Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April tweets of the month

Some good ones here and my twitter numbers are up. I have 257 followers at 8days2amish and follow 113. So my numbers could be higher, I’m sure, but I’m odd about whom I decide follow. First, you need to tweet regularly, but I don’t like it if you tweet too much. I follow some people that only have four or five other followers, but shun some for having tens of thousands.

I put a priority on following people who issue coherent thought and tend not to follow people who only retweet news found elsewhere.

It’s all very enigmatic.

Much like the following 63 April tweets . . .

• Can’t prove it and I'd never dream of trying it, but I'll bet I'm friends with many 50 year old men who'd fall for the "Got yer nose!" gag.

• I wonder if in the Three Stooges scripts when it called for Curly to laugh it actually spelled it out, "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.”

• If you're anything like me, it's probably been years since you've gone into what's commonly referred to as a bathroom to take a bath.

• New prisons are the only structures that require occupants break in before they can break out.

• Call me old-fashioned, but I preferred the world when there were fewer than 15 types of Pringles and just one type of Coke.

• I’m proud to say I've spent past 22 years living by my wits, but acknowledge I'm often so broke I've come to believe I'm not all that witty.

• Shakespeare succeeded without the services of a press agent. Go ahead and check the history books. There's no such thing as Bard publicity.

• Saturday was my most humiliating book signing ever. Not a soul showed up. What'd I do? Thought about having seance! 

• Artistic people often settle disputes by drawing straws.

• I wish no ill on any being but I hope for the sake of Earth's collective cool that Paul outlives Ringo.

• Next time you hear anyone dramatically pronounce "the worm has turned!" Be sure to ask if it was considerate enough to use its blinker.

• Reaction to new phone greeting - "Hello! You have reached the wick-ed-ly talented Adele Dazeem!" - so negative must change back to old way.

• Some men succeed by digging deep into earth for precious medals. Me, I hope to succeed by having dug many tiny holes and sprinkling seeds.

#VanceMcallister wife says straying GOP congressman "wrecked her life." Not fair. If he's a GOP congressman he's wrecking all our lives.

• It would be deliciously news to ironic historians if Joan of Arc ordered steak for her last meal.

• John Doe is a pseudonym for someone lost and unidentifiable, often for medical reasons. Someone who's lost and just stupid is a John D’oh!

• If malicious hackers spread computer viruses, then what kind of person spreads computer allergies?

• I sometimes fear my Odor Eaters will forget their benign mission and begin consuming parts of me I’m casual about washing.

• Make your every interaction with your fellow man like your life's goal is to ensure parking at your funeral will be a real bitch.

• Soon "dodged a bullet" won't be a quaint phrase about evading a challenge. It'll be the answer to the question, "So, what'd you do today?”

• Driver safety tip: I turn off the stereo and roll down the window in parking areas so I can be more aware. Unless it's a really good song. Then all bets are off.

• I’m going to spend the weekend developing a fruity superhero who shoots apple juice out his wrists. Yes, watch out! It's CiderMan!

• There’s so much noise I hope to one day evolve ear lids. Like eye lids, I could just close them in the presence of something unpleasant.

• It says a lot about our cultural confusions that caffeine free is as popular an option as free caffeine.

• Shrewd fortune tellers probably greet every new customer with, “I've been expecting you.”

• Almost every game -- golf, baseball, basketball, etc. -- would be more difficult if the balls were square.

• No excess yeast is used in the making of pita bread. No animals were harmed in the making of PETA bread.

• Hunger will end when scientists discover way for chickens to lay softball sized eggs & will resume when they realize what's killing chickens.

• Tonight’s Apathetics Anonymous meeting has been canceled indefinitely due to lack of interest.

• I’d like to see Billy Joel fall in love with another top supermodel just so I could hear him sing he's in love with an Upton girl.

• The word clusterf*** is very misleading. Sounds like something we should all enjoy. "We're having a big clusterf***! Bring a casserole!”

• Can anyone explain why in San Francisco there's a big orange bridge right where everyone told me to look for a golden gate?

• I remain incredulous that "2 and 1/2 Men" is approaching 250 episodes and Arnold Palmer only got 3. Where's the cultural justice?

• My dark gift is an ability to compose texts so compelling unwanted drivers steer themselves straight off cliffs. I am for hire.

• Not sure  if shoe salesman would be criticized or praised for audaciously telling potential customers to "just put a sock in it.”

• Asked daughter, 7, how long and thin her finger will need to be if her brain ever gets itchy. Brain may not itch, but it's now busy.

• Just heard Mike Tyson describe a beaten boxer as "comatoast." Say what you want about his education, but his way makes more sense.

• For some still-bitter Beatle fans, an otherwise beautiful love song like "Woman" is ruined knowing John Lennon's singing it about Yoko.

• If marriage is so great then how come there isn't a Mrs. God?

• If we've learned anything from watching today's "Three Stooges," it is to never say, "Here! Take mine!" whenever Moe asks for a hammer.

• Another great thing about watching The Stooges: takes mere seconds to say what happened anytime someone walks in & asks what've I missed.

• For a guy who became famous singing "Born To Run," I'll wager Bruce Springsteen doesn't even own a pair track shoes.

• I’m a writer. I write. I know a baker who bakes and a banker who banks. But can anyone tell me what the hell an usher does?

• On this Easter I salute Pope Francis and wish him long life. But I think it'd be just super if the next pope were Father Francis Mulcahy.

• Advances in meteorology mean Weather Channel forecasters will soon be able to pinpoint brainstorms, sure to change the way employers hire.

• I agree any job worth doing is worth doing right. Also true it's worth me putting it all off for months until wife gets fed up & hires a pro

• Has anyone ever researched if the CAPS key on e.e. cummings's typewriter was busted? That might explain a lot.

• I’ve never seen a duffel bag full of duffels & I’m okay with that. If it ever happens I’d never again have the guts to peek in a handbag

• If that were my kid who stowed away in a wheel well of an Hawaiian-bound flight, oh, he’d be so grounded.

• I’m delighted church Making Pope John Paul a saint, but won't be satisfied until Popes George and Ringo sanctified, too.

• It’s fun imagining how great historical figures would have looked had they worn big, militant afros. Try it with Jesus, Hitler, Mitt Romney

• Wish I could take driver's ed so when teach said, "Depress the brake," I could look at the pedal and say, "You're a brake. We step on you.”

• I don't see many other advantages, but if I were Jim Bob Duggar I'd have at least 19 more followers than I do now. #8days2Amish

• I absolutely can't stand this about myself but sometimes I find myself sitting here thinking, man, I wonder how Kate Gosselin's doing?

• I’ve cut my nose off so many times to spite my face it's no longer physically possible for me to stop and smell the roses.

• News says #ClivenBundy is from Bunkerville, Nev. More like Archie Bunkerville.

• Loud bulimics make the worst neighbors. They can never keep it down.

• If NRA's Wayne LaPierre had a male child with Sarah Palin it would be a son of a gun and a son of a . . . former Alaskan governor.

• Sometimes when I'm pumping gas and feeling really naughty I remove my credit card really, really slowly just to stick it to The Man.

• Given publishing trends, I can envision a day when angry judges bent on bestowing severe punishment will throw the Nook at miscreants.

Springsteen flies home on a private jet after every show. Tramps like him, baby they were born to skip long TSA security checkpoints.

• Avid spankers are the only people on earth whose ambition involves repeatedly hitting bottom.

• So billionaire racist #DonaldSterling and I have 1 thing in common: neither of us will attend another NBA game for the rest of our lives.

• I don't recall ever once seeing a gentleman in what are routinely called "Gentleman's Club." They should be called "Horny Dude Clubs.”

• Fotogs trained to snap when subject is using hands, so most news stills look like someone is bragging about size of fish he or she just caught.

Related . . .

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

On the road again; My Western PA day-long Rotarian Tour rocks!

I wrote last week about how Bruce Springsteen flies a private jet home after gigs so precious can sleep on his own pillow. Tramps like, him, baby were born to skip long TSA security checkpoints.

I don’t begrudge him his imperial trappings, but I’m sure even he is self-deprecating enough to know indulging them sets him up for snark attacks from jealous guys like me

See I’m on tour, too.

I’m writing this from the road. Three cities in 18 hours. Last night was Butler, breakfast in Holidaysburg and after I bang this one home I’m bound for Altoona.

Like Bob Seger, I’m singing about turning the page.

Only with me, the page I’m turning is within the vivid covers of “Use All The Crayons! The Colorful Guide to Simple Human Happiness.”

And with me there’s not a groupie in sight.

It’s nothing but Rotarians!

I bet it’s some kind of coincidental record, but I’m maybe the only author in the world to be invited to speak to three different Rotary Groups within a 150-mile radius all in less than 24 hours.

There was a time not too long ago when I used to be afraid of Rotarians. They were so proper. So dignified. So, so, so . . . 


Now, I’m spending so much happy time with them I’m thinking I might become one through authorial osmosis.

It’s been wonderful, too. See, it’s taken me a long time to hit my stride in finding out how best to sell my book.

I’m becoming a firm believer the best way for me at least to sell my books is to show up with a smile and meet readers in the churches, the civic halls and libraries and begin to speak in a clear voice about the things about which I’m passionate.

That means, I guess, spending my every free moment from the past 32 years in dark taverns in the hopes I’d find success was maybe a slight miscalculation.

In the last 24 hours I’ll have sold about 25 books (pending lunch session estimated), eaten three free meals and been bestowed with blessings and commemoratory Rotary tchotchke (Hollidaysburg gets points for originality; they gave me a Rotary slinky!).

I could live on that.

Lunch will be my sixth Rotary presentation in the past four weeks. I’d previously done Latrobe, Greensburg (my best; sold 24 books!) and Washington. Upcoming are Uniontown and Somerset.

The great thing about these visits is how they are really sharpening my stump speech.

For instance, this morning may have been the best one yet. The crowd of about 24 was very enthused. They laughed at all my jokes, nodded at the poignancies and gave me one of the most warm receptions I’ve ever had.

I sold seven books, including one before-my-eyes download and two requests for contact info from people who want me to mail them books.

Some may sniff at the sale totals.

Not me.

That’s really just gravy — and I’m not talking about the kind slathered on the Salisbury steaks!

No, for me the best result is each time becoming more adept, more polished and more confident about my public speaking.

That’s where the money is. I’m aggressively pitching more businesses and groups about having me come in to share my motivational humor.

The pieces seem to be falling into place.

One problem: unlike Springsteen my setlist never varies. I’m giving the same talk over and over. I don’t think anyone cares. It’s not like I’m married to anyone in the audience and they’ve had to hear the same tired jokes for, geez, 22 years.

Poor Val.

One other problem: I give the exact same speech no matter if my time allotment is 15 minutes, 30 or an hour.

I just vary the pace of my spoken words.

The 30-minute talk is the most natural and least challenging for the audience.

The 15-minute talk is given at auctioneer speed, which means the hour-long is riven one has lots . . . . and lots . . . . and lots . . . . of  . . . . really . . . . really . . . . tedious  . . . . pauses.

It’s the only speech that comes with several thousand built-in intermissions.
So that needs work.

But I’m really just getting started.

That’s enough for now. Like Willie Nelson, I’m on the road again. I’m bound for Altoona and optimistic it’ll all go well and my Rotary audience will be on fire to buy my book.

No private jet for me, though.

Tramps like me, baby, we were born to drive 2007 Saturn Vues with 119,889 miles on them.

Note: I’d intended to file this before the Altoona presentation, but ran out of time. So here’s what happened:

It was in a ballroom in the Blair County Convention Center, before about 75 Altoona Rotarians, the largest crowd I’ve ever addressed. It went great. Sold 29 books and came within six books of selling out.

Afterwards, the organizer called me on the way home and said it was one of the best presentations they’ve ever had. “Everyone loved it!” he said. “It was informative, entertaining and it was short!”

I’m off the clock now so you’ll have to make your own jokes there.

It was all very gratifying. In fact, it went so well on the way home I began thinking, “Hmmm, maybe it’s time I thought about starting a cult. I hear there’s good money in that.”

I’ll let you know if anything comes of that logistical brainstorm.

Related . . .

Monday, April 28, 2014

My new MicroTouch One razor!

I don’t remember my Daddy ever teaching me how to shave. That doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t. I just don’t remember it.

But he’d revel in all the Daddy duties so maybe he did.

I remember him teaching me how to throw a baseball, ride my banana seat bike, swing a golf club and make my very first boneheaded wager with the neighborhood bookie down Tony’s barbershop.

But I have no recollection of him filling my palm with a foamy squirt of Noxzema and saying, “Now spread a thin layer over your face, take the razor in your right hand and let the blade glide over your cheek and down your neck. Oh! Here’s a tip: try not to sever your carotid artery!”

I think he didn’t teach me how to shave because he hated to shave and knew like every man I’d one day figure it out all on my own. It was the same way with the facts of life. He never gave me the sex talk assuming, again, I’d figure it out all on my own.

And I eventually did.

I think I was about 35.

Makes me wonder how different my life would have been if he’d done what I heard some doting dads do and just taken me to a cheap whore house when I was 16, stuffed $50 in my pocket and said he’d be back in the morning.

I thought of this the other day when my new Micro Touch One Safety Razor arrived and it had detailed instructions enlightening me on something I’ve done about every other day or so for the past 35 years.

It told me how to shave.
  • Shave after you shower. The heat from the shower softens the beard and relaxes your skin.
  • Prepare skin with a thick, moisturizing shaving cream, gel or lotion. Allow it to remain on your face for a few minutes to soften the bristles. This will allow the moisturizing agents to protect your skin.
There’s more. It said to hold the blade at a 45-degree angle and apply as little pressure as possible so the weight of the razor would do all the dirty work.

It was like my face had hired a janitor!

See, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted with my shaving options.

Understand, I’m not in the military and I don’t play professional baseball for the New York Yankees, two finicky organizations that frown on untidy facial hair.

No one goes through the day saying, “Boy, I hope when I see Chris his mug has a real pretty shine . . . maybe today he’ll let me feel his face!”

No, the people who see me hope I have something pleasant or funny to say and that maybe — cross your fingers — I’ll pay them the $20 I bummed Friday night.

Fat chance.

So regular shaving’s never been that big a deal for me. I shave about once every three days.

And it’s always a chore. Rolling around on the floor to cut my own jagged toenails is the only grooming habit that’s more dreary.

Plus, shaving has become very expensive. A typical razor handle costs about $14 with a package of replacement blades about as much.

And they’re horrible, the blades especially. As I don’t shave every day, one rake of the razor clogs the space between the four blades up with stubble that becomes nearly impossible to rinse loose.

And think about that: four blades! Two you can ustify, but four? It’s like the razor industry’s been taken over by the Cold War guys who brought us Mutually Assured Destruction.

The typical razor today looks more like an Air Jordan Nike sells for $200. The flourishes that have nothing to do with performance, but everything to do with price gouging.

So it was time for me to shop around. You know what besides the simplicity of the single blade MicroTouch One sold me?

It was a promotional line about how this is the exact same type of razor men used in both World War I and II. That’s true.

And those were the conflicts that led to all the very best war movies.

It’s like I’m shaving next to General Patton!

So now for $42.96 I think I have the very last razor I’ll ever own. It came with 40 blades I can clean and wipe dry after every shave. No more clogging, no more banging my handle against the sink like an angry judge calling for order in the court.

Now if I can only think of something useful to do with my ratty old razor.

I wonder how those four blades would do on my toe nails.

Related . . .

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Re-Run Sunday: A story on dots, points & periods

It doesn’t happen all that often, but it always pleases me when it does. It’s when this January ’12 pops up. I just loved this one because I could take the tiniest and most inconsequential objects and take it apart and elevate it to something hyper significant.

Am I wrong? See for yourself.

What’s the difference between a dot, a point and a period?

That may sound like the set-up to a tasteless joke regarding menstrual cycles, but it is not. I’m serious.

How did this, the tiniest designation in every printed language, come to mean so much to so many?

It’s invariably the smallest item on any printed page.

Take a closer look:

“ . ”

No bigger than bug dung, it is. I could enlarge this 12-point mark to something like 64-point type, but you get the point. It’s a very small black spot. Butterfly tears have more volume.

Note I said 64 “point” type. Not dot type or period type. Point is a size designation used in graphics and print media.

So there are many kinds of points and many kinds of periods. I’ve been to Point Roberts, Washington, and studied tedious literature from the Elizabethan Period.

There are even a variety of dots. I go to the movies and have trouble resisting those stale Dots jellied candies even though I know they’re capable of extracting decades-old fillings from my molars.

And everyone called my late mother-in-law Dot. At about 5-foot-7, she was probably something like a 600,000 point Dot.

It’s the nearly invisible same thing that serves three distinct functions.

It is the dot in dotcom, the point in version 2.1 and the period at the end of nearly every sentence.

Its most common usage is to convey conclusions, yet when three of them are strung together they mean something that goes on and on, as when the romance novelists mean to extend the drama.

“Spent from her carnal lusts, Chastity fell fast asleep in the cuddle puddle as Tristan beseeched her in vain, ‘Am I the father? Chastity? Chastity? Chastity . . .’”

I learned to be a crackerjack dictation taker -- trust me, it doesn’t pay -- by listening to expert Tennessee reporters transmit breaking news details over the phone with each link of punctuation enunciated for clarity.

Consider, for instance: “The hillbilly widow said, ‘Burt was devoured by the rusty thresher.’” That simple sentence would be dictated as such, “The hillbilly widow said comma quote Burt was devoured by the rusty thresher period end quote paragraph.”

It would have thrown me if the reporter said dot or point instead of period, but really it would make more sense if it were one or the other.

For instance, what if the reporter was dictating a story about an actress who had to cancel her role in a period drama because her period was debilitating?

It would devolve into an Abbott & Costello farce.

Much of the confusion can be laid at the feet of those masters at digitally creating it, those who gave us the internet.

They are the reason why we have dot coms instead of period coms, the reason we have version two point one instead of version two period one. They took a perfectly utilitarian flake of punctuation and turned it into a blizzard of keyboard chaos.

They are identical and, in fact, occupy the same key stroke. It would be easier to pick out differences in the dorky Gosselin kids than differentiating between dot, point or period.

I suppose the reason I am writing about this today is I was reminded of book I read last year about this very topic. It was an honest-to-goodness, 200-page book about the history of the period. The cover had a big dot on top and a subhead about the history of the world’s most consequential piece of punctuation.

Brilliant, I remember thinking. All hail arcane information!

Alas, it was a huge disappointment.

Who could imagine a book about the period could be so utterly pointless?

I remember thinking, “Wow, if some publisher was foolish enough to pay for this, they’ll go crazy for my crap!”

Wrong, again.

I can only guess they probably blew their budget on advances for a book about commas.

Oh, well. Enough for now. Time for me to dash -- and dash is a sprawling punctuational story for another day.

As it would be unfair to conclude a story about the multi-faceted uses for the tiny powerful circle by giving the period the final say, I must let each share the stage for the final bow as I bid you adieu. See if you can guess which is which!

‘til we meet again . . .

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cliven Bundy & my last Klan rally

For reasons pertaining to the preservation of my sanity, I’ve pretty much ditched watching either of the opinion news networks on the right or the left. I’m convinced the only way they thrive is to keep their viewers angry and stupid.
Stupid I can do all on my own. In fact, what’s truly surprising is that I’m not by now my own cable network. There’s an enormous appetite for televised stupidity and I’ve for years been at it 24/7
And I have no desire to import disruptive anger. So I don’t need Sean Hannity nor Rachel Maddow to nourish my outrages. But I do my best to remain aware of national news and whatever is causing the minds of the political extremes to fester.
That’s how I became aware of Cliven Bundy’s desert defiance of the federal government. He’s become a right wing darling for, in effect, putting his own Tea Party spin on what Woody Guthrie said nearly 70 years ago when he so joyfully proclaimed, “This land is your land! This land is my land!”
For purposes of grazing his cattle for free on federal lands upon which his neighbors willingly pay taxes, Bundy seized on just the second half of the couplet and sang, “This land is my land! This land is my land!” and kept repeating it over and over until Fox and the lunatic right began to hum along.
We should have seen what happened next when it was reported that Bundy is from Bunkerville, Nevada.
More like Archie Bunkerville.
Because weeks after Hannity, Rand Paul, Rick Perry and other leading Republicans feted Bundy for his embrace of liberty, Bundy revealed he’s a bit picky about to whom he extends those God-given liberties he so reveres.
He said “the Negro” should be returned to slavery again. For their own good!
Oh, boy, I’d pay to watch Fox News if they’d sponsor a town hall meeting of Bundy making those remarks on any street corner in South Central L.A.
The GOP is struggling to connect with blacks. Who would have thought some of their members think applying stout shackles are the wisest way to do so? In fact, Bundy said he often wonders if African Americans were better off picking cotton and enjoying simple down home plantation family life.
I think if Fox were really interested in extending the reach of Rupert Murdoch’s favorite party it would give its hardcore viewers an opportunity to watch all of Alex Haley’s “Roots” for a fresh perspective.
Bundy has drawn militia patriots who enjoy Ted Nugent music for reasons that have nothing to do with melody or lyrical cleverness and who often exceed Bundy in their zeal to “help” blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Catholics and other non-rednecks find their place in America. 
Hint: it ain’t no where near America.
They are the faces of hate.
It’s a face I most vividly recall from being about an inch from mine back in, I think, 1987, when I was covering my last Klan rally. That was back when I was a reporter for the once-great, now-gone Nashville Banner.
I’ll never forget asking this great big, robed Bubba if he’d answer some questions about why he was there.
He wheeled on me like a rabid Rottweiler. He got right in my face and just began screaming profane hatred at me.
I remember thinking, man, this dude must be color-blind. I mean, hey, I was white!
Still am!
Maybe he thought I was a Jewboy. Or maybe he insightfully sensed I’d one day years later write about happy little book advocating using all the crayons when if I cared at all about racial purity my book would be called, “F••• All Those Other Colors! Just Use The White Crayon!”
It was very disturbing. It wasn’t even because I was a nosy reporter.
I think it was just because he knew I wasn’t one of them.
Of course, the faces of hatred aren’t all that rare and that’s not why I remember his so well.
I remember this particular Klansman because mere moments later I saw on him the face of pure rapture.
The transformation was stunning. You’d think he’d have just seen Jesus wink at him. But, no, it was all because he was hearing the Grand Dragon amplify his hatreds to the crowd. He was just overjoyed, beaming, to hear someone talk the kind of talk we this week heard from Bundy. He looked as happy as any man I’ve ever seen.
I remember thinking, man, I’ll bet I don’t look that happy when I have a ready erection and a nearby woman who might give the thing some attention.
I do not dispute that men like him and Bundy share a genuine love for America, but men like them will never be able to temper what is in essence a love-hate relationship.
They do indeed love America.
It’s just that simultaneously hate the part of America that stipulates they must share it with lousy bastards like you and me who disagree with them and their mangled interpretations of what it all really means.

Related . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The good, the bad & and the Springsteen show

You’d think by now I’d know better than to try and make even a modest profit from spare tickets to a marquee event. It only, for me at least, leads to costly misery.
You may remember I’m one of the few men or women on Earth who’s been arrested for trying to scalp/dump pre-season Steeler tickets for $25 less than face value (see below).
What happened again Tuesday prior to the Bruce Springsteen concert was maybe just as bad.
And the wound is too fresh and too deep for me to detail all that happened just yet. Partly because I’m trying to drive the details from my mind and partly because there’s a chance my wife might read this and inflict a less metaphorical sort of fresh, deep wound that might hurt me in places more tangible than my soul.
One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes is about how evil cannot be driven out; it must be crowded out. It means we need to ensure the good outnumbers the bad.
King was talking about things like racial injustice, civil strife and historic inequities tearing at the very fabric of our nation.
I’m talking about things like outrageous ticket service fees, unbending guest relations personnel and the inhuman outrage of $12 domestic beers.
But there was so much good that happened that night I’m going to stack it up in a pile so that one day I can be an example to you about overcoming my sort of adversity.
First of all Quinn came to town. I have friends who bitch about me writing about Quinn too much, but seeing Quinn is always eventful and his presence is too tumultuous to ignore.
This was the third time Quinn and I have paired up to see a Springsteen show either here or in his hometown Columbus.
It’s no exaggeration to say I’d rather see Quinn than Springsteen, and not just because it would save me a fortune. See, Quinn’s one of those guys for whom the Springsteen seats can’t be close enough.
I’m convinced if we’d scored floor seats and wormed our way up so our chins were resting on the stage right by the Boss’s boots, he’d say, “Look! There’s some space up there on Roy Bittan’s piano bench. I’ll bet he’d let us sit there next to him!”
Our tickets, the source of so much contention, were in the first row of the balcony behind the stage. For Quinn that was really bad, but using MLK’s logic I’m going to crowd out his bad and bury it with my good.
Good because I thought the view was fine and because if we hadn’t sat there we never would have met the guy from Buffalo who drives all around the country to see Springsteen. That’s not uncommon. What is uncommon is to have brought along and purchased tickets for this two children, ages 7 and 5, so they could see Bruce too. They said their favorite albums are “The Rising” and “Wrecking Ball” respectively. They both snoozed through the last half of the show.
This was really good because with one of the spare tickets I’d considered taking my 13-year-old Josie, but decided against it for many sensible reasons some Buffalo fathers choose to ignore. So now I have more evidence that I’m a really good Dad, which I’ll bring up the next time I do anything really bad.
 The show got off on a sort of bad note when he opened with an odd Clash cover of “Working on the Clampdown.” But that bad was buried with so much more good that was the rest of the show. Bruce just keeps getting better and better. We’re really lucky to have him.
It was bad when Quinn told me he heard Springsteen flies home on a private jet every night after every single show. It jarred with his working guy image. It just seems so imperial. Who does he think he is? Bruce Springsteen?
But the possibility let us enjoy a lot of fun speculation, like does he allow his bandmate/wife Patti Scialfa fly home, too, or does he make her bus it with the band?
And it was really good when during his “Hungry Heart” crowd surf some artistic genius gave him the most remarkable balloon creation I’ve ever seen (that’s a Star-Ledger picture above). It was a Springsteen balloon. I like to think he took it with him on the plane and maybe buckled it into the co-pilot’s seat.
There were many goods to our lodging arrangements. We stayed across the Monongahela River at the Holiday Inn Express on the South Side. It’s probably less than a mile walk through the Armstrong Tunnels to Consol Energy Center. It was very convenient, plus when the show was over we were free to prowl the booze-soaked South Side. We closed Primanti’s and then headed to Jack’s for last call there.
It was good when we met a really pretty stripper who’d just put her clothes back on after dancing the night naked down at a nearby gentleman’s club. She had really long blonde hair that she kept flinging around when she laughed — and she laughed a lot — so it made her face look like it was proceeding through a car wash.
She was really fun and sweet and the whole time I kept thinking, man, I hope no one here proposes anything that while providing momentary entertainment, could lead to many very bad results that Quinn would find more humorous than would, say, my wife.
We said good night.
So it was a great night. Lots of fun. The show was fantastic and today I consider myself blessed to have a soft, supple mind agile enough to let me think about all the good instead of all the bad that happened with the ticket fiasco, which one day years from now I’m sure I’ll share.
But adding up all the dough and reconsidering the sad spare ticket debacle is just something I’m not up today.
That would be really too bad.

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