New Hampshire or Bust

Chelsea Handler is one of my favorite comedians. Not only because she makes fun of Angelina Jolie and drinks more vodka than any human ever should, but also because she makes fun of Tori Spelling and drinks more vodka than any human ever should. I have gotten to see her perform her stand up live 4 times and loved each one.

I heard Chelsea would be performing in New Hampshire and decided it was a must that I be in attendance. I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to go by telling them they were going. So we bought the tickets, booked the hotel and hit the road from Syracuse, NY. It was me and my friend Rhac (Yes, pronounced like ‘rock’ and yes, his real name) and our friends the super couple, Shaun and Evangeline. They were one of those couples that were either super fun or super lame. So Rhac was there as my safety in case the lame couple showed up. I mean, his name is Rhac- you know he is a good time. We were planning on getting into town the night before the show, spending the following day exploring New Hampshire, go to the show that night and then drive back the next day. The plan took a detour when we found a fun moose statue and Santa Claus. Let me explain.

We were driving through Vermont, right on schedule to get to our hotel in New Hampshire around 7pm when Rhac noticed a moose statue he wanted to get a picture with of course. Rhac and I had been drinking for most of the trip already while Shaun drove. So we were basically like drunk children wanting to take every detour possible that seemed fun. We turned around, took some pictures with the moose and then tried to get back on track. But since we are all directionally impaired and in backwoods Vermont where there is no service for our GPS we did not. Instead we asked some guy for directions and while walking back to the car Santa spotted us. There was a tavern across the street and a man who looked like Santa Claus (if Santa was from the sticks and it was the off season so he trimmed his beard a bit). He was wearing jeans, a white tee, and American Flag suspenders. He called out, “What are you doing? I’m drinking! You should come do the same!” I’m not one to disobey Santa, so we adhered. It was a stereotypical small Vermont town. Everyone in the bar knew each other and accepted us like we were all old friends. Right down to Kathy the bartender and all of the beer vendors there who got drunk with us giving us free swag. We barely spent a penny with all the free drinks we were getting and also walked away with shirts, beads, beer buckets, and lots of stories from Santa Claus. We came to find out Santa’s name was Bob. We also came to find out Bob was a bit of a creeper which still to this day taints Christmas for me a little bit. I’ve never had so much fun with a bunch of strangers in my life. Evangeline was the responsible one to step up and say she would stay sober to get us to New Hampshire. I think we had all forgotten we still had to get to New Hampshire.

So after a night of drinks, taking 100’s of pictures with the locals, singing to classic 80’s jams on the jukebox, free swag, and creepy looks from Bob; we headed to New Hampshire. When we got there Rhac and I went to check in. Rhac was wearing every shirt we got at the bar, his sunglasses, and a Bud Light bucket on his head. I was sophisticatedly dressed with about 3 pounds of beads around my neck, Land Shark sunglasses and Hawaiian leis around my head. We got checked in, Rhac got the keys and I hit on the bell boy. Successful check in for sure.

The following day we took it easy and just drove around the town finding some little diners and shops to go to. We got back to the room with some time to pregame and get ready for the show.  Chelsea was hilarious as always and put on an amazing show. Heather McDonald opened for her and was funny as always too. I had gotten to see Heather open for her when I saw Chelsea in New Jersey too.  After that show I asked Heather for her autograph by brilliantly saying, “I have a book and you should sign it right now because you’re funny and I like your face.” I shouldn’t be allowed to meet famous people. They were doing a book signing after the Jersey show and I was convinced if I met Chelsea she would see what a talent I was and hire me for her show. I decided I would wing it and say something fabulous off the top of my head when I met her. I had brought her book to get signed but they were only allowing people to get signatures who bought the book at the store that day. Mine no longer had the book cover on it and was obviously not bought there. So I forced my boyfriend to buy one so we could get in line. Then we found out they were giving post-its with the correct spelling of your name to make it easier on Chelsea. So they only gave Jarrid one since he bought the book. I kept asking for one but that miserable woman was not budging and kept saying I couldn’t get the autograph since I didn’t buy the book there. So we moved up in line a bit and then I noticed my nemesis, the angry lady, was gone. So I grabbed Jarrid’s book that was bought there, went back to them and told them that the lady that was there before didn’t give me a post-it after I bought my book and that she should probably be fired due to a bad attitude and a slight lisp. It was a success. I got my post-it. When we finally got to Chelsea the fabulous thing I came up with was, “I lied to get in this line. Here is a post it with my name on it – It’s for you! I didn’t buy this here.” Then I spilled all the ice out of my empty rum and coke that I forgot I was holding and told the security guy to take a picture for me as I threw my camera at him. This is why I can’t have nice things.

But back to New Hampshire – we watched the show and were on a funny high. Afterwards we walked around looking for a fun spot to spend the night at and came across a group outside of a place that had some live music. It was a super chill bar with a really funnlive jam band playing. Rhac and Shaun are both huge jam band fans and I can tell you with 100% confidence if one of the band members asked them to go home with them they would have. I have never seen two grown men turn into groupies so quickly. While they threw their unmentionables on stage obsessing over the band I had my eyes set on Purple Shirt. This is still what we call him because none of us remember his name. He looked like a hot modern day Greaser minus the literal greasy hair and cigarette pack wrapped up in his sleeve. He was playing pool and kept looking over so I decided I would give him the privilege to buy the rest of my drinks that night. Purple Shirt hung out with us the rest of the night while we danced and partied with the band who Rhac and Shaun had of course become friends with. After the bar closed we headed back to the hotel where we kept the party going with some more drinks, pizza, and a giant kickball that had appeared at some point. Somehow we didn’t break anything in the hotel room from our drunken kickball / soccer game we were playing until around 5 am. When I woke the next morning I was lying with my head off the foot of the bed, Rhac was sleeping in the desk chair, and the room looked like a tornado hit it. A giant, drunk, tornado. This is the effect Chelsea Handler has on people.

It had been a great trip but it was time to go home. The ride home was a bit tamer than the ride there of course. We each had to take turns driving due to the lack of sleep and liver function. People always ask me what bars we went to and if we ever went back and the answers are – no idea and no. I would love to know the names of those bars so we could revisit them but sadly I do not. Hell, I can’t even tell you the name of the town we were in, in Vermont. But I can tell you that road trips and Chelsea Handler put together are always going to be a really, really great time for you and your friends and a really, really bad time for your liver.

Cheers Chelsea.

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Amy Maestri

Writer / actress / producer.

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