Beautifully Radical

August 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm (The Easy Chair)

“YOU are having an awesome hair day!”

This was coming from Alyssa, a regular customer that I only see when I work other stores. I was giving lunches last night, and she was one of the few I recognized at the Mothership. She is a statuesque blonde, fit and taller than I. Her energy level is always through the roof. She licked her lips and gums. “I’m having a wisdom tooth pulled Monday.”

And using Bolivian Anbesol to get through Saturday night? She complimented, I flirted, flirted some more. Her bar tab is probably more than I make in a week.

It was nice to get attention from someone who isn’t overly freaky. ‘Cuz I been getting my share…

Friday night was Slayer and Rob Zombie. At Memorial Coliseum, my old stomping grounds. Is it selfish of me not to want it razed, to be replaced with a minor league baseball park or indoor athletic center? It seems to be the only place bands are allowed to turn up the volume and use pyrotechnics. The bands took this opportunity to do both.

The show started at 7 PM, with Exodus. “Heard of ’em? Me neither,” was Alx’s review/reaction. It sounded like every opening band at the Coliseum. Like a blender and a motorcycle running simultaneously.

“You want first break?” I asked Alx. We had primo side seats, about thirty feet from the stage. One of us would have to remain on site.

“You go first,” he said. “I’m timing piss breaks. Fuckin’ PBR…”

I wandered off, first to the bathroom. Oh neat! Someone had stenciled the 101 KUFO logo onto the little rubber mats that sat in the urinals. Piss on ’em! I did as was suggested.

The band roared on. I’d still hadn’t caught anything resembling a melody, or even a song. D-d-d-d-d-ROARRRR!!!! What would I normally be doing at a show? Standing over by the glass floor-to-ceiling windows, getting stoned. But this was the new millennium, and nice people don’t smoke in the house. Especially tobacco, but there were no stoners hanging at the usual spots. C’mon people, this is a Slayer show, for fuck’s sake!

I asked a bored, older security guard where the smoking area was. “Down those steps, and outside.”

Excellent! The gravel path that ran around the base of the building. I passed the lady watching the entrance. She had two glasses of beer sitting at her feet. She knows how to get through a Slayer show.

Turns out the beers belonged to the three lumberyard types smoking cigarettes just outside the door. The rest of the smoking area was deserted. I walked to the end, fished out a personal-sized joint and sparked up. I’ll be damned if I’m witnessing this coherently.

The doobie went quickly, as designed. The lumberjacks finished their ciggys as I headed back. I fell in with them, looking sheepish at the attendant giving me the stinkeye. No, I won’t tell you how I got weed past security. If they were to press the issue, I’d use my stock response: “There are benefits to being uncircumcised.”

I’d timed things well. After a few minutes, the lights went out and Rob Zombie’s circus of carnage began. Flamepots, dancing robots, a sonic mix of old and new. He played Pussy Liquor, which made me look extra cool. I was the only one with that tee shirt.

Zombie’s set was well-received, with one exception. A fellow who looked to be in his forties (and had maybe consumed a few forties) was yelling insults at the stage. “YOU FUCKIN’ SUCK, ROB ZOMBIE! BRING ON SLAYER, A REAL BAND!” Blah blah blah…

There were about five girls sitting in our section. Two of them got up. “You have no concept of camp, sir. Why don’t you take your panties off and become a real man, instead of compensating with fake testosterone!” She laid into him pretty good, and after a few minutes a security guard came down. He informed the Angry Man that no further outbursts would be tolerated, and that he was now on camera.

Damn. I wanted to see five muscle-bound thugs throw his ass out onto the sidewalk.

There was plenty of fighting going on in the mosh pit. One guy who looked like a mixed-martial artist kept pinging through the floor crowd like a pinball. I saw a four-year-old with gun range sound-mufflers in the pit. A grandmother. The guys in our section were wearing knee-length Dockers and Polo shirts, sipping Bud Light. Not what I expected.

Alx was weary of the jet engine melodics, and I didn’t want to be catching the bus home with this crowd, so we made an early exit. The ride home was mellow. I was greeted with an e-mail from someone special I hadn’t heard from in a while. She’d seen recent pictures, and said, “Love your hair. You look beautifully radical.” I flushed with pride.

So, last night as I departed for work, during my “awesome hair day”, I stood at the MAX platform. I noticed a fellow notice me. He was huge. Picture Billy Jack Haynes (or Mongo from Blazing Saddles) as a hillbilly rabbi, that’s what this guy looked like.

“Hi!” He stood like we were going to draw guns. “Hi!”

I ignored him.

“Five minutes until the train!” He shouted. I turned, looking to see if he was hollering at someone purchasing a ticket. Nope. “You going that way?”

“Yeah.” I meandered around in circles, trying not to make eye contact.

“Five minutes!” He hadn’t noticed the train pulling up behind him. I went as far to the front as possible, hoping he wouldn’t notice. He began loading his bicycle, and had found a woman to focus on.

“That’s my friend up there!” I heard him say. “He went to the Slayer show too!”

Aha.

He must have recognized me thanks to my beautifully radical awesome hair day…

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