposed to make them look poor.

I'm driving to "Targeau" and an old Nissan Sentra with a tinted rear window pulls out in front of me with a bumper sticker that says, "Good Girls go to Heaven, Bad Girls go Everywhere."

If you're a guy, and you see that bumper sticker, you do what any normal guy would do, you do whatever it takes to get next to that car to see what that girl looks like.

C'mon.... we all do it. We don't even need that bumper sticker.

No matter how hard I try I can't get into visual checkout position. Then I notice there are three other guys in cars doing the same thing I'm doing. We're all jockeying for position.

We look like a pack of dogs chasing a butterfly at the start of the Indy 500.

Seven miles later three out of the four of us lose the Nissan Sentra in traffic. One putz in a black BMW isn't giving up. I don't really care. What am I going to do if I catch up to her? Bring her home to my wife and say, "Look honey I found a slut. I think she's a stray. Can we keep her?"

So I head over to Target and do the "drive around until I find the closest parking space game". I suck at this game. I see a parking space that's close, but is it close enough? Can I make one more pass and get a few spaces closer?

Old people are the best at this game because they're not afraid to ram you if they think they can get the space.

I opt for one more pass and I'm cut off by?



Every once in a while God gives guys like me a small victory.

If I use my catlike reflexes I can swoop in on her left and get a good view.

But wait......

Up ahead there are the tell tale signs of parking space availability.



Tinted window Sentra slut and I are going to be parked side by side.

I flip my turn signal, which is the universal sign of putting my "dibs" on a parking space, when out of the corner of my eye I spot the black BMW.

He's going to try the "swoop technique" of pretending to pass on my left then swoop in just as the parked car pulls out.


I swing out and angle my Caddy to block the whole damn lane. From this angle I can tell that tinted window Sentra slut has long dark hair.

We wait for both parked cars to pull out and in an almost Zen like parking ballet swing our cars simultaneously into the vacant stalls.

Beemer boy flips me off as he goes by.

I am now parked side by side with tinted window Sentra slut.

I very nonchalantly look to my left....

Tinted window Sentra slut....





That's not fair....

I can't bring Jesus home to my wife. How would I explain it? I thought Jesus was a slut?

It's not like I'm not used to this, it's just every once in a while I'd like a win. Not a major win, not the Lotto, just a quick peek at a hot chick that likes to advertise. Is that too much to ask?

But then a miracle appeared to me.

Beemer boy was still circling.

He hadn't seen Jesus yet.

Jesus isn't getting out of the car. I don't know why, maybe he's putting on makeup.

I'm not looking to my left again. I don't want to look, you know, gay or anything.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I time it so that I pull out of the parking space just as Beemer boy makes the turn pretending that I'm angrily talking on my cell phone.

He pulls in to my vacated parking space with this smug grin.

I wait.


Beemer boy has looked to his left. Now in an almost "Exorcist" move his head turns back and he looks at me with this horrified gaze.

I give him the universal sign of "you're number one" and drive off.

One small victory.


I forgot the blender.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

This one is just for me.

All my life, for as long as I can remember, all I've wanted to do is make people laugh.

Other kids wanted to be firemen, policemen, cowboys, Indians and construction workers.

In short, they wanted to be The Village People.

Not me. I wanted to be a comedian.

I never once said I wanted to be a bank president or own a boxing gym. Hell, I still don't say that, fate works in weird ways.

I cannot fully express the feeling you get when you are on stage making people laugh. There is something almost magical about the sound of laughter. I'll bet if scientists ever test it they'll find out that performing standup is more addictive than Internet porn...or smoking.

Even on the nights when I don't do well I can't wait to get back up again. Maybe it's a need to redeem myself, or maybe it's because the feeling of success or failure is almost the same.

There's a fine line between pain and pleasure in comedy.

I used to think that the tough part about being a comedian is that after a while people expect you to be funny, to be "on", all the time.

"So, you're a comedian, tell me a joke."

But I was wrong.

The tough part is that I expect me to be "on" all the time and I haven't felt like performing or writing for the past week.

I performed in four shows last week and I felt like a talking head.

I wrote three new bits.

They're not funny.

I think I lost my funny.

It just feels wrong to be doing comedy right now.

This past week I've sat mesmerized in front of the television watching the images of devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. What these poor people are going through I can't even begin to imagine.

I know I'm not alone here when I say that sometimes I find myself bitching and moaning about life's little inconveniences. You all know what I'm talking about. Stuff that in the big picture just doesn't matter. I feel like an asshole complaining about gas prices when some people have lost everything.

Am I a jerk for feeling this way now?

There are horrible things happening all over the world all the time, war, terrorism, famine, it took Hurricane Katrina to make me feel this way?

I don't know. I don't have a good answer for that. Maybe it did.

Why am I writing this?

Because on Saturday I received an e-mail from someone I don't even know that said,

"I hope you are okay. You haven't posted anything in the past week. My whole office reads your blog. We look forward to every post. With all the bad news in the world we need people like you to make us laugh. It's the only thing that keeps us sane."

If my writing is the only thing that's keeping you sane then the world truly is in deep "doo doo". On the other hand it might be nice to be called Dr. Calabrese.

I guess laughter truly is the best medicine.

We all have unique talents and abilities that we can share to help people less fortunate than ourselves. Some can help financially, some with material goods, some are able to help in person, but we all can do something.

Each of us can do something.

On Thursday, September 15th, I am doing a comedy show at the Comedy Store in La Jolla to benefit the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. The funds donated that night will go to The American Red Cross. Comedians like Dat Phan, Kurt Swan, Scott Bowman, others and myself will be performing that night. The show is almost sold out and we just announced it on Sunday.

I needed to find my funny.

Maybe I just needed a purpose.