Residing where we do in such a close proximity to local bastions of higher learning we are rewarded with a plethora of musical performances to choose from. Every band worth it’s chord progression, and many not, visit the area to gather the youth fan base.
That doesn’t stop our old asses from appearing at these events so, after scanning page after page of options, we decide on a performance, purchase our tickets and putt on over to the arena.
I don’t know when the last time you went to a large scale rock and roll show but, let me tell you, airport security should be so thorough. I’ve been poked, prodded, paddled and restrained more times than an S&M stewardess.
Because my lovely lady friend likes to enjoy her shows sans encumberment, it is my task to shove her belongings into my pockets. It’s not much, keys, cards, the occasional marmoset. Boy, do I get some looks when they pull out the occasional suspicious item.
While waiting for my turn to make a new friend I’m watching him explain to the gentleman in front of me that, for the third time, he cannot enter the building with either his lighter (which I’m against being on the banned list but only because it forces fans to show their appreciation by flicking their cellphones and holding them aloft. I’m sure the cellphone battery lobby is behind this banning) or his cigarettes. I catch the security guys eyes and he gives me that, ‘All this and minimum wage’ look.
When I get to the head of the line my arms are already akimbo. It’s good to approach as if you’ve got nothing in the world to hide. Makes the marmosets appearance all that much more enjoyable in my experience.
The guy is giving my tit a little tap when, suddenly, he stops. He looks me in the eye and I give him the biggest, most innocent smile I have. It’s not much (it’s been said it only makes me look like a cornered badger) but it calms the guy enough to continue his task.
I knew the only reason he didn’t stop and roll me is because of my demeanor. I could tell by his expression he was battling back and forth. One side of him, seeing I was the most compliant customer of the evening, wanted to gloss over whatever it was he found suspicious in my jacket. But the other side, still not very aggressively, felt he had a job to do. So he finished patting me down, takes one step back, looks me in the eye and says,
“You know I have to ask what’s in your pocket.”
My smile turns into a laugh as I say,
“It’s a tampon! Wanna see?”
I wasn’t lying and he was satisfied to take my word for it.
We get to our seats, well, not seats really. It was a general admission show and although we had reserved spots closer to the stage, due to proximity, we decided to stand next to the beer wagon. An excellent choice, if anyone cares for my opinion.
But don’t think we used our burgeoning friendship with the beertenders to give us special service. I’d get into line to wait my turn. The only problem was not missing the show (a rousing good rock and roll show. I’m not mentioning the bands name because they’re not paying me. You see, I’m working on (Dunkin’ Donuts!) expanding my (Heineken!) product placement revenue (Got Milk?). But I will say their name in no way rhymes with spelunking), the problem is in lines like this people feel the need to speak. And this was no different.
I’m standing behind a guy who was rockin’ out so hard he had to inform me of that fact. I nodded informing him of my understanding. He looks at my girlfriend who is making sure I don’t forget the reason I’m standing in the beer line by pointing at her quickly disappearing beverage.
“That your wife?” Because I don’t want to get into a long conversation about dating lineage I usually answer yes to this question. “How do you get away with not wearing a wedding ring? My wife would kill me.”
“I have a hobby where wearing a ring would make it dangerous.” I reach the front of the line, place my order with Bob, who places them in front of my girlfriend, when the rocker asks what my hobby was.
“Cheating on my wife.”
After the show it’s still early so we decide to get closer to home and have a night cap at a local establishment. We’re sitting at a table in the middle of the room when a group of people enter.
Now, I don’t know where you live nor do I care because, no matter how nice you are to me, I’m not going to help paint your house. But, where I live we have things called renaissance fairs (I’m sure they’re everywhere because awkward people need love they feel they can only get by dressing as wretches from the 1500’s and catcalling scantily clad wenches who still snub them. But in the vernacular of the 1500’s!).
I mention this because a few of them enter the bar. Forgetting they entered a time machine (Ford Super Duty!) that whisked them to the present day (Make the present pleasant with Right Guard Sport!) they are quite taken aback when the doorman not only asked them to doff their stylish chapeau’s but to leave their larger weapons at the door (JB Sash & Door!).
This didn’t stop them from swaggering in (not because they’re tough. Their wardrobe was beginning to chaff) and regaling all and sundry with tales of yawn, I mean, yore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for anyone who’s found an outlet from their weary work-a-day doldrums. But I don’t feel I should be regaled with a rousing version of ‘Why Doth Not My Goose’ with Elizabethan phrasing and 50 Cent dance moves.
Even after I said to one rather loud and fragrant lad,
“In sooth, thy dank cavernous tooth-hole consumes all truth and reason thy vile canker-blossom’d countenance curdles milk and sours beer.”
Translation: “You’ve got a big mouth and you’re ugly.”
He would not sally aroint (away).
One guy (notice how even around like-minded people guys like this still end up in bars alone?) was rather calm, considering. He explained a few nuances of the life, focusing mainly upon it’s weaponry. Okay, it’s all he talked about. I just didn’t want you to feel I was in any danger.
Have you ever met someone who knows way too much about something that has no usefulness in real life (such as my encyclopedic knowledge of the TV show, “Turn-On”)? I’d have to put this guy squarely in that corner. He’d probably still be talking about swords, daggers, armor, helmets, chainmail, war clubs, flails, maces, helms, and wenches (I don’t know why, but wenches always seem to come up in conversation) if we didn’t hear this phrase ring throughout the land,
“Last call. Get the fuck out you sodden lunatics.”
We polish off our grog and exit. The bad part is so did Ren Boy. Even worse? He was parked in front of us. I’m talking to my girlfriend as we’re getting in the truck when I get a tap on the shoulder.
“I wanted to show you this.” Says the gentleman to whom we’d been recently conversing. The this in question he was eager to show us was a six foot long, thirty pound sword.
I’m aware of the specifications of said item because, while the guy was swinging it to and fro in front of my face during his Danse Macabre, he was reciting the pertinent facts.
We’re standing there while other, obviously brighter, people cut a wide swath around this guy. We were even warned by one of the reners when, for the first time all evening, he broke character and said,
“Fucking guy’s fucking crazy.”
While these words of wisdom are bouncing heedlessly over my head I hear,
I turn my head then quickly back and forth between the sword swinger and the guy who called my name. Who, in an attempt at full disclosure, is a cop. In cop clothes. In a cop car. With a cop gun.
“How’s it going?” He asks.
“How’s it going? You don’t see any clues as to my current situation?”
I turn and, undaunted, the sword guy is still waving and lunging. Equally undaunted is the officer of the law. Not being an agent of law enforcement I felt I should ask.
“Is this an activity you often see on the streets of this city?”
The cop looks at the guy then back at me with a shrug.
“Nope. First time. But I figured whatever was going on you could handle it.” He looks forward and sees he has a green light. “Hope to see you again real soon.” He says driving off into a night of serving. I don’t see any protecting in his future.
What could I have done in my life to make a lawman, who is also a friend, witness a sword wielding lunatic and do nothing? For the record, for members of law enforcement and those who just want to be helpful, if you see anyone swinging anything vaguely menacing anywhere near my general head and shoulders area, grab a video camera (Sony DNW-9WS – The Pros Choice!).
If I’m going to get beheaded someone had better be getting paid.