I’ve never made it a secret that I hate winter. I hate it with every bone in my body. This is mainly because: I hate pants. I hate the cold. I hate the lack of sun and ugly, dead, bare trees. So when winter rolls around I usually hibernate. I stock up on a few extra bottles of bubbly, become Redbox’s number one customer with my excessive movie rentals and live only in fuzzy pajamas and funny socks.
But with 213 things to cross off in 365 days, I don’t have the option of being a lazy bum for a quarter of the year. So I put on my furry boots, zipped my jacket up extra tight and decided I was going to make the best of the yucky, winter weather this weekend. I started Saturday morning with a boozy brunch with one of my new friends at Pulpo, a Spanish tapas restaurant with all you can eat and drink for $25. I’m immediately sold on anything involving bottomless booze, so the 45-minute metro ride was well worth it. The food wasn’t anything remarkable but the constant flow of mimosas helped set me up for the rest of the day.
Mike scooped me up from brunch once he was finished work and we started to make our way over to Temple Hill’s Roller Skating Palace to cross off my goal of going to a roller rink so I could spend a few hours pretending like I’m whirling around at Studio 54. Roller rinks are no longer the cool, hip places they once were in the 70s. Now they are just sad, dingy rundown warehouses situated between pawn shops and liquor stores. And Temple Hill Roller Rink was no different. We rolled up and saw that there was a line of sugar-induced children starting to wrap around the building. I immediately started shaking my head because the thought of being crammed on a roller rink with hundreds of kids hopped up on Mountain Dew made me want to run into highway traffic. So we decided we’re going back for “Adult skate” on Thursday. Stay tuned.
With our rollerskating plans now a bust, we had an entire evening to fill. I jumped on Groupon to see if there was anything to do that we could only pay half price for, and surely I found two remaining tickets available to Comedy Sportz, an interactive, “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” type show for only $7 a pop. Perfect. Another thing from the list I can cross off without spending a ton of money.
We quick grabbed dinner at a place down the street called Fireworks – a restaurant that serves up yummy pizza and knock-your-socks off sangria. With about 10 mimosas sitting in my belly, I figured a glass of sangria couldn’t hurt. If anything, it would probably just made the comedy show more enjoyable since I’m a tough critic in the joke department.
After dinner, Mike and I found the comedy club and we were promptly seated in the front row, dead center. The overly peppy girl who sat us asked if we had ever been before, we shook our heads no and she goes on to explain that it’s a ton of fun and starts using words like “family-friendly” and “wholesome.” I looked at Mike in a panic as I began to watch the seats slowly fill up with old people, a family celebrating their 9-year-old’s birthday and a group of girls wearing turtlenecks (NO LIE.) What!? Wholesome, comedy!? I wanted profanity, sex jokes, things that would make your grandmother blush if she heard them. I’m talking wildly inappropriate, Louis C.K.-style. They must have included the family friendly part in the fine print. I rolled my eyes and thought “at least I only spent seven bucks” and hoped that my sangria buzz would carry me through the night.
A man wearing a referee outfit comes out on stage, runs down the rules as its team vs. team improv and tells us how we’ll be involved in the show, from offering suggestions to being a part of the skits. He then goes on to “warm us up” and for the next five minutes I’m making tiger faces, Martian noises and awkward hand gestures towards complete strangers. It was so bizarre and yet incredibly freeing to stop taking myself so seriously and let loose. I looked like a total ass but so did everyone around me.
The show was almost an hour and a half long and it was surprisingly hilarious. I found myself with tears in my eyes a few times, doubled-over laughing and fully enjoying being able to shout out funny scenarios for the improvers to perform – from wrestling bunnies in a piranha-filled volcano to the North Philly version of Candyland.
It’s amazing how much fun you can have when you let your walls down. With how crazy and stressful life can be, sometimes all you need is a cheesy knock-knock joke to remind you that life doesn’t always have to be so serious.