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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

The Funny Bone And Joan

Sunday March 6th, 2011 - Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Lake, IL

   Sunrise. Sunset. This was probably the last time I go to Pittsburgh to do the Funny Bone there, and if it is I‘m fine with it. I’ve come full circle. I began my quarter century of road adventures there, and now it looks as if that‘s the place I’ll finish up. How symmetrical.

   What a roller coaster ride it’s been. Absolutely everything has changed during that time, including The Funny Bone’s physical location. The club has moved three times, and now it’s in the Radisson Inn Green Tree, not far from downtown. It’s nice, but not what it was.

   Back in the day, the Funny Bone in Pittsburgh ROCKED. The first location was on the south end of town in the Penn Hills section on Route 51. It was nothing special to look at, and in fact it was a bit dingy and run down - but that place cranked it out with the best of any comedy clubs I’ve ever seen. People came out to laugh, and the audieces were great.

   Like my hometown of Milwaukee, Pittsburgh was blue collar and had a large number of people who liked to go out - even during the week. I remember that club being packed for every show Tuesday through Saturday, with three red hot shows on Saturday to finish up.

   There was an Arby’s right across the street and between or after shows we’d get food to take back to the club or hotel. I remember a super hottie named Joan who I hit it off with, and was in love from the first minute I met her. She was a sweetie too, and I was smitten.

   One wouldn’t picture an Arby’s in Pittsburgh to be the place to meet hot chicks, but she stood out. She was Playboy material, and all the comics knew of her. I got to know her in the times I went there, and actually had the stones to ask her out. And she even said yes!

   I was probably 22 and she was about 19 or 20, and I was super excited about taking her out. Too bad I’d asked her on a Saturday, and was leaving the next day. There wasn’t any internet to stay in touch with each other, and by the time I came back she wasn’t working at the Arby’ anymore and I never saw her again. But all these years later I still remember.

   She really was a looker too. Most hotties like that aren’t named ‘Joan‘, with no offense to the women who are. They’re named ’Mona’ or ’Racquel’ or something that oozes sex appeal, like Joan did. Pittsburgh isn’t known for cranking out beatuties like that, even if there are a lot of nice looking women there - and there are. This one was a cosmic fluke.

   I wonder whatever happened to her? I’m sure she hooked up with some steel worker or cop or blue collar dude and cranked out some babies. She’s now in her 40’s and couldn’t turn a head if she wanted to. Or maybe not. Maybe one of the Steelers players stopped at that Arby’s and swept her off her feet and she’s living on easy street with a sweet life.

   Whatever it is, it’s not what it was for either of us. I was a young punk with hopes and dreams and something to prove. Now, all I wanted was to get my money and get home to start working on my next adventure. My youth is gone, but I still want to chase a dream.                                                                                                                                                         

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