Guest post by Graham VanBach.
Most people don’t know that Tucson, Arizona has a fun little comedy scene full of a bunch of local guys that love comedy as much as those that sit around the “Cellars” and the “Factories” on the coasts. We only have two consistent open mics– one at a comedy club that couldn’t care less about growing the local comedians or helping to develop a good comedy crowd; the venue gives about 30 to 35 guys two-to-three minutes every Thursday. Call in at noon, or you don’t get your two minutes this week.
The second open mic is at a bar called Mr.Heads where you can always find 10 guys or so that just want stage time anywhere they can get it in the desert. Mr.Heads puts us out on the patio, where the smokers gather. It faces 4th Ave, the most popular “bar street” in the city. In between your shitty jokes, and half-assed premises is a wrought iron fence — the ones with spikes on top — like you see at the end of a fancy driveway. Because this fence is the only thing that separates the comics and the people who want to watch the show, we often get people standing outside the gate watching (or yelling) as they walk to the next frat bar. There’s a great homeless guy named “Midnight” that comes every week. He sits on the other side of the fence; we give him a stool and some water, and he laughs his ass off.
Cut to: the first Mr Heads show of February. As usual, I’m brought on to perform for about 15 people and midnight. I have a new bit I’m trying to jump into, when I hear a kid start yelling “THIS GUY KNOWS ABOUT FACEBOOK!” He’s in a group of some transient looking kids, about five of them, and their assorted dogs. I do what any comic I think would do– I start to antagonize them and pick them apart. I want them to feel as shitty as they have made me feel. Of course there’s some back and forth and it comes down to this kid concluding what most hecklers conclude: I can’t beat this guy with my words, I am going to beat him with my fists.
So the biggest of the Five Fuck-Tards from Frown Town tries to get into the bar. The bouncer said no, so the kid comes back to the fence and decides that he’s going to climb it and come after me. As I am watching this happen I’m, of course, telling him how fat he is and how he couldn’t even make it with a ladder. The bouncer decides the kid is going to hurt himself on the fence and he needs to get him down. So the bouncer grabs hold of the kid’s legs, and starts to lift him straight up, the “Fat Aladdin” just kind of flops himself forward to try and not get pulled away from the fence. What he didn’t expect, however, is that the bouncer was trying to bring him down at the same time. The spike on the top of the fence catches the inside of his bicep, and pierces through the skin. Everyone basically says “OH FUCK” and the bouncer — presumably (and understandably) unsure of how to proceed — lets go.
Now the spike slides along the bone into the forearm. So, now this kid is just hanging there by his skin with a spike in his arm. He wasn’t yelling; he wasn’t moaning.
By the looks of it, it didn’t even feel pain. Just shock. At this point the bouncer realizes what happened and full of adrenaline, he rushes to lift this kid straight up, bringing him off the spike and back to the ground. Pressure is applied to his arm and a tourniquet fastened in an attempt to stop the bleeding. All of this is happening, and I’m starting to think no one’s concerned with my joke about memory cards.
This is a true story with very real pictures. To all hecklers of the world: Karma will fuck you– sometimes in the arm.