I live in Los Angeles and not too long ago, I was doing stand up at a club in Baltimore, my hometown. While I’ve done comedy in New York and Los Angeles throughout the years, this was the first time I was performing in Baltimore, so I think everyone I’ve ever known showed up. Which was so sweet. My parents, my grandmother, my sister and brother-in-law, all of their friends, everyone I went to high school with, my parent’s friends, our rabbi and so on. If it was a 300 person club, I’d guess more than half were there for me.
When it was time for me to go up, the moment I got onstage someone yelled out: “Hey, Jill! Do a shot with us!” I looked out into the crowd and of course, it’s one of the few people that I don’t know in the room. This man was at a huge table with about fifteen people who were all holding up shots. He had a bit of a shady ne’er-do- well vibe to him. In the blink of an eye, I assessed the situation. I didn’t want to say, “No” because, as a comic, you run the risk of having the now very-energetic room turn on you (before you’ve even started your set) if you don’t do the shot. Basically, your instinct is telling you to keep that crowd’s energy up and hold their attention. 99% of the time this frame of mind is just for dealing with your generic heckler, or you not having a good set, but this was different. In that second, I figured that my best approach was to say “What are you drinking?” Because I was pretty sure it was going to be Goldschlager, or something equally as disgusting and then no one in the room would want me to do the gross shot. But sure enough, he shouted back “Patron Silver.” You guys, that’s my tequila.
I was on a wireless microphone, so I jumped off the stage, did the shot with him and his posse and went back onstage. I did my 20-25 minute set. Here’s the thing. I don’t remember anything after doing that shot. To this day. Not the set. Which I’m told was good. I’m also told that I wasn’t stumbling all over the stage. There was no slurring or messing up my jokes. Here’s something else that I don’t remember from that night. I was sitting in the front row during the next comic’s set and I shouted to that him “Take it off!” In normal life, I would NEVER engage a comic while they were onstage. Never. And I didn’t know this frat-ish local comic at all and will tell you that I still cringe at the thought of messing with his set. But guess what, there’s a silver lining (or, is there?) he did take it off. In fact, I hear both of us took it off. I’m told, I got up onstage with him, at which time he stripped down to his boxers, and I was down to my jeans, black bra and one Converse. I’m assuming I kept one Converse on because in spite of everything, I’m always a lady. Did I mention that my parents are friends with a United States Senator from Maryland and that he and his wife were there?
It’s important (read: so damn scary) to know that this whole time at the comedy club, I appeared “normal” to my friends and family. The stripping thing, I’m sure was not what they’d planned on seeing, but they all later told me that it just seemed like I was “being funny.” Side note- when I take my clothes off, I’m never going for funny.
But in all seriousness, the entire point of this column is this: we’ve all heard it before, but let me tell you from personal experience – when someone is Roofied, there’s a very good chance that they won’t appear to be drugged. They could very well seem “with it.” Thank god, my entire family was there. If the psycho guy at The Comedy Factory in Baltimore that night had any plans to try to take me anywhere with him, that wasn’t going to happen. Sorry a**hole, you wasted a Roofie. Also, when I took that shot, I broke a long-standing rule of mine which is to never ever take a drink from anyone who I don’t know. This includes coffee, soda, water, anything. In fact, I’m usually so anal about drinks that I keep my hand over mine when I’m walking around with one and when I’m somewhere public I even try to watch my drink being made. I should have never taken that drink. It didn’t matter that I was in a room filled with people that I knew. That doesn’t change the fact that I did not know him.
My sister drove us back to her house that night after the show. I hear that I was pretty amusing on the drive. She said that I kept raising/lowering the passenger window and complaining about the temperature in the car. Over and over again. I slept in my sister’s guest room that night, like I always do when I visit.
I woke up at 7am the following morning which is also the first moment I remember from the entire night (once I did the shot at the club). I sat up and had zero clue as to where I was. There was vomit by the bed and I didn’t have any recollection of getting sick. Plus, I am a total wuss when it comes to vomiting. It terrifies me. And I have super powers when it comes to avoiding doing it. Anyway, I wandered out of the room, feeling super weird. My pupils were crazy dialated. Wait, is that when they’re big? Because that’s what they were. I can never remember which is which. Also, I can never remember which side your appendix is on and if you’re supposed to jump your car holding the cables positive to negative. Regardless, I was wandering in the hallway and continued to not be able to figure out where I was. Again, this was my sister’s house which I’ve slept in countless times. Her bedroom door was open and thankfully (sisters know stuff!) she just sat up. We went downstairs to the kitchen and she proceeded to tell me everything I’ve just told you. Because to this day, I don’t know any of this firsthand.
Later, the whole family came over for an already-planned brunch. My uncle is a doctor and examined me and when we all realized what had happened, we were really taken aback and obviously so relieved that I was safe. I’ve gotta tell you guys, I was really freaked out when I was trying to process that that kind of thing can happen with family and friends right there. So, the possibility of that happening when you’re just out and about with one friend seems so much more realistic and scary to consider. Again, I was a complete idiot to do that shot. I went on to feel “off” for days while that crap got out of my system. However, I will say that my grandmother, who’s definitely the most nervous of the bunch (she rinses off raisins and prefers to have a spotter when she takes a pill) ironically, had the line of the morning during brunch that day when she put her arm around me and said very matter of factly: “Thank god you’re okay. I’ll tell you one thing, Jill. You sure have a cute figure.”