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Bonnie McFarlane is a standup comic and writer based in Los Angeles.

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TheyCallMeCunt (Click here for Part Deux!)

There are many ways for a guy to bring a woman down a peg or two. They can be condescending, tell her she's fat, fuck her up the ass. Oh yeah, there's also calling her a cunt. But for that to happen, sheíd have to make the guy really, really mad. Due to my great abilities to ire, I have been called a cunt on more than several occasions and I can tell you from these experiences, it's not as fun as being fucked up the ass.

I can't possibly list all the times behind my back or bedroom doors that I've been referred to as that wondrous female body part, so I've sufficiently narrowed the list to the times I've been called a cunt... in public... in a comedy club. The top five times I've been called a cunt in public in a comedy club.

#5: "You will never play either of my clubs-- ever!-- you cunt."

It was the infamous Toronto comedy festival. Jim Carey was... supposed to be there. He was on all the posters and everything. Whatever. I was a new comic, eager to have the opportunity to hang out with industry big wigs like Howard Lapides and Mark Breslin.

It was after a show, we were all drinking. Me: Kokanee beer. Them: black Russians. I was gettin' my schmooze on. It was very late. Harland Williams and Jeremy Hotz had long hit the hay when one of the guys (his claim to fame was owning the most comedy clubs in the Canada with the exception of Mark Breslin) said, "Sweetheart, all you have to do to get on at one of my clubs is suck this" and he pulled out a wad of shriveled pink something. Well, the other guys went crazy, hollering and whooping it up about that, but what they didn't know was that I still had a bullet left in the ol' pistol. I smiled smugly and I said...

Let me just stop the story right here for one second and say that at this point I was young, I didn't know I was a natural cunt. I didn't know that I didn't need to work it to get a rise out of a fat old man. Okay, lets resume.

He said, "suck this" and I shot back: "I'd rather lick Lillian." Now, fatty club owner woulda won the ugly contest if it hadnít been for his wife Lillian. Apparently she never showered or at least thatís what a dozen black russians will make your husband whine about in public. Little did I know that they were in the middle of a bitter divorce and rumors were circulating that she was having an affair with a woman. I knew something was wrong pretty much immediately because there was no whooping and hollering for my retort. Just all those horrified looks. The club owner pointed his finger in my face and roared, "You will never play either of my clubs-- ever!-- you cunt."

#4: "I wrote your whole act, you cunt!"

Toronto again. Same year. I was renting a room in the back room of this comicís apartment. Now, I should point out that I wasn't the first out of town comic to do that and I wasn't the last. But I was the only chick and from the get go this guy acted like I was his mail order bride and he was my supreme comedy mentor constantly offering up gems like, "Ironic observations never get a laugh."

It was a nightmare.

Why didn't I move out earlier? I'll tell you why. On principal. Yeah. I thought I had a right to be there without fucking him because I was paying rent. See how cunty my thinking was, even back then?

But it gets even more complicated. I wouldíve just stayed in my room the entire time but all I had in there was a futon on the floor and there was a crack under the door like this big where mice had in/out privileges. Yes, mice. If I didnít hear them rustling around at the foot of my mattress, I heard them getting snapped in the trap in the kitchen. It was a crazy time. No matter how many we killed there were always more mice. I never got a good nights sleep. Never. Instead, I'd lay there fantasying about my future when I'd have a bed with legs and a bedroom door that went all the way to the floor.

Turns out it takes about three months to get sleep deprived enough to tuck down with a roommate who repulses you just because he does have a bed with legs and a door that goes all the way to the floor. My gratitude went well beyond the requisite blow job but for a few hours in the early morning, I slept.

Well, you can see how thatíll cause problems the next day when youíre trying to get it back to the way it was.

I moved out while he was MC-ing an open mic night.

Not too many nights later, I had just finished my show at Yuk Yuks and was self- medicating with beer and tequila when he lumbered in, waving my head shot over his head yelling, "Sheís a lesbian!" He lit the picture on fire and ran around the club with it chanting, "She's a lesbian! Sheís a lesbian!" And, at that time, back in Canada, being called a lesbian didn't have the cache it does here and now. Plus I kind of took pride in my blow jobs.

I was mad. I threw my drink at him. Later I said it was to put out the fire but it wasn't. Cunty? I think so. Then I yelled "fuck you" and he yelled. "I wrote your whole act, you cunt!"

 TheyCallMeCunt: Part Deux

Here are the top three times Iíve been called a cunt in a comedy club. Of course, there have been other times Iíve been called a cunt in a comedy club. In fact, just a mere three days ago, another individual joined the illustrious group of cunt callers in a comedy club. This time, a female who was to go onstage later that night. Her exact words: "Youíre a cunt but youíre funny." Why she said this to me is still a mystery, however, watching her set I can only assume she wanted to be, at the very least, a cunt.

#3. "You are all style, no substance, you cunt!"

New York. Two years later. I was in the comic strip. Iíd just bombed. (You'll notice that's also sort of a running theme.) I was drinking my second free domestic. One before to sooth the nerves, one after to sooth the ego.

As I sipped it, I watched fellow comic Mark Maron holding court with a couple of young wannabes. He was talking about how hard it was in his day. When he was doorman at nightclub in San Fransisco in the eighties and you could do coke off a chick's ass right there at the coat check.

Big Dog Dianne -- a club kid comic who sported a dog collar for every performance -- came in. She looked at them and looked at me and I said, "War stories." Like that. "War Stories." I didn't even think I said it loud enough for Maron to hear me, but he did and he got pissed. That's the thing about Marc, he doesn't let anyone walk all over him. He ran insults up one side of me and down the other but all I can remember is that he dramatically tossed his scarf over his shoulder and belted out, "You are all style, no substance, you cunt."

#2: "You cunt! You cunt! You cunt!"

Los Angeles. Mike Renolds. Infamous for the Bike Rentals bit and using coupons at the ALL NUDE ALL THE TIME. I lent Mike Renolds money. I know. You don't lend Mike Renolds money. You give Mike Renolds money.

Anyway, one night Iím at the Improv showing off for my William Morris Agents who are checkin' in with me all the way from New York City. Mike Renolds approached and nearly knocked me on my ass with his whiskey and valium breath and, without any provocation from me, disclosed that he did not have the money he owed me.

Aware of my super human powers to make men yell cunt at me, I just nodded politely and went back to my NY guests, not wanting to start anything.

Mike Renolds took seven dollars out of his pocket and threw it to the floor. I bent, picked it up, put it in my pocket and turned back to my agents like nothing happened.

Then I just tried to ignore the fact that in front of William Morris Agents, Mike Renolds was repeatedly yelling, "You cunt!"

#1. "You just want to fuck me to get a job, you cunt."

And my #1 time I've been called a cunt in public in a comedy club: Los Angeles. My agents are now Paradigm -- thank you, Mike Reynolds -- but I donít invite them down to the World Famous Improv. Ever. No. I am now fully aware that at any given time, someone could yell 'you cunt' in my direction, most likely at me. Even with this knowledge however, it is always a shocking occurrence. Even when all the elements are there staring me in the face, I find I am still surprised when it happens.

This particular night, the elements were Ron Zimmerman, five of his best friends, and a shitload of alcohol. They were at the Improv to celebrate the birthday of one of Ron's friends who at the end of this story gets hit accidentally in the face by a comic who is defending my honor. He means to hit Ron but the birthday boy drunkenly steps into the fist of the boy martyr and mayhem ensues. Eventually the cops get involved. But at that point, believe you, me -- I am long gone.

Let me catch you up. Zimmermanís friends were all sitting at Budís table which either means they are very important or Bud doesnít have any say at who sits at his table any more.

I sent up a round of tequila shots thanks to my favorite waiter who rustled me up a deal where I didnít have to pay a cent and I could still look like a big shot and maybe even get some of the fellas to come into the showroom and catch my act.

It didn't really work out as well as I had planned. Bill Maher thought the shots were a little radical. "We're old men," he whined. "We don't do shots." And not one of them came in to catch my show, which was actually good because, yes, that's right, I bombed.

After, Ron sidled up to me at the bar and we started talking about his job on the shitty sitcom he was working on and I asked him a zillion questions about it, none that he seemed to take offense at until I queried, "How many women writers are there?" At that point, he freaked out and told me in no uncertain terms that he could not get me a job there. I was baffled. "Iím not asking you to," I said. He didnít believe that for a second. I defended myself the best way I knew how, by saying, "I donít even have a spec!" -- which I do now if anybody wants to read it. But the more I defended myself, the more belligerent he got. And finally he yelled, "You just want to fuck me to get a job, you cunt."

Maybe Iím a cunt.

What have I learned from all this? Well, my mother would say, "If it keeps happening to you, maybe itís you."

Maybe Iím a cunt.



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