Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 Reasons Why the Tim McGraw Concert Frightened Me

1. Girls wearing cowboy boots and dresses.

We hadn’t even pulled into the parking lot when we began seeing examples of this startling fashion statement. At first, I thought there had been a tragic incident of some kind. Perhaps there was a fire, and people had been forced to flee wearing whatever they could find. Or maybe these folks were part of the chorus line for one of those down-home musicals where they sing songs about dirt and livestock, like “Wicked on the Prairie” or “Les Cows”.

But no, it soon became clear that these folks actually intended to wear what they were wearing. Now, I am by no means an expert on high-end couture. (I aim for comfort. Jeans and a t-shirt. Done.) But I do believe I am fully qualified to say that this particular rustic ensemble doesn’t always work.

Some women can pull this off, putting such an outfit together that is the cutest damn thing you’ve ever seen. Others, not so much.

In fact, there are generally only two types of women who are successful with this clothing choice: Super models who are trying to sell folksy merchandise like horse shampoo or moonshine, and extremely tall ladies with very long legs, so your eyes have time to adjust between the hemline and the cowhide. Everyone else should proceed with caution. Or at least drink enough beer so that you don’t care if people are whispering about you.

And seriously, when it’s 110 degrees in the shade, why in the world would you want to shove your feet into hot, leather tubes with heels? This can’t be comfortable. Find some nice sandals and let people see that fancy pedicure that you spent too much money on.

2. Why do people wear cowboy hats when driving?

Don’t they just get in your way? What are you protecting your head from? Do dangerous objects often fall from the ceiling of your pickup? Is there enough clearance, or do you have to hunch over when driving? And how do you turn your head to look out the back window without slicing open the scalp of your passengers?

3. The tail-gate parties in the parking lot.

While I’m normally the last one to speak disparagingly about beer-drinking opportunities, I don’t quite see the appeal of tossing one back while sitting on something metal as scorching heat shimmers off of baking asphalt. And hey, let’s fire up this grill and make hamburgers, because nothing cools things off like burning charcoal in an iron drum. Before you know it, your beer is evaporating before your eyes and your hair is melting into your skull.

But this doesn’t stop some of these folks. Nope. There they are, six or seven of them in rickety folding chairs, main-lining Pabst Blue Ribbon and gnawing on chicken bones, shouting drunken greetings at anyone that walks by, and knocking noisy things over because they’re clumsy even when they’re sober. And this is two hours before the concert even starts. I was not in the least surprised when we encountered the one boisterous group playing Frisbee with a tattered tortilla.

4. Some people lose functional abilities when exposed to large crowds.

This became evident as soon as we approached the entrance gates to the outdoor amphitheater. Half the people had no idea what the entrance gates were for, wandering around in huddled clusters and glancing at the sky like maybe the clouds would spell out what to do. Then these huddles would come to a complete halt right in a high-traffic zone, shutting down all progress. Just go back home and start over.

Once inside, and we no longer had helpful “lanes” for the inebriated and simple to follow, all hell broke loose. People were just walking wherever they wanted to, even if it meant walking directly into you whilst they were clutching a lit cigarette. Watching where you are going apparently does not come naturally to some folks. Even though these same people are still allowed to vote.

And the children. Why are there children here? And what are you feeding them that makes the little urchins run madly about and scream with such enthusiasm, jumping and rolling and hollering? If I had acted like that when I was their age, one of two things would have happened: My parents would have assumed that I was on fire and thrown water on me. Or they would have taken my life and I would never be spoken of again.

5. Concession prices are beyond outrageous.

 I innocently strolled up to one of the many beer stands, desperately needing some adult refreshment after listening to a 7-year-old urge his Mommy to “watch me do this” 36 times in the span of three minutes. I calmly requested two Miller Lights. I watched the little man take two 16oz cans (yay, they’re the big kind!) and pour the contents into large plastic cups. (Apparently we aren’t allowed to keep the actual cans due to some type of legislative or corporate ruling.) Then he turned back to me.

“That’ll be twenty-four dollars."

I was stunned. Twenty-four bucks for two beers? Are they kidding me with this? There better be a damn steak that comes with it. I grudgingly pulled out two twenties and the man began fiddling with his register. When he slowly counted back my change, angling for a tip of some kind, I snatched the rest of the bills out of his hand. A tip? Hell, no. Take your tip out of that car payment I just handed over. Geez.

6. “Lawn seating” is a very interesting thing.

 I suppose that in the spring, when temperatures are milder and birds are singing, the prospect of sitting on a nice patch of grass on a gently-sloping hill, listening to your favorite artist, can be very relaxing and satisfying. In fact, I’m sure that you would be inspired to join hands with the other people on the grassy knoll and sing something pretty about butterflies, world peace, and drinking Coke.

When the temperature breaks the century-mark, and the humidity is so intense that your fingernails are sweating, that stupid hill with the dead grass is a whole other game. You roast away, with the sun searing your body and sending everyone into a coma of dehydration and memory loss. You’re too weak to even lift your head and look in the direction of the stage, so you just lay there, delirious, listening to faint music that you can hear in the distance, and praying for sundown.

Of course, once night comes on, we have a different set of issues. First, no one can really see any thing, especially if they’ve been sucking down beer in the heat. This results in uncoordinated people stomping on some of your critical body parts as they wander off to the bathroom. Then there’s the critters, insects and bugs who come from nowhere and don’t seem to be very pleased to find you sitting on their homes. Nothing quite compares to the sensation of a Junebug wriggling in the crack of your ass. Good times.

7. Teenagers are an entirely different species.

 I don’t understand these things. They speak an entirely different language, are convinced that they know everything there is to know about anything in the world, wear trendy outfits that look extremely uncomfortable and they didn’t even pay for them, and don’t seem to comprehend phrases like “could you please stop bouncing and sit down so that I can determine which of those ants down there is Lady Antebellum?"

8. Some people should never leave the house.

 Dear Annoying Lady Who Is Six Rows In Front Of Us,

I’m so happy that you are really enjoying your time here at the Tim McGraw concert. I’m sure that your enthusiasm has lead to an interesting life for you. However, might I suggest a few things? Just because they MAKE spandex mini-shorts does not mean that you should put them on. Especially if they are an ugly brown. And although you may really cherish your sports bra, perhaps you could actually wear a shirt on top of it. We are seeing more of your business than even your doctor has seen.

And really, there’s no need for you to be moving about so much. I understand that you once heard a song about “wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care,”, but that song is very old, and you can stop doing that now. You are not in the audience at American Idol. Besides, we already know that you don’t care. Based on the condition of your underarms, you are either European or stopped caring a long time ago. Sit down, please. Before I shove your nappy ass down the hill.

9. Drunken people will applaud anything.

 Want to get the crowd whipped into a euphoric frenzy, Tim? Mention the words “Dallas” or “Texas”, and these people will go insane. We will be unable to hear the next three songs as thousands of people scream in spasms of self-congratulation. They will also clap if you mention drinking or sports teams, show images of your wife on that big screen even though she isn’t here and will not be singing anything, or if you dance with ugly children who happen to be sitting in the front row, sporting an enormous bow special-ordered from the Aretha Franklin boutique.

10. Post-concert survival requires careful planning.

 Don’t ever stay to the end of the concert. That way lies madness. As soon as people on the stage look tired or hungry, start packing. Roll the other drunks off your blanket and find your shoes. The very second that Tim pauses, pretending like it’s the end of the show but you know he’s going to be doing some encores, start running. Don’t stop for anything. If someone is too slow to get out of your way, resulting in some unfortunate bleeding, that’s their own fault. They should have trained more.

And don’t relax just because you made it out of the gates. Other, faster people have escaped before you. They are already in their cars, and the parking lot exits are getting really busy. Every second you waste could jeopardize the operation and lead to you being trapped in one of those aisles that all the other cars ignore and no one will let you out. Speed is critical. Do you really still want to be here when the sun rises on the drunken bodies scattered across the grassy knoll? No, you don’t. So get moving…

No comments:

Post a Comment