Firewater & the Very Drunk Guy

So last night I went to a Firewater concert with Kevin.

Great show. Recommend them very very highly, particularly if you like lyrics written by people with big vocabularies. Buy their CDs. Good stuff.

However, the REAL entertainment of the evening was…this guy.

Now, let me set the stage here. As it happens, the other really big Firewater fan I know is my ex-husband, and so I knew he was going to be there. He and I are still on pretty good terms–I’d told him about the show in the first place–so we contacted one another a week or so in advance to issue the standard Boyfriend/Girlfriend Advisory Warning.

Here’s the thing. No matter how amiable one’s split is, no matter how much ill-will you don’t bear the other party, if you’re going to be in the same club with the chick that you kinda-sorta got left for, you make damn sure that you look FABULOUS.

This is not all that one needs to know about female psychology, but it’s a good chunk of it.

So I was pretty near the top of my game last night in the looks department. This will be important later.

Poor Kevin, as it happens, was startingto come down with food poisoning late last night. This will also be somewhat important later.

So we’re at the club, have made the standard hi-have-you-met polite socialization with the ex, after which we evacuate to opposite sides of the club, and Badger shows up because…well…it’s a good concert somewhere in a fifty-mile radius, ergo Badger spontaneously appears. And this Very Drunk Guy who apparently used to work in the same building as Badger descends on him and begins talking his ear off.

After a few minutes, the opening act has played, and Kevin goes off to smoke a cigarette at the bar. I’m hangin’ out in the concert area, and the Very Drunk Guy notices me, and, as Kevin so succinctly phrased it, “he was all about some Ursula.”

Now, I am not used to being hot, as witness the fact that I am still making vaguely bemused posts like this. I went through my whole life being more or less invisible, and then sometime last year I dropped fifty pounds, got a new wardrobe, dyed my hair unnaturally, and now I can’t walk to the mailbox without getting honked at. It’s like my self-image caught up, but my image of the REST of the world is still lagging. Sure, I think I look good, but it still surprises me when the rest of the world notices. I still find this sort of thing bizarre.

Still, even *I* know when somebody’s trying to pick me in a bar. Unfortunately, while I’m aware that it’s happening, I still have never figured out how to abort the conversation gracefully. I am too damn polite for my own good. My method was to deliver brisk answers and stare vaguely over the guy’s head at the stage, in hopes he’d get the hint.

He didn’t get the hint.

About the point that he was staring deeply into my tattoo, Kevin returned to rescue me, and dude backed off. All was more or less right with the universe.

(Now, I should say at this point that other than being Very Drunk, dude really hadn’t crossed the line. We’re in a bar, hot chick apparently unattended–you’re allowed to try your luck. Once the boyfriend shows up, however, you go away. These are the rules.)

So Firewater takes the stage, and they are awesome, as I think I mentioned, and after a couple of songs–and the shot of Jameson’s–I start dancing.

Now, I am the whitest of white girls, and believe me, I dance like one. If I did a rain dance, mayonnaise would fall from the sky. I got nuthin’.

Fortunately, this is a pretty common affliction, and one suffered by at least half the audience, so it’s all good.

It occurs to me after about two songs that the Very Drunk Guy from earlier, who is about three feet away, is facing me and not the band, and since I was directly behind him, there was really no room for doubt.

This is a trifle unsettling. If you’re going to stare at me while I dance, have the courtesy to point and laugh. Don’t just stare. The staring gets awkward. I start to get embarrassed on the other person’s behalf. Kevin, meanwhile, possibly having picked up on this, is performing one of the many variations on Male Territorial Dance #23 — No, Really, She’s With Me (Dance Mix Version.)*

The song ends. Very Drunk Guy leans past me and sticks a hand in Kevin’s direction. Kevin, somewhat baffled, shakes it. Drunk Guy says, in slurred tones, “She’s just that hot,” drops his hand, and staggers off.

Kevin and I blink, look at each other, and collapse into hysterical laughter, because shit, what else can you do at that point?

Had all ended there, it would have been an amusing footnote to the evening, but alas, no. Drunk Guy returns.

By about two-thirds of the way through the evening, the food poisoning is beginning to make itself felt, and Kevin has headed to the bathroom, to contemplate whether or not he really wants to be violently ill in a stall at adive bar with no lock on the door. (If you’ve never had food poisoning, the worst side-effect is a feeling that the contents of your internal organs wish to vacate, by either end, even if there are no contents.) I am doing the White Girl Boogie again, and Drunk Guy is…still…watching me.

Kevin returns, definitely starting to feel somewhat the worse for wear, but he’s a trooper (and is still blaming the cheap Chinese food from dinner for his affliction.) Drunk Guy is startled! He had forgotten there was a boyfriend! He slaps Kevin on the shoulder and staggers off again.

“Do I look that scary?” asked Kevin.

“Believe me, I’m glad you look that scary…” (It’s the tattoos and the shaved head. He’s really not all that big, but apparently reads as “thug.”)

“…and you were worried about your ex.”

Concert continues. Drunk Guy returns. Apparently he has forgotten yet again that there was a boyfriend, because he “accidentally” backs into me on the dance floor, which requires a pretty significant backward stagger to achieve.

“…and now we’re starting to get into personal space,” says Kevin, fending Drunk Guy off. Drunk Guy is startled! There was a boyfriend?  Wait, is this another boyfriend? Oh…wait…no…vaguely he recalls something of the sort…

At this point, it is worth mentioning Kevin’s internal monologue, which according to later reports consisted of something like “God, I feel queasy. God, I hope I don’t have to kill this guy in this state. “Gee, officer, the bald guy just beat the crap out of this other guy, then shit himself! It was brutal!” That would suck. Hey, this is a pretty good song… God, what is with this guy? Oh, man, I’m never eating at that Chinese place again…”

I head off to the bathroom. When I return, Drunk Guy has apparently apologized at incoherent length to Kevin for having violated his, or my, or somebody’s personal space, and reaffirmed that his girlfriend is hot. To his credit, Kevin, despite the increasing roiling in his innards, was maintaining a sense of humor about the whole thing.

And then, maybe ten minutes later, Drunk Guy pulls out his phone and apparently something on the little screen startles him so badly that he staggers dramatically backwards, arms windmilling, in a move which would have taken me out completely if I hadn’t retained just enough reflexes to sidestep and let the table break his fall.

Drunk Guy blinks at me. Gee, how did I get over there? This table is not hot. He has no interest in the table. Wait, who’s that scary guy behind me? There was a boyfriend? Dude! Wait…this is familiar somehow…

There comes a point where all you can do is shake your head.

Perhaps fortunately for all involved, the show ended shortly after, and I took Kevin home to sleep the unsteady feverish sleep of someone who’s body has decided to kill all bacteria everywhere and let God sort ’em out.

“What I don’t get,” said Kevin, slumped back in the passenger seat, “is…I mean, did he think I was just going to vanish?”

“Maybe he was hoping you’d have a heart attack and I’d suddenly be available.”

We drove in silence for awhile. I kept an eye out for suicidal deer.

“…you’re so blogging this.”

“Ohhhhh yeah.”

(Kevin, it should be said, is sick as a dog this morning, but does not appear to be in any danger, and will hopefully recover before too long. The dogs are very happy to have him home.)

*I quite enjoy this version, mind you, although I generally need a cold shower afterwards.

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