Awaysickness post image

In a previous life, I did morning radio. This generally involved sitting in a very small room for several hours everyday. As a contrast, it seems that a lot of my job as a comedian involves traveling. Sometimes to locations very near, sometimes to far away places. But always traveling. So much so, that I feel I’ve developed “Fernweh,” or “awaysickness,” the opposite of homesickness. (Naturally, Fernweh is a word invented by the Germans, who have made a habit of preferring to be in places other than their own home. World War much?)

This week I’m close to home, but seemingly worlds apart: Las Vegas. Since I’m here in the city of sin so much, I wanted to spice up this trip so I added a jaunt to Arizona to check out the Grand Canyon. It’s really far away, which is understandable since it’s such an enormous hole in the ground. This inspired my most recent million-dollar idea, which is to go from town to town, digging smaller replica canyons across the nation, so tourists don’t have to sit in a bus for 12 hours. And in the spirit of Jimmy Iovine from Beats, I’ll enlist a famous rapper to be the face of my tourist attraction. Coming soon to a town near you: Ludacris’ Holes In Different Area Codes. Know that!

Acting on a hot tip from a concierge friend, I chose the West Rim of the Grand Canyon because he said there were no safety features. No guardrails or barriers to prevent you from falling 4,000 feet into the canyon below. None. Anywhere. Curiously, he also mentioned that the South Rim, which has such safety features, sees about 5 people every year plummeting to their squishy deaths. Interesting commentary on the human condition: if you tell us we can’t go somewhere, chances are we will try to go there. I’m not sure how we got to be the dominant species on this planet with all these bad decisions we make.


Of course, comedians are missing the part of the brain that tells normal people, “Don’t do that!” So I took it upon myself to cheat death and take some silly photos whilst dangling off the edge of the canyon’s rim. If bad decisions have led to humans being the dominant species, then surely comedians will one day rule the planet.


In retrospect, maybe hanging off the side of the canyon for a stupid picture wasn’t very smart of me. But the worst decision of the day belongs to the person who decided that of all the names available to them on their short list, GUANO CAFE was the best choice for a restaurant.

I shudder to think what kind of commercials this advertising genius had in mind for the Guano Cafe. Would there be a clown named Ronald McGuano? Maybe a giant blobby monster called The Grimmass. How about the Turdburglar? Robble robble!

In all my Fernweh/awaysickness-induced travels, I have seen a lot of restaurants. But I haven’t seen them all. Perhaps “Guano Cafe” is not the worst restaurant name ever. However, it is certainly number 2.

<West Rimshot>

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • comedianJRBROWcomic May 17, 2014, 6:54 pm

    Jesus, Paul. You pack any more puns into that story and we’ll have to ship you off to Europe – where they’re appreciated! 🙂 Great story

    • Paul Ogata May 17, 2014, 8:07 pm

      I think I finally have direction in my career. Thanks JR.

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