Into the Woods

I look at the Tiger Woods story the way I look at golf; it’s none of my business. My feeling, first and foremost, is that a grown man should not be called “Tiger”, it only leads to bad things. Look, he only wanted the things a lot of men want:
1) a billion dollars
2) a beautiful wife and kids
3) to be able to fuck as many women as he wants
But you can’t do that in grown-up reality, Eldrick. You can have two out of three but not all three. I wasn’t surprised he cheated but I was surprised by the number of women. But I guess when you’re accustomed to playing eighteen holes there’s a certain amount of carry over to your private life. He is a creature of habit.
I was also surprised his affairs were exclusively with white women. I mean, we all knew the old, white men of corporate America have been sucking his cock for years but I had no idea nearly as many young, white women were.
If 2009 has taught us anything it’s that achieving legendary status comes with a price. The death of Michael Jackson coupled with the Tiger Woods story is a reminder that perhaps children should not have jobs by the time they’re four. Apparently it comes with some unforeseen consequences. The unrelenting drive of Joe Jackson and Earl Woods may have produced two geniuses but it also produced two troubled, damaged men with serious issues.
But America loves a story of redemption. Look at Kobe Bryant. A few years ago he was an accused rapist. Now he’s an Olympic gold medalist, an NBA champion and exemplary husband and father once again beloved by fans and corporate America, alike.
This is but a blip on the radar. If Tiger does his penance and returns to dominance, all will be forgiven. Dominance, after all, is what opened every door for Tiger. How many black men do you think are members in America’s exclusive country clubs (much less black guys named Tiger)? Probably fewer than the number of women he slept with. Dominance opened the door to the exclusive world of privilege that is golf and that door will remain open for Tiger because of that very dominance.
In the meantime he will attempt to put his life back together and work on Eldrick with the same focus he has worked on Tiger for thirty plus years.

Larger Than Life

Today we had some press set up at the Virgin Mega Store in Cairo. Virgin is one of the sponsors and also where people can buy tickets to our shows, so the promoters set up a meet and greet for us to sign autographs there.
I don’t know how it came up but on the way there, Taylor- a camera guy shooting a documentary, AngeloTsarouchas- one of the other comics, and I were talking boy bands. We mentioned Backstreet Boys vs. Nsync, New Kids On the Block and their newer incarnation as N.K.O.T.B. and, of course, New Edition. I, myself, am still partial to New Edition and all the others were watered down versions of them, in my opinion.
When our van arrived at the mall we were greeted by a cadre of squat, buff security guys in black suits. They ushered us into the mall and up to the Virgin Megastore. Mind you, Ahmed Ahmed and Maz Jobrani, the two other comics on the bill, are big stars in this region of the world and may need security when entering a mall in Cairo. Angelo and I, however, were in no danger of being recognized much less attacked. Not that I didn’t appreciate our crack security but I couldn’t help but laugh as I entered the mall surrounded by these guys straight out of the Matrix. It dawned on me that this is what it must have been like for those boy bands back then, being ushered from one press event to the next, surrounded by security.
We went upstairs to the executive offices of Virgin and did some television interviews with what seemed like their version of Access Hollywood. Then we went downstairs to the store area and, as expected, not many people noticed us or approached us. The Virgin employees were actually the only ones who asked us to pose for pictures. Again, I don’t suspect they knew me or Angelo but their attitude seemed to be “I don’t know who these guys are but it’s better than a typical day around here. I haven’t done jack shit all day and it’s already 4:30. Two more hours and I’m outta here!”
It was pretty funny because, as the day wore on, the security guys must have realized “What the hell are we protecting these guys for?” and they must have left. We entered like rock stars but by the end of the day there we were basically just walking around the store like any other customer. Even the employees seemed to be like “You guys are still here?”
But the shows are tomorrow night at a 2,500 seat venue and apparently they are both close to sold out. Standup comedy is very new so apparently people are clamoring to buy tickets and experience it live. It’s cool to be part of something that is still new and exciting for everyone, but as the Backstreet Boys can tell you, sometimes it can warp your perception of reality. Hopefully, like them, I’ll be able to stay focused, humble and keep my feet on the ground.

All you people can’t you see, can’t you see
How your love’s affecting our reality
Every time we’re down
You can make it right
And that makes you larger than life

I Fought the Law

Tonight I went to a private party at someone’s apartment with the other comedians. The consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Kuwait. You can get arrested for selling or drinking alcohol of any kind. But we are hardcore, we know the right people so we could not be stopped. By 9pm I had a Jim Beam and Coke in my hand. By midnight I was still nursing that same Jim Beam and Coke, along with a bottle of water to ease it along.
But that’s not the point; the point is that I had any alcohol at all. I was breaking the law! Do you understand that? Do you understand what kind of chances I was taking?
You’re probably wondering “Were you scared? Did it occur to you you might be arrested?”
“No” and “Who cares?” would be the answers, respectively. When I am looking to party I will not be denied, not by Kuwaiti law, not by my parents and not by anyone else.
People were playing darts, too, which I’m pretty sure is not allowed, either. But this is the life I lead, the life I have chosen or perhaps it chose me. Either way, there’s no turning back now.
My car to the airport arrives in less than two hours but I just ordered room service because I am staying up. That’s right, all nighter. No sleep til Cairo! A cheese omelette is on its way with a fresh glass of mango juice and a cup of coffee. You’re right, none of that is illegal but a brotha has to take a little down time to just chill.