I have spent the better part of the weekend dog-sitting Casey, the puppy that belongs to my dear friend, Amy Slotnick. Casey is a shitzu -- the kind of tiny little frou-frou dog that celebrities carry around in their purses. (Remember "Best in Show?" The gay couple had shitzus.)
She's a sweet animal, but rather high maintenance. For one thing, she scratches and gnaws at herself constantly. Amy's taken her to the vet several times, and he's ruled out fleas or fungus or anything like that. At this point he thinks it's food allergies.
I find this explanation rather unlikely, as Amy feeds the dog nothing but 100% natural gourmet dog food any homeless person would kill for. And for as least as long as I've been taking care of her, she eats about 3 oz of the stuff a day. (When she takes a shit, which is quite rare, it's like one tiny twig. I'm talking about Casey now -- not Amy.)
The other bizarre thing about this animal is that she hates going on walks. Or, more accurately, she hates walking. She's only too happy to be carried down the street, but the moment you let her precious paws hit the pavement, she collapses like a fluffy white water balloon and won't budge. This leaves one with the option of either picking her up again (which is what she wants), or dragging her down the block on her belly, which looks like some sort of horrific canine hate crime.
This may sound cute to you (and believe me, passers-by find it absolutely adorable), but I promise you, it gets old fast. Fortunately, Amy returns tomorrow, and I head off to Sedalia, Colo. to spent 8 days with the extended Sank family on a dude ranch. My sister, Laura, has undertaken the task of making personalized T-shirts for each of us, complete with our ranch names. Mine is "Homo on the Range."
Last night I got up at Rose's Turn for the first time in about six weeks. I was well into my third Tanqueray and tonic and teetering dangerously close to messiness by the time I took the mic, but, lo and behold, I had my strongest set since Carolines with Hal Sparks. (And Thank God; I was beginning to worry my comedy career was over before it even started.)
I did all-new material, including a bit based on the fact that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts once played Peppermint Patty in his school play. That reference had laid a big egg on my blog, generating only a single yawning comment from you, dear jaded readers, but the crowd at Rose's Turn actually applauded when I got to the punchline. I also did a quick rif on Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee getting back together. Also a hit. And then somehow, despite the fact that I hadn't sung a note outside the shower since June, I hit every note.
The wonderful Michael Isaacs actually stopped me from leaving the mic and asked me to do another song; that's tantamount to having Carson ask you to sit on the sofa for a chat. At least it is in my sad, sad life.
Again, thank God: My next gig is a pro spot in Rehoboth Beach, a venue I've never played before. It'll be nice to head down there with warm memories of my last appearance, as well as some new, crowd-approved material.
(Sidenote: I have spent the last 40 minutes trying to upload a photo of Casey, the shitzu, before finally admitting defeat. Amy has a Mac, and so the fact that I've even figured out how to get to the Internet should impress you. The last time I used a Mac, it was to compile a list of the first-ever MTV Video Award show winners in 1984. Yes, I was lonely child.)
(The best I can do is reproduce the following image of a generic shitzu whom Casey closely resembles:)
"I have a better life than 99.9% of the world's human population."
Speaking of lonely, today I committed the ultimate in loserdom and went to see a movie by myself. (And no, it was not the kind of movie one usually sees by one's self.) Actually, it was "The Aristocrats," and I loved every minute of it. It reminded me why I want to do comedy. I won't spoil any of it for you, but I will tell you to look for some surprisingly hilarious ad-libs from 87-year-old Phyllis Diller, new-found respect for Gilbert Gottfried and perhaps the best performance by a mime EVER. Also -- under no circumstances should you leave before the closing credits. (My one complaint: Where the hell was Joan Rivers? Even Pat Cooper and Larry Storch climbed out of the grave long enough to tape an interview.)
With that, I bid you adieu. I don't know if the Internet has reached Sedalia, Colo. yet, so it's likely you won't hear from me until my return on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Let's hope my horse is easier to handle than this damn shitzu. ♥