151 — The King of Silver Linings
[00:00:59] CHRIS: Hello to all my Topo Chico drinkers. It’s Beautiful/Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred.
[00:01:11] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it’ll be more fun, and I’ll get to
know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:01:22] CHRIS: Hello, everybody, it’s Chris Gethard welcoming you to another episode of Beautiful/Anonymous. Just wanted to let you know real quick, I got tour dates. I’ll fly through them for you. Wednesday, that’s tomorrow night, Brooklyn. There’s still tickets available for my show at Union Hall. I’m doing a whole tour of the southeast in March. Durham, North Carolina, looks like it’s going to sell out. Thank you guys for that. I’m also doing Charleston, South Carolina; Wilmington, North Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama. I’m doing Zanies in Nashville, which I once mentioned on the show that it was the first club I ever did on the road and I sold no tickets, and you guys are stepping up. Ticket sales are pretty healthy. Maybe I’ll see you out there. And then I’m doing Atlanta, Georgia, as well. You can get tickets for all those at ChrisGeth.com. Thanks to everybody who’s been listening to the show. I want to…put something out there that’s a little sad. I’ll just say it, it’s a little sad. You know, we had a call under the name Cuddly Pudge, a guy who was seeking to adopt a child, it was a while back. And then we had a follow-up where he revealed that he was actually sick, he was suffering from cancer. And he just posted in the Beautiful/Anonymous community on Facebook that he’s actually entering hospice trying to enjoy what seemed to be his final days. So I just wanted to, on behalf of all of us here at the show, send him our love, and everybody in that Facebook group, that whole community is rallying and doing the same thing. So hate to be a bummer at the top of a show, but wanted to let everybody know that I just wanted to publicly say that I’m sending him the best and I hope everything with him and his family goes as well as possible in what sounds like an extremely hard time. So we’re sending you our love. Okay, this week’s episode, we went old-school. A lot of people will say, like, why don’t you just patch the first call through like the old days, man? So we did that. You can see how that goes. And I tell you what, we get to a call that I thought was pretty cool, ’cause on this show sometimes we have, you know, we have some stuff where people have been through a lot or people tell us about their houses burning down or about, you know, surviving shootings. They can be dark. And this one wound up being, if I can just say, this is a guy who seems pretty psyched about how his life turned out. And that’s nice to hear every once in a while, too. It’s a nice reminder that you gotta also look at the good things and dwell on those, and I think a necessary thing for me to think about. I’m someone who maybe gets caught up sometimes, the other side. So caller, thanks for calling up, letting us know what life is like on the road, what life is like at home, and for showing us so many silver linings along the way. Enjoy the call.
[00:04:02] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful/Anonymous a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [beep]
[00:04:09] CHRIS: Hello? Hello? Hey, can you hear me? Because I can’t… Nobody’s answering me. I have this vision that maybe you’re…
[00:04:22] CALLER: Is this Chris?
[00:04:23] CHRIS: Oh, there you go. Hi.
[00:04:26] CALLER: It’s working.
[00:04:28] CHRIS: Yeah, so we…
[00:04:29] CALLER: Wow, that went like straight through.
[00:04:32] CHRIS: I was going to say, yeah, I came in today, I said to Jared and Harry, why don’t we really walk the razor’s edge? No call screening today, patch through the first one, let’s see what happens. No questions asked. [pause] Are you there? This is why— this is why we don’t do this. This is exactly why we don’t… OK, let’s… [laughs] OK, we gotta hang up on this person and try again, and let’s leave this in the episode so people understand why we call-screen. All people who say, “Why do you screen the calls? It’s supposed to be lawless.” That’s why that’s why we screen the calls. Caller, thank you so much for trying. Let’s go to number two if we can. All that’s happening is we’re hearing the…hit the buttons with their face. What if we did this for an hour? You think people would listen to this and then no one would ever complain about the call screening again? Hang up on them? Let’s try a new one. Hello.
[00:05:33] CALLER: Hello?
[00:05:34] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:05:35] CALLER: Hey.
[00:05:36] CHRIS: How are you? This is Chris.
[00:05:38] CALLER: What’s up? Hey, man, what’s going on?
[00:05:41] CHRIS: Not much. We’re patching through calls today, no call screenings, so I
hope you have a good connection.
[00:05:47] CALLER: Yeah, I think so. I’m at my house and generally have pretty good connectivity at this place.
[00:05:54] CHRIS: That’s good. Yeah. You sound good. Let me just say, too, one thing that we do with the call screening that I should just say to you, in fairness to you, is that at this point, if you want to hang up, if you’re like, “Oh no, I got on, I don’t know if I actually want to do this,” now’s the time to hang up. If not, we’re gonna put the audio out there into the world, so we can’t…no turning back after this. It’s up to you.
[00:06:17] CALLER: No turning back. Nah, that’s cool. We can, we can chat.
[00:06:21] CHRIS: I’m into it.
[00:06:23] CALLER: See where the conversation goes, I suppose.
[00:06:25] CHRIS: I would love that. And I like your style already. I’m going to go ahead and say, I like your style already. You seem like a cool cat.
[00:06:33] CALLER: Yeah, man. Nah, I didn’t expect to get through. I just got done with some errands, I just got back to the house, and…just kind of seeing what I was trying to figure out to do with the rest of the day, and then I saw the tweet come in and I was like, oh, well, let me let me see what all Chris is up to today.
[00:06:49] CHRIS: What is old Chris up to today? Not much. I tell you what, I rented myself
a little shared office, so I went to my office today. That’s a new development in my life.
[00:07:02] CALLER: Is it a WeWork production or similar?
[00:07:06] CHRIS: It’s not a WeWork, but it’s, someone in my neighborhood has a space and is like, “Yeah, I’m just trying to get, I got like 10 desks in there, anybody wants to fill one.” So I found one. And I go into the office now, and I feel cool about that. I’m like, oh, I got an office.
[00:07:22] CALLER: You feel productive about it.
[00:07:23] CHRIS: Yes.
[00:07:23] CALLER: I’m excited for you. I’m about to have something similar situation here in the next couple of weeks of my life. I’m excited to have like my own kind of office space, you know?
[00:07:34] CHRIS: Yeah. A place to go focus, get things done. Now, what are you up to? That’s what I’m up to, what are you up to?
[00:07:41] CALLER: Man, I’m recovering, you know, from the holidays a little bit. You know, had a nice Thanksgiving weekend with some family and…yeah, just trying to get back into the swing of things here Monday morning, or Monday afternoon I guess it is now, but I was
actually trying to figure out what I was gonna eat for lunch. I mean, it’s not, you know, I
don’t live a super exciting life, but like, you know, yeah, I got back into town last night and,
you know, ran some Monday morning errands and literally, like I said, I just walked back in the door. I hadn’t even taken my dog out to go to the bathroom yet.
[00:08:13] CHRIS: Nice.
[00:08:14] CALLER: So we might do that on the phone.
[00:08:16] CHRIS: I would love that, a nice walk with the dog, and I wouldn’t mind spending an hour just hearing your thought process on what you should eat for lunch. I think that’s pretty fascinating audio.
[00:08:26] CALLER: Man, you know what, I gotta admit, Chris, you know, I listen to your show, you know, I’ve listened for a while, and I know a lot of calls are, you know, in depth and real, you know, intense conversations and some of ’em are lighthearted and fun and, you know, and I’m a cat that really the hardest part of my day is trying to figure out where I’m gonna eat for lunch. I’m blessed.
[00:08:48] CHRIS: Yeah, how’d you wind up with such a lucky life?
[00:08:53] CALLER: Man, I mean, you know, it doesn’t have to be hard. You know, you just try to surround yourself with good people, and, you know, luckily at 28, you know, I was…I found the career path that I wanted to go down, and, you know, after that, man, everything just kind of falls into place after that. So, you know, it’s been a pretty, pretty good life for me so far, so I don’t really have any good complaints. There’s some good sides and some downsides, like everybody, but, you know, I just try to have a positive attitude about everything and just, you know, you got to go with the flow.
[00:09:28] CHRIS: Oh my god, what a refresh…breath of fresh air you are. A stress-free 28-year-old in 2018? That’s unheard of.
[00:09:38] CALLER: Well, I mean, I’m 34 now. You know…about five going on six years ago now, like, you know, I kind of fell into my career path, and you know, I love what I do. It’s challenging and, you know, it’s fun to kind of bounce around what I do and…you know, I’ve surrounded myself with good people. I’ve had three major career changes in my life since high school and, you know, all three of them have been really different, but one similar thing is travel. I love to travel. And so, you know, I started traveling when I was 18 and, you know, kind of been, you know, I was in the military for a while, I drove trucks for a while, And, you know, now I do what I do now in the music business and just kind of, you know, I like to travel, and it’s just it’s fun, it’s fun to do it on other people’s dime and, you know, surrounding myself with good people and…everything else, like I said, just kind of falls into place.
[00:10:38] CHRIS: That’s pretty great. What a good thing to hear. I need to be reminded of that, ’cause I got a great life. I have, by most people’s definition, an objectively good life going. And I still spend a lot of days real stressed out. And I like hearing what you have to say, ’cause it’s a good reminder for me. And selfishly, I’m glad.
[00:10:57] CALLER: Yeah. Well, we all have stressful days, you know, and… This past weekend, my…you know, I had a big…I don’t have a large family, I guess. I got a couple of siblings and some nieces and nephews. And, you know, I decided a couple of months ago, like, I wanted to do a big [indistinct] family reunion type thing, you know, and I wanted to plan it. I plan for a living. So I was like, you know what? I’m gonna plan this event, you know, and set it all up. So, I mean, there’s some stressful moments leading up to that, and it all, you know, it went off without a hitch and it was good to see everybody and, you know, there’s stressful moments in everybody’s life, and there’s ups and downs, you know, and…I had good parents that just kind of, like I said, taught me to, you know, kind of appreciate everything, and it’s good to be reminded of that. But you know, what you’re doing, too, with your show, it’s always fun to kind of, you know, listen to some good calls where people are, you know, you just can be reminded of that every now and again.
[00:12:01] CHRIS: I like the cut of your jib. Now, you’ve mentioned a few times, you’ve now said you get to plan things professionally, you work in the music industry. Can I ask, what type of gig do you have set up?
[00:12:14] CALLER: I am a road manager for some artists.
[00:12:18] CHRIS: Oh, that’s cool.
[00:12:20] CALLER: So I tour for a living.
[00:12:23] CHRIS: So in my experience, that would mean you’re not the person booking the gigs, but you’re the person who makes sure that the actual process of getting to the gigs, doing the gigs and getting to the next gig runs smoothly. Is my understanding correct?
[00:12:36] CALLER: Yeah, I’m a tour manager, is my title.
[00:12:41] CHRIS: That’s cool. Can I ask what genre of music you work in?
[00:12:47] CALLER: Yeah, that’ll narrow it down for some listeners, but yeah, genre is
[00:12:54] CHRIS: That’s a whole world. That’s a whole world, man.
[00:12:57] CALLER: It is, it is.
[00:12:58] CHRIS: I love it. I want to pick your brain if that’s okay, ’cause I’ll tell you what. Can I tell you something I know? So I have been in a situation where I’ve toured, and…as a comedian, obviously, but I once worked with someone—I don’t want to reveal too much about this person. I once worked with a person who helped out on a tour I was on who had randomly done years of work for Kenny Chesney, who is, in my understanding, is one of the kingpins of the country touring world, and…
[00:13:31] CALLER: Yeah, he’s up there.
[00:13:32] CHRIS: And he explained to us the scale at which country artists are
working as far as how many T-shirts are sold and how many tickets are sold and how
relentlessly people are out on the road, how many days in a row, and that is a
world beyond what I knew about as somebody who likes the punk rock.
[00:13:56] CALLER: Right.
[00:13:57] CHRIS: Country’s huge.
[00:14:00] CALLER: It’s big. It’s big. It’s, you know, the great thing about working in country music is we’re weekend warriors. You know, it’s different than a rock tour that starts in Seattle in like April and it zigzags all the way across the country for months and
months and ends in New York somewhere. You know, when you’re not seeing your family at all, ’cause that’s a big part of touring. Country, we’re what they call the weekend
warriors. So, you know, I work weekends. You know, I leave out Wednesday night, I do
shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and I’m back home Sunday, and my weekend’s Sunday,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. So I get to see my family, I get to see my friends, you
know, and then I get to kind of reset and recharge and then do it again. You know, that’s a really unique position that I’m in. It’s not, you know, country music, if I’m being completely honest, is not my favorite type of music, but it’s the easiest to work with. Everybody’s friendly, everybody has the same common goal to, you know, you got a show to do, you just, we’re all here to make some money, have a good time, and go home safe.
[00:15:06] CHRIS: That’s cool.
[00:15:07] CALLER: You know, so that’s it, it doesn’t have to be hard. And I’ve heard of people who have done rock tours and pop tours, and it’s grueling, it’s tough, and you’re out there for months and months and years. Worldwide tours. And it’s grueling on your body and it’s grueling on, you know, friendships and relationships, and so I’m lucky that I found a home in country music that I can kind of have a bit of a home life and still get out there and scratch the itch of traveling.
[00:15:35] CHRIS: I love that. I love that. I do that sometimes with the standup touring, the weekend warrior stuff where it’s like, if I’m doing Minneapolis, I just fly out and I get to
just hunker down and camp out at one club for the weekend. Same club, five shows, three
nights, back home. It’s pretty nice.
[00:15:52] CALLER: It’s convenient, you know, and the people that I’ve worked with in
country, they’re, you know, salt of the earth. They’re some of the most beautiful people and, you know, down to earth and, you know, we just want to put on a good production and then go home. You know, it doesn’t have to be that hard.
[00:16:10] CHRIS: And what, do you think, what inspires like the intensity surrounding
country—is it because it’s not mainstream, because it’s not pop, that the people who are
going to these shows feel like “We’re a part of something that we kind of have to take
ownership of more”?
[00:16:27] CALLER: I think so, you know…. Country music, you know, kind of…resonates with blue-collared kind of workers, so, you know, like, I think the weekend warrior stuff is, you know, they’re ready to unwind for the weekend. And, you know, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Friday, Saturday, Sunday shows or whatnot are, you know, that’s their time off to go out and see a show. So I think that that kind of resonates. And I mean, country is big. I mean, rock and pop are way..you know, you can draw a crowd on a Monday night in, you know, Alabama or Kentucky or something like that, but it’s, you know, you’re not gonna get the same kind of crowd with a country show playing on a Monday night in those types of towns or states or whatnot.
[00:17:17] CHRIS: Yeah, as like a T Swift, for example. [pause] Taylor Swift, that was a Taylor Swift reference.
[00:17:25] CALLER: Sorry, say that one more time?
[00:17:26] CHRIS: I was just referencing Taylor Swift and my timing was off so the joke didn’t land. It’s my fault. It’s my fault.
[00:17:34] CALLER: [laughs] Sorry.
[00:17:36] CHRIS: That’s cool, man.
[00:17:37] CALLER: But yeah…
[00:17:38] CHRIS: You got that good weekend warrior life and then you get to chill the rest of the week.
[00:17:43] CALLER: Yeah, you know, it’s kind of nice, and the other cool thing about country music, too, is instead of doing, you know, two months or three months or four months of touring relentlessly, you can kind of stretch out your entire year, you know. So like I’ve got a, you know, pretty much my whole year is booked, you know, and it’s not every weekend. You know, this particular weekend coming up, I’ve got a couple of shows out on the West Coast. And then the following weekend I’ve got off and, you know. But for the most part during the spring, summer, and fall, I mean, they’re, you know, for the most part you’re working, you know, every weekend. It’s grueling, and you’re just out there humping and getting it done and working every weekend and then you come home.
[00:18:24] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:18:25] CALLER: Reset, recharge, and do it all over again.
[00:18:27] CHRIS: You ever see that Bo Burnham video, the Bo Burnham song about country music? I wonder what you thought about that.
[00:18:33] CALLER: I’m sure I have.
[00:18:35] CHRIS: He’s a comedian, very talented guy. He directed that movie Eighth Grade. Very, very talented dude.
[00:18:40] CALLER: Oh, right, yeah.
[00:18:41] CHRIS: I wanted to dislike him when I first heard about him and then met him and looked into his work and was like, I don’t care if he’s been doing it on YouTube, this guy is brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. I gotta get out from my own closed mind. But he has a song that’s, the basic premise of his song is that it’s a parody of a country song where he lays out, “Hey, a lot of country artists are playing into your blue-collar working-class roots while they themselves are ridiculous millionaires.” Your thoughts?
[00:19:08] CALLER: Are ridiculous, what was that last part, I’m sorry?
[00:19:10] CHRIS: Millionaires. Like some of these country artists are driving Lamborghinis around and then they go up on stage and they talk about how hard it is to till a field, you know?
[00:19:20] CALLER: Yeah, well, you know, it’s funny that you mention that, man, I actually had a conversation with somebody about that literally a week ago. And some of the people that I met, actually, most of the guys that I’ve met, and there have been some A-list people that have sold out arenas and stadiums, they drive Ford pickup trucks. They live, you know, out in the hills in Tennessee. They have nice houses, but they, you know, they still go to Whole Foods, you know, they still shop. And that’s the thing about, you know, I’m kind of maybe narrowing down where I live at, but like, you see them in the car lane dropping their kids off at school. You know, they’re literally just everyday normal people, just like you and I, at least from my perspective. Don’t get me wrong, some of them have some nice cars every now and again, but for the most part, I mean, they literally live just as you and I do, you know, and I’m sure people tell that about you thinking that, you know, “Oh, man, you’re Chris.” You see him on TV. You see him, big-time comedy shows and HBO specials, you know, and you’re taking the subway to work or taking the subway to the studio just like everybody else.
[00:20:28] CHRIS: Yeah, I have had, I tell you, I’ve had a few conversations where I’ve been on the 7 train and somebody’ll come up to me and be like, “What are you doing here?” And I’ll be like, “I live…I live here. I live in Queens. I live here. I am not successful enough to take cars everywhere.” That was, I’ll tell you, I had a very funny stretch in my life last year when my TV show was going when the network bought a bunch of subway ads, and if you’ve ever been to New York City, you know they hang up posters, and there were a ton of subway ads with my head and face on them. And I realized, oh, I am now famous enough to have subway ads, but not successful enough to not take the subway.
[00:21:06] CALLER: To get a car service.
[00:21:07] CHRIS: Exactly. I I’m I’m doing well enough that that ad is there, but I’m still
taking the subway, and I can feel people looking at me. And Queens is a very working-
class borough where I can feel a bunch of people just instinctively being like, “Fuck this guy.
What the, I don’t like this. Who’s this fancy guy? I’m like, no, man…
[00:21:27] CALLER: Right. “Who’s this guy think he is? He probably plastered them posters up there himself.” You know, it’s just like…
[00:21:31] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:21:32] CALLER: “You’re too good…he’s not good enough to take the car service
into Manhattan, he has to take the 7 train.”
[00:21:38] CHRIS: I just had a funny example of this. I don’t think I talked about this on the show yet. Jared, feel free to edit it out if I have. I don’t think… I did a book signing in Washington, D.C., and I took the Amtrak down. And, you know, I’m signing this book and it’s got my face on it. And I took the train down and I walked a couple blocks and it was raining and I was like, I don’t want to walk, I’m gonna call a Lyft, so I called a Lyft. And I’m waiting for the Lyft and I realize I gotta use the bathroom really bad. So I’m looking around and there’s like no Starbucks, there’s no hotel where you can run in the lobby. Everybody that listens to the show knows I love a good Home Depot bathroom—there’s nothing. And then I realize there’s an Exxon station, and I run around the side and I realize that it’s got a bathroom and the bathroom is unlocked. And I run in there and I do my business. I mean, this is like an Exxon station on a random corner in the middle of a major urban city. This is not a nice environment to be in, let alone to be doing what I’m doing, and I just started laughing ’cause I was like, man, people tell me that I’m famous and I’m shitting my brains out in the worst Exxon station I’ve ever had. I’m 38 years old, I’m just shitting my brains out in a sad Exxon station. Oh, and then I looked down, I’m like halfway done, and it’s like “Your Lyft is here.” And I’m like, oh god, now this guy’s gonna see me come charging out of this bathroom and he’s gonna know. He’s gonna know my shame. He’s gonna know my shame. I’m as regular as it gets.
[00:23:02] CALLER: He might also put that down as a reference the next time he’s in that area, like, “Oh man, there’s an Exxon station. Every time I need to take a dump, I can swim back by around here and use the bathroom.” That’s probably what he was thinking there. You might have helped him there.
[00:23:12] CHRIS: You know how to loop…you can loop anything around to positivity. You really can.
[00:23:22] CALLER: It’s a small gift. It’s a small gift.
[00:23:24] CHRIS: It’s beautiful. I brought up how country stars are like millionaires in their own right, you’re like, nope, a lot of these guys are driving their kids to school in their Ford trucks. And I’m like, “I shit my brains out and it was sad.” You’re like, “But maybe the next guy now knows it’s…” You know how to, you are a relentlessly positive person. I admire it.
[00:23:41] CALLER: I appreciate that. Thank you. Yeah…I had a thought just for a second and it went away. Oh man.
[00:23:48] CHRIS: Sorry about that.
[00:23:50] CALLER: Aw, fuck—sorry, Sally.
[00:23:51] CHRIS: Sorry, Sally. I’m in a talky mood today. I’m talking over you, I’ll chill out.
[00:23:55] CALLER: Yeah. No, no, no. It’s all good. No, this is great. I mean, I’m sure your listeners want to hear all… Oh, yeah, the touring life, yeah. So, yeah, people think, you know, backstage is like this great, beautiful, magical place, you know, and talking about taking a shit in a sketchy Exxon…
[00:24:09] CHRIS: Oh yeah. [laughs]
[00:24:11] CALLER: A lot of times, you know, you’re rolling in a back alley, you know, and in a car service, you know, and you’ve got really big A-list artists that you’re working with and you’re rolling backstage down this back alley and it’s literally a dump. There’s dumpsters all the way around and rats running through the alley. And it’s just kind of, you know, muddled water with grease on the ground and you’re kind of sludging through it to get through a kitchen, to go backstage, to get to the…you know, like, a lot of people don’t see that aspect of touring.
[00:24:38] CHRIS: Yes. The cutting through the kitchen is a classic trope of touring people
don’t realize of, like, somebody’s job is to meet you and they’re tired ’cause they’re working hard, they probably got bags under their eyes, and they’re like, “All right, I’ll show you to your green room,” and then they just point you through a kitchen where there’s 17 people working hard and no one wants to talk to you. And then you get back there, and then half the time, I mean, a lot of times people treat you really nice. People have treated me very, very nice, but every once in a while, you get back there and you’re like, “Oh, there’s no heat. There’s no heat.”
[00:25:09] CALLER: Yep.
[00:25:10] CHRIS: “I guess we’re all gonna sit with our hats and gloves on. There’s no heat.” People think you’re back there sipping Cristal, popping champagne bottles. It’s like, no, we’re all checking our phones and there’s a half-eaten thing of hummus and we don’t know who ate the other half and hummus is not a food you don’t want…you don’t want to eat the second half of hummus, not knowing who was dipping their fingers in at the first round.
[00:25:30] [AD BREAK]
[00:28:53] CHRIS: People think you’re back there sipping Cristal, popping champagne bottles. It’s like, no, we’re all checking our phones and there’s a half-eaten thing of hummus and we don’t know who ate the other half and hummus is not a food you don’t want…you don’t want to eat the second half of hummus, not knowing who was dipping their fingers in at the first round.
[00:29:10] CALLER: No, no. You know, veggie trays, fruit trays that have been sitting out all day, deli meats that’s been uncovered, you know, that you have no idea how long it’s been there.
[00:29:21] CHRIS: And sometimes it’s nice and there’s a spread or they’re like, “Oh, we got this great restaurant we’ll order from”—90 percent of the time, people are nice, but that other 10 percent of the time, like you’re saying, yeah, it’s like, you open the door and you see the
flies fly off the old fruit plate and you’re like, well, I guess I’m going hungry till after this show. I will just be hungry.
[00:29:39] CALLER: Yeah. This is it. You know, like, “Maybe I’ll UberEats something,” you know, and…yeah. And touring does that. I mean, there’s been times where I’ve had…I’ve literally had a 75-foot yacht as a green room once.
[00:29:52] CHRIS: Nice.
[00:29:53] CALLER: And then there’s literally been times where the only amenities that…you know, Sticksville[?] Iowa County Fair, they plop the porta-potty down in front of the tour bus and that’s our bathroom that we get to use, and and it’s 96 degrees outside. So, look, it’s an ebb and flow in this business. And again, trying to bring out the positivity into it. You know, you’ve gotta go through that sludge to get to the bigger stuff, you know, and so like, it kind of centers you sometimes, and I don’t mind it too much as long as there’s more good, you know, good amenities to these shows than there are bad ones, you know, but there’s good and bad with touring. You know, there’s some days where I’ve literally had, you know, I’m pinching myself. I’m like, how am I here right now? Like, how am I on some guy’s 75-foot yacht? And this is where I get to change and get ready for this show and get my artist up on stage. And then there’s some times where I’m like, hey, man. Yeah…this porta-potty in front of the bus, that’s our…that’s all we got today.
[00:30:55] CHRIS: Yeah. But you know what? I always try to remind myself, all the funny war stories aside about the touring life. I know in comedy, in my opinion, there are a lot of comedians who, the past handful of years during this comedy boom, when you can find gigs pretty easy, they forget it’s not about them. And even on the days when conditions are at their worst, I always take a deep breath. And before every show I do, I like to remind myself: if somebody’s having a bad day, and` I can make that person laugh, then this is a job worth
doing. And it’s not about me, it’s about them.
[00:29:29] CALLER: Absolutely.
[00:31:30] CHRIS: And the hardest day of us touring with our, you know…the spoiled fruit plates, most people aren’t handed fruit plates in their lives. And there’s some people who spent the only 20 spare bucks they had that month to come see us. And it’s an honor and a privilege to make them perform and… Comedians out there, if you’re listening, it’s not about you. It’s about the person you’re trying to entertain. Our jobs are not hard. At the end of the day, having a porta-potty in front of our tour bus—it’s not as hard. There’s people out there who probably every day they go and work jobs where they might lose a finger in a piece of industrial machinery. I gotta make that person laugh. I’m here for them as a service. Boom.
[00:32:11] CALLER: Yeah, I agree with that wholeheartedly, and there, you know, I’ve done so many shows where like, you know, where, again, it’s not the best day ever. But like, you know, when you’re kind of sitting in the side stage and your guy’s up there doing their thing
and the crowd is packed and, you know, people are rowdy, but in a good way, they’re being entertained, and you’re like, man, this is cool. Like this is, yeah, it’s the best job in the world being able to, you know, and especially what I do. I mean, you know, I was a kid, just like everybody else that, you know, had a guitar that’s like, “Man, I want to be a star.” And then you like realize real quick, like, “You know what? I’m not that guy.” You know, most artists are whack jobs, you know, and not in a bad way, but like, they’re different.
[00:32:52] CHRIS: No offense taken, no offense taken. Everybody’s seen my HBO special. People have seen my HBO special, I’m…yeah, I’m out there on the fringe.
[00:33:00] CALLER: You’re a whack job.
[00:33:02] CHRIS: I am, I am. Somebody messaged me and said, somebody messaged me on Instagram and said, “I listen to Beautiful/Anonymous lot and I love that you speak about
mental health, but I wish you didn’t call yourself crazy or certifiable. And I’m like, to me, that’s a way to take the edge off. To say I’m a whack job and laugh about it? Take the edge right out of that. Now I have power over it, not vice versa. Yeah.
[00:33:23] CALLER: Yeah, no, so it’s, you know, it’s definitely, it’s definitely good. It’s a self-rewarding job, you know, and that’s the one benefit that I love about this job is finding the right camp to be in, surrounding yourself with people that you want to be around, surrounding yourself by people who want to fucking be there, like, you know. Like that in itself is just like, if you’re happy to show up to work every day, I mean, there’s nothing better in life than wanting to go to work and wanting to make people happy and knowing that you had a small part in that.
[00:33:57] CHRIS: It’s the coolest. I like you. So what are you doing Sunday through Wednesday? What do you do when you’re not out on the road?
[00:34:04] CALLER: Man, you know, just catch up with friends, I’m hanging out with the girl and the dog. You know, when she’s not being a pain.
[00:34:13] CHRIS: The dog or the girl? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Had to go there.
[00:34:16] CALLER: It’s, yeah…
[00:34:17] CHRIS: I assume you mean the dog.
[00:34:18] CALLER: Oh, really? Nah, my girl, she’s got a real job, which does put a nice strain on the relationship sometimes, but she gets it. You know, we’ve been together for three years, and so, you know, I spent a lot of time with her. I go fishing. You know, I got a little boat with another buddy of mine who’s in the business and we go out fishing. Listen to records, you know, and just kind of relax, you know, drink a little bit, smoke a little bit, just kind of kick back and then just kind of prep for the week, you know, and there’s always stuff to be done.
[00:34:47] CHRIS: Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
[00:34:50] CALLER: No, right now I’m just kind of, you know, I’m about to move. We’re moving down the street to a bigger place, which is nice.
[00:34:58] CHRIS: So you live with your lady.
[00:35:00] CALLER: Get to spread out. I do live with the lady, yeah.
[00:35:03] CHRIS: So you come home, you got your girl, you got your dog, you got your boat, you got your drinks, got a little cheeba if you want to get cheebed up.
[00:35:10] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:35:12] CHRIS: And then you go out on the road, you entertain people, make ’em happy.
[00:35:15] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t do all that stuff on the road. You know, I ain’t got time to drink. I ain’t got time to smoke, you know, like it’s…being a road manager, I mean, I gotta be on call 24/7. If that bus breaks down in the middle of the night, they’re not calling the artist, they’re not calling the other roadies out there, they’re calling me.
[00:35:31] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:35:32] CALLER: I gotta be sober enough and I gotta, like, hey, I gotta figure out how to get us to the next town. Luckily, that doesn’t happen very often, knock on wood, but like, you know. So I don’t party on the road, you know, I’m pretty straight-edge when it comes down to that. So, you know, when it comes in…when you get back in town, it’s kind of nice to just like, you know, relax a little bit, you know, kind of prep for the following weekend and just kind of hang out. This month, like I said, I’m prepping to move across the street to a little bigger place, which I’m excited about. I got a couple of shows left on the year. Everything’s, yeah, everything’s moving right along this year. It’s gonna be a nice end to 2018, for sure.
[00:36:15] CHRIS: [sighs] Everybody listening is jealous of your life, and your attitude.
[00:36:19] CALLER: Man, I mean…you know, like… I can’t stress it. I don’t understand people sometimes, like, that have, you know, that work jobs that they hate. I can’t, like…the very first call, and I’ll never forget it. The first call that you ever did where you told that guy that was sit in the parking lot and you told him to scream as loud as he could, and he wanted to go do comedy, you know, like that inspired the fuck out of me. I mean, I was already doing my business, you know, doing what I wanted to do. But I was like, I tell that to people all the time. When I took a chance to get into this business and I got lucky, I was a fan that was in the right spot at the right time that I even got into this business. There’s no tour manager school. I didn’t go to college. You know, it just happened. But, you know, like…if you are working a job that you hate, you don’t have to do that. You literally can go do whatever you want to do. And that’s the beauty about this country. And some, it’s a lot harder for some people, and it shouldn’t be, it should be equal. That’s what America’s built on. It’s, everybody should have the opportunity to go do what they want to do, and I’m just lucky enough to be in the right spot and take advantage of that. But I strive to tell people, tell my nephews, tell some friends that are just working jobs that they hate. I’m like, “Man, why?” I don’t…that part I don’t understand.
[00:37:48] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:37:49] CALLER: I get if you got certain things in your life that you can’t do, but like, you can also make changes in your life that will benefit you in the long run. And it doesn’t have to be big, massive changes right away. It could be small changes. But, I mean, that irks me and that bugs the fuck out of me so much. I don’t see it, I don’t get it, and, you know, like I said, I’m just real fortunate that I was able to find what I wanted to do at 28, and, you know, I had to start all over at 28, you know.
[00:38:20] CHRIS: I’m with you. I’m with…and you know, there’s people who catch bad breaks where it’s not possible. You know, maybe somebody doesn’t have health insurance and they get sick and it’s like, “Well, that’s that.” Or maybe somebody, you know…I do know that I’m pretty lucky to be a…a white dude married to a lady who lives in probably the most, you know, the financial center of the whole world, I understand that all those things, checkboxes that allow me to take some chances other people don’t, but I do think you’re right on a fundamental level. And you know what I think about with it, man? You know what I think? ‘Cause I am often exhausted and I am often miserable. But it’s like, I think that’s the thing…that’s the thing that I hope is…I hope if I get hit by a bus, I hope that’s one of the things people remember me for, when I’m always pushing this idea of, like, go out and chase what you love, because it’s like, I’m exhausted and miserable doing what I love. That’s a preferable thing to me than being exhausted and miserable doing something I don’t love. Doing what you love, even being successful at it, it might not make you happy and it might add its own stresses, but at least it’s in the service of something you can get behind and believe in.
[00:39:30] CALLER: You know, I mean, yeah.
[00:39:32] CHRIS: Why would we not?
[00:39:34] CALLER: I don’t know! I don’t know why you would not. You know, it’s just…and and it’s…I was just talking with my brother-in-law over the weekend and, you know, for the first time in my life in this career, you know, I’ve had some, you know, when I started out, I was making $125 a show, and that’s nothing. You know, when you’re doing six shows a month at $125 a show, I didn’t major in math, Chris, but that ain’t a lot of money. So, you know, but luckily I went from that and I started making really good money, and for the first time in my life—again, I think at that point I was probably in my early thirties—where I finally didn’t have to live paycheck to paycheck, you know, and it’s like…but there are still frustrating aspects to every job and every life. It’s, you’re gonna have struggles regardless if you’re making a lot of money or no money. But just finding that happy medium and being happy doing what you’re doing, everything else just works itself out how it should be. And it just…I don’t get it sometimes, you know.
[00:40:34] CHRIS: Man. I needed to talk to you today, ’cause I’ve been stressing about a lot of stuff and I feel like you’re…there’s been a lot of times where people give me credit and say that I get through to them with this show, but I tell you what, I thank you ’cause you’re getting through to me today. Good reminder.
[00:40:48] CALLER: I appreciate it, man. Well, yeah, no, I appreciate that. I mean, you know, like I said, I mean, you’re doing a really good thing, and like, you know, I’ve listened to your show for a long time and, you know, there’s a couple of good episodes that I like that stick out my head, and there’s a couple of ones that, you know, most of them just kind of come in and go out, but there’s a few of them that’s stuck in there. You’re like, man, it’s cool what you’re doing. And it’s…
[00:41:10] CHRIS: I’m trying.
[00:41:11] CALLER: I’m thrilled that I was able to get through and just have a conversation today and…yeah, no, it’s great. I’m happy to…I’m just a happy guy, or I try to be happy. You know, I just try to be happy and I just try to, you know, like I said, surround myself around people that, you know, give a shit and want to be around me and I want to be around them, you know. Just, you know, there’s things that you can do and make small changes in your life and, you know, even if those are small things, you know, it’s just kind of these small little steps that you can take to just be more happy, you know. Nobody’s ever gonna be fully, completely happy. There’s gonna be somebody that’s gonna cut you off, you know, pulling out of a parking lot or something like that or, you know, somebody’s gonna, you know, have a crying kid at a store. Like, you know, I don’t try to let that stuff get to me, ’cause I’m like, I can’t control this, so I just have to roll with it and just, you know, I can’t get angry at stuff like that. So it’s just there’s a lot of stuff that’s just beyond your control that you gotta go with the flow and just gotta let things happen, because that’s life. Part of it.
[00:42:19] CHRIS: Damn. Damn, you just broke it down.
[00:42:24] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:42:25] CHRIS: Now, I guess I have to follow up with the most important question of all.
[00:42:30] CALLER: Hit me.
[00:42:31] CHRIS: So what are you having for lunch? What are you having for lunch? You started off with the lunch thing, it’s a cliffhanger. We only got 26 minutes left to discuss your lunch.
[00:42:40] CALLER: [laughs] Well, my gut says to walk down to my favorite Mexican joint, which is literally at the end of my street, so I don’t have to go far. And I’m justifying the fact that I haven’t eaten there in like probably two or three weeks, so it’s like, all right, man, I’m
craving some tacos and this is one of the best taco joints, I think, in all of the city that I live
in. But there’s also a really good deli sandwich that’s just a little further down that makes an Asian flank steak sandwich that is delicious. You know, so there’s that, there’s…
[00:43:14] CHRIS: What kind of tacos do you usually get? Or do you vary it up?
[00:43:18] CALLER: Man, I like shrimp and pastor. Like the spicy pork.
[00:43:24] CHRIS: The spicy pork. I think that’s like a spicy, slow-cooked pork, right? I remember that from my meat-eating days.
[00:43:28] CALLER: Yeah, al pastor or I’ll do a combination of two, I’ll do two shrimp tacos and two al pastor tacos.
[00:43:36] CHRIS: Ooh, four tacos?
[00:43:37] CALLER: Get the queso.
[00:43:36] CHRIS: Ooh, you get the queso, I thought…
[00:43:38] CALLER: Well, they’re street tacos. They’re a buck fifty, I think, or a buck twenty-five. You know, this Mexican restaurant, Chris, this Mexican restaurant, I think, is the best Mexican restaurant that I’ve had in the city that I live in. It’s owned by a local Mexican family. And actual construction-working, painting Mexicans eat there. Like, there’s another Mexican restaurant that’s literally a half a mile away, and I went in there one day by myself—this is like my diner, I go in there all the time—I sat down by myself, ordered my food, and it was a woman sitting next to me who had a shirt of the Mexican restaurant that was a half mile down the road. She worked at that restaurant and she’s eating at this one.
[00:44:26] CHRIS: That tells you everything you need to know.
[00:44:28] CALLER: And I’m like, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.
[00:44:32] CHRIS: Yeah, I love that. I live right near a place called Taqueria Coatzingo, Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, New York. Great tacos. Fantastic tacos.
[00:44:46] CALLER: And they’re, what, couple bucks, two bucks, three bucks, maybe?
[00:44:49] CHRIS: Couple bucks. They fill you up. Get a little horchata, to wash it down, get a little horchata to wash it down.
[00:44:55] CALLER: Yeah. A little Topo Chico?
[00:44:58] CHRIS: Ooh, the Topo Chico, the hipster water. Topo Chico has become very hip. I was in Austin, Texas…
[00:45:04] CALLER: It is, it is become.
[00:44:05] CHRIS: I was in Austin, Texas, everybody’s drinking the Topo Chico. Oh, you know what else they got? You know, oh, the Mexican food in my neighborhood is so good. And like you say, I’ve mentioned on the show I live in a neighborhood with a lot of immigrant communities. You get the Jarritos soda, you know Jarritos?
[00:45:21] CALLER: Yeah, the Jarritos. I like the pineapple, I think that’s my jam right there.
[00:45:25] CHRIS: I like the pineapple, I like the tamarind. I just saw a restaurant in my neighborhood that has guava, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that, but I will soon. Mark my words, that guava Jarrito is coming my way.
[00:45:37] CALLER: I don’t think I’ve had that either, but I’m gonna take a look after I get off the phone with you, ’cause I think I’m probably going to mosey on down there and get me a couple tacos.
[00:45:44] CHRIS: There’s a deli in my neighborhood that you would love, you would love this—deli in my neighborhood. Bodega, in New York, we call ’em bodegas. It’s like, you know, not a…
[00:45:52] CALLER: Oh, yeah.
[00:45:53] CHRIS: You know what I mean. Like, a lot of them do have a place where you can get a sandwich and sliced meats and stuff, but it’s more you can also buy your toilet paper and your laundry detergent there, like a little mini department store almost, in a way. And in the back of this bodega, on Roosevelt and 80th, you go in the back and there is a husband and wife who moved here from Mexico and they make some of the most delicious seafood I’ve ever had, out of the back of a bodega. And it’s delicious. And it’s delicious.
[00:46:22] CALLER: This place…when I first moved to town, my old roommate, about five years ago when I moved to town, he was like, “Man, I get this place up here,” and I was like, “All right.” And it’s sketchy, it looks a little weird. It’s got this weird, you know, cellular wireless store to the next of it. And you walk in and it was a market, you know, and like half of it was a Mexican market and the other half was a sitting area. And you used to just walk in and you open the fridge and you pick out the beer or drink that you want, you come back down, you sit down, and then you order. And they’ve become a little bit more popular and they’ve gotten rid of the market and just full-on went on to a full-on restaurant. And I was a little nervous ’cause I’m like, oh, man, here come the hipsters. Like, they’re gonna take over this place and now it’s gonna be gone. But they never came. It’s still the best place in town to get tacos, in my opinion. But it’s still, you know, it’s still an easy place to get in and out of. It’s the best.
[00:47:21] CHRIS: I love it. I love this convo. Do you have cities you’ve been to a bunch of times where you know what you’re gonna eat when you get there?
[00:47:28] CALLER: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah. I’ve been touring for, like I said, five
going on six years. Oh yeah. I’ve got those spots. I mean, man, New York City’s got, you know…I haven’t done any shows in Queens, but the shows that I do in Manhattan, there’s a couple of ramen spots that I like to hit up and coffee bars that I like to hit up…
[00:47:45] CHRIS: I know exactly where you mean. That one block down in the East Village with all the ramen places. Is that what you’re talking about?
[00:47:51] CALLER: Yep.
[00:47:52] CHRIS: What is that, like 10th or 11th Street in the East Village, maybe? Right by St. Mark’s Church.
[00:48:00] CALLER: Yep, that’s one of ’em. Another one I like to go to is Ippudo. I might be
pronouncing that wrong, Ippudo. I know there’s one down…I know there’s one in Hell’s Kitchen, but the main one I think is, gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the…I’ve been to the Hell’s Kitchen one more ’cause I’m staying more in Midtown than anywhere else, but it’s been a while. Can’t remember where the other one is off the top of my head but…
[00:48:24] CHRIS: That’s ok, that’s ok.
[00:48:25] CALLER: There’s restaurants all over the place I’ve got marked on a Google map thing that you just kind of remind yourself, it’s like, “Oh shoot, we’re going to Oklahoma City? My favorite coffee place is in Oklahoma City.”
[00:48:34] CHRIS: Yeah, I got…there was a stretch where I was on the road a ton. It kind of you know, you kind of fight to get to a point where you can go on the road and sell tickets, and then when it came, then they get you out there a lot. And for me, that was around 2014. I wound up just on the road a lot opening for Mike Birbiglia and then doing my own shows, too. And I got sad ’cause I realized that I had a favorite restaurant in LAX airport. And I was like, I gotta slow down. If you have a favorite restaurant that’s in an airport, you’re touring too much. That’s too much.
[00:49:04] CALLER: Yeah, right. I’ve got a few spots that I like to route, if I know I’m flying
and I know I have to have a connection, I try to route through particular airports, but you know…that’s not…luckily, I don’t fly as much. We bus mostly everywhere we go, so.
[00:49:24] CHRIS: Oh, that’s the life. I like that bus life. That’s better than flying.
[00:49:27] CALLER: Yeah. Bus life is fun. Bus life is fun. But yeah, I definitely got those cities, and you know…and it’s nice. I’m still, you know, the town that I live in is growing at a very, very rapid rate. And, you know, it’s kind of fun seeing some new restaurants kind of pop up, and it’s starting to diversify a little bit. You get some really good, you know, ethnic foods in here, and it’s fun to be a part of the city that’s growing like this.
[00:49:55] CHRIS: That’s cool. What’s the deal with your dog?
[00:49:59] [AD BREAK]
[00:52:05] CHRIS: What’s the deal with your dog?
[00:52:08] CALLER: What is the deal with my dog? She’s laying on the…
[00:52:11] CHRIS: She gotta go to the bathroom real bad now. Oh, okay, she’s being good.
[00:52:14] CALLER: Nah, she’s fine. She’s passed out on the bed. But if she hears me talking about her some more, she’ll pop her ears up and just be like, “Hey, man. You gonna take me outside?” It’s cold here, you know, but I’m afraid, I don’t know if…I think my phone connection might be all right if I walk down there and have a quick smoke and let her out. She’s good. She’s, she’s a pain. She had a lot of fun this weekend, but she’s, you know, she got back, I think she’s just gotten, getting over her road blues. We got back last night and she just kind of like passed out. She’s like, “I’m not talking to anybody, I’m gonna lay in my bed.” Got up this morning and she didn’t even budge. I’m like, “Something wrong with you.” But no, she’s good, she’s good. We’re moving into a place that’s got a fenced-in yard, so I’m like, I’m really excited about that.
[00:52:59] CHRIS: Oh, that’s nice.
[00:53:01] CALLER: It’s the little things in life, man.
[00:53:03] CHRIS: Let her out, let her run around. People always want to kill me, people always nail me when I say this on the show. I’ve never been a dog guy. People crush me on that.
[00:53:14] CALLER: Well… [laughs] I don’t know how much time we have left, but I can probably…and I can tell you this, I am not a dog person.
[00:53:22] CHRIS: Really?
[00:53:23] CALLER: I married into this dog.
[00:53:24] CHRIS: Oh, you did?
[00:53:25] CALLER: No. I’m not an animal person, and I don’t mean that I don’t like animals, I…I’m a guy that likes…I’m a spontaneous guy sometimes, like when I’m off the road, I’ll get an itch and be like, “Man, I got I’ve got a ton of points. Like, I want to go visit some friends. Like, let’s go to the West Coast or let’s go to the beach or like, let’s go…” and then I forget that I got the dog, you know, like… I had a dog. Before I met my girl, I had a dog, and I swear to god, Chris, I had a dog for ten days. Ten days. And I’m like, “That’s it. I’m good. I’m out. I’m done.”
[00:54:00] CHRIS: [laughs] Cramped your style.
[00:54:05] CALLER: I literally…cramped my style. I found a home for this dog, I literally dropped the dog off, and then I drove up to Asheville, North Carolina—’cause I lived in the Carolinas at the time—drove up to Asheville and went to a concert up there, because I knew that the dog was in a better home than what I could provide for it. I didn’t have to worry about it shitting all over the house, or doing whatever dogs do when we’re not here. And, you know, and I can do my own thing. I have, I feel guilty when the dog is here by itself. I can’t stand it, ’cause I’m like, man, dude, if I, I would want to be out, sniffing around, smelling the trees, like peeing on everything, but now I’m stuck in this house. I have that kind of guilt, which is why I don’t want a pet, because I don’t want to put a pet through that. So when I met this girl and then I realized the girl came with the dog, and I’m like, man, I don’t know, you know. But the dog’s grown on me. We tolerate each other. I do take care of it, you know, I take it to the dog park, you know, keep it socialized pretty regularly, give it a bath, I feed it, I take care of it. You know, I don’t…honestly, I don’t always like it, but we’ve come to grow on each other, so it’s…it’s fine. She’s not a bad dog. She’s past the age where she’s chewing on everything, so that’s good, so the house is pretty much in good shape, but, you know, I just feel bad leaving pets by themselves.
[00:55:33] CHRIS: I get it. I get it. We’re similar people, you and I. Similar people.
[00:55:40] CALLER: Yeah. Yeah, you know, it’s like…I mean, I will dog-sit for you if you need to. I will cat-sit. I will come let them out and play with them. But like, it’s kind of like kids. That’s why I don’t want children. I don’t want to be responsible for other people like that. You know, I do enough. I’m a caregiver. You know, like I literally take care of people on the road, you know, and I’m taking care of up to 15 people on my crew. That’s a lot. That’s 15 different personalities that I gotta deal with on a daily basis. When I come home, I don’t really want to be responsible for a whole lot of anything. I just kind of want to be able to just, again, like I said, the hardest part of my day is trying to figure out what I’m gonna eat for lunch that day, you know? It doesn’t need to be more stressful than that. [laughs]
[00:56:24] CHRIS: Love that.
[00:56:25] CALLER: The dog’s good, we tolerate each other, but I’m definitely not a dog person. You know, I mean, heaven forbid, if me and the girl break up, I’m not gonna get a dog, I tell you that. We’re not breaking up or anything, but, you know, if the dog gets hit by a car accidentally…hey, let’s not worry about a dog for a while. I don’t know.
[00:56:46] CHRIS: Oh, people are gonna… My prediction is everybody listening to this is gonna have loved you, and then that, and some people are going to say, “Nope, nope, drawing a line.”
[00:56:57] CALLER: Yep, that’s it.
[00:56:58] CHRIS: Everything else I’ve learned about this person is out the window based
on that one sentence.
[00:57:00] CALLER: [laughs] That one sentence. Nah, she’s good. I mean, you know, we do, I mean, if I’m being completely honest, I’m just trying to be honest with myself… You know, I like dogs, but I don’t want to be a dog owner. I am a very responsible dog owner. Like I said, I take it to the park every day. And that’s actually one of the other things I was gonna do today. I gotta put on some long johns, it’s thirty-something degrees outside, but I’m going to drag her ass out to the park ’cause she likes to go to the park.
[00:57:31] CHRIS: Fair. Stepping up.
[00:57:32] CALLER: I am a responsible dog owner. I definitely make sure that she gets taken care of and I do take care of her, you know. But if it wasn’t in my life, I wouldn’t be upset about it, you know.
[00:57:43] CHRIS: Let me ask you this…
[00:57:44] CALLER: But that’s like a lot of things, you know?
[00:57:45] CHRIS: I hear you.
[00:57:46] CALLER: Yeah. Just like a lot of things.
[00:57:47] CHRIS: You mentioned that you like to…you rack up your points, so you rack up those frequent flyer points. I do the same thing. And then you’ll blow it out and go, “Let’s take a random trip.” What’s the most random trip you’ve taken on your frequent flyer points?
[00:58:02] CALLER: [laughs] It’s a funny story, actually. The most random trip I’ve ever taken actually happened a week ago.
[00:58:07] CHRIS: A week ago.
[00:58:09] CALLER: And it was to Statesville, North Carolina.
[00:58:13] CHRIS: OK.
[00:58:14] CALLER: And this is a really kind of interesting story. So it had recently come to me that it is time to make…it’s time to propose to the girlfriend.
[00:58:34] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:58:36] CALLER: It had recently kind of come to that decision, and I’m like, all right, cool, this is it. This is the girl that I want to be with. And, you know, I’ve started like, a couple of months ago I started really having these really intense thoughts. It’s like, all right, cool. And we’ve talked about marriage, we’ve talked about things, and like…we’ve already agreed, you know, first off, we don’t want kids, which is, you know, that’s a big one. That was like day one, and we’re like, “Hey, are you into kids? No? Cool, all right, cool.” Good on that end. And the second thing, we were like, “You know what? We really don’t want a big wedding.” You know, and I was like, I’m cool with that. I’m cool with not blowing a whole bunch of money on a wedding, and let’s go take a trip if we ever get married. So in my head, I like to do things over the top sometimes. So in my head, I’m thinking that the proposal has to be big. Stupid, elaborate, over-the-top big. She has always wanted this old…like an old pickup truck, like a 1970s pickup truck. So I’m on the World Wide Web and circling down the Craigslist rabbit hole, and I find this truck. It’s a 1970 Ford F100 Ranger. It’s beautiful. It’s the colors of the school of…she’s from a town north of where I live at. Same colors as the school that she likes. It’s perfect. It looks great. I started contacting the dealer and I was like, “Hey, man, what’s up with this truck?” And we started talking back and forth. I told him, I said, “Well, I live out of town. I kind of want this truck as a proposal gift.” So I wanted to buy the truck. I wanted to buy a ring. And I wanted to incorporate all of it together.
[01:00:20] CHRIS: Wow.
[01:00:22] CALLER: So, yeah, like, over-the-top kind of done things. So when I found this truck again, like I said, it happened really quickly. So I’m like, I’m talking with him, I’m trying to make a decision. He’s like, “As of right now, nobody else is interested in this truck.” I was like, “Cool. The earliest that I can get to you is last Monday.” You know, which I think was two weeks since I first contacted this guy. You know, I had shows, I had stuff, I couldn’t get out there, and on top of that, I gotta figure out how to get to Statesville without my girl knowing that I’m going. And my whole goal, I bought a one-way ticket on my points, with the hopes of driving the truck back to town and then getting home late in the evening and be done with it and she’ll never know. And you know, I had a plan, I was gonna stash it at a buddy’s house until I got it fixed up, and then get the ring, and then like, you know, the proposal wasn’t gonna happen until, you know, a couple, like maybe a month from now. You know, I gotta get the truck ready, I gotta get the ring ready, I gotta get all the other plan in place. I started walking, sight-mapping where I was gonna propose. I had contacted a good friend of mine who’s a great photographer and was like, “Hey, I want to bring you in on this.” Like, I got started making these big plans. So I fly out to Statesville. Go test-drive the vehicle. I even have a third-party mechanic. You know, I call him and say, “Hey, man, can you just do a once-over of this truck? I gotta drive it six more hours back home. Can you just do a once-over with this truck and just make sure it’s mechanically sound? It’s a 48-year-old truck. It’s just a little comfort that I would like to have.” And the guy agreed to do it. So everything was going the way that I wanted it to. Everybody checked out. Good to go. Now it comes down to me giving them the money, which was a little piss-poor planning on my part. I had the money; I didn’t have actual cash. That’s a long story, and another story for another day. But I was on the East Coast, my bank is on the West Coast. I still bank with thae West Coast bank, it’s a credit union, and whatever. I was hoping to kind of get all that stuff done before the banks closed on the East Coast. Well, that didn’t happen. The owner of this place didn’t want me, just…there was some money issues between me giving it to the owner of this place that I was at, and we were just having some issues, and the guy was like, “Listen, we’re not doing this today. It’s gotta wait till tomorrow when the banks open up.” He knows this whole story. He knows that I’m literally buying this truck as a proposal gift and I have to go back home tonight ’cause I can’t stay overnight. She’s expecting me to be at home tonight. I have to drive home tonight. Well, it didn’t come down to that. And so I was like, “Well, I gotta call her. I gotta call her and, you know, “Hey, I’m not coming home today, but trust me. Don’t ask any questions, just trust the process. Let it happen.” Just, you know, we’ve been together for three years. Like, you know, I travel for a living. Like, we’re pretty open and honest with each other. So I was like, fine, fuck it, all right. I’ll tread lightly and see kind of what happens. So I call her, I say, “Hey, babe, listen. I’m in North Carolina. I’m taking care of some business out here. Unfortunately, it won’t get done today. I have to stay the night, but I’ll be home tomorrow as soon as possible.” And she’s like, “Okay.” She started asking questions. Like, “Please don’t ask questions. Just trust the process. Trust me, things are gonna work out the way they need to work out.” So she says fine. She trusts me. “Go on.” I was like, great. You know, I told the guy, I was like, “Great, we’ll do this tomorrow morning.” Banks open at 9:00. The bank is literally right down the street from my hotel. I’m good to go. I book a hotel, I go back, as soon as I get to the hotel, she calls me and she’s like, “Are you buying me a truck?”
[01:04:15] CHRIS: What?
[01:04:16] CALLER: And I’m like…yeah, like, yeah, I’m like, A, I’m like, how the hell did she know? But B, I’m like, well, technically, no, because I didn’t buy anything at this moment, you
know. I was about to, but I can’t, and that’s, you know. So she starts to get upset. And I’m like, well, that’s really the opposite reaction. But she doesn’t want a truck, Chris, she wants a ring. And she doesn’t want me to spend a lot of money on a truck because she wants a ring.
[01:04:44] CHRIS: She tells you this.
[01:04:47] CALLER: So…huh?
[01:04:48] CHRIS: And she tells you this? You tell her, yeah, you’re getting a truck, and she’s saying..
[01:04:50] CALLER: No, no, no, I know…
[01:04:54] CHRIS: Got it, okay.
[01:04:55] CALLER: She wants a ring. This is like, this is something that we’ve been discussing, like it’s…she doesn’t want me to buy stuff for her. She just wants a ring. So I had to tell her. I was like, “Listen. You’re not upset at me. I’m not buying you a truck. I’m buying us a truck, but I’m buying…like the truck is a small idea, a small portion of this idea that’s going into this bigger idea of a ring that you don’t know about. You’re not even supposed to know about the truck. None of this was supposed to happen at this moment.” And so I had to tell her. I had to tell her. I had to say, “Listen, the truck was just a truck. It was for me. It’s just to gift you something.” She’s been, you know, going back to school, she’s had big exams happening this year, she started a new job last year. You know, she’s been working, and I feel like she deserves a truck, and I feel like she also deserves a ring. And I was wanting to do all of it together. And it kind of blew up in my face a little bit. And so, you know, we sat and we talked about it, and I had to tell her, I was like, “Listen, the truck was part of a proposal idea.” I had to tell her, ’cause I didn’t want her to be upset at me and be mad at me because of this truck.
[01:06:08] CHRIS: Right.
[01:06:09] CALLER: She wants a ring and I go over the top…
[01:06:12] CHRIS: You don’t want her mad for…when you are specifically trying to accomplish the thing that would be the thing she wanted, yeah, exactly. Okay, so how’s this go? We got five minutes left and I’m loving this story.
[01:06:26] CALLER: So…so we sit there, and one thing I’ve learned about being in relationships is communication. And it’s taken me, you know, three years to figure that out. You gotta talk. You have to talk about your feelings, you gotta talk about all of it. You have to. And we have gotten to a really good point to where we talk and we communicate and I tell her things that I struggle with, with us, with the relationship, with whatever we need to work out. So I sat and I told her, and I was like, “Listen, I haven’t paid, I haven’t bought anything. If you want me to walk away from this truck, I will walk away from this truck right now.” Now, bear in mind, I did not have a plan to get back home. That truck was my way back home. So she said, she’s like, “Let’s walk away. Like, come home. Let’s talk about it. Let’s figure out, we’ll figure it out. So here I am stuck in Statesville, North Carolina, that barely has Uber. You know, I was on the Uber app for 20 minutes, finally got an Uber back to Charlotte. I rented a car and drove back home and got home at 4:00 in the morning.
[01:07:38] CHRIS: That’s a sad drive.
[01:07:39] CALLER: She went off to work. Yeah, a sad drive. The best part about that drive, though—switching gears just a bit—the best part about that drive is I got a rental car, I got a minivan for $29, one way
[01:07:51] CHRIS: You can always find a silver lining. You’re the king of the silver linings.
[01:08:00] CALLER: [laughs] Twenty-nine bucks, I got a one-way rental. No drop fee, one-way rental from Budget cars from Charlotte back home, got home at 4:00, I was so happy that I got a $29 car going back home. I get back, you know, and I’m festering, I’m sulking, you know, and I tell her, “Listen, babe, look. I gotta talk to you. That truck was bigger, like there’s something bigger happening besides the truck. Unfortunately, right now, my confidence is shattered. You know, I’m gonna ask you to marry me. It ain’t gonna be anytime soon, because I don’t have a backup plan, that was my plan right now. So we’re, you know, you’re gonna have to wait a little bit.” So I’ve got to come up with another plan to ask this girl to marry me at some point in the near future, I feel like. That is the most random trip that I’ve ever used my points on is to fly to Statesville, North Carolina, to pick up a truck that I was gonna use to propose and it had to blow up in my face…
[01:09:04] CHRIS: That’s one hell of a story.
[01:09:06] CALLER: And all of this is revealed.
[01:09:08] CHRIS: It’s one hell of a story. Well, listen, I don’t know if she’s a listener to Beautiful/Anonymous, but if you want to use this as a platform to propose to her, feel free. We have two whole minutes left.
[01:09:18] CALLER: [laughs] You know, she has listened a couple of times, but she’s not an avid listener.
[01:09:23] CHRIS: Fair, fair. That’s fair.
[01:09:24] CALLER: She’s not an avid listener to this show, but, yeah. I don’t even think I’ll tell her about this. If she happens to hear it through the grapevine—I do have some other friends that listen to the show. They know who they are. If this show happens to air at some point, if it ever does, they’ll be sure to reach out to me. I know that they will. It’s not that hard to figure out. But yeah, if she ever finds out about the show, she knows that I’m gonna marry her and we’re gonna live and have a great life together.
[01:09:53] CHRIS: Look at that. Look at that. We got about a minute left.
[01:10:00] CALLER: One minute.
[01:10:01] CHRIS: I’ve greatly enjoyed talking to you, I must say.
[01:10:04] CALLER: Likewise, my friend, likewise. And you know, I appreciate all what you’re doing. I hope I continue the show, you know, a long success. And again, thanks for what you’re doing and I’m happy that I was able to get through.
[01:10:19] CHRIS: Thanks to you, man. I hope when you’re eating those tacos, eat an extra shrimp one for me. I love a good shrimp taco.
[01:10:27] CALLER: You got it. I’m gonna eat all shrimp tacos.
[01:10:28] CHRIS: All shrimp tacos?
[01:10:29] CALLER: I won’t even worry about the pastor, all shrimp tacos just for you today, Chris.
[01:10:33] CHRIS: Wow. I feel very, very honored. Very, very flattered.
[01:10:39] CALLER: [laughs] All right, my friend, well, you have a great rest of your day. I hope everything else works out for you. And happy Christmas, merry holidays, all that good stuff. And we’ll, you know, we’ll see you down the road.
[01:10:48] CHRIS: Thank you. Same at you, back at you, and thanks for bringing such a nice burst of relaxed positivity into all of our lives. Have a good one.
[01:10:58] CALLER: All right, man. Take care. [ring]
[01:11:04] CHRIS: Caller, thank you so much. I said it a number of times on the show, but I really needed to hear a lot of what you were saying. Thanks for waking me up and reminding me what my priorities are and why I should be living this life and the things I should be looking for. Thank you so much. And thanks to Jared O’Connell and Harry Nelson in the booth. Thank you, Justin Linville, for all your help in my life. Thank you to Shellshag for the intro music. You guys are wonderful and I love you. Love you, Shellshag. You wanna know
about me, I got some shows coming up: ChrisGeth.com, all my touring dates. If you want
to help Beautiful/Anonymous, what you can do, you go to Apple Podcasts, rate, review, subscribe—it helps the show when you do. We’ll see you next time on Beautiful/Anonymous.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:12:04] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful/Anonymous, caller tells us what it’s like to navigate the world with one less sense than most of us have.
[01:12:14] CALLER: I was growing up in a little bit of a poorer household, and my parents were working all the time, and I got bullied a lot, and all that stuff kind of culminates to make a type of person, you know? And then that brings us all the way back to why am I isolated now? Well, it makes sense. Just the way that the atmosphere I was raised in and the ideas I
was raised with, like, oh, I gotta take care of myself and I’m blind. So I gotta really be crafty
about how I’m gonna do this, and that was just part of the struggle.
[01:12:48] CHRIS: Yeah.
[01:12:51] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful/Anonymous.