As you can no doubt tell, music is an important part of my life and one of my favorite bands is Ween. I had been a huge fan of them ever since the night my friend Hunter brought over a copy of The Mollusk and we all sat for hours listening to this awesomely trippy CD and watching the through the misty haze the light show I had set up on the ceiling of the living room. When they came to Atlanta a group of us got together and made a journey to the Masquerade Music Park.
I had been to other concerts before but this one was by far the best and most memorable. The sound guy had a really good ear and everything sounded great. I was even mostly sober throughout the whole thing so it actually did sound good. Why was I mostly sober through the best concert ever? It’s called being the Designated Driver, kids. And boy howdy does it suck sometimes but you gotta do what you gotta do to get home safely. I originally had no intentions of being the DD but I came to the decision after looking around at my traveling companions and assessing the situation and thinking ‘Okay that guy isn’t going to be sober enough to drive . . . That chick is going to be yakking on the curb . . . That guy isn’t going to be conscious . . . That guy is going to be awake [all night] but he’s going to be tripping balls . . . FUCK that leaves me!’
My friend the infamous Party Instigator (see: July 4th Party, 1997) went along for this trek so you know crazy shit was bound to ensue. He really, REALLY wanted to get in to see the band and since he wasn’t a hot chick who was willing to blow a roadie (he wasn’t a hot chick at least), he came up with an alternative plan.
His plan, genius as it was, was to gather up as many party supplies as he could and beg, barter and bribe our way onto the band’s tour bus, the Poop Ship, where we would then smoke a bowl and hang out with Gene and Dean and talk about the true meaning of Waving My Dick In The Wind a la Almost Famous. The reason he held on to the hope that it might work was we were talking to one of the merch guys and he asked him ‘Hey how would we get to go back and see the band? What if I told you we had some [then he leaned in, glanced back and forth suspiciously and almost whispered] What if I told you we had some weed?’ as if that would surely seal the deal.
The merch guy just kinda snickered and said ‘Everybody’s got weed. Hell, when I roll out of the bed in the morning and fart a fluffy green nugget pops out. What else ya got?’
Not one to be easily deterred, PI held up his finger (index, not middle) and said ‘Give me just a minute.’ Figuring the cause was lost I stumbled back to where our group had set up camp and took in some of the opening act, the Queens Of The Stoned Age. Eight and a half minutes later my buddy comes back with this shit-eating grin on his face. ‘Hey JerBear I got 5 hits of X and six of these things the guy said were mescaline. You look at them and tell me if I got fucked or if we’re getting fucked up!’ he said and showed me five little pills with a popular German automobile emblem on them and six tiny little orange orbs.
‘Fucked up it is! Let’s go see that guy again’ I said as we made our way back to our ‘guy on the inside’.
I’ll spare you the details but naturally the only place we saw the band was on stage playing one hell of a three-hour set. It was a great show but I didn’t really get to enjoy the same festivities that everybody else did because I had to drive and I wouldn’t be able to do that getting lost in mirrors like PI did at the Varsity on the way home.
Anxious to make up for lost time, when we finally got back to safe haven I tried Mextacy for the first and truthfully the only time. I don’t remember much about it other than I had a really good time and that everything was a lot of fun. I don’t remember what songs I played or listened to. I don’t remember what movies or TV shows I watched or what video games I played. And I sure as hell don’t remember what that squiggly lined drawing I apparently drew in my notebook was supposed to be or mean.
All I remember is having to work a lunch shift at Chili’s the next morning. It was as vicious and brutal as a South American dictator. The events of the previous 24 hours had in no way prepared me to sling quesadillas and be friendly. It was a modern-day miracle I even made it to work much less having done so with pants on.
I begged and I pleaded with the manager when I got there to let me go home but he was having none of it. He knew what our merry band of hellions had been up to and was actually a little jealous he didn’t get to go with us. In fact he delighted in my misery and according to my own personal code of ethics I would have done the same thing in his place. I just don’t believe in calling in hung over or fucked up.
But when my appeals to mercy had no effect I had to resort to other methods. My alcohol serving license had expired about a month before and technically I couldn’t legally serve booze without it. Serving licenses serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever other than taxing the poorest paid people in town in order to provide the city with extra income, but that’s a subject for another post. It wasn’t a problem in those days working with an expired permit because nobody checked them so I was waiting until the right moment to reveal that information.
Since Chili’s could not allow me to work my shift without a valid liquor permit and I really, really, REALLY wanted to go home the right moment to reveal it was after I was told ‘No, fuck you. You partied all night and now you gotta pay the price.’
‘Fair enough but my liquor permit is out of date and I need to have it renewed.’
‘Then get your ass to the police station and get it renewed. And do it right now before we get busy.’
So there I was–sitting in the waiting room of the local constabulary, still slightly tripping, waiting to have my picture taken for the little I.D. card we have to wear that all my customers would get to see for the next year. Great.
Thankfully the restaurant gods were more merciful than Chili’s management was because were didn’t get that busy. I finished up my shift and went home to live another day.
The lesson to be learned from all this: concerts and other major events like that require at least one additional day off to recover.
Dignity and Respect
Me, The JerBear