Chris - Erick's boyfriend
Eugene - Erick's neighbor friend
Lizard Bradshaw - Erick's friend, a stand-up comedienne
Erick, Chris and Eugene walk into the Good Luck Bar in Silver Lake for a comedy show hosted every month by Erick’s friend Lizard Bradshaw, a stand-up comedienne. As the trio make their way to the back room, she rushes over to Erick and pulls him aside.
“I need your help.”
“Sure. What’s going on?”
“Can you perform tonight?”
“Can you perform tonight? I’ve had two comics cancel at the last minute and part of my deal here is that I have to supply at least six.”
“Because you’re my friend.”
“But I’m not a stand-up comedian.”
“I know. But you can do this. You’re funny.”
“I say things funny. I don’t say funny things. There’s a difference.”
“Then just do that.”
“No one’s going to laugh at that. I’m going to look ridiculous.”
“Don’t worry. In that case, I’ll laugh.”
“All performers get to drink for free.”
Erick peruses the papers on the clipboard Lizard is holding. “Where am I in the lineup?”
“See? That’s funny,” Lizard says as she gives Erick a kiss on the cheek. “I owe you big time.”
Erick playfully wipes his cheek like a bratty child. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You better laugh at me.”
“I won’t need to. I’m sure of it,” Lizard responds as she heads off to the back room to announce a five-minute warning before the start of the show.
“Where am I in the lineup?” Erick calls out.
“I’m going to do an introductory set and then you have five minutes,” she hollers back through the increasing noise as more people walk into the bar.
“I’m first?!” Erick, slightly panicked, says to himself. He walks with several other bar patrons into the back room. Chris waves his hand to get his attention. Eugene shifts over to make room for Erick between the two of them.
“What did Liz want?” Chris asks.
“She wants me to perform,” Erick says matter-of-factly.
Eugene laughs and gets comfortable in his seat. “This is going to be great. It’s going to be so much fun watching you Hindenberg your ass off up there.”
Erick doesn’t respond, as he his deep in thought trying to figure out what he could possibly say up there. Chris, on the other hand, reaches behind Erick over to Eugene and twists his ear. Eugene winces.
Lizard takes to the stage to start the show. “Good evening everyone! Welcome to Lizard Bradshaw and Friends! We are here every month at the Good Luck Bar. Thank you all for coming. We have some wonderful comedians tonight including a couple of virgins – at least to this stage. I don’t know their lives but I’m pretty sure that if this stage was a bed, they’d know exactly what to do.”
There are a few chuckles in the audience as Lizard continues. “And that is the lowlight of tonight’s show. It doesn’t get any worse than that. So, to all the comics performing tonight, the bar has been set. You can’t go any lower than that.”
There are more chuckles as Lizard continues her set. “I gotta tell you. I hate the Facebook. Yes, I said ‘The Facebook’. I put a ‘The’ in front of everything that annoys me. ‘The Facebook’. ‘The Glee’. ‘The Jersey Shore’. ‘The Justin Bieber’. ‘The Kardashians’ – well, that automatically comes with a ‘The’ so they must be inherently annoying.”
Liz pauses for laughs. “But here’s the worst thing – I’m all over the Facebook. I watch the Kardashians, the Glee and the Jersey Shore. I know, talk about hypocrisy. I give myself a pass though because I’m a Bieber holdout. If, however, I do succumb to that hair and/or that laughable sex appeal, then you may direct me to the nearest cliff and shove me off it.”
Liz paces the stage for a moment as the audience response dies down. “But I hate the Facebook because it’s like a constant class reunion. My kids are so cute. My wife is so sexy. My husband is so good to me. My job is so great. My life is so wonderful. In the meantime, I have no kids. I’m single. I love performing standup and it has been very good to me but it can be a bitch sometimes. So the wonderfulness of my life varies. Therefore, all I post on the Facebook is ‘I don’t care where you live. Come to my show.’ And I post the details.”
Liz takes a swig of water as the audience laughs. “I don’t know why I brought water up here. It’s not like I’m going to be up here for an hour. That said, I’m going to bring up tonight’s first comic. He hails from right here in Los Angeles. He and I have done the circuit for many years together but he had to fall in love with some gay dude and settle down. Now he does some promotional shit for some online magazine that I never read but I love him anyway because he agreed to come out of semi-retirement to perform for y’all tonight. Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for Erick Davidson!”
The audience applauds as Erick rises out of his seat and walks up to the stage and stands behind the microphone. Chris and Eugene cheer loudly for last minute encouragement.
Erick sticks his hands in his pockets and stares at the audience for a few moments as he slowly scans the crowd. A few people start to chuckle thinking this is part of the act. “Has it been five minutes yet?” he asks.
The crowd laughs. Erick continues. “I hate Fresh ‘n’ Easy. I mean, I love shopping there because it’s close to my apartment and I get coupons every week. Sometimes for three dollars. Sometimes for FIVE dollars. I even like that Friends Rewards Program bullshit – the more you spend, the more you save!
There are a few chuckles in the audience and several nods. “What I hate are those self-service check-out kiosks.”
“So do I!” a couple people from the audience call out.
“Yeah!” Erick continues as he takes the microphone of the stand and puts the stand aside. “If it saves me some money here and there, I’ll deal with the aggravation. But I get frustrated. Let me tell you what happens ALL THE TIME. I’m in the middle of my transaction. I have five items scanned. I put the bag aside. The machine tells me there’s an unexpected item in the bagging area. I look in my bag. There are five items. I look on the screen. There are five items. Where’s the discrepancy? Whether this shit is done by weight or not, the machine should know the difference between five items accounted for and a sixth item that’s NOT accounted for.”
“That’s so true,” a few people murmur in the audience.
“So what these machines are actually doing is accusing me of STEALING,” Erick concludes to laughter from the audience. I’ve never stolen a thing in my life. And I’m at the fuckin’ FRESH ‘N’ EASY, not Tiffany’s. If I’m going to get arrested for stealing, it’s not going to be over some $6.99 bottle of wine or $3.99 salmon patties. It’s going to be for the goddamn Hope Diamond.”
There’s more laughter from the audience. Encouraged, Erick goes on to tell the story of the ten pounds of potato skins he shoved in his garbage disposal that clogged his sink just before a small dinner party.
Liz flashes Erick for time but he doesn’t notice. The audience responded well to the potato skins story so he continues on to talk about the letter his parents once got from a camp counselor that began with “This is not a bad letter.”
Liz moves to another part of the room and tries to flash Erick again, but he simultaneously turns in the opposite direction and still doesn’t notice her. While the audience is still with him, Erick finishes with a story of his ONE season playing soccer when he was a kid.
“…And to this day, I couldn’t tell you what position I played,” Erick concludes to laughter. “I’m going to stop now, but thanks for a lovely time. I’m Erick Davidson.”
Liz approaches the stage. She and Erick high-five as he walks off. “Erick Davidson everyone!” Liz says while the crowd continues applauding.
Erick sits back down next to Chris, who throws an arm around him and kisses him on the left temple. “That was great!” Chris exclaims.
“Thanks, sweets,” Erick replies with a sigh of relief.
At the end of the show, Erick, Chris and Eugene are talking about Erick’s set. Various people are patting Erick on the back or shaking Erick’s hand. Liz runs over. “Erick, thank you so much for doing this! It was great!”
“Thanks Liz. It was a pleasure to help you out.”
“Would you like to do it again next month?”
“Really? Why not? You were so great!”
“Maybe so but I’d rather be a never was who once did than a hack who should have stopped while he was ahead.”
Original Fiction from a Sitcom Mind > The Halls of Shambala > I Am Erick Davidson - An Original Short Story Series >