Thanksgiving, 1993: The Admiral Theater
To the best of my recollection, this was Thanksgiving 1993.
I was 21 and living in Chicago. I'd moved there a few months earlier, under the promise of a job at the Second City, a famed comedy club, that evaporated before I'd ever set foot in the door. Being young and refusing to give up, I stayed for the adventure. My apartment was incredibly cheap, and I was performing a lot more than I had been in LA. I thought I'd make this my new home.
My two roommates had left town to visit family. Greg, a fellow improvisational comedian who'd suffered the same retracted job offer as I, was off to Massachusetts. Marko, a 6'6" pre-frontally lobotomized hoarder who suffered from homophobia, anti-semitism, and only experienced joy while performing as a children's party clown, was someplace I did not care.
Over the many years, I have come to recognize that homophobic, anti-semitic, hoarder, children's party clown roommates come with an increased incidence of violent death. The rent was really cheap.
My friend Kevin came into town from Los Angeles, we didn't even think about dinner. Mostly, we liked to drink. We were 21 and it was cold.
It was Thursday, everything was closed and we were hungry. We realized it was Thanksgiving. I am absolutely certain this very-good-idea-were-we-not-broke-as-fuck was Kevin's and not mine: we would go to the Chicago Ritz-Carlton and join their Thanksgiving dinner.
We decided that appearances would matter and that we should look nice if we intended to have dinner with rich and fancy people at a rich and fancy place. We put on our very nicest clothes. We still looked like shit.
Moments after arriving at the Ritz, while I marveled at the lovely reception area, Kevin asked the Concierge for directions to the Thanksgiving Dinner. There is no finer magician than a five-star hotel's Concierge. He had a better idea! If we'd give him just a moment the hotel limousine would deliver us to a theater for dinner and a show! The tickets were going to go to waste, he'd feel great if we used them!
The driver was super friendly and happy to give us a ride as well. People at the Ritz-Carlton were very cool. We couldn't believe our good fortune and hopped in the black stretch. We were bound for a theater neither of us had heard of, about 15 minutes away, called The Admiral.
Not all theaters have the same sort of show. Once, when serving as the COO of an advertising start-up, one of my finance folk brought an expense to my attention. I needed to see a large charge on a salesperson's company card attributed to the "O'Farrell Theater" in San Francisco. Due to my Thanksgiving experience at The Admiral Theater, I knew immediately why this accountant was concerned. Salespeople shouldn't expense strip clubs.
After presenting our tickets, and clearing a brief weapons check, we entered a room full of smoke, enlisted Navy guys, strippers and a full Thanksgiving buffet dinner. We each had two complimentary drink tickets. Tips were not included.
The turkey was like cardboard. The gravy, stuffing and mashed potatoes were as one. The cranberry sauce was strangely made from fresh whole cranberries, and the headlining dancer was billed as "Sacajawea the Apache Princess of Fire."
I knew this was culturally inappropriate long before I thought of things as culturally inappropriate. It was just wrong. I was mildly horrified. It was free dinner. I was 21.
Sacajawea ate fire and juggled fire with her boobs out. We ate cardboard turkey. The Navy guys were thrilled. I paid the $20 for a Polaroid with Sacajawea. I regret having lost it.
We did not finish our two drinks. The night ended at the Old Town Ale House. Every night in Chicago should.
“White supremacy” is forbidden on Facebook, but “white nationalism” is OK. They know it’s bullshit, elsewhere talking of “overlaps with white nationalism/separatism,” but it’s what they’ve got. Motherboard got the docs. Facebook has increasingly dealt head on with hate speech in recent months, sometimes with mixed results. In December, Facebook admitted to Pro Publica the […]
Senate confirms Trump's pick Gina Haspel to lead CIA. Here are the 6 Democrats who voted 'yes' for torture.
What’s a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump’s pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush. Her role in destroying the CIA’s damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her […]
A kindergarten teacher noticed a small plastic bag in one of her student’s mouths. The girl was chewing on the bag, thinking the white stuff inside was sugar – but it was actually crack cocaine. Luckily the teacher, at Mastery Charter Hardy Williams Elementary school in southwest Philadelphia, grabbed the bag before the girl had […]
Businesses big and small use Microsoft Excel for everything from data visualization to bookkeeping, and chances are you’ve already had some exposure to this ubiquitous tool. Whether you’re looking to improve your hiring potential or boost your Excel efficiency, the Ultimate All-Level Excel Bootcamp can get you Excel-savvy with nearly 70 hours of training, and it’s […]
The workday is long, and inevitably, you’re going to find yourself needing to take a break from the daily grind. With Mini Materials Miniature Cinder Blocks, you can take some time for yourself and decompress by turning your desk into a miniature construction site. They’re available today in the Boing Boing Store for $22.49. Handmade […]
Handheld radios might seem a bit archaic, but in an emergency situation, few things will keep you as reliably connected to the outside world. This Emergency Multi-Function Radio & Flashlight takes the utility of the tried-and-true radio and combines it with a powerful flashlight and self-sufficient energy system. It’s available in the Boing Boing Store for […]