"This isn't bad, is it?" I asked Corb, after the waitress had dropped off our drinks--a beer for me, and a bottle of water for my man.
"Not bad at all," said Corb, "Although getting VIP tickets for a show like this is sort of like wearing a tuxedo to a wrestling match."
We stared at the stage, slightly dumbfounded by what was before us.
"That one on the left," I said. "She's really working it."
"Yes," agreed Corb. "She's taking a lot more money than the one of the right, too."
"I like the way she reaches down and grabs the money they're offering her with her mouth."
"Yes, that's classy. I like the way she's making out with all of the girls that come over to her."
"The other dancer's not doing that. I guess she's not as much of a skank. Oh well, her loss!"
And what, I hear you ask, would cause two bon vivants such as Corb and myself, two gentlemen more accustomed to lifting our pinkies at a tea social, to attend such a gathering? Well, my dear Watson, I learned on Thursday that, through my work (and with very little effort on my part), I was the winner of VIP tickets to Opie and Anthony's Traveling Virus tour, which was playing at the Tweeter Center this past week-end. We went on Saturday night, and we could tell from the very econd that we got out of our car that we were going to be flopping around like fishies out of water.
Opie and Anthony, in case you don't know their names, are sort of like B-list Howard Sterns. They run a radio show on XM, which of course I haven't heard, since I'm a loyal Sirius listener. However, I am familiar with their show, having spent many an afternoon driving home from work, listening to WBCN and their program, until they were knocked off the air a few years back, for persuading a couple to have sex in a Catholic church.
The live comedy show was more of the same, only stupider. Like the radio program (and unlike Howard Stern, I think), these guys are targeted to a very specific audience: white college boys. Like Marlon and his entourage, Corb and I were invited guests to witness the open-air antics of college boys, filled with beer, wife-beaters, armpit and leg hair, and tattoos. Ah, it was a heavenly sight to behold, from our comfy VIP seats, set back a ways from the rabble. I enjoyed it more than the dancers onstage.
I was worried about whether Corb was going to entertained, however. But thankfully, the show was actually pretty funny. Filthy, but funny. And, left-leaning, which of course is to be expected in Massachusetts, I suppose. However, I thought this might be different: the evening had been specially targeted to the military, and the men and women who are serving but are home, for whatever reason.
What surprised me is the level of hatred I saw directed at Bush. I thought, if anything, this group would be sympathetic to our commander in chief. I mean, you hear all the time on TV shows and from Bush that our military truly understand--and support--why they've been deployed for this seemingly endless war in Iraq. However, from what I saw on Saturday, this group seemed to actually poll lower in approval for our President and the direction he's taken this country than the dismal 30 percent ratings you hear tell about.
One of the first comics started out the evening asking, rather nervously, whether "you guys like our Commander in Chief." And it wasn't a sarcastic question, either. The boos started immediately, from throughout the auditorium. He then launched into a five minute bit about Bush and his unique style of speaking. He was met with dead silence, as if no one wanted to even hear mention of Bush. The comic quickly changed topic, moving to safer terrain.
The one comic I wanted to see was Bob Saget. I knew that he had changed his act since the days of Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos, but I was interested to see just how much he had changed. The answer was that he actually was pretty funny, although it was weird hearing dropping the F bomb every three seconds and singing songs like "My dog licked my balls." You've come a long way, baby.
We headed out after Opie and Anthony actually appeared on stage, and started showing such "classic" videos as a guy brushing his teeth with dog poop and a big fat man projectile vomiting on another man. Truthfully, it held a perverse fascination, although John Waters did it funnier almost 40 years ago, in Pink Flamingos . Corb's breaking point, however, was when they brought a guy onto the stage who stuttered, and asked him to read something. That sent us packing.
Many of the comics in between, however, were funny. We got to hear comics talk in intimate detail about having sex with women, the size of their genitalia, and also, how great it is to be a white guy. And then, we got to see the men assembled at the gathering stomp their chests, nod their heads, and laugh at these stories about having sex with women, the size of their genitalia, and how great it is to be a white guy.
Still, some of the jokes were also about...well, living an alternative lifestyle. How did that make us feel? Frankly, I just laughed and took another drink of my beer. The jokes weren't that cutting and there was enough free space in the VIP seats where it really didn't feel threatening or insulting at all. There was one comic, at the start of the night, who had an entire schpiel about everything in this day and age feels faggy. He used the word faggot more than Isaiah Washington. But he was roundly booed by just about everyone, so it was really hard to take much offense to it.
However, I think we left at exactly the right time. We got out of the parking lot in minutes, without having to wade through a crowd. All in all, it was a nice experience, revisiting how the straight white male lives, but I'm glad Alice doesn't live there, any more.