The ‘A’ word

I am opening for comedy legend, icon, GIANT Robert Klein this week at the Improv in DC. A huge fan of the process of writing, I love to see the greats at work. He’s working on material for his 9th HBO special. Man… can you imagine… A couple years ago, when he was working out for his last special, I went to the club and saw the show 2, maybe 3 times–I can’t remember… So when Allyson, the manager at the Improv asked me if I was available to do the show this time, I was super excited and of course jumped at it!!! I’ve pretty much been counting the days until the show. The first one was last nite.

As a few of us comics were chatting in the back of the room after the show, this woman comes up to me and starts gushing about how much she enjoyed the show–which would make any comic blush. And then she follows it up with “And you… You are so articulate.”

(Insert Screeching tires)

As my boy Dawan would say, I gave her the ‘big eyes’… but then I reeled myself in because really she was trying to be complimentary and I knew that and I could tell she’d just really enjoyed the show, plus she was an older woman. But it got me to thinking what is it about that word that pisses me off so much? Would I have even been bothered by it if I’d never heard Chris Rock’s bit about Colin Powell being so “well-spoken?” Would I have just smiled and taken it as a compliment?

What is it about someone calling me articulate that makes me want to respond with “NO, I AIN’T!” Or something worse…

Back in September, I opened for Mark (Mr. Cooper) Curry at the very same club. And after the show, this young-ish, really drunk white woman came up to me and said, “I really enjoyed you, but you were so white. It’s like you’re a white girl trapped inside a black girl’s body. Then she said the “A” word.

And it took everything I had for me and my diction not to go upside her head. Continue reading →

We don’t carry purple either


I was in Georgetown on Friday afternoon looking for a long-sleeved black cotton t-shirt. I stopped by Urban Outfitters and couldnt find what I was looking for. Then I went to the Gap — still no luck, so as I was walking back, I walked by Abercrombie and Fitch. I’d never been in that store before, but I know it’s casual clothing, so I decided to go in. When I walked in there was a girl standing by the door and she asked if she could help me. Since I didn’t have a lot of time, I was like sure… I’m looking for a long-sleeved black cotton t-shirt. And she said, “Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t sell anything black.”

For real? At first I thought she was kidding. I was like wait, so nothing in this store is black? And she looked at me as if to say, “Well nothing but YOU.” Of course she didn’t actually say that, but if this whole encounter had been a scene in a sitcom (Scrubs, for example) there would have been a dream sequence where she totally would have said that, then I would have punched her in the face, and then it’d be back to reality.

I was in the store for a total of about 8 seconds. When I left I was upset, but I wasn’t sure if I had the right to be. I mean she didn’t say we don’t sell TO anyone black, but it bothered me so much I had to investigate further. Was it just the buyer for that store who didn’t like black so that location didn’t carry black clothing or was it a company-wide policy?

So on my way to my show on Friday nite, I called another Abercrombie store and asked to speak with a manager. And I asked him 1) if it was true they didn’t carry black and 2) what was the reason. He told me that since Abercrombie was an “outfitter”, by definition they carry casual clothes. Black was a more formal, grown-up color and they carry black in their sister store, Ruehl. (Apparently Ruehl is to Abercrombie as Banana Republic is to Gap). He told me that American Eagle, which is also an “outfitter” didn’t carry black either. So okay… I was about to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think it’s a stupid policy/reason not to carry such a basic color in their stores, but it’s their right. I was like hey, Erin, you’re turning into Martin Lawrence’s character in Boomerang… Everything’s not racial. So I said well, thanks for the explanation. And then he said “No problem, and in case it makes you feel better, we don’t carry purple either.”

Alright, pump the brakes.

Continue reading →

ELBOW, We won’t go!


So I’m in the UnSafeway down the street from my house about an hour ago and I almost witnessed a riot. I was walking down the pasta aisle and there was absolutely no elbow macaroni left on the shelves.

On the night before Thanksgiving.

In southeast D.C.

Every single person on that aisle was looking for macaroni noodles… cause a Black Thanksgiving without macaroni and cheese — just ain’t happening. The poor stock boy was like “I’m sure we have some more in the back. Y’all hold up while I check” In the meantime the ladies in the aisle started preparing themselves to riot. “Yeah, they BETTA have some in the back!”, “How I’m ‘sposed to fix Thanksgiving with no baked macaroni?”, “They don’t wanna see us act a fool.”…

Luckily–for everyone in the store–he came back with a flatbed full of macaroni. He didn’t even attempt to put it on the shelves. He just rolled it down the aisle and backed away. Smart guy.

Happy Turkey Day, y’all!

Worst date ever. Ever. Pt. II

Alright, so lets recap.

  1. Dude didn’t want to take my “ass all the way back home”
  2. Dude didn’t pay for my meal and asked me for extra money to pay his
  3. I saw dude’s penis on the first date – and I don’t mean that in a good way (shout to Dom Irrera – because he always reads my blogs)

So for whatever reason, even after Pee-Gate I decided not to take a cab home. Maybe I was in shock. Maybe it was the comic in me… My boy Bryson said that probably I just needed to see it all the way through just to make sure it was really happening.

I get in the car with dude and I scoot as far away from him as physically possible. And the whole time, I’m sniffing for pee pee. Seriously. I was like, I think I can smell it. Why was I trying so hard? I cannot answer that. Now if you know me, you know I was throwing this brother shade all nite. Big eyes, snarky comments… but dude was either completely unable to read overt social cues and body language… or I was on a prank dating show and have yet to be notified. Really, my boy Dawan is on BET’s Hell Date. I was seriously like alright D… very funny… Now where’s the dancing midget?

Exhale… So we pull up in front of my place and he puts the car in park and he’s like I really like you. I like your style. I know you said you’re going out of town this week and I’m working such and such nite, so I guess we’ll just get together next Sunday…


So then he’s like “Alright Erin really… no matter how hard you beg, I’m not coming up. Not on the first date. It’s too soon.”

Blank stare back at him.

He interpreted the blank stare as my not getting his ‘joke’. So he kept going. “You really need to learn some self control and stop being so aggressive.” So I said, “Yeah, I’m gonna go upstairs and pray about it.” So I open the door to get out and he’s like, “Wait, I think I should walk you to your door. I mean this IS southeast.”

Double WORD?

Needless to say I laughed, got out of the car and slammed the car door. I then went in the house and called my parents to tell them they should give up hope of ever having grandchildren. Because I quit. Cause if anything like this ever happens to me again, I might just snap. I was like hey, if you put away money for their college or to help with a wedding for me, do yourselves a favor and liquidate it. You’re old. Buy yourselves something nice.

So that’s it. That’s the whole story. Not nearly as eventful as the beginning, but just as redunkulous.

‘Til next time.

Worst date ever. Ever

OK, here’s what went down… And I warn you, this is going to make you want to cry…

EJ meets dude. Dude asks EJ out to dinner and she accepts because dude seems pretty normal. Dude tells EJ he wants to take her to a restaurant out in a ritzy town in Maryland. EJ thinks, well there are a lot of great places to eat in the city and that’s pretty far from where I live, but hey, it’s your date. I’m down for whatever… Now EJ is tired of writing in the third person. Less than a minute after I get in dude’s car, dude is like, I forgot that you lived so far out. Do you mind if we don’t go to the place I suggested? And I was like no, not at all. Then he says, “Good cause I don’t really feel like driving way out there and then bringing your ass all the way back home. I mean this is just a first date.” Ass all the way back home. Verbatim. I promise. It’s permanently etched in my memory. Now, at this point I thought about just opening the car door, tucking my head and taking my chances rolling down the street. That I didn’t do that would turn out to be the biggest mistake of my dating life so far. Yes, bigger than the time my clumsy behind wore my favorite white blouse on a date at Maggiano’s and ordered the lasagna.


So we decide to go to Capitol hill and eat — thats about 2 miles from my house. We went to one of my favorite restaurants and here is the summary of what went down while we were there. We eat. He orders two drinks. I’m cool with just a ginger ale. He does not pay for my meal. Then once I pay for my half and leave my tip, he puts down $20 and then asks me if i have any more small bills b/c he doesn’t want to break his other 20. “Once you break it, it’s gone,” he said… Really, dude? I told him to ask the waitress to change his damn 20.

THEN, and this is the topper — we leave the restaurant and he says “This always happens to me when i drink rum” And I’m like whats wrong? He’s like, “It makes me have to pee.” So I was like alright, let’s go back to the restaurant, we’re only like half a block away… And he says, “Oh no it’s cool.” So I think… ok, it’s cool, right? We keep walking and then I realize I’m walking by myself. He has STOPPED IN AN ALLEY, unzipped his pants and is peeing right there in the alley — in front of me ON A DATE.

I could not move. I was paralyzed.

I know what you’re thinking… Awful. Absolutely awful right?

And of course you’re right… It was awful. Nasty as all hell. But I do have to give him credit for one thing… When he caught up to me after his peepee break, he did make it a point to walk on the outside of the sidewalk to protect me from street traffic — because he is a gentleman.

I’d never prayed that a car would actually jump a curb before that nite…

There’s more, but I can’t bring myself to type it right now. Stay tuned for Part II.