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by T. Mike

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just a line

Part 7
AUSTIN - Day Three, Let's Say.

      Here's the Big Stinkin' International Improv Fest formula: A day of classes, a night of shows! Three shows, really. Each evening three of the visiting improv troupes performed at a way cool club called Esther's Pool. Then the rest of the evening is spent shouting over a bar's sound system where the BSIIF honchos have set up a special deal: all the improv people are allowed to hang out in the bar and pay full price for drinks and pretend they're not geeks and not normally beaten up by the type of beleathered roughneck (or beroughened leatherneck) that regularly patronize the joint.

      And now a bizarre dinner experience upon which I will now elaborate:

      There was some steak joint in town, down the block from the club, supposed to be cool, we like steak, let's go, why not? So we get there just in time to see a waiter whisk by us with a steak at least one and a half to two times as thick as grandma's goiter (grandma's goiter being the standard unit of thickness for beef products). Mmm, steak, we're all a-thinkin'. But for naught, as the wait is too darn long, so we amble down the street to the first other restaurant we come to, The Boiling Pot. Why is it called that? Cause everthing they serve is boiled. And the Pot part? Okay, ya got me, I have no idea. Yup it's all boiled, which narrows down the food choices to potatoes, corn, sausage, shrimp and crab. We say yes, and entertain ourselves by coloring on the paper table cloth. Then the waitress comes over with a huge steaming pot and before we can say "Hey you crazy psycho what the hell are you doing?!" she dumps it in the center of our table, rendering our drawings unfit for hanging on our mothers' refrigerators like we were hoping. Fortunately, instead of the torrent of boiling hot water and/or tar we expected, it was our dinner. To everyone else, a cornucopia of food. To me, a cornucopia of food infested with disgusting aquatic vermin, like crabs and shrimp. Which, I might add, still had all their disgusting sense organs still on stalks still on their bodies as you are supposed to be eating them. They can't get away with this when serving you mammals, but somehow, as soon as you veer away from warmblooded foods to cold blooded invertebrates, you can eat more of their heads and faces. Harumph. But we did get wooden mallets (actually the only utensil we were allowed) and got to bash the crabs and shrimps, and discover the hard way that crabs do indeed have intestines.

      It is with the perversity of memory that I now cannot recall any of the groups we saw perform except the crappiest one. Since discretion is the better part of if-you-can't-say-something-nice, I will now abandon the topic.

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