Under the heading "How NOT to be a good a M.C.," this past weekend I was performing at a comedy room in Manhattan. The host was an African-American comic whom I'll call Sherwin Williams. The headliner was a woman I'll call Marlo Thomas.
You with me so far?
I'm standing in the corner with Marlo, who was going on first because she had to get to another spot. After a rather weak warm-up, Sherwin introduces Marlo thusly:
OK, you ladies in the audience ready? Because we got a female comic coming to the stage! Please welcome Marlo Thomas!
Marlo turns to me and says: "And of course, you men in the crowd aren't going to laugh at all." Then she goes up and delivers a great set.
On the way out she grabs the booker -- who is standing next to me -- and says, "If I ever have that guy on a show I'm hosting, I'm going to introduce him by saying, 'Are you black people in the audience ready? Because we got a black comic coming to the stage!'"
And the thing is, she's absolutely right. Why do so many (straight) male comics think there's something descriptive about pointing out to the crowd that a woman has a vagina? As if all female comics were interchangeable? Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Lisa Lampanelli, Margaret Cho, Mo'Nique, Sarah Silverman -- they're all exactly the same? And only women find them funny? It's bullshit.
Speaking of bullshit, or actually mouse shit, my apartment is full of it. Like Marianne Sierk, I'm dealing with a major mouse problem. Unlike Marianne, I'm not dealing with just one mouse, but an entire colony.
They are all over my building -- a building that until this winter had never seen a single mouse. Then a nearby building began construction, and poof! Mouse City.
In my apartment, they come through an opening in the back of the cabinet under my sink. Once inside the cabinet, they rout through my garbage and recycling cans, piss and shit.
Occasionally one gets stuck in the glue traps I leave under there, and I come home from work to find it, caught, wriggling, screaming in that hideous mousy way. Then I get to drop it into a plastic Food Emporium bag, whack it against the oven as hard as I can to break its neck and drop it down the garbage chute.
What's more fun than that at the end of a long work day?!
We have tried everything. An exterminator visits weekly. Poison and traps are positioned across the building. All visible holes are stuffed with steel wool. And still, they come.
On the advice of a coworker, I purchased a can of special expanding foam from the drug store. I used up the entire can, spraying it into the opening at the back of the cabinet. In a few hours, it was as hard as a rock. And for one glorious week, not a single mouse entered my house. (I know this because I no longer smelled mouse piss the moment I walked through the front door, and there were no droppings anywhere.)
Not an actual photo of my apartment.
Camera is still broken.
Lo and behold, on the seventh day, I opened the cabinet and discovered some droppings, along with small hunks of hardened foam. THEY HAD PUSHED THROUGH A FOOT OF ROCK! And the next day, an enormous (possibly pregnant) mouse was stuck in the glue trap. Delicious!
It's hard to explain how distressing this is. I feel like my life is falling apart. Please, if anyone has some bona fide advice for ridding one's domicile of rodents, please let me know.
So I got my mother this flowering bonsai tree for mother's day. It looked really pretty online, and I figured better to get her something that would last, unlike cut flowers.
What mother wouldn't love it?
So my mother calls me the day it's delivered.
Mom Sank: Hi, Ad. I wanted to let you know that I absolutely love my rhododendron...
Me: It's not a rhododendron. It's an azalea...
Mom Sank: Oh, well it looks like a rhododendron. Anyway, the thing is, it came with instructions that said I have to water it every day. And that's a real problem for me. I mean, how am I going to find time to water it every day?!
Me: Yes, because that would cut into your busy schedule of constant disapproval.
Mom Sank: (Silence.) I don't think that's funny.
Next year she's getting a flaming bag of poo.
Finally, my Gay Bash Thursday night was tremendously fun, with great sets by Murray Hill, Karith Foster, Greg Walloch, a newly svelte Robin Fox, Brian Barry and the gorgeous Anne Neczypor. I didn't do too shabby myself.
Curtain call (from left): Murray Hill, Karith Foster, Greg Walloch, Me, Brian Barry, Anne Neczypor, Robin Fox
I know I've said it before, but Comix is the truly the best comedy club in New York. Don't believe me? Check it out yourself at my next Bash on June 21. (Holy shameless plug, Batman!)
Speaking of which, come see me host a special Memorial Day edition of the Electro Shock Therapy Comedy Hour this Sunday, May 27 at 10:00, when my special guests will be Susan Prekel, Brian Barry and Shawn Hollenbach! Details here!
And come see me host a special Gay Pride edition of Adam Sank's Gay Bash on Thursday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m., starring Julie Goldman and featuring Frank DeCaro! Tickets and information, click here!