Friday, November 1, 2013

"Return Of The Mack"

I often hear fellow single parents bemoan the fact that they "never go out" and spend every evening firmly ensconced on the couch watching Project Runway and binge eating Wheat Thins.*

*Which I totally do, but only because the heady combination of Zac Posen's scathing wit and a salty/sweet snack food is more than my fecund heart can resist.

But, I am not one of those parents.  I am a firm believer in the "put on your air mask before assisting others" tenet and if Momma doesn't get some adult social interaction, it's gonna get all Andrea Yates up in here.  Of course, I realize that I am something of an anomaly, as (A) The majority of my friends are single and childless and therefore have a surplus of time and money to gallivant freely, (B) My parents live close enough that they are willing and able to sit on the short people for the night at a moment's notice, and (C) My short people are wicked awesome and are therefore completely chill about me having a life that does not revolve entirely around them.*

*Don't get me wrong, my boys are the most important thing in the world to me, but I have seen a LOT of self-entitled short people in my life and that dog won't bark in my yard.  No, I will not pay you an allowance to do what you're supposed to do anyway, and no, I will not let you grow up believing that other people's wants and needs are somehow inferior to yours.  Fuck THAT noise.

As last week was my 8th annual 35th birthday, by best friend Curtis kidnapped myself and a friend of ours, Shellie, and treated us both to an evening with Macklemore.  ("what-what...what...what?")  First of all, let me state that Shellie is every bit as batshit crazy as I am about white rappers, so we'd been running around squealing like fat chicks at a Clay Aiken concert all week.  Secondly, let me further state that any outing with Curtis rapidly devolves into an impromptu episode of 'What Not To Wear' as he is wont to go all Joan Rivers on any and all wardrobe malfunctions we may come across in our travels.  All in all, I knew it would shape up to be a magical night.

We arrived at the Rose Garden with time to spare.*

*Yes, I know it is now called the Moda Center, but I refuse to acknowledge that douchebaggery in much the same way I refuse to call Front Street "Naito Parkway" and staunchly deny that Canada is a real country.  C'mon, they're connected and they have the same animals we have.  If you want to establish yourself as a "foreign country" you need more than pink money and faux French aesthetics.  You've gotta throw in some kangaroos or panda bears and shit.

The clothing we encountered upon entering the arena did not disappoint.  First, a young man passed us wearing a large animal head atop his hair.

"Whatcha know 'bout rocking a wolf on your noggin?"  Curtis rapped, then sighed deeply.  "I know you should wear it with SOME level of irony."  Moments later a woman passed us wearing this. . .

"Oh, Honey"  Curtis moaned, waving his hands in the air as though wielding a Ouija planchette.  "All signs point to. . .NO."

Shellie laughed, having never been witness to Curtis' inner Tim Gunn breaking free.  "Is he always like this?"  she asked.

"Sweetie, you have no idea."  I assured her with a pat on the arm.  "It's even worse if you give him alcohol. . .kind of like feeding a Gremlin after midnight."

Moments later two young women came giggling by wearing stretchy skirts short enough to make any passerby an amateur gynecologist.  Curtis turned to me gravely.  "Jen. . .say it with me."  Taking a deep breath, we locked eyes and intoned in unison, "Lycra is a privilege, not a right."

Shellie shook her head in quiet amazement.  "This is a side of you I've never seen, Curt.  It's fucking beautiful."

Bowing with a flourish, Curtis then faced the rest of the incoming throng with a world-weary sigh.  "Seriously, people.  Just because the man raps about a thriftshop doesn't mean you should dress like you just left one."

'C'mon, Shell,"  I said, grabbing Curtis' arm. "we should get him inside before somebody pops a cap in his ass."  Walking toward our entry gate, we passed a Ticketmaster sign advertising Seattle Seahawks tickets.  Curtis and I may have held hands and squealed. . .I shall neither confirm nor deny the aforementioned statement.*

*The Seahawks are my raison d'etre. . .until Mariners season, that is.  Until Oregon gets either a major league baseball team or the NFL sees fit to create the Portland Hipsters then I shall remain ever faithful to my boys up north.

"Can I just TELL you how excited I am for the game in December!?!?"  Curtis gushed, squeezing my hand.*

*My dad got me two tickets for the Seahawks/Saints game in Seattle.  My dad is rad as shit.

Shellie looked at Curtis' excited face with confusion.  "Wait. . .you like football?  But aren't you. . .?"

"Gay?"  Curtis interrupted.  "A trouser man?  A rear admiral?  A sausage jockey?  A friend of Dorothy?"

"Well. . .yeah."  Shellie stammered.

Curtis laughed.  "Sweetie, I couldn't be gayer if I had Channing Tatum in my lap right now.  But I still love football.  Men in tight pants wrestling with each other?  Screw baseball, FOOTBALL is the American Pastime."

"Seattle will be amazing."  I sighed.  "The potential for shenanigans is astronomical."

"Do you feel we should call Mayor McGinn to properly forewarn him?"  Curtis asked.

"Oh, no!"  I cried.  "Forewarned is forearmed; we don't want to be met at the border by vigilante mobs."

Curtis nodded solemnly.  "Valid point."

The three of us entered the arena and found our seats behind two 12-year-old girls and a boy who couldn't have been older than 7.

"Is it just me, or is this MAYBE not the best concert for small children?"  Shellie queried dubiously.

I furrowed my brow in thought.  "Aaaaaand, maybe a little past their bedtime. . .on a school night.  Shit, this is past MY bedtime on a school night."

As we sat waiting for the opening act to take the stage the tweens in front of us reminded me of one of the myriad reasons I am glad I have boys.  The hair.  There was so much hair.  It was flipped, it was tossed, it was pulled up, it was let down, and each and every time a shining hank of Suave-scented tresses whipped against my bare legs I felt a tiny bit of darkness enter my soul.  

"I swear in the name of all that is good and holy, if Malibu Skipper flips her wig in my lap again I'm going to scalp her like an Apache war bride."  I hissed in Shellie's ear.  

Shellie chuckled, then sneered as the other tween elbowed her in the thigh while pulling her mane into a ponytail.  "Oh, that's IT, Bitch."  she muttered, "Game ON."  Sliding her foot to the side, Shellie surreptitiously pinned the girl's ponytail to the back of her seat and then chortled with glee as the girl attempted to stand and was slammed back into her chair with a yelp.  "Ohmygosh, I am SO sorry!"  Shellie cried, before grinning and reaching over to lightly fist-bump me.

"You are the wind beneath my wings."  I whispered reverently as Shellie sat there in silent victory.  Suddenly, the stagelights dimmed and the crowd lost its collective mind waiting for the opening act to take the stage.  A DJ appeared with a small sound system and suddenly a young man dashed out on stage.

"Let's hear some noise. motherfuckers!"  he screamed, waving a middle finger in the air while the mother of the children in front of us visibly cringed.  "I said, LET'S HEAR SOME NOOOOOOOOOISE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!"

"You know," Curtis noted "in my experience, if you have to BEG the crowd to actually react to your performance then perhaps you have not properly captivated your audience."

I nodded in agreement.  "I am, however, deriving a rather perverse pleasure from watching the mom in front of me slam her sphincter shut every time this poor man's 'Lil Wayne calls her children 'motherfuckers'."

Curtis chortled with laughter and high-fived me as the young man began hopping around the stage, rapping with fervor. 

"Old school when I ride, forever sky high
Workin' wood wheel, when the sun outside
I'm just rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires..."

Curtis turned to me in confusion.  "I'm sorry. . .is he rapping about tire rotation?"

I crinkled my brow and listened as he continued.

"Not a care in the world, me and my girl
Candy coated pearl with the bowling ball swirl
I'm just rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires, rotating my tires..."

"Where did he write this?"  I wondered aloud.  "Oil Can Henry's?"  Curtis laughed, which godDAMN it only fuels my antics, so I threw up a gang sign and began to freestyle:

"Pull into the Jiffy Lube, my minivan so fly
Poppin' Diet Coke bottles got my shorties by my side
It's just a signature oil change, just a signature oil change, just a signature oil change..."

Shellie began guffawing which earned her a head slap from Curtis.  "Shellie!  Don't ENCOURAGE her!"*

*Too late, Suckah.

Promising to behave, I listened as the rapper began the bridge of his song.

"Wheels on the slab go round and round, round and round, round and round
Screens on the slab fall down and down, down and down, down and down..."

"I'm sorry,"  I said with a raise of my hand.  "I don't mean to sound judgy, but. . .did he just rap 'The Wheels on the Bus'?"

Without missing a beat, Curtis turned to me and sang:

"The Crips on the bus gonna tag some shit, tag some shit, tag some shit
The Bloods on the bus gonna shank yo ass, shank yo ass, shank you ass..."

After a solid half-hour of his inane antics, the rapper again began to demand the crowd "Make some noise!"

"You suck ASS!!!"  Shellie yelled at top volume.  Curtis and I stared at her in astonishment.  "What?"  She said with a shrug.  "Not the 'noise' he had in mind?"

At long last, Wiz Kha-loser got the hint and staggered off stage.  Finally. . .the return of the Mack, right?  Yeah, not so much.  There was ANOTHER rapper who was so bad he made the first guy look like freakin' Flo Rida.

"What fresh hell is this!?!?"  Curtis cried.  "No.  Just. . .HELL no!  Let's wait in the lobby 'til Macklemore comes on."  Which we did.  For a half-hour. . .and then 45 minutes. . .and then a solid hour while listening to this douchenozzle screaming misogynistic lyrics peppered liberally with derivations of the verb "to fuck" at the underaged crowd.  FINALLY, at 10:15pm, Macklemore took the stage.  He was amazing.  He was funny, and humble, and every one of his songs was performed with passion and conviction.  I can truly say, that without a doubt, it was one of the best concerts I've ever attended.

Except for being ear-raped by the D-list rappers. . .

And the girl flagellating me with her hair. . .

And the fact that it was waaaaaaaaay past this old lady's bedtime. . .

And the guy behind me who smelled like day-old hummus and feet. . .

But when Macklemore whipped off his jacket to reveal a Portland Trailblazers jersey and later paid homage to gay rights, family, and the Seattle Mariners, all was forgiven.  

"And they say, 'Don't forget where you come from
Don't die holding onto your words
'Cause you know you got a whole world to change
But understand who you gotta change first'."
-Macklemore, "Victory Lap"

Stay gold, Mack.



Laura said...

Really? Wow Really? You listen to that and not... Ok I just won't go there. We will agree on Luke Bryan :) Love ya!

Justamom said...

OMG I love you so much right now. My short one keeps asking if I am happy and laughing why am I crying.

Never been into rap music but if I were with friends like you three I would have been my best concert ever...

Jen said...


JUSTAMOM - My friends are exquisite. They can make ANYTHING fun.

Jennifer Clark said...

How utterly pathetic is it that the part of this story I found most comprehensible/amusing was when you mentioned "The Wheels On The Bus"?!

Sorry Jen. I just don't get rap. Except for a bit of Eminem, fellow Detroiter that he is.

Chillin'Villain said...

Just recently went to a concert, I was excited to see one of the co-headliners, and meh about the other. My friend and I were down in the pit and after the openers and the first headliner (who was fucking amazing!) the second act came on. After two songs I was so bored I pulled a book out of my bag and actually started to read with a book light...such a waste. Even my super-fan friend was disappointed, nobody is good live nowadays.

Valerie said...

God damn it girl! I am gonna visit you one day. And. It. Shall. Be. Glorious.

I'm saving bail money, by the way. Because I know well need it.



Laura said...

Ok Jen. But what about when Chadvrille sing? Cuz I kinda like the song... ;>) Grin

Kimberlee Lockwood said...

Awwwww I miss curtis and his antics!!!