Here’s the problem. I want to actually tell a story about an event that actually happened but if I tell the complete truth I will seem like an insensitive dick. Now ironically enough I could tell the story in a way that makes the reader think I’m a great guy and women would swoon from here on in whenever the name Lance Manion was mentioned (infrequent as that might be). But the truth will make those every same women think I’m a moron.
Still … the truth is the truth and I made a commitment when I started blogging to tell the truth and only the truth unless it in any way makes me look bad or if it would be funnier to lie. So that doesn’t help me decide how to approach this. Ok, ok … enough already. Here goes.
I was in a garage band years ago and, like so many bands, we were a little tight when it came to cash which forced us to occasionally accept a gig that maybe we shouldn’t have. This in itself speaks to the honesty of my story … if I was trying to appear cool would I admit that my band played at a home for the mentally challenged? Or is it mentally handicapped … well, whatever the fuck they call retards these days. We played for a big-ass group of them.
I won’t even waste time trying to tell you how sympathetic I am to all people regardless of race, creed or the size of their giant foreheads. Yeah yeah yeah … I’m a horrible person.
So we set up and do a sound check as if we were opening for U2… if U2 was playing in a rec room on a stage the size of a ping pong table. We had no idea what to expect so we were a little on edge. Finally the hour was upon us and they threw open the doors and in flooded a sea of happy faces. None of us expected so many! We weren’t exactly a popular band at that (or any) time so any crowd to us was a good one! We thought it best to play covers, something that they might have heard before, and so we launched into Just Like Heaven with much gusto. Then it got weird.
The reaction was a cross between the way crowds reacted to The Beatles and a scene out of Planet of the Apes. Suddenly amidst the yelling and the thrashing around it appeared as if everyone in the room wanted to touch our lead singer! Note that I, the bass player, went completely unmolested … as was the norm. Our singer tried to step back but the frantic crowd surged forward and the 3 tard-wranglers they had in front to keep the crowd at bay were hopelessly overwhelmed. I distinctly remember thinking “I can’t believe that I’m going to get trampled to death by retards.” It wasn’t even so much panic … more of an sad acceptance that the only notoriety my band would ever get would be to be forever known as the band that was killed playing to retards.
We hadn’t even gotten to the 2nd chorus when the depths of what a bad idea this was in the first place began to sink in to those responsible for it. Unfortunately there were no water cannons to aid in crowd control so it became of chaotic mass of limbs and foreheads as the counselors in their yellow shirts waded in to try to remove those under their watch from atop our lead singer. Our keyboard player literally yelled “I don’t want to be eaten” and abandoned his post leaving the ending of the song a little flat. The organizers of the event waved feverishly to us to stop playing and after a few minutes things began to calm down a bit. The group was herded back towards the exits and it appeared to all those in attendance that the evening had drawn to a close. The looks of confusion and disappointment on the faces of our ‘audience’ was a terrible sight to behold.
That’s when it hit us … the collective members of my… collected… membership. The guys in the band. We were not doing the rock and roll thing! We were pussying out. Rock was about rebellion! We didn’t want to be there … but we were there! We had our gear and god help us we had been paid in advance to rock and that’s exactly what we were going to do. No amount of Nurse Ratcheds’ were going to stop this group of retards from having a night to remember!
“That’s great it starts with an earthquake…” and with that It’s The End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine) blasted out! The only emotion stronger than the looks of horror and anger we received from the counselors was the unbridled joy on the big faces of the retards as they flooded back in front of us. I don’t know if there has ever been or will ever be a more energetic mosh pit every formed before a group of musicians. I can’t lie. Things were broken that night. Things were thrown and even the lowly bass player was groped in an inappropriate manner but damn it all we rocked those retards. Hard. Of course I also learned the hard way that you cannot crowd surf over a mentally challenged crowd … they don’t know to keep you aloft and thus I required heaping amounts of ice applied to my left ankle, shoulder and nose after the show. Oh … and the part where the audience yells “Leonard Bernstein” was completely silent. Crickets could briefly be heard chirping outside. Oh yeah … and our drummer got bitten … but that was by a counselor and a very long story.
I’m trying to remember other things that happened that night but it was sort of a blur after that. By the time the final echoes of Anything, Anything (by Dramarama… I’m telling you, tards love it) had died away we knew as we looked out into the exhausted and smiling crowd that we had done an honest nights work. Not so bad right? I look like a bit of a nice guy?
I hooked up with a girl with an IQ of 68. I swear though she looked like she was in her mid-80s!
And I’d do her again in a heartbeat.