By Kathleen McGee
VANCOUVER — Let me start by saying that my advice isn’t conventional and maybe it’s not always “good” or “appropriate,” but it’s honest and I want to help people learn from my epic mistakes. I’m a 30 something, single, female comic that tours small towns and big cities sharing true stories and observations I’ve made throughout my life. I am not a character. I’m just me. I’ve had things that have gone great and some that have gone horribly wrong, that’s what makes a full and exciting life, right? Please agree so I can tell my mom to get off my back. I wanted my first column to be meaningful, something that would really hit home. So, I want to talk about how to gracefully be locked out of your hotel room in the nude. Being drunk and naked is one thing, being drunk, naked, and thrust into public is a whole other thing.
I love comedy festivals. They’re like dental conventions, only there’s much less learning and way more drinking, although I have heard dentists like to party. There is always a party every night at a festival; it’s the main reason I’m disappointed every year I don’t get selected. A few years ago I was invited to one, the kind that has a bit of money so they can put the comics up at a fancy hotel and make us feel special for a week. These festivals often mean nights with open bars. For people like me, binge drinkers that become crazy monsters when free alcohol is mentioned, this can lead to incredible stories.
I remember the events more clearly than I should. I had a show and then headed to the after party where some of my favourite comics and humans were getting tanked. It was early in the week, not all the comics were in town yet, but the really fun ones were. I remember a slap fight taking place…between two grown men. I remember drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle, then I remember being responsible and telling myself I needed to leave because I’d hit my whiskey-out-of-the-bottle limit. You know those nights when everything is crystal clear? This was not one of them. I don’t remember getting into my bed and I don’t remember taking everything but my panties off. I do, however, remember being blinded by light, the “light at the end of the tunnel” or “this is it” kind of light. Then I heard my hotel door close behind me and my heart stopped in pure panic. Being caught in public naked is right up there with eating a bag of glass on my to do list. I remember frantically knocking on my door, like someone else was in there. Then I came to terms with my situation. When you’re the type of person that is not in the habit of being naked in front of strangers, the best thing you can do is laugh and try not to panic. There I was, stretch marks and all, running down the hallway in my panties, laughing like a maniac. I ran towards the stairs, there was no way I was getting in an elevator and risking a terribly embarrassing reveal. I frantically tried to remember the room number where the party was. That’s probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Always remember the party room number. Even if you’re planning on getting black out drunk. Write that number on your hand. For some reason, maybe the booze gods were smiling down on me, I remembered the room number.
You would have to ask the comics present when that door opened what the reaction in the room was, because I just ran into the bathroom and put on the complementary hotel robe. You always wonder when those robes will come in handy. The next day I expected everyone to be talking about it, but to the credit to the people in the room that night, what happened in room 701 stayed in 701. I of course told everyone I saw the next day because as embarrassing as it was, it was still comedy.
What did I learn from this and what can you learn? Number 1: Whiskey makes me black out. Know your booze enemies and avoid them if you want to keep your dignity. Number 2: Own your nudity. I’m not the type of girl that wants to be nude in public, but if I am accidentally, then I’m going to enjoy it. Sometimes all you can do is be in on the joke, instead of being the joke. Finally number 3, and this is the most important lesson of all: Use the security latch on hotel doors at all times.
Kathleen McGee is a comedian based in Vancouver. You can follow her on Twitter at @kathleen_mcgee for daily quips and information on where her next comedy club take-down will be.BC, British Columbia, comedy, Kathleen McGee