Saturday, March 27, 2010

Monkey Dance


Maybe it's just me, but I probably don't go through a single day without wishing I had been able to snap a discreet photo of some random douchebag or freak that inserts themselves into my day like a sliver. As soon as they've gotten under my skin they irritate me until I have a chance to take appropriate measures for removal. With a sliver you need some tweezers. With the types of people I tend to encounter you need some sort of outlet for your anger at why they're allowed to live.

Sometimes though, it isn't the double parking asshole or the line cutting fucktard that you want a picture of for storytelling a day later. Plenty of times it's just a weirdo of such epic weirdness that you wish you could place his picture atop the blog post you feel compelled to write about him.

So I apologize in advance for not somehow getting a picture of the dude in line ahead of me last night at the Kevin Smith (Director of Clerks Kevin Smith) Q&A discussion event concert evening sort of thing. Fuck. What do you call an evening sitting in the crowd while Kevin Smith talks about cracking a porcelain toilet while trying to take a shit? Session, show, program???

Anyhow, the back story is as such:

I bought my girlfriend Elizabeth tickets to An Evening With Kevin Smith. Apparently it's called an evening. I don't follow him on his podcast or if he writes/blogs (I honestly have no idea) but I have seen most of his movies and enjoyed them. Elizabeth, on the other hand, could probably construct a fairly reliable wikipedia page on him. She's a fan.

We walked to the theater from our industrial loft apartment that is more than likely 30% more hip than your place, and I'm being generous. Within five minutes we approach the theater, a place we've also seen Louis C.K. and Patton Oswalt perform, and see lines stretching almost around the block. The number of hoodies, trenchcoats, and hockey jerseys was tremendous. In fact, the only thing seen in this crowd with more regularity was obesity and adult onset diabetes.

The doors opened at 7 and he didn't get on stage until just after 8:30. I didn't eat dinner but that didn't stop me from commencing with the tallboys. Things get started and he talks for awhile before announcing he'd be starting the Q&A. Elizabeth seemed to want me to go ask him a question. I initially passed because I don't know much about the guy and I'd be mixed into a sea of hardcore nerds asking obscure shit about comic books he mentioned in interviews 12 years ago. But as she asked again and I looked her in the eye I could tell she really wanted me to, and hell, the night was for her. I was her monkey. I would have to dance.

I was about the 10th person in one of the two lines. We'd alternate. Question from one line, let Kevin riff for however long he wants, question from the other side. Twenty people away and it took close to two hours to get to the mic. Ten or so from the moment I ran up and took a leak. When I got back I started to get my first glimpse of the absolute freak standing in line ahead of me. Up til that point I was too fixated on having to piss and what the hell I was going to ask him.

Dude was a spitting image for Freddie Mercury. Same dark hair, same gay mustache. He was wearing what appeared to be a construction worker's light green reflective zip-up. His mannerisms were those of a boxer about to start a fight. Lots of head loosening back and forth while hopping on his feet a little. He'd bring his hands up in front of his belly and crack his knuckles before shaking his arms out at his side.


But what really got me was the outbursts he had as we waited. For every triumphant finish to a story Kevin told he'd lunge forward with an exuberant fist-pump and an "IN YOUR FACE!" paired with it. Then he'd kinda turn around looking at all of us while bobbing his head like he knew he'd nailed his reaction and was waiting for all of us to join in. He'd laugh way too hard, scream his approval at funny thoughts, and basically just weird us all out with all that combined with the prize fight routine.

So now we're getting close. It's the guy walking up to ask his question, then the weirdo, then some girl, then me. Man, I've gotta pee. Like, bad. I'm trying to think of some good questions but all I really want to know is what happened to him directing Fletch Won. It's probably old news to everyone there but me, but whatever. I gotta pee. It's all I got.

So the guy walking up asks him about the movie Cop Out. Smith goes on a 45 minute rant about how Bruce Willis was on set. It was good and all, but I was moments away from having to give up my spot to go piss. He finally goes for his patented "Are we good?" move when he's completed his rant and it's time for Freddie Boom Boom Mercury.

Smith immediately cracks on his road crew reflector jacket. We all laugh and the guy tries to shrug it off by saying something completely nonsensical with the word "cancer" mixed in. The entire crowd goes immediately into awkward silence. It not only made no sense, but when combined with his exuberance and odd body language nobody knew what to do besides stop what they were doing and watch silently for a moment with their mouths open.

The guy is bouncing a little, making no sense, and Smith (Who has a very quick wit and great way with words) recovers for the guy. Boom Boom asks some dumb question and Kevin gives him a real quick answer before going with his "Are we good?"

This sends the guy into a quandary. I honestly believe he thought he was going to crush his moment. Maybe he thought it'd be hilarious and people would be dying to shake his hand later. Or maybe he thought Kevin Smith would find him so entertaining that he'd want him to be his best friend. I don't know. All I know is that the crowd fell silent again as he died right there at the mic in front of the stage. He had used his A-material and had nothing left for his big moment. He had a mic, his idol asking him if there was anything else in a way that said he didn't want there to be, and that's when it happened.

The crowd starting laughing at him.

Well, mostly him. A large part of it was the absurdity at how weird the last minute of everyone's evening had been. But mostly at him. I can't lie.

From my angle, to the side of the stage where I could see his facial expression, it was actually a bit heartbreaking. Here was a 40-something man who stood up in front of fifteen to seventeen hundred people he would absolutely die to be friends with, and in one minute he went from thinking he was going to be the toast of evening to basically pissing his pants in front of them and his idol. Kevin, myself, and maybe 30 other people in position to do so saw it.

The thing is, when he was doing the weird shit in line he'd look us in the eye for our approval and wouldn't see that we thought he was a freak. Once he died at the mic a few minutes later I think he could tell. That's what made it so bad.

Had I not been double-fisting tallboys and in dire need of a piss I would have felt pretty bad for the guy. As it was I only had a small wave of that flushing embarrassment wash over me. It was that bad.

He hightailed it out of there and I settled on my question.

Earlier in the evening he talked about how he was a 16yr old boy and tried what every boy that age wishes he will do, whether he will admit it or not. He was able to throw his legs over his head and give himself a bit of a bj. So what I decided on was my Fletch Won question (What happened? Is it ever coming out?) with a comment beforehand which went like this...

First I'd like to congratulate you on all your success,

(thank you)

and I mostly mean your achieving every 16yr old's masturabatory fantasy,

(forget what he said)

and your movies were pretty solid as well.

Amazingly, it didn't go over that well. I guess fat nerds were too busy playing D&D to ever dream the good dream. At least I didn't go out like Boom Boom Mercury did. And hell, the slightly chubby cocktail waitress gave me a thumbs up as I came back from the bathroom. That's gotta be worth something.

It was a little bit of a blur after all the beer and no food, so maybe I'm remembering my portion of the evening with Kevin Smith wrong, but I do know this: My girlfriend was happy and that's all that really mattered last night.

My monkey dance was strong.



elizabeth said...

actually, there was totally laughter after your comment. i think you were just too focused on getting your question out and having to pee to pay attention. and yes, you did great. i was proud.

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