11 February 2009

My Brush with Canadian Greatness‏

Current Mood: Amused

Bring me back in shackles,
hang me long out in the sun,
exonerate me, forget about me
I recommend measures for ending it.
~ “Fully Completely” by the Tragically Hip

I kind of know a guy who’s in a band, and he inspired me to write this blog today. It’s a story that I have never actually written out, due to the nature of the content AND because Mi Madre still does not know the truth of that night. This is just one example of how I must have a very busy guardian angel – because I have done a LOT of naïve and stupid things throughout the years, and have not ended up in jail, the morgue, or chained up in a basement somewhere. Without further ado, let’s gently roll back time to an era where flannel shirts and Birkenstocks were standard the uniform.

*time machine sounds*

It was March in Omaha, Nebraska. I was 18 years old, home for Spring Break, and very very excited to see a particular band at the Ranch Bowl (a location that has since been replaced by a Super Devil-Mart). It was my favourite music venue in Omaha, due to the size, close access to the stage, and overall sound quality of the room. And, here in this tiny venue, I was going to see the Tragically Hip (and a band called, hHead, which I also liked). The primary reason I was going to the Hip show was because my friend, ‘Winnipeg’, a Canadian, loved them and I was going to try to get their autographs for him. Please keep in mind that this was my objective. It's important to note once we get to the part where I was stupid . . . The show was incredible. They allowed me to take photographs, and I was against the stage, front and center. I took amazing photographs (in black and white, which I developed myself in my college's darkroom). All of the people around me during the show were Canadian, and had driven down in caravans (similar to Phish Phans, I guess) to see their favourite band in a small venue.

Once the show was over, I waited around to achieve my primary objective of getting their autographs. First, I met Noah Mintz, of hHead, and chatted with him a few minutes. Then two random guys walked over and stood near me. It turns out that they, too, wanted to meet the band! There we were, three random strangers, making small talk until a roadie approached us with the question that would alter the direction of my night:

"Hey, do you have anything I can buy off you?"

I am not the first person people generally approach for illegal narcotics, as my experience with them is limited to "um, my friends sometimes do it". Random Guy #1, however, seemed to have an inside connection.

"Sure, but I need to make a phone call."

This is where I speak up:

"Hey, I have a cellular phone you can use." Then I reach in my bag and pull out the brick of a cell phone that Mi Madre made me bring to shows so that I could call her if I had car trouble, etc. Please note that at the time, most people did not carry cell phones and it was not cheap to make calls. I explained how to use the phone and Random Guy #1 dialed a phone number he had obviously used before. After a few short minutes, he handed me the phone and said, "We’re in." We just need to drive over there and pick it up.

Random Guy #2, not wanting to miss out on the adventure said, "I'll drive." So, all of us, including the roadie, pile into a little hatchback and drive. The Roadie promises us free t-shirts for the trouble. When we arrive at our destination, there are two cop cars on the corner, sirens blaring, investigating a stabbing. They wave us by and we enter a building (that now, 14 years later, has been condemned and boarded up). We file up a staircase to the top floor and Random Guy #1 knocks on an apartment door.

"Who is it?" comes a voice through the door.

"'Dealer John' is expecting us. It's 'Random Guy #1'"

We hear two dead bolts and a chain unlatch before the door opens. We walk into a pretty nice loft apartment with wood floors and large windows. The Roadie and Random Guy #1 do some negotiating while I non-chalantly glance around the room. Having dated a drug entrepreneur/user, I knew the cardinal rule of not watching an actual deal/exchange take place. They made a LARGE purchase and while some guy went to get the goods, 'Dealer John' walked over to me and smiled. He had the most intense blue eyes I have ever seen. I was in awe and then could stare no where except for at him. He was serenely beautiful; angelic actually. Our 'connection' was broken when the two random guys and the roadie were ready to go. One of them grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the apartment.

Running now, we jumped back into the car and jetted back to the Ranch Bowl. We parked by the tour bus and the Roadie said the words I had been waiting for:

"Do you want to meet the guys since you're here?"

Random Guy #1, #2, and I followed the Roadie onto the Tragically Hip tour bus, free t-shirts in hand. They were ultra nice and signed a tour poster so that I could send it to my Canadian friend. We all chatted for about 20 minutes, then I saw the time, and realized I needed to go home. One of the guys had a security guard walk me to my car. I drove home, elated that my goal was accomplished.

The next morning, Mi Madre asked me how the show was. I told her it was incredible and said I got to meet the band. She asked for her phone back and I handed it to her. That is when she looks at it and said "did you make a call?" I explained that some guy needed to borrow it for a minute. She presses a button and the number was displayed. She laughed and said eleven prophetic words, "We should call and see if it is a drug dealer." I grabbed the phone, deleted the number and chastised her for being judgmental of people who go to concerts.

As I said before, the truth of that night has never been put into writing until NOW! Please keep my secret. hee hee

PERSONAL NOTE: I like you.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I love the new ringtone. Thanks!

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.