Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In Which Dan Nearly--But Not Quite--Has Two Large Women Getting Into A Physcial Altercation Over Him

I don't remember whose idea it was to return to the Thompson Inn.

Maybe it was no one's idea. Maybe it was just something that germinated in our collective unconscious, a subliminal compulsion that slowly blossomed into the front of our minds.

Or maybe it was mine and Heavy Metal's idea. Who can remember such things?

For those of you who need a refresher, The Thompson Inn is where the wrestlers stayed on the 2010 tour. It is a hive of scum and villainy--blood on the walls, broken locks, broken beds...drunks and addicts stumbling up and down the hallways.

It's also where I learned the Howson Partying Secret to maintain a spotless reputation on the road: 1) Party in OTHER people's rooms 2) Show up on time the next day.

It seems to have worked so far.

Did I mention we nearly got thrown out of the place last year? What do you have to do to be thrown out of the Thompson Inn? Only professional wrestlers know for sure.

In 2011 we stayed in a different place, the LAKEVIEW INN & SUITES, which I am writing in capital letters as a plug for them since without their generosity and help being Trapped in Thompson would have been a lot more unpleasant.

It's also a really nice place. Very homey and great staff.

The bar in the Thompson Inn...not so much.

No description can do justice to this bar. Picture the worst bar you've ever seen in your life. Now imagine that bar being sacked by Vikings and repainted with several chipped and peeling coats of Despair. Now add in a zombie apocalypse. Then take away all of the zombies except for a handful...the ones too slow to get any brains.

That's the bar in the Thompson Inn.

How could you NOT go back?

Past the drunks clustered outside. Through the door and into the establishment proper--a stage and dance floor on one side of the room, the bar on the other, clusters of line-faced drunks dotting the the area like the raisins in a slice of raisin bread.

And that's when I became the belle of the ball.

I was approached by at least three older, drunker, native women, three times my size.

Did I say approach? These were more like assaults. No flirting. No back and forth. Just a storming of the sexual ramparts, grabbing at me and incoherent mumbling.

Maybe the zombie analogy is more appropriate than I first thought.

But do you know what?

I had a great time.

One of them pulled me onto the dance floor. The dancing was fun; the conversation and inappropriate groping of my parts, less so. And yes, I played up my horrified discomfort, mostly to amuse the watching wrestlers.

But secretly--in those moments when I wasn't fending off her advances or looking over at my friends to see if they were taking any pictures--I enjoyed dancing with her.

Yes, she was drunk. No, she wasn't particularly attractive or likeable.

But I have a theory that all women are sexy. You just need to look for it.

And you could find it in this woman too. Just a spark, when we were dancing of the person maybe she used to be or could have been or maybe could be again. I looked in her eyes and saw past the alcohol and the years and the disappointments. I saw past my own prejudices, preconceptions, and judgements and recognized...well, a person, just like anybody else, someone who wants to be happy.

In that moment of human connection, dancing with her became fun. I stopped worrying about what my friends thought. I stopped caring about how I looked.

I enjoyed the dance.

This might be a cute story if it ended there, but it didn't.

After the dance, she continued to pursue me. Telling her I had to go didn't work, peeling her hand of my wrist didn't work.

I ended up weaving through the group of wrestlers like a basketball player coming off of a screen, finally buying myself a few seconds by ducking behind the six foot eight ZACK MERCURY (*)

I managed to find a seat. She managed to find me.

I was at a loss. I had tried everything. Assertiveness. Physical disengagement. Zack Effin' Mercury. What was left for poor Dan Brodribb?

The answer was about to arrive, and arrive it did like thunder.

It came in the form of yet ANOTHER overweight Native American woman.

It came--although I didn't learn her name until later--in the form of Muriel.

She powered between me and my assailant like a bulldozer, clamped her arm around me like a vice, turned to the other woman and said in the clipped First Nations accent:

"Hey. You messin' wit' my boyfriend?"

For a second they started at each other. I had a moment of giddiness--oh my god, they're going to fight over me.

This could be AWESOME.

Two gigantic Native American women throwing down amidst a group of wrestlers over the affections of the ring announcer...that is a visual on Big-Jess-Getting-Shot-With-Fireworks levels of unforgettable.

Alas, it was not to be. After a few moments of intent staring, the first woman slunk off like a jackal abandoning a zebra carcass.

I was relieved, then realized Muriel's arm was still around me.

Oh shit.

Had I gone from frying pan to fire?

Muriel drew closer, looked up at me...and winked.

"You look liked you needed some help," she whispered in my ear.

Oh, I did, Muriel. I did. And I'm not too proud to accept yours. Thank you from the bottom of my ring announcing, Buddhist, stand-up comic, relationship blogging heart.

Some may call the Thompson Inn hell, but for tonight, I had found my angel.

(*) My first Zack Mercury Experience was sitting next to him in the passenger seat of a rental truck, careening down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere while he simultaneously drove, texted, set up his ipod and mixed himself a protein shake without once looking at the road. He's a fun-loving, laid-back guy, which is why it came as such as surprise to me when he once told me something so on-point about my personal sense of self that I lie awake at night staring at the ceiling thinking about it to this day.

Upcoming Comedy
Monday, August 22 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Which Dan Writes A Hung Over Blog Post In Sentence Fragments

Went to the bar last night for the first time in quite a while.

Well, unless you count Friday.

And every night on the Manitoba trip.

Never mind.

Best received line I used last night: "You`re really weird." Most confusing line used on me: "You look like an intellectual."

I don`t even know what that means.

The world has come a long way since "what`s your sign?"

Also, Captain Hammer climbed onto the roof of a building. Not a slow climb either. He scrambled up there like a spider monkey. It was damn impressive.

I was about to follow him up when the police car appeared beside me.

Probably for the best. I am not nearly as agile as the Captain.

The female cop taking Hammer`s information after he came down didn`t seem to know whether to ticket him or ask him out. She took his phone number in any case. I imagine it could go either way.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dan Says The Sweetest Things (Part 2)

Keep in mind this happened at my 20 year high school reunion talking to a woman I hadn't seen in decades.

WOMAN: (in the midst of an impassioned debate about relationships): So let me ask you this, just for a guy's perspective. How do you get and keep a guy's attention. Like what does a guy think, when he comes home, he's watching TV and the woman comes out dressed in sexy lingerie.

ME: Depends if he's F***d her already or not.

After writing this down, I'm not sure if I should be plugging my dating advice blog, but for the record, the other guys at the table agreed with me. Well, the single ones did.

The ones seated beside their wives were oddly silent.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

The Attitude

Now this is more like it.

I’ve been spending the past couple weeks grappling with the post-tour malaise I talked about here. The tour really brought into focus how empty of motivation my life has been lately. There isn’t as much going on as I’m used to and the stuff I am doing…I like it, but I just hadn’t been feeling the same passion. I’ve been lethargic, listless, and uninspired.

No longer.

Why? Because I remembered something I had forgotten.

The passion doesn’t come when the right thing comes along. The right things come along when you’re passionate.

Stressful as I find them, transitions are a natural part of life, especially for someone like me who loves the climb, but never wants to spend too much time on the same mountaintop. But to go from mountain to mountain also means passing through the valleys. It means taking the time to wait and see which height calls to me next.

But you can bring passion to the valleys too.

The secret isn’t to find something that motivates you. The secret is to have the motivation first and bring that to the things you do, even the little things.

This has been a good week so far. I’ve accomplished more in the last couple days than in the last few weeks combined. Some of them are big things: Finished three or four Gateway Boyfriend articles. Charged ahead on my application for grad school. Put in a volunteer application. Took a leap forward on some projects at my day job. Read all nine hundred and fifty-some pages of George RR Martin’s new novel in the bookstore. (Okay, that one might have taken more than a couple days. But I finished it less than a week after it came out. Anyway, you have your accomplishments and I have mine).

Others are small things: Bought groceries and dropped off a food bank donation. Cleaned. Rehearsed comedy. Promoted the Gateway Boyfriend. Made myself pancakes.

But it doesn’t matter if they’re big or small. What matters is that I brought the passion to them that I’ve been letting slide.

The motivation’s back, baby. I’m fired up.

Instead of looking outside myself for something to bring me joy, I’ve just looked inside myself and found it there all along.

I’d like to take credit for this transformation, but the truth was, I had a lot of help

- A discussion with my father about the Attitude (you’ll have to ask him about it).

- Conversations with the Edmonton Buddhist Meditation group.

-Some back hallway advice from Dino, the manager of The Comic Strip.

- Phone calls with friends--Dawn Dumont, Captain Hammer, the Slayer, and the drummer from my own band.

- A conversation with Vasalissa on Monday. We were talking about a completely unrelated subject, but something she said--not an easy thing to say, either--was what it took for all the pieces fall into place.

- Being at my 20 year high school reunion, which happened this weekend. Seeing all these faces again and hearing the stories and seeing the way so many of them are living their lives helped too. We’ve gone in many different directions (or perhaps not--80% of us became teachers, it seems) and it’s hard not to be optimistic when you see how people have evolved, yet still remained true to themselves. As my old social studies teacher wisely remarked, “You move and change within your core, but your core remains the same.” There were a few teachers there. One was the woman who taught me English every year but one from grade six until graduation. She was the one who helped nurture my writing--so if there are any spelling or grammar errors in this post…well, it’s her fault now, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s coincidence, but already things seem to be looking up. Comedy is picking up for September and October. Dawn and I are going to see Wicked on Thursday.

In celebration, I’ve decided to mark down the Dating for Shy Guys book by 40%. The sale isn’t going to stay very long--my avaricious nature won’t allow it--but if you’re thinking of picking the ebook up for yourself or someone you know, now’s the time to do it. The link is here.

In the meantime, I’m excited to see how things play out. There are thing not yet begun. There are things not yet finished. I don’t know what‘s going to happen next.

But I know, whatever it is, I’m ready to do it.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


“The high-wire is life: All the rest is waiting.”
-Karl Wallenda

Being back from the tour has been an adjustment.

When you're on tour, something new and interesting is happening every moment. There's a new town to visit, a new crisis to be averted, new people to meet and new parties to attend.

And of course there are the shows.

Performing for a live audience is its own high. It's also like being part of a secret society in that only the people who know what it's like know what it's like. Each moment in front of a crowd is amazing because there is only that moment and then it is gone. You can REPEAT a joke, but you can never tell it twice because each time is unique. Every second on stage or in the ring is JUST that second. Once it's experienced--whether you're a performer or part of the crowd--you can never get it back.

It's a lot like sex in that respect.

It's also a lot like sex in that it is awesome.

It also means now that the tour is over, it's been an adjustment period going back to my regular rhythm. The pace feels so much slower. The level of intensity and focus required feels so much less. The parties are nice but they aren't...well, they aren't wrestling level parties.

I've had these sorts of 'show-biz hangovers' before. When you have a great show or a great tour, it's hard to go back to buying groceries, paying rent, and doing taxes. Last night you were a star, and today you have the same problems as anybody else.

I can see why show-biz types go crazy. Once you get a taste, it's hard to stop.

This week I'm working overnights. For the last couple nights I've been staying up later to acclimatize myself. It's strange being awake when the rest of the world is asleep. You're alone. Nothing to do, but go for walks, pace the apartment, and read, watch TV, or play videogames.

But always that restless feeling, like you're waiting for the rest of the world to wake up.

Maybe some of you know what I'm talking about.

Because that to me is what life offstage feels like most of the time. As rewarding as it is or as fun as it is or as happy you are or how much you love the people you are with, it always feels like life's color and volume is turned down just a couple notches. It feels like all the things you do--working, sleeping, eating, socializing--could really be summed up in one word.


Waiting for colour and sound to come back.

Dan's writing on Dating and relationships can be found at

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.