Andrew Healan

New Orleans comedian and host of the podcast That Sounds Reasonable

Collecting Another Amenities Bag | Andrew Healan

Collecting Another Amenities Bag

December 24th, 2007

Seoul, Korea — Finally found some winter weather. Can’t say that I missed subfreezing temperatures. Other country’s television never ceases to amaze me. Congratulations Korea, you have taken the crowd. I peeked up from my beer and caught a glimpse of the TV above the bar. There was no double take, no spit take, just a disbelieving stare. I was watching full contact intergender children’s karate. Can’t even tag that one.
Crossing borders is seldom fun. I arrived in Laos with bus loads of others. The lines weren’t queuing well either. Then, right before I was to pass out of Thailand, the lady working the visa window decided to take her lunch break. This did not involve going to a restaurant, or even a break room. She just shut the window and took out her food. Meanwhile, all the foreigners had to stand in the mid-day sun staring at her through a window.
I scored a pretty neat guest house in Vientiane. It was a block away from the Mekong. My room had a balcony that looked down into a Wat. I quickly gathered this room was desirable. Several times a day someone would accost me in the lobby asking if I was the guy in room 6 and then inquire as to when I was checking out. These people would become rather incredulous when I would tell them “I don’t know. Not planning that far ahead. Check back tomorrow morning.”
In Laos I am a millionaire many times over. Going to the ATM brings the joy of looking at the remaining balance and imagining it is dollars. I start having fantasies of calling up George Steinbrenner and telling him “Hey Boss. I’ll pay Alex Rodriguez’s salary this season. And you know what, go ahead and sign Santana. I’ll pick up the tab on that too.”
In my desperation for English language entertainment I have watched Face/Off and Good Burger. Let us never speak of this again.
After arriving in Laos, I had to get from the border into the city. That 24km trip was taken with five others (and our luggage) in a tuk-tuk. That trip did more damage to my lungs than a dozen years of smoking.
Bars here aren’t into mix tapes or the shuffle function. I listened to Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits. All of them. Consecutively. A couple of nights ago I was in a bar that played The Raw And The Uncooked by Fine Young Cannibals in it’s entirety. Not just the two dingles, the whole goddamned album. There are two question here: (1) Why did they do this, and (2) Why did I sit there and listen to the whole thing?
There is a monument in Vientiane named Patuxai and it’s kind of a low rent Arc de Triomphe. It was built with concrete donated by the US to build a runway. It was also never finished. All in all, I’d say it’s a grand testament to the ethics and efficiency of the Laos government.
I met a bloke from Manchester. He went by the nickname of Manchester. I dug that. Your hometown always makes a good nickname. Back when I lived in 35 Reed Hall (AKA The Boar’s Nest), me and Pierce had a nickname for pretty much every resident. In general it’s easier to assign someone a pseudonym than remember their given name Now, they weren’t really nicknames you would call people to their face. There was dipshit, douchebag, no neck, rabbit fucker and oh so many more. This just saved time in conversations. It was time consuming and cumbersome to say “Today I was talking to that guy that lives on the second floor. The one with the blonde curly hair. He drives the Ford Taurus. The one we saw pissing in the lobby last Saturday.” It was more efficient to say “I was talking to dipstick today.” Of course, had we know the kid’s name was Josh we could have saved even more time. But dipstick worked just fine.
A guest house I stayed in had a sign posted apologizing for the staff’s poor English. It should be noted I have never seen one of those signs in Los Angeles.
My Thai still sucks a bag of dicks. But my nonverbal communication skills are off the charts. Let’s put it this way, you don’t want to invite me to your next charades party, because I will dominate. Actually, you don’t want to invite me to your charades party because I won’t come. Also, if you are hosting charades parties please don’t reproduce. Actually, if you are having charades parties, kill yourself. Better yet, have the charades party, wait for all of the people who think it’s a good idea to come to a charades party to show up, and then blow up your house. Sure, there will be setbacks in the sale of sweater vests and hand decorated holiday sweatshirts, but the economy will recover. I’ve crunched the numbers, they add up. And if you could have this party during the Chic-fil-A Bowl, even better. We lose the charades people, Auburn fans, Clemson fans and a bunch of bible beating poultry pushers. Santa, I hope you’re reading.
Here’s a fun game for your next casino trip. Get a bucket full of change and head over to the nickel slot machine. Every time you drop some currency in, yell “coin voyage!” See how long it takes for security to throw you out.
I love my bag, I really do. But having to haul that thing around everyday is like being on a vacation with a crippled midget.

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Andrew Healan

New Orleans comedian and host of the podcast That Sounds Reasonable