Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

No way to hold my head that doesn't hurt...

I realize that's not the first time I've title a post with lyrics from Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Dow," but it's particularly appropriate today.

Frankly I think it was pretty apropos the last time I did it, too, but maybe for different reasons. I'm pretty sure I didn't drunk dial anyone, but I may have sent out one or two drunken text messages. And I'm 100% sure that I engaged in some drunken chat time and then managed to pass out with IRC and FTP both still open. So if I offended anyone, lighten up.

Last night didn't start off to be a Vegas "I'm gonna drink like a college kid again" warm-up, but when the bar ticket printed off twice and my second Hurricane (apparently the Category 5 version is a little strongr than their normal fare) arrived three sips into the first, it had all the makings of a good night. Which usually means a painful morning after.

Rewind further - I was at Boudreaux's, a local cajun restaurant trying to decide between Southern Fried Shrimp with Red Beans & Rice and the 14 oz. Ribeye with Garlic Butter and Smashed Potatoes with my sister, my youngest niece (yes, Rooster, that niece) and her friend Whitney as we were getting prepped for the Robert Earl Keen concert next door.

Now if you've never listened to Robert Earl Keen, go somewhere and fix that problem. He's a real-deal Texas roadhouse singer-songwriter who paints incredible pictures with his songs, and has been known to tear a joint down a little with some smokin' boogie. So me, Bonnie, Steph and Whitney were gonna try to make dinner last long enough to avoid the opener and then weave our inebriated path down the sidewalk to the show. We did pretty good, too, arriving from the pisser and bar runs to our seats with about 5 minutes left in the set change.

I'm often reminded that I live in a weird friggin' city when I go to concerts. When I call REK a Texas roadhouse kinda guy, I'm not bullshittin'. So when I see fewer than 10% of the audience that looks like they have any leather apparel and even fewer that look like they've EVER sat on a tractor drinking beer, it unnerves me a little. I wonder how many khakis had to die to clothe all those yuppies? Myself, I was sporting my standard concert attire, jeans, Birkenstocks, Snailtrax T-Shirt and WSOP denim shirt. So the cool factor among the crowd was standard Charlotte - non-existent.

But those yuppies came to throw down last night, because the show was absolutely packed. The Neighborhood Theatre has a policy that you can come in when the doors open and save your seat with a piece of paper and tape that they provide, and when we got in the door to mark seats at 7:15 there weren't four seats together anywhere. So we let the kids fend for themselves and Bonnie and I found seats. I know, lotta love in this family. And there were as many red #8 logos on Bud tallboys as you'll see in Concord next weekend (btw, do not plan a trip to Charlotte, or through Charlotte on I-85 for the next 10 days. It's Race Week, and capitalization is intentional. So is the capitalism of the event).

Damn, I'm rambling. I might have achieved the ever-painful state of being hung over and still drunk. Lemme close my eyes for a second and evaluate the situation here.

A little spinny? Check.
Feeling in all extremities? Check.
Cottonmouth? Oh fuck yeah check.
Headache like a mofro? Check.
Beer farts? Check.
Inhibitions still a little lowered? Check. Yup, still drunk a little. Good job, son.

Anyway, once we got ready for the concert to start, me with my 1st Place Beer (that's a PBR for you heathens) in a tallboy variety and Bonnie with a Yuengling (I can say it, but damned if I know how to spell it), she proceeds to warn the guy next to me that "He knows all the words but can't carry a tune in a bucket."

Sad but true, I am an unfortunate singer-along at concerts. Unfortunate for those around me whose hearing isn't as damaged as mine, that is. I couldn't carry a tune in a steam shovel, and at the level of inebriation I'd acheived by 9PM last night, the volume meter was definitely pegged at "FUCK." So Bob put on a helluva show, maybe the best I've seen him do ever, and certainly as enjoyable as the one I saw him put on there the night he blew the main breaker and had to play the second half of "The Road Goes on Forever" in the dark cause the stage lights were gone. And I'da thought that if I'da been sober.

Excuse me, I've gotta go do the morning-after walkaround of my vehicle. And then I might need to go die for a little while longer. But if you get a chance to catch Robert Earl Keen, do. He's high on the Falstaff list of approved boogie. And he's opening for Dave Matthews this summer for a but, so if you like that stuff, get to the show early. it'll be worth not smoking that last j in the parking lot.

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