I’m Gonna Blog Again

A few weeks ago I’m talking to a beautiful girl at a bar in LA (I won’t name names but let’s just say the girl’s name is Sassafras and the bar’s name is Jessica.)  We just met, but we’re hitting it off, she seems to be strangely in tune with my comedic sensibilities (I’m getting butterflies just telling you about this), and she suddenly stops, looks me deep in the eyes and genuinely laughs (I don’t want to spoil this story, but I’m in love, and she’s the one)…she says, “This is weird, but you look so familiar…”

!!  As dreamy and awesome as it is to hear this, I have been on TV, and thus know how to handle this situation.  Take a deep breath. Even though the ego wants to rejoice, you must maintain a humble tone, and say something low-key, so I say “Ahh…well, you must have seen me on one of my various national TV appearances, including Cona-“  She interrupts, “No, I mean you look like my boyfriend.”

Record scratch.  Awkward silence.  F#ck.  Ok, not a problem, I’m also experienced with life’s cruel misdirection, so I just roll with it, “Ahah ohh cool!  That’s so Cray cray!!”  But really, inside I’m so cry cry 🙁

A sad beat.  She asks, “Are you a comedian?”

Yes!!  Finally, here we go!  Forget that boy at home, you’ve got a funny man here!  Wanna see this funny bone?? UHHH wha whaaat— I MUST BE TRIPPIN RIGHT NOW, CUZ IM FALLING IN LOVE WIT U JESSICA…I MEAN SASSAFRAS!  Alright, chill out, act natural.  ”That is correct, my dear.  I AM a comedian… You must have seen one of my historic TV sets, including network appearances, broadcast to millions, such as Last Comic St-”

“No, I’m asking because my boyfriend is a comedian, and you remind me of him.”

Jesus f#@cking…ugh! How many bf-bombs is she going to drop before my shrapnelled heart dies from the radiation of other people’s love and happiness.   But wait, more importantly, is EVERY dude out there doing comedy now??  Goddam, wasn’t there a time when what I was doing was rare and special? (The 60’s)  Now, a kid makes a few twitter memes and locks down a hottie without even having to make an eight-second appearance on America’s Got Talent (Episode 4, Season 7, scroll to 12:33 and look in the bottom left corner).  UGH!   Ok ok, maintain composure.  “Neat!  Maybe I know him?  Does he also perform at Flappers?”

She pulls out her phone, “I’ll text him.  What’s your last name?  How do you spell that?  O-b-e-i-d.  Stage name I’m assuming?  Sounds fake, you should take a class on branding. K, asked him if he knows you.  He might not, he doesn’t really do open mics. ”

Um— Nice, wow, ok, maybe you should just invite him over so I can find out it’s Kevin Hart, and the universe’s kick to Sammy’s balls will be complete.  Why does this happen to ME?  Of all people?  Did Carrot Top have to go through stuff like this?  Is this paying dues? Sure I’m just a thirsty boy, inconsiderate of other people, living in my own delusions of grandeur, but does fate think it can change me by hurting my feelings like this?  Seriously, either let me get the girl or just kill me already! Why is being a comedian such a sexual obstacle course!  I’m feeling the same sadness I felt the day I gained 100 Twitter followers, then a few hours later I lost 2,000 IG followers because it was the day Instagram cleared out all the spam accounts.  The whole time I didn’t even know I had all that love in the bot community?  And I didn’t even pay for those follows!  Well, I guess love can’t be bot ☹

Before my mind can even continue this downward cycle of self pity, her phone lights up.  “Oh!  He says he knows you!  He says you’re really funny, and he reads your blogs.”

I feel a tear dangling in the corner of my eye.  Sensing activity in heart region…Systems..processing.   My brain flickers.  Instead of relishing this precious moment, my thoughts go to, “Holy shit …Am I still blogging?!”  I haven’t blogged in nine months.  Did someone hack my account?  Or, shit…do people out there actually think I might blog AGAIN?   I figured that’s something you can just stop doing and no one will notice.  I don’t even think I can write another blog, I have zero inspiration.  I mean things happen to me, but does anyone care?  Like if I blogged about this girl, would anyone even read this far?

And in this moment I realize that the reason I can’t be happy is that comedy has wired my brain to always complain.  Maybe that’s why the bots left.   And why I met this girl.  It’s a sign!  Shoot, I need to turn this around and become Mr. Positive!  I’m probably funnier than this guy anyway!  She catches me spacing out, “Hey, you should be happy, my boo’s not easy to impress.  I mean..he’s Kevin Hart.”

“WhAAA??”  Fate’s right leg to my nuts.  *fainting*

“Jk, his name is Chester.  He’s only been doing it a year.”

WHEW, yes!  My eight-year comedic ego suddenly returns, feeling eight-fold funny over my competition, like a spider fighting a… One legged, something…ugh, metaphors are harder than an octo-cock.  I relax and recline, “Ahh, well he has a ways to go.  I can teach him.  But enough about him, wanna get out of he-“

“Nope, like I said, I’m taken.  And he’s got a huge dick.  Unlike you.”

Cut to me, revealing my pants have been down this whole time, micropenis exposed… or, even worse, eight of them…like the tentacles of a tiny octopus, which shrieks “You’Re stUcK with mE, MaTeY!  AhaHahA!”   The screechy violins play as I scream in terror, bursting out of sheets into my dark, empty bedroom.  A nightmare, except the curtains make it feel like night, it’s actually 10 a.m.

“Shit, I need to blog again.”

Doctor Tells Me I Have HIV

Some of you are expecting a joke here.  Like HIV stands for “Hilarious Internet Vegetarian” or something stupid like that.  No, this time there’s no joke.  Last week at a Kaiser in West Covina, I was told that I have HIV.

It’s not easy for me to put this into words, and it all happened so fast.  Just over a week ago, things were going better than ever.  I was finally back home after weeks on the road, had just won a $1,000 comedy competition, and was feeling, physically, in the best shape of my life.  I even thought to myself, “Man, this is like the best my life has ever been. I’m… Happy.”   My advice to you all is never have this thought.  Or else you’ll soon find out you have HIV.

I’m at the gym on a pleasant Sunday, when I feel some eerie chills.  I decide not to push it and return home, noticing a sore throat brewing.  So I think, “Oh, I must have the flu.”  My advice to you is to never think this thought.  Unless you want to have AIDS.

I take it easy that night, and the next day I wake up to find some strange bumps on my fingers.  I think, “Weird, I must have been bitten by a mosquito.”  If you ever think this, you’re a dead man.

Over a few hours the bumps spread, covering my hands, and soon I notice some around my mouth.  My girlfriend says, “I think you should go to the doctor.”  Yikes!  My least favorite word.  (Doctor. Not girlfriend. Love you!)  If you read my blogs last year (you probably did not because I suck and nobody cares about me) you’ll know I don’t trust doctors, because they prescribe you acne medication that makes all of your hair fall out and then they blame you for it, as if you need that when you’re already all stressed out from doing 1,000 days of comedy.   So I tell my girlfriend “I think I’ll be okay,” and then she notices, “Sammy it’s on your feet now.  And… Oh god, no… Your butt.”   My butt?? I grab the phone, sobbing, screaming to Kaiser: “PLEASE HELP!”

She drives me to West Covina Kaiser, where I wait two hours while they try to connect with the Northern California database to get my ID.  Advice to Kaiser patients: if you are a NorCal member, don’t get sick in SoCal.  It’s not worth it; you will die in the time it takes for them to search your name.  It’s like SoCal Kaiser still has beef with NorCal Kaiser over the word “hella.”  So, hella hours later, the rash now covering my body, the nurse takes me to the doctor’s room, while asking advice for her niece trying to get into stand up comedy.  I give her the good ol’ “hit the open mics and work hard!” while she stares at my mouth covered in lesions and decides to tell her niece to go into improv.

The doctor enters, takes a look all around my body and gasps like something has gone horribly wrong.  I ask as she stands behind me, “Is it a rash?”

She hesitates. “No… I think it’s syphilis… And HIV.”

I’m thinking, “Wait, did you say syphilis???”

She hurries out, “I’m going to get a second opinion.”

“Thank you God!”   I’m going to pretend like she was spelling out ‘hives’ and got distracted midway through.

She leaves and another doctor enters, examines me and gasps, like she chose the wrong door in a haunted house.  She leaves and the first doctor slips back in.  “So, we both talked, and agreed… It’s syphilis and HIV.”   WHAT??  Case closed?   No blood test?  No goodbye to my family, no chance for a “Doctor Tells Me I Have HIV” blog post?

“Do you have sex with women or men?  Or both?”

I don’t get it, why is she changing the subject now?  I’m not interested in her.  Well, I’m going to die anyway, and I’ve never been with a doctor: “Women.”

“When was the last time you got tested?”

I sigh, embarrassed.  “A few weeks ago, but I don’t get my results until tomorrow.  It’s one of the free clinics where you have to call in.”

She’s unimpressed. “Have you been getting sick a lot recently?”

I sigh again.  Ugh.  “Yes, five times this year already.”

She shivers like we are on CSI. “Oh my.  I’m sorry, Sammy.  I’m really sad to see this.  This must be HIV.  I’m going to get one more doctor to confirm.”  She leaves and I sit in the room for what seems like a day, trying to figure out who gave me HIV.  Why I haven’t noticed anyone dying on Facebook.  Wondering how I’m going to tell my girlfriend.  Unless she gave it to me, in which case she may have already died in the waiting room!

A new doctor comes in, and I’m ready for him to finish me off and send me home with full-blown AIDS.  He takes a look and says, “I don’t think this is syphilis.”  Whew! So it’s just HIV! What a relief.

“This looks like hand, foot and mouth disease.”  What the?  I’ve never heard of that, it sounds horrible.   If I didn’t know anything about diseases and someone offered me HIV or hand-foot-and-mouth disease, I’m choosing HIV in a heartbeat.   He continues,  “A lot of toddlers get HFMD, but adults with compromised immune systems can as well.  I’m going to give you a blood test for HIV.”  Argh, never late.   Bless Kaiser, their motto is “Thrive”, and apparently you can’t spell ‘thrive’ without H-I-V.

I limp to the lab, as my feet have graduated from pimples to blisters (that reminds me: congratulations to you recent grads! This is what real life is like). They draw a bottle of blood from my arm, as if I need to lose any more t-cells. I walk out to tell my girlfriend their HIV verdict, and she snaps “Who the fuck have you been cheating on me with!?”  Guess it’s not her.

I do my show as normal that night, knowing it could be one of my last, so I really push my mailing list sign-ups. I stay up at night, trying to think of what I did earlier in life to deserve this, and the only thing I could think of was: comedy.  The next day I call in for my STD test results from a few weeks before. The lady answers, “So you were tested for gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, and HIV.  Here are your results.  Gonorrhea… Negative.”

Whew.  Wait, does this mean the other 3 are positive??

“Herpes… … … Negative.”

Why is she pausing for so long between results?   Is she just a slow reader?  Probably not the best for this job.

“Syphilis…*sigh*… Negative.”

Ugh, just tell me already!  I’m so panicked about HIV I feel like the 1980’s over here!!

“HIV… … … ………………..”

Yes?  Hello? Are you asleep? Did you die of AIDS? TELL ME!!

“… Negative.  Thank you for calling, goodbye.”

I drop the phone and throw my fists in the air like I just beat a life-long battle with AIDS (By the way, if you’re upset by the misleading title of this blog, take it in literally and then realize that it’s a little f*cked up you’re disappointed I don’t have HIV.  You’re angry that for three minutes you thought I had HIV?  I thought I had it for 24 hours!)  I’ll tell you, I’ve never been happier to find out that I have hand, foot and mouth disease.   Having found out that I wasn’t cheating, my girlfriend stayed with me and took care of me all week.   I was itching, burning, oozing puss from sores all over my body, but I loved every minute of it, sharing my progress in gross Instagram pics.  I learned that the best way to cope with HFMD, or any disease, is to first think it’s HIV.   Kaiser will help you with that.

I want to make it clear that I have no idea what it’s like to really have HIV, and I don’t think HIV is a joke at all.  If you take anything from my story (other than that doctors are evil aliens sent from another planet to destroy us and you must remain vigilant), it should be this: stay strong!  We all get sick, and it sucks.  HFMD was the worst virus I’ve ever caught, and I still don’t know how I caught it, but I know I survived it.  This whole experience made me realize how much more powerful I am than a virus.  It helped me remember that without my body, a virus doesn’t even have a place to live.  It’s like my child, it should be thanking me for feeding it and staying up with it late at night.  And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let my child scare me from living my life in my own home or going out drinking with the boys to forget it exists.  No way.   Viruses need hosts.  And I’m a national feature.