Dispatches from the Head

I almost died from hot chicken.



Hi, ya’ll-

Before I get into it here I will be in Louisville, KY, September 22nd through 25th at the Improv. If you are in the area it would be nice to see you.

Sorry about last week's Hardwick confusion. We just thought it would be better to post the episode closer to the premiere of Chris' BBC show.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows in Nashville at Zanies. I had a great time. Thanks for the guitar picks, Pralines, chicken, CDs, licorice, coffee and homemade comix. Everytime I go to the South I always want to have a good time and want to stay despite what I thought before I went. Great people, great city.

I am flying from Nashville to NYC as I write this with a fire in my belly. It is not passion or hope. It is the aftermath of eating at Prince’s Hot Chicken. I don’t think I can rationalize my deep desire to eat food that is horrible for me just because I am in a particular region of the country and want to experience the local cuisine. I almost died from chicken--in my mind anyway. Me and few local comics drove to the hood to eat this renowned hot fried chicken. We got there and there was a 400 lb man with a sidearm standing out front. He wasn’t a cop and I assumed he wasn’t the hostess. It was intense. You walk into the place, walk up to a window in the back and order from the small menu. Chicken: regular, medium, hot or extra hot. I was told that white people were not even allowed to order the ‘Extra Hot’. I wanted to. I found that insulting. I had something to prove but they wont even let you. So I ordered the hot. Now, mind you, I can handle hot.

The food came out. You pick it up in a bag. I opened the chicken and the smell made my eyes water. I took one bite and I started hiccupping. I think it was my body trying to reject what I had just put in it. Within seconds I couldn’t feel my face because it was burning from the inside. The guy sitting next to me started sweating. I couldn’t talk or listen. A guy outside was being arrested, there was chaos around, people talking. I couldn't see or hear any of it. I had a singular focus. Getting through this piece of chicken. Why? Who knows? Because it was there and it felt like I was alive. I did it.

I got back to my hotel room and got into bed. An hour later my stomach seized in pain. I knew what was happening. The chicken was burning a hole in the lining. I started drinking water—to survive. I’ve done a lot drugs and nasty things in hotel rooms. I wasn’t going out like this. I pictured the news story. ‘Comic found dead in hotel room from hot chicken.’ I thought about going to the hospital but I pictured when I got there, grasping my stomach, sweating, the ER nurse would look at me and say, “Prince’s?” I rode it out and the pain passed downward. I am living with that now. I assume it will go away. So, if you are down in Nashville… be sure to go to Prince's if you want to push it to the edge with food.

As I write it is the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and I am flying to NYC. I am not scared, I am a bit sad and reflective. If anyone out there lost anyone on that day I send my sympathy as we honor this dark anniversary.


Love,
Maron


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