|Disclaimer: All comedy bits are centered and
italicized and are directly from Mr. Jeff Dunham's act or the man that opened
The building loomed before him, dark, dank and dismal. The neon sign over the doorway was bleeding and glowing, radioactive alien blood as he approached.
Jim shook his head hard and blinked. The crouching monstrosity turned into a regular building, a little damp from the normal Cascade rain, making the concrete a dark gray. He mentally bopped himself on the head and silently swore never to read random poetry books that Sandburg left lying around ever again. He contemplated bopping his partner too, but that would require an explanation to his curious Guide and this was SO not something he was ever saying aloud.
They joined the crowd of people in line for tickets meeting up with Simon, Joel and Megan who were already waiting. Finally processed in and seated at a tiny table that would only have comfortably fit Sandburg and Connor but which all five of them were squeezed into, the ordering of snacks and drinks commenced. Sandburg leaned over and yelled quietly in his ear to watch the dials. The place was filling up and he'd already cut back on smell and hearing.
The ceiling was low, columns dotted the area and people were crammed together like sardines. Actually, after bumping elbows with his new best friend at the neighboring table again for the third time, sardines probably had more room. He tucked his legs under Sandburg's chair to keep his feet out from under the wait staff and ordered beer and nachos and chicken fingers and burritos and didn't even look at his partner.
After the first round had been knocked back and the kitchen seemingly called to Seattle for food, Sandburg reached out to a pile of papers in the center of the table. "The ventriloquist tonight, Jeff Dunham, asks people in the audience to submit questions for the dummy Walter to answer," he explained, passing out the slips and pencils. "Anything is fair game for this guy." Sandburg grinned evilly and bent his head over his own paper.
Sandburg's head shot up. "Oh! The dirtier and weirder the better. Walter is the quintessential 'dirty old man,' and he just lets it all hang out." He laughed and moved his hands in a circular pattern as he went to wave at Simon to insult the table's 'old man'. Unfortunately his quick wit wasn't as quick as his hand. He hit the straw right out of his drink, making it flop out of the glass and spraying liquid over the tabletop. Blair went to catch the flying straw but knocked the salt and pepper shakers off the table onto the floor instead.
The table laughed as Sandburg slid off his chair to retrieve the fallen shakers. He must have been down there too long 'cause Simon bellowed, "Sandburg!!" In response to the call, Blair's head shot up and he hit the bottom of the table; it jiggled and again his friends laughed.
Blair sat back in his seat and forcefully put the formally fallen items back on the table. He looked at his partner who was trying not to smile. "You know, I expect some support from you."
"Ok, Alfalfa." Jim couldn't hold in the laugh and gave Blair a smile worthy of movie stars.
Alfalfa? Sandburg quickly ran his hands over his hair, flattening any flyaway strands that were sticking up from his head butt with the underside of the table. "Bastard," Blair muttered under his breath, which Jim acknowledged with a soft hurumph.
Jim schooled his features as he pondered what to ask Walter. A few more moments of thought, a brief twirl of the pencil and Jim was writing: 'So, do you think that Xena and Gabrielle were really in love - or just having a six year fling? Something involving leather and oil? Signed - a X & G Fan'
Jim folded the paper carefully, very pleased with himself.
Shortly thereafter the plates and papers were collected, drinks were refilled again and the already dim lights were killed. A spotlight on stage lit the mic stand and the MC came out. After a brief ten minute bit, he introduced the opening act.
The guy was tall, marginally overweight with a beer belly, salt and pepper hair and beard in a loud Hawaiian shirt. A couple of one liners later and he had them all laughing.
"There are many ways people try and beat the heat... some sneeze until a cool mist spreads out around them."
Sandburg howled at that one. "There was this grad student friend of mine I met at a conference, Daniel, such terrible allergies. All he did was sneeze and blow!!" He gasped for breath, blew the curls out of his face and waited for the next joke.
Jim seized the opportunity to bop him on the head, messing his curls again and causing Sandburg to jump.
"Hey! What was that for?" His partner's eyes were brimming with mock outrage.
Jim shrugged, "It's not nice to laugh at those with afflictions. You never know when you'll be hit by one yourself - notice that twitch you just had there, Chief."
Blair playfully glared, resettled his hair and turned back muttering about sentinels and afflictions and how he was already afflicted.
"It always amazes me at how people fill out job applications. Take the box: 'emergency contact.' You wouldn't believe the amount of people that fill in "911"
Jim threw his head back and guffawed. The entire table collapsed into tears over that one, Sandburg fell forward and Jim leaned one elbow on him to try and breathe. Blair looked over his shoulder once he calmed down and he saw Jim - tears in his eyes and a smile on his face. Blair hadn't been real sure if the trip to the comedy club was a good idea, but they all needed to get out and do something fun. Simon was the one that came up with the trip, even went ahead and arranged for the tickets. Sandburg had a sneaky suspicion that Rhonda was ultimately responsible, but it was great of the Captain to think of it in the first place.
Blair straighten up as music started, it sounded familiar but 'off' somehow. Then he heard Cartman. The man onstage was acting out "Come Sail Away", lip-synching, not to Styx, but as Cartman, the overweight / big boned animated character. The comedian was moving just like the character did. Sandburg smiled, but it was the uncontrollable giggles behind him that made him turn around.
Jim couldn't believe it. The comedian was doing a perfect Cartman, the funny little guy that had no respect for authority and a great disdain for his friends. The comedian was great, and Jim kept giggling, he wanted to stop, especially when Blair turned around, but he couldn't. He'd kept his quiet appreciation for the Comedy Central cartoon so underwraps that his roommate didn't know. He probably thought Ellison only sat there and watched it cause he turned it on. And that was fine with Jim, but the truth was, he would always try and catch it.
There was a pause in the show. "Something you want to tell me big guy?" Sandburg asked and leaned closer.
Jim shook his head, panting for air. He was afraid of laughing again if he opened his mouth.
"Come on Jim. You know you want to admit it." Again nothing from the closed lipped partner. "Do I need to inform the rest of the group of your obvious obsession?"
Jim glared at Sandburg and leaned in toward him, closing the distance to only inches. "You wouldn't dare."
Blair just smiled innocently, but it widened as Santana's "Smooth" started to play. "I would. And you and I are going to have a talk my friend over your television viewing."
"No problem, I'm sure everyone would love to know how you tune in to see if Joey and Dawson have done it yet."
Sandburg's smile disappeared and he turned back to his left just in time to see the comedian stop dancing and look toward the audience.
"I need a volunteer," the man said.
Blair quickly turned his head and caught Jim's eyes - they both looked toward Megan. Almost as one the two partners turned back to the stage to try and attract attention, all the while pointing in Megan's direction. By the time the Aussie detective realized what her so-called friends were doing, it was too late. The comedian walked over to the edge of the stage and reached out his hand, Megan could hardly refuse, so she reluctantly allowed herself to be pulled up on stage. Murderous thoughts of revenge ran through her mind as the comedian started to seductively dance with her, Santana's song still playing. Each time she thought he was going to let her go, he pulled her back in tight. While being turned she glanced at her table. Joel was laughing but his shoulders were only moving slightly, Simon had a 'cat got the cream' smile on his face, and Jim and Blair were uncontrollable and seemingly very happy with themselves. For now.
As Megan tried to exit the stage gracefully, another song blasted out of the speakers. The beat was fast and seemed to echo through the club. The dancing comedian started to get 'dirty' with her, gyrating himself all around her, in time with the music, as the song pounded out the rhythm. Finally, with a big hug, and a grateful thank you Megan was allowed back to her seat.
The Dynamic Duo was still laughing as Megan settled herself and the comedian thanked the audience and left the stage. She glared at Jim and Blair.
"What? We didn't... do anything, we just made," he giggled, "a suggestion. Is it our fault that he found you attractive?" Sandburg couldn't hold it in and collapsed onto the table, his head resting on one of his hands.
"You should be flattered Connor," Jim threw in.
Megan just shook her head and looked toward the stage as the main act made his presence known.
It was obvious that Sandburg had seen this particular comedian before, besides instructing everyone on Walter's question cards, he raved to Jim about what an incredible ventriloquist the guy was for days before the performance. Blair couldn't help his excitement, the guy was good, so he was surprised to see the first puppet was a regular 'guy' although dressed... brightly. The puppet was in mostly neon green with blue edging with some purple accents. Sunglasses may have been needed...
"Dressed like you do sometimes Chief," Jim whispered in his ear.
Blair just leaned back, never took his eyes from the stage and said, "I'm not the one with the hero 'I'm invincible' complex big guy, that's you." He quickly reached behind him and patted Jim's knee to convey that he was joking - sorta. Sandburg concentrated fully on what was being said.
"Really? Like what? Like x-ray vision?" asked the comedian, Jeff Dunham excitedly.
"Sure, if the wall is thin enough and there is a light shining behind it..."
"That's cheating," grumbled Simon, but it was loud enough for the comedian to hear.
"Don't make me fly down there," Melvin threatened."
Blair nearly spit out his drink as he was trying to swallow and looked back to his Captain. The large man was not happy being the butt of a joke to a puppet, his eyes were even narrowed, but the little guy in green forged ahead.
"What do you mean don't curse?" Melvin asked.
Blair laughed and had thoughts of Jim holding back his expletives when Sweetheart wouldn't start, or he dropped his gun again, or if dinner got burnt because he was too busy watching the third down conversion on the TV. He giggled; it made for a funny image.
"Did you know that Batman is Catholic?" asked Melvin
Their table groaned and laughed at the same time. Blair felt Jim lean up. "So," Jim said conversationally, "if I'm the guy that would be in the bright green pants and cape - would you be the young boy? The sidekick?"
Sandburg smirked. "Everyone knows the sidekick is the actual brains of the duo, while the man in the cape is just the brawn." He explained through the chuckling of the crowd.
"Yuck it up Chief, we'll see who gets the last laugh."
"So, where'd you get your outfit?" asked Jeff.
Sandburg laughed again and quickly swallowed the rest of his drink as the comedian put the puppet back in the case.
From the other side of the case, Mr. Dunham pulled a large mass of gray fur which resolved itself into a dopey looking possum who introduced himself as Roadkill. When asked, he explained it was a family name and blinked innocently at the audience as Jim laughed.
Roadkill looked around: "So, questions from anyone?" Jeff
Jim howled and leaned backward to Simon, "God how I'd love to try that in the middle of an interrogation!" Simon just nodded, wiped his eyes and gasped for air.
"I don't like you much. All these dumb questions."
Roadkill stated to Jeff 's obvious dismay.
Jim doubled over and Sandburg's guffaws choked in the middle and reduced him to soundless heaving. Simon and Joel were taking large gulps of air, while Megan was pounding on the table, trying to stay in her chair.
"Say good night Roadkill."
Sandburg slumped back against Jim who swatted weakly at him, mostly to get that hair out of his face. "Move, Chief. Between you and the man up there, I'm just about done for."
"Yeah yeah, take it like the ex-ranger you are man." Sandburg took a deep drink and applauded enthusiastically for the grumpy old man dummy now seated on the podium. His arms were crossed and his face done up in a severe frown.
Walter, the puppet, scanned the club and turned to look at Jeff,
"It's 95 degrees in here plus humidity- thank you for putting me in
Mr. Dunham and the puppet stood there, waiting. The laughs of the crowd rose and fell in waves as the act waited in silence. "Is he actually gonna wait for the guy to come back?" Jim leaned over Sandburg's shoulder.
"Yeah man. He does. It's part of the bit," Sandburg grinned back at him, eyes bright.
Walter started looking around, he looked up at Jeff,
Joel leaned over, "It's a good thing none of us had to go."
"Yeah - I made certain that I wasn't going to get up and attract Walter's attention," Sandburg laughed.
"Ok, so everyone filled out your 'Ask Walter' cards and we'll
just read a few of them out loud." Jeff started.
Ribs aching, Jim bent over the table for a breather. Sandburg joined him down there, they shared a look and burst into guffaws again. The questions above continued.
"If you were stuck on a desert island, what woman would you
"That's it everyone! Say good night Walter."
Their table and the rest of the club burst into loud applause as the comedian took his bows and left the stage. The lights came right up and everyone started to herd themselves toward the door. Just a look around their group it seemed like the night out on the town was a success. Everyone laughed, ate, drank, and in Megan's case, danced.
Sandburg was a little worried about that, Megan had a vindictive streak, he' d be surprised if there wasn't some sort of retaliation. Blair glanced at Jim, the big detective was smiling and laughing as he and Simon tried to retell some of their favorite parts. He grinned, always nice to see the Captain and his Detectives get along. Helped the atmosphere in the bullpen, and Sandburg figured that everyone would be great spirits to start the new week, something that was needed in their line of work.
He picked up his pace slightly until he was directly behind his friends and put his arms around both Jim and Simon's waist. The two men stopped talking and looked down at Sandburg with questions in their eyes.
"So. If Jim is the superhero in the gaudy outfit, and I'm the sidekick... what does that make you Simon? The guy with the red phone who always runs for the 'Sentinel Signal' to light the sky when there's trouble?"
Blair just grinned as Jim laughed and Simon grumbled.