Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My night at the Willie Nelson concert

We saw Willie back in the 70's at the height of the Outlaw craze at Kemper Arena.  That was a big place, and it was packed.  I recall Tompall Glaser being an opener, and Cliff and I think Jesse Colter was there, too, but not Waylon.  Seems strange, but that's our recollection.  The main thing we remember is having to dig around and find some tissues in my purse to wad up and put in our ears, because the volume of sound was unbelievable.  The second most memorable item was a drunk just ahead of us who insisted on standing through the whole show and singing along with Willie while holding a jug of some sort of hard liquor aloft.  Willie put on a fine show, though.  

Usually when there's going to be a concert, I have to bribe some family member other than Cliff to take me.  He isn't big on concerts.  This one was supposed to feature Merle Haggard and Willie, and Merle hadn't been so well; I told Cliff I wanted to go see these guys in person before it was too late, and he somewhat reluctantly said, "Yeah, I guess I'd go see them."

By the way, it's been a theme of Cliff's this year that "if there's anything you want to do, we'd better be doing it while we can."  Maybe that's why he agreed to the concert.  Last night I was forced to remind him of his new motto.

When I go to a concert, I like to see the whites of the artist's eyes, so I got us on row nine during the pre-sale.  Cliff said, "Oh no, why did you do that?"  (See his above motto... you may get tired of hearing it.  I know he will.)

Last night was the night.  Now, this event came right on the heels of three days of seeing points of interest around Lincoln and Kearney, Nebraska, and I had done more walking and taken more prescription pain pills that I usually take in six months' time.  I was looking forward to sitting at a concert and resting my knees.

The seats on my right were empty when the show started, but about ten minutes later their two occupants arrived, two plump, younger guys who were about as inebriated as is possible for one to be and still stand upright; they weren't the only ones there in this shape, by the way, not by far.  At one point we saw a family literally drag a comatose older guy out, his wife dancing and smiling behind him.  But the two at my right were the ones I got to deal with.  The one next to me was on his feet most of the time, holding a cup of beer as high as he could reach, often over someone's head in the next row, while he sang and danced drunkenly, crooning loudly and tunelessly with whoever was on stage.  Every once in awhile, he'd turn to me, put his face right next to mine, put his arm around my shoulders, and say something like "Lady, if I bother you, just tap me right here (indicating his shoulder) and I'll sit down, cause I got respect."

"No, you're fine," I told him the first time he said this; by the time he'd said it a dozen times, I just took to smiling and nodding.  As he left for one intermission he repeated it once more, and I finally said, "As long as you don't puke on me, we're fine."

He thought that was hilarious.  I was serious.  When he returned from intermission, he said something to the effect that he had the prettiest girl in the place sitting next to him, patting me again on the shoulder.  Let me assure you that the poor guy never in any way got lecherous (he wasn't THAT drunk).  I say that so that when you see the pictures below you won't get the wrong impression.  A point came where I realized I could either let this guy ruin my evening, or I could take it and run with it and write a blog entry.  So toward the end of Willie's portion of the show when I knew it would soon be over, I pulled out the IPad, stood up next to the guy, held it up for a selfie, and he cooperated fully, even kissing me on the neck (?) for the second shot.  As we were leaving, I showed it to Cliff, who had missed seeing it happen, and we laughed all the way to the parking lot (until we realized that in the dark, we couldn't find where that auxiliary parking lot was located).

This has always puzzled me:  Why would somebody pay $60 to $100 bucks for a concert ticket, arrive too drunk to walk in a straight line, then proceed to buy many, many ten-dollar beers and keep drinking to the point where he probably won't remember anything about the concert the next morning?  Don't get me wrong, I understand why a little buzz might make things a bit more fun; but to drink yourself into oblivion?  I just don't get it.  Seems like a waste of good money to me.  Are you ready for the grainy selfie of me and my new best friend?  When I posted it on Facebook, I said, "We may be engaged, I'm not sure."

Young men, take heed.  If you insist on getting sloppy drunk in public, you are likely to find yourself rolling around the Internet looking for all the world as though you are on a date with an old lady.  Doesn't he look like he's in love?  I'll spare you the one where he kissed my neck for a picture; I have a little bit of pride (and shame).

In case you were wondering, I had not a drop of anything stronger than coffee yesterday.  I was either going to kill the guy or have fun with him, and I think I made the right choice.

And after struggling with having reached a certain point in my weight loss lately where it seemed I'd never lose another pound, I got up this morning to a weight loss that got me well BELOW 160 again.  I don't know if it was the excitement of the concert or the walking I did on the three days previous. 

Life's too short to get upset.  My new motto is, "There's a blog entry in here somewhere." 

One more thing to mention:  I've gone with grandchildren to a Green Day concert and three Van's Warped Tours, and there wasn't a kid in any of those crowds who behaved as selfishly or stupidly as some of the old folks at last night's show.


Back Porch Writer said...

This is hilarious and that picture - oh that picture. I can just see it. Love it. And I also loved it last night. It made me smile. lol

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness!! the adventures you have!

Calfkeeper said...

Love it, love it, love it! Keep blogging about your adventures, can't wait for more!

Paula said...

I agree if you can't lick em' join em'. Much easier that way. Glad you and Cliff had fun.


You handled that youngin just fine. Great selfie.Glad you enjoyed the concert.

Margaret said...

You handled him perfectly! You are so wise. I love your blog posts, Donna!

Anne Mark said...

We saw Willie in the 70's too. My main recollection was that the guy in front of us had matches and was trying to start the cowboy hat in front of him on fire. I remember thinking "Where are the exits?" Had fun though. Sounds like you did too.