Old People Problems


I had several really bad allergic reactions to some fruit I ate this past week — grapes, nectarines. I had some swelling on my face yesterday and last night I broke out in hives. I took some Benadryl and went to sleep. My father was convinced I had shingles. “A lady in my Sunday School class said she just had shingles.” How old was she, Daddy? “68.”


I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he jumped right to shingles. I mean, he’s an old dude and shingles is an old dude disease — not that young people can’t get shingles (’cause I Googled it and found out they can)… I’m just saying if they do, it doesn’t typically come and go within the span of an episode of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta.” What’s important here is that my dad is the biggest hypochondriac I know. Growing up, he was always trying to send me to the doctor for something or other. My mom tells this story about how back when I was toddling, my dad got concerned and said, “I think we need to take her to the pediatrician. Why is she walking like that? All slow and wobbly?” Her response: “Because she just learned how to do it two days ago.” My Pop would have maxed out our insurance benefits every year if my mother hadn’t been there to stop him.

P.S. I know those are the wrong kind of shingles (pictured above), but I like to post pictures with each blog entry, and the other kind of shingles are super gross. You’re welcome.

And on the next episode of “Stuff like this only happens to EJ…”

This weekend I’m working at Laugh Out Loud Comedy Club in San Antonio, TX. The first show was last nite, and when I walked into the lobby of the club I could see that there was a silent auction going on.

I introduced myself to Ruben, who was working in the ticket booth, and asked about the event. He said the show was a benefit for a local animal shelter called Animal Friends. Cool. He then went on to explain that in between acts the staff of the shelter would be bringing dogs on stage, telling their stories and asking people in the audience to adopt them. Cool… Wait. Dogs are gonna be here? In the showroom?

So… yeah, in addition to that being a bit awkward I’m also severely allergic to dogs. Like Will Smith in “Hitch” allergic. Having the dogs in the showroom, having the host hold them and then sharing a mic with him… All very bad things. I can’t blame management because this kind of thing happens once-in-a-never. It’s not like “Hey, you’re not allergic to dogs, are you?” is a standard question when booking acts. And when I told the manager he felt awful and immediately did all he could to make sure I was comfortable and that if I wasn’t we had a backup plan. They swapped out the mic for me and I hung out in the back office for most of the show. I didn’t shake hands with anyone after the show, but I made sure to address it while I was on stage so people didn’t think I was being anti-social. I started to get a teeny bit itchy near the end of the nite, but I bolted and was able to avoid any real issues.

The worst part of being allergic to dogs is that I really like them. And sometimes I’ve stayed around a dog when I know I should leave just because I heart it. But it usually takes me about two days to recover and I didn’t have that kind of time since I’m here working. I’m even more allergic to cats and probably wouldn’t have been able to continue working the weekend if there were cats anywhere around.

Wonder if they would have paid me…

Anyway, it was a cool event with some adorable dogs and the people seemed to be really nice and really care about the dogs. It’s a no-kill shelter and some of the dogs there last nite had been at the shelter as long as three years. Hope they raised tons of money and that all of those dogs find homes.