(Before you start reading I have to share with you the back story to this post. The first Concert Phobia piece was published in the Kansas City Star and it stirred up a crap ton of hate emails all from die-hard Rolling Stones fans. So, the next week I wrote this to calm them down and come clean with a painful confession.)
I’ve got a couple of things I need to apologize for. First up, I lied to you recently. Well, I wouldn’t call it a lie really more of an omission of some salient facts. (That just sounded so slippery and because I didn’t feel the least bit slimy writing it makes me believe that my true calling is politics.) But the story behind the “omission” has to wait a second because I’ve got some rabid Rolling Stones fans I have to placate.
Recently, I wrote about having zero desire to ever attend a live concert event again. In doing so I referenced the Rolling Stones concert at Arrowhead stadium and casually mentioned how I was secretly glad I was not attending because of my concert phobia brought to a head by a 2010 Justin Bieber extravaganza at the Sprint Center. Now, please note nowhere did I mention that I did not love, respect, or revere the Rolling Stones.
Apparently, unbeknownst to me even mentioning the Rolling Stones without some sort of genuflecting is an egregious offense. Add in that I did use the words “mini stroke” and Lipitor when referencing the crowd and well I got myself a whole bunch of hate emails and worse older men stopping me at the grocery store, at the dog park and even one very animated gentleman waylaying me for a lecture on the history of rock and roll while I had one foot inside a Bath and Bodyworks store and was clutching a handful of coupons for two for one candles and pedicure creams that weren’t going to spend themselves.
Okay, every guy over 60 who felt the need to shame me and share that the concert was a “religious experience,” or “even better than when they played at Kemper Arena in 1981” and then tell me that I’m “an idiot” just simmer down. I get it.
Great grandpa Mick Jagger with his 24-inch waist bringing it and putting any twentysomething musician to shame is an inspiration to all of us. I love the Stones it’s just that I’m mentally scarred and unable to handle anything in a concert format. That’s all, no offense was intended.
Now on to the omission apology that is also related to what I recently wrote. My husband pointed out to me that I was not totally honest in listing my concert experiences. He even went so far as to suggest that Justin Bieber is not the real reason for my issues and that ground zero for my neurosis harkens all the way back to July 4, 1986 at the Farm Aid II concert in Manor, Texas.
When he mentioned Farm Aid II I gasped. We had a deal. He was never to bring up that concert. The event was so horrific I can’t bear to think about it, but putting honesty first here I go. For you, I will relive the day the music and my dignity died.
I was a very young news reporter at an Austin TV station and I was assigned to cover the Farm Aid concert. Now because it was 1986 there are four things you should know: 1) Back in the day a female reporter never appeared on camera without a blazer. 2) Cell phones were the size of toaster ovens and almost no one owned one. 3) Imodium was not yet available without a prescription and the travel size moist towelette was still an OCD’ers dream. 4) Texas in July makes Hell look like an all-inclusive resort. On that day it was a balmy 104 out. Now add in 40,000 souls languishing on unshaded turf and you have a picnic in lower purgatory.
So, there’s I was doing a “live shot” from the concert every 20 minutes while I sweated bullets and battled a wide variety of insects that were attracted to my Aqua Netted hair. I also needed to use the restroom – big time – but there was no way I was going into a makeshift latrine that the sun had turned into human refuse crock pot. This girl was going to hold it.
Then the unthinkable happened in mid live shot my bowels betrayed me. Yes, I pooped myself on camera! At first I was stunned. What do I do? The only thing I could think on was “toss to weather, toss to weather!” and make a break for it. I got off camera, took off my blazer, tied it around my waist and tried to do some sort of triage in the latrine of doom. Then I slinked back to the Live Truck, stole the one cell phone the station owned and called my husband – my knight in shining armor.
When he stopped laughing he vowed to brave the traffic and rescue me. “Just make it to the access road,” he promised, “and I’ll get you.” It was all very Last of the Mohicans when in the movie Daniel Day Lewis’s character tells the love of his life, “No matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far.”
You know all except unlike in the book/movie I wasn’t trying to escape from being slaughtered. I only needed an “Oops, I pooped myself” rescue.
So after suffering that kind of humiliation (with a heaping helping of “Oh sweet Jesus” because I’m pretty sure I walked more than one mile to the freeway in clothes that still had lingering crap attached to them) combined with my Justin Bieber trauma and I think I’ve more than earned the right to never have to attend another concert again.
P.S. Whenever I’m in the bathroom for any length of time my husband will ask through the door if “I’m tossing to weather.” Sigh.
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