The Night They Drove Old Brimley Down

One night I actually said the right thing at the right time.

I went to see The Spits play at Kraftbrau Brewery in Kalamazoo. My companion for the evening was the saucerman, John Kasdorf. I’d been telling those Wood brothers that I was going to see them play for years. Now was my chance to get right with the world and watch them rock it out. I mean, they’ve gone to see me play shows numerous times, so I really did owe them a visit.

Anyway, K-dork and I arrived early and enjoyed the opening act. My memory is too fickle to remember who they were. Once they finished the area in front of the stage emptied out. We both moved up front and center, right at the exact edge of the stage. I wanted those guys to see that I was there to see them. I wanted to cheer and make noise for them. SO, we waited there, drinking beer while they set up.

All of the sudden some woman walked up next to me on my left and attempted to elbow her way in front of me. Mind you, there is no one around. No one. The place is empty. Everyone is outside smoking or something. It’s just me up by the stage at the center with old John Kasdorf on my right. I didn’t yield. She just kept pushing on me, trying to get in the six inch space between me and the stage. I looked at her with a look that I usually reserve for black unicorn sightings. She said, “Excuse me.” She was looking at me like it was her right to be at the front of the stage, because she was all, you know, “part of the scene,” and I was like, you know, all “old and out of place.”

The thing is, though, I wasn’t going to budge. I really did want to see this show. I really did want to be up front, so they knew I was there, enjoying what they were putting down. So there we were, the three of us, in an empty bar, with her pushing on my left side, like we were going to slow-motion wrestle. She got past me, though. I gave up a little too much room, and there she was, exactly filling the six-inch space between me and the stage.

I backed up and said something along the lines of “what in the hell are you doing?” She just stared at me, like I just got what I deserved, the social order was intact. This woman, with the haggard bleach-tatoo-piercing-belly-exposed-combat-boots-wrinkly-face, gave me her best “what is your problem.”

At that moment, I knew exactly what to do. It hit me like hot greasy lightning in my guts. I reached down towards my pitcher of beer on the stage, plunged both my hands into it, pulled them out and proceeded to smooth down her bangs with my beer soaked hands. Her hair ruined for the night, she jumped back. I elbowed my way back to the place I initially occupied at the front of the stage, turned around and said, “There. Now you’ll have something to blog about to all your MySpace friends.”

She left, but later on, while The Spits were playing, she kept “moshing” and “slamming” into me, still trying to get up to that precious spot. I stood my ground at that point totally on principle.

But that shining moment, that shining moment where I said and did the right thing at the right time, I don’t think I’ll ever have it that good again.