My father in law is a composer and conductor and spends much of his time waiting in hotel rooms, he once told me ”I think it’s important to be bored before a performance”…well mission accomplised in Richland.
I’m not blaming the town or even the fact I’m couped up in rabbit hutch at the Days Inn. The fact that it’s sub zero temperatures outside has somewhat dampened my appetite for Marco Polo exploration of what this no doubt (ok, I have a few doubts) great town has to offer. I did try, but to be honest it’s difficult getting out of the icy parking lot without looking like Bamby with a few tequila’s in my system. I did try, honest. I went to the conveniently located (it’s actually in the same parking lot, but it’s still a treachorous journey!) Mexican restaurant 3 Margarita’s for lunch - it’s the 3rd time I’ve frequented this charming establishment, the waiters see me as a regular now…or perhaps they think I’m now staff. I’m sure they half expected me to join them as they improptly put down their plates of rice and beans to serenade a whellchair bound octogenarian with a meriachi birthday ditti. My lack of Spanish was really the only barrier to me joining the harmonies.
I was pleased to hear that Louis CK shares my father in law’s philosophy and doesn’t like to spend his days exploring the town he is performing in. Otherwise comics would be perpetual tourists. I’m already getting charged for checking one bag at the airport, I can’t afford two, so I don’t even want to know what trinkets and souvenirs I should be stocking up on. Besides, what is Richland famous for? I love that every town I’ve travelled to likes to boast of it’s local fame: Wenatchee “The apple capital of the world”; Sequim “as good a place as anywhere in America to get crabs?” What? That’s an advert for the town?!? Medford: “Lumber”…”and meth”….my advice, don’t take the meth in the morning, you won’t get wood all day. So Richland, what is your claim to fame? Well….apparently this is where the atomic bomb was built. Hmm. Should I be wearing a Hurt Locker suit? It probably explains the lack of sushi bars in the town.
I’ve been looking for clouds ever since I discovered that little fact, but thankfully the sky is so white that I can’t see any nucleur plumes, even if they are there. There was a brief moment of blue skies and for the first time in 3 days I saw the outline of mountains, but they only appeared briefly and have now retreated behind a blanket of what I assume is snow, but could of course be radioactive air.
The highlight of this trip has been the shows. I had been warned that my humour may not be appreciated outside of the metropolitan centers of America. That has been disproved – the laughs have come where I would normally expect them and the people have been extremely generous with engaging with both the show and taking the time to talk to me afterwards. I haven’t pulled any punches, I have been touching on subjects like healthcare and last night there was an interesting post show discussion as a few locals wanted to genuinely know how I, as an Englishman felt about socialized healthcare. Five of them were wearing cowboy hats and one I’m proud to say, my “David Conolly” t-shirt with a Union Jack on it. Talking of which, one lady who purchased a t-shirt (for which I am grateful, because they are contributing to my burrito intake) enquired about the tagline “David Conolly, cheaper than going to see Big Ben” who is Big Ben? Well….he’s a clock…in London…and if you live in Richland it’s certainly cheaper going to see me. Unless of course you have huge medical bills, in whichcase, eat the ticket get yourself to London and get better…for free.