Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Throwdown in Beantown

Well, almost.

Me and the crew went to a concert last night and I'll spare you the full review of the performance. Instead, I'll construct a narrative about what one of my friends, Pest, called "Dinner, a show, a show, and a show".

Preceeding this, however, was a fiasco of epic proportions trying to unload an extra ticket, and almost 2 extras. Rewind a few days. Xteen and I went to a party on Saturday night which ran pretty late. Sunday, we had the Red Sox game at a friend's house which resulted in us getting about four hours sleep. The plan for Monday was to get home from work and get to bed early. Then Casper the ghost showed up and fucked it all up for me (warning to those with sensitive ears: I curse a lot in this post. And none of it is superfluous. So, go screw.)

You see, my work group likes to celebrate holidays with goofy little morale building things. Not morale building things like "here is a nice raise" or "we're treating everyone to lunch" or even "Dim, you are one sexy beast." No. no. no. Their idea of morale building is "why don't you go out tonight and spend your own money for a trick-or-treat gift package for an anonymous person." Awesome.

So, basically, I come into work Monday morning to a round cauldron-esque container on my desk filled with Halloween goodies: candy, black candles, and two enormous rubber spiders. Black candles? What? No goat's blood and chalk to draw a pentagram in my living room? What kind of jip is this?

Anyway, this came with a nearly indeciperable poem which was photocopied and accented by a drawing of Casper the Friendly Ghost. I had no idea what I was supposed to do, other than immediately throw the rubber spiders in the trash (not a fan of spiders of all kinds, especially mutantly giant ones that appear next to a fucking Twix bar in a plastic cauldron). Apparently, I'm supposed to photocopy this poem, get Halloween treats for someone else, and put this my copy of the poem on my desk, so I don't get "spooked" again. I guess it acts as like the lamb's blood when the angel of death comes after my firstborn. Whatever. Serves me right, after trying to pin this on him.

So, at lunch, I go to Target and spend 20 minutes staring blankly at the 4,368 different kinds of candy and frantically trying to do high school algebra in my head (120 pieces for $7.99 is more expensive than 35 pieces for $1.77? Uhhh...e=mc squared? Uhhh.) I left with nothing, which meant that Xteen and I had to go back to Target after work on Monday (when we were supposed to be home relaxing). With her help, I managed to then spend 45 minutes staring blankly at the 4,368 different kinds of candy and frantically trying to do high school algebra in my head. Finally, we just bought some shit and went home to cook dinner. Needless to say, we didn't catch up on any sleep.

Xteen wakes up yesterday morning wanting to bail on the show because she is exhausted and has to work a 12-hour day today (the day after the gig). I guilt her into going. I get into work and my other two concert attendees (Jesus Joe and Adam) are having shitty work days, weeks, months. Joe's plodding along, but I feel Adam is going to bail. Sure enough, later in the afternoon, I get a message from Adam that he "needs some downtime" or he is "gonna snap". Afraid that Adam's idea of "gonna snap" is getting a full facial tattoo and lighting himself on fire, I put up a little resistence, but decide to let him recharge without too much of a guilt trip. Besides, a guy from a message board I frequent knew I was going to the show and asked me weeks ago if I had an extra. I told him I didn't but would keep him in mind in case something came up.

So, I messaged this dude asking him if he wanted the now extra ticket and he said sure. About a half hour before I am supposed to leave, I get a message from him saying his friend flaked out and he doesn't need the ticket anymore. At this point, it's like I am selling admission to a fucking ebola conference. No one wants this thing.

I convinced Pest to come along, which was one the best decisions of the night, so after much coordination of rides and parking, we set out.

We settled on this place to hang out before the show. After a $23 round for 4 beers, I wasn't sure how much I loved Mr. Jacob Wirth. But we ordered food which was pretty good and some beers. All of a sudden, we heard this crazy "CRASH!!" behind us. Well, someone didn't yell "CRASH!!!", we heard the sound of something crashing. We look over to see our waiter on his keister amid a spilled sea of nachos grande all over the floor. The patrons from that table get up, clean themselves off, and move over one table. Our waiter limps off like he just got hit with a bazooka.

At this point, we are debating staying at this joint or going to another place for a beer or two before hitting the show.

The Marx Brothers come over to help clean up and one of them drops what Jesus subsequently called the biggest mop he's ever seen, which almost clocks one of the patrons who just had to leave the messy table off the melon. Jesus Joe says, "I think that's a sign to move on."

So far, you have dinner and one show.

So, we did. We ended up at a place where the conversation turned to how much Pest, Jesus Joe, and I hate our jobs right now. This lasted for about 45 minutes and included such tremdously hyperbole like Pesty saying, "Even if I was making a half a mil, I'd still want to leave". So, we were pretty riled up when we left for the show.

The second show is the concert itself. We saw this band, which was excellent. They are a pop rock band from Canada and their lead singer/songwriter, Carl Newman, writes some of the most insanely catchy melodies you have ever heard. You should check them out. Besides, they had Neko Case (one of the best voices in music) in their band this time around. The three guys in my troupe (and Xteen for all I know) not-so-secretly lust hard after Neko, so going to this was an easy decision. The band was tight, and they did NOT sound like a cross between the Mamas and the Papas and the B-52s, no matter what Jesus Joe says.

Show #3 comes up now. We get to the venue a little bit late and the show is sold out, so we are stuck in the back, which is OK. The venue is up two sets of stairs, which come up from either side. They convene in this little common area where there are couches. You walk up from that and there is a vestibule area and then two small corridors on either side that leads to either side of the music hall. It looks a little like this:

The rounded part at the top is the common area. The beginning of the Fallopian tubes are the corridors. The ovary on the left is the merchandise stand (no, they didn't sell any eggs). There are mini-bars set up along the uterine wall, the cervix is where all the folks who arrive early get to stand, and the band plays in the vagina (naturally).

So, we are standing near the left ovary when Xteen decides she needs to use the restroom, which is at the end of the right Fallopian tube. She goes and comes back and discovers that the sound is better over on the right side, so we move over. We're settle about 7 or 8 feet from the back wall (but still in the music hall proper).

Almost immediately, we notices that there are two friggin assholes behind us having a really loud conversation during the whole. fucking. show.

I don't like this, as you may know.

We let it go for a little while, just giving them dirty looks and saying loudly in between songs to each other, "I wish people would stop talking during the show!" They were too stupid to stop. Other people weren't happy with them either.

It gets so obnoxious at one point that Xteen is visibly unhappy. I ask her if she wants me to go talk to them and she says she is going to do it. Xteen is one of the most non-confrontational people I know (along with myself, who, if I saw someone from a distance trying to break into my car, I'd probably unlock it for them with the remote keyless entry so they could get into it easier and I wouldn't have to deal with them).

Jesus Joe intecepts Xteen and decides to go talk to them himself. He comes back after like a minute (I couldn't really hear what he was saying) and stands next to me. I ask him what he said and Jesus Joe just says that he asked them to quiet down or take it somewhere else and they said, "OK."

Fast forward to 8 nanoseconds later. They are talking again, just as loud, if not louder than before. Jesus Joe is noticeably even more unhappy than before and makes a bee-line to the two guys (one is a curly-headed guy who wants nothing to do with us and the other was the real smart ass with short hair). My non-confrontational self had enough and decided to join him. Pest remained just on the perimeter of this, arms folded across the chest, just waiting for the nod that would turn him into a one man gang.

Jesus Joe and the smart ass are getting in a pretty heated discussion. Sarcasm abound. Jesus telling him they are still loud, the guy trying to claim he is there promoting the band, giving some fake name to which Jesus says, "What's your name? My name? I can give you a fake name too." Just really funny stuff. The smart ass accuses Jesus of being an asshole. Jesus fires back. Joe refuses to accept his apology. I go up to the curly-haired guy who apologizes to me and says, about the band, "It's beautiful music", to which I reply, "I wouldn't know. We can't fucking hear it with you talking."

I notice Jesus starting to walk away and the smart ass gives him a little shove in the back. Not a two-handed knock you over shove; more like a "get outta here" shove. But a shove nonetheless. It is here that I am grateful that an about-to-snap Adam isn't around. But after the shove, my non-confrontational Dimness got about 4 inches from smart ass' nose and said, "Dude, you really DON'T want to be doing that." Yes. I called him "dude".

He starts babbling and I said, "Look, I don't want to hear it. I don't give a fuck if you want to talk, but go do it out in the common area or in between the Fallopian tubes. Don't do it here. We asked you nicely once to be quiet and you didn't. Just stop fucking talking."

He started babbling about Joe being an asshole and he thanked me for being cool about it to which I replied, "I'm not being cool about it. Go somewhere else." He apologized about a thousand times to me and said he didn't realize he was being so loud. I replied, "Well, the reason why you are so loud is because you are trying to talk over the music. The music is loud. You're louder."

I walked away and me and Jesus stood next to each other, arms crossed over our chests. I felt like a million fucking dollars, because all of the frustration of having to swallow people talking at the hundreds of shows came out in my tempered fury. Jesus looks over to me and has the quote of the century:

"They just picked the wrong fucking day."

I looked behind us 2 minutes later and they were done.

Xteen said her heart was going a million miles an hour when I was over there, but I didn't feel any adrenaline rush at all. I felt totally calm and surprisingly willing to throw down: "THIS is for that stupid Casper the Ghost thing at my work...and THIS is for making me do algebra in Target...and THIS is for that fucking $6.00 pint at Jacob Wirth's...and THIS is for talking over Neko..."

We left the show still on a bit of a high and I decided to tempt fate and give a little dig at Jesus as we walked down the street. "Hey, you notice that after YOU asked them to shut up, they kept talking, but after I went over, they buggered off?", I said.

Xteen whispers through clenched teeth, "They're right behind us."

I whisper back, "Really?"


At that point, I began walking back to the garage in a pace I'd like to describe as moderately brisk. Some may say "running away like a little girl", but I'll go with moderately brisk. So, moderately brisk it is. Hey, it could have started to rain at any second. I didn't want to get wet.


- Dim.
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