Tuesday, February 18, 2014

STL turns 250 years old and DAS loses 250 secs...


So St. Louis had it's 250th Birthday on Valentine's Day.  Originally Tif & I planned to attend the official Birthday Party called BURNING LOVE! but Mother Nature via an Ice Storm intervened.  So the party was moved to tonight Tuesday Feb. 18th.  I was very fired up because my favorite STL Musical Artist (ERIN BODE) and an up & coming STL Musical Artist (POKEY LAFARGE) were both playing the event.  So luckily both Tif & I could still attend the new Birthday Party date.  And unluckily Erin Bode could not perform at the new Birthday Party date.  We arrive VERY early and set up our folding chairs high up on Art Hill.  After determining which of the two stages Pokey Lafarge will be playing on we move our folding chairs down Art Hill and sit to the right of the Sound Mixing platform.  Tif holds down the fort and I peruse the Food Vendors (in their disgustingly muddy/ice slushy tents) and purchase a chocolate dipped 'heart shaped' shortbread cookie, a 'heart shaped' turtle cheesecake for two, a bottle of water and two cups of Pepsi (that was all I could carry).  Hauling my loot back down the hill I try my best to NOT slip in the mud and I am partially successful.  Tif & I snack on the sweets while we listen to AN ELVIS IMPERSONATOR while we wait for Pokey to take the stage.  Worrying that we won't be able to see the performance we move our folding chairs down Art Hill and sit right up against the barrier fence at the extreme far left of the stage.  There were lots of people doing the same thing in the center of the stage area and in the middle of Art Hill.  We arrived early enough so we didn't set up in front of anyone and to the left of us was the area they had cordoned off for the official BURNING LOVE heart they kept lighting during the concert (along with which you get a rush of super heated air that felt nice in the evening chill).  Right in front of us on the other side of the fence is a "Concert Security Guy" (CSG).  So as the Elvis Impersonator is finishing up his set (on the stage to the left of the flaming BURNING LOVE heart), kids start arriving and shoe-horning themselves into whatever space they can fit.  A girl plops down to the right of me, no bid deal, plenty of room. Enter "Skinny Guy High On Drugs" (SGHOD), his overstuffed backpack AND his druggie girlfriend.  Tif & I are sitting in our folding chairs with our feet on the fence directly in front of the stage.  SGHOD manages to stand with his leg touching Tiffany's and lean in across her seat and actually blocks her view of the stage.  Amazing feat of "unsteady on his feet while maintaining just the right level of unawareness/I don't give a shit about other people".  I immediately reach out and tap him twice on his hip bone.  BOINK-BOINK.  No response.  No one just rapped him right on his skinny ass hip bone, no reason to blink or turn your head.  Nope.  I can't tell if he's oblivious or just ignoring me.   Tiffany implores me to just let it go.  I'm seriously peeved.  I stand and occupy the space in front of my folding chair.  Tif remains seated.  I keep my eye on the guy, something is not right.  The Concert starts.  Pokey Lafarge is awesome!  SGHOD is way too much into the concert.  He seems to think we all came to hear him randomly answer back to statements Pokey makes from stage about 2 minutes off of the normal response time.  The CSG starts to pay attention to SGHOD's disruptive behavior.  SGHOD can almost sing along, taking into account his drug induced speech delay of course.  About half of the time I'm turned and staring at SGHOD right in his face (he's about a foot and a half away from me) because I'm worried about his behavior.  SGHOD is determined to watch Pokey perform and nothing else exists for him.  Suddenly SGHOD screams out some random cuss words and immediately get the attention of the CSG.  CSG leans into SGHOD's personal space and tells him not to do that.  SGHOD never looks at the guy 1 inch from his face and never acknowledges what he is told.  ::tic::   Wow.  I suspect SGHOD is of the school of thought if you don't acknowledge something, it doesn't exist, or he IS that high.  Flip a coin.  So I'm watching the concert and watching SGHOD.  I ask Tiffany if she is OK, she has to stare at the back of SGHOD's backpack.  She tells me she is OK, honestly she tags along to outdoor events just to humor me.  She's a good girlfriend.  Pokey is doing a great job.  SGHOD stares unblinkingly at the stage.  Randomly SGHOD yells something and shakes the fence he's pressed up against.  CSG leans in to SGHOD's face for the second time and tells him to knock it off.  No response from SGHOD.  ::tic-toc::  I motion to CSG to come over to me and directly in front of SGHOD's face I tell CSG "He is high".  CSG nods at me.  Now I'm listening to the concert with my right ear because I'm standing sideways to the stage and glaring at SGHOD (not that he would notice).  Then it happens.  SGHOD decides to dance.  There is no room to dance.  As he is swinging/twisting back and forth I realize he can't do that without hitting Tif.  I look down at Tif sitting in her chair.  "Did he just hit you with his backpack?" "Yes" she replies.   ::tic-toc-tic::  TIME STOPS. I turn to SGHOD, rap him three times pointedly on his shoulder.  BOINK!-BOINK!-BOINK!  No response.  OK, I've seen the pattern.  With an open hand I slap the side of his face three time (kind of like those loud plastic clapper toys shaped like hands).  FLAP! FLAP! FLAP!  Will he acknowledge that?  Yep, SGHOD notices that.  He turns to me and yells "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" while swinging his arms out which seems to me to have too many elbows and too many joints.  In retrospect it's the motions of a junkie.  Out of control and random movements that normal people do not make.  I am not worried, he is maybe 85 lbs, his druggie girlfriend is bigger than he is.  I make a fist and  raise one finger and put it against the tip of SGHOD's nose.  "First and final warning, you just hit my girlfriend with your backpack".  SGHOD answers something back that doesn't make sense (I can't even remember what he said), but I do know that I did not get through to him.  I make sure he hears what I am saying, "FIRST AND FINAL WARNING, YOU JUST HIT MY GIRLFRIEND WITH YOUR BACKPACK".  That he hears.  He cusses and apologizes in an aggressive manner.  Not the correct response, I do not accept his apology.  I am holding myself very still.  I motion to CSG to come over to me and directly in front of SGHOD's face I tell CSG "He just hit my girlfriend with his backpack".  CSG immediately turns to SGHOG and tells him he has to leave.  SGHOD ignores CSG.  CSG is nose to nose to SGHOD and tells him he has to leave and points to the top of Art Hill.  SGHOD yells, "I DIDN'T MEAN TO HIT HER, I'M SORRY" in an unapologetic aggressive manner.  CSG grabs hold of of SGHOD's arm and tells him he has to leave.  SGHOD responds, "I LOVE POKEY LAFARGE AND I CAME TO SEE HIM I'M SORRY JESUS PLEASE" (or something similar).  SGHOD holds onto the fence in front of him with both hands and ignores everything else CSG says to him.  CSG leaves to speak with his supervisor.  SGHOD turns to me and yells "I DIDN'T MEAN TO HIT HER GOD DAMMIT" (or something similarly aggressive).  I am very calm and completely focused on SGHOD.  Leaving his Supervisor, CSG and another CSG cross through a gate in the security fence and they start to make their way through the crowd to our location.  I know what is coming.  I turn to Tiffany and tell her to stand up and switch places with me.  Tiffany doesn't want to make things worse and tells me she is going to just sit in her folding chair.  Again I tell Tiffany to stand up and switch places with me.  Tiffany cannot see the approaching CSG's so I finally think to explain, "They are coming through the crowd to throw this guy out."  Tif stands up and moves behind me.  CSG and the second CSG arrive and tell SGHOD that he has to leave.  Without turning to face them, SGHOD tells them he is just going to watch the concert.  The CSG tells SGHOD that he has to leave.  Without turning to face them, SGHOD tells them he is just going to watch the concert.  A third CSG arrives through the crowd.  The two CSG's grab hold of SGHOD and he wraps his legs through the security fence and yells at them (I can't remember exactly, he said so much crap).  Tiffany's folding chair gets kicked, folds up and flops down in the mud.  A fourth CSG arrives on the concert side of the security fence and they all attempt to subdue SGHOD and unwrap him from the fence.  The crowd backs away and allows a wide space around SGHOD.  I retrieve Tif's folding chair before it gets stomped into the mud.  SGHOD looks a little bit like a rabid dog, out of control and all wild eyed.  SGHOD throws an elbow and clocks the original CSG in the side of his head.  SGHOD disappears behind a wall of CSG's.  They remove him up Art Hill.  The druggie girlfriend shuffles along behind.  The entire time I was facing SGHOD and he was about 2 feet away from me.  My legs shake as the adrenaline flushes from my system.  I tell Tif she can sit in my folding chair because her chair is covered in mud.  She elects to stand and watch the rest of the concert.  Pokey Lafarge does a great job.  Some of the people directly behind us ask, "What happened".  Witnesses are not reliable, people do not pay attention.  We watch the rest of the concert, 4 more songs.  Concert over, fold up chairs.  Tiffany notices that about 20 feet behind us SGHOD has snuck back down Art Hill without his druggie girlfriend.  He can't figure out where Pokey Lafarge went to.  Keeping an eye on him we move off away from SGHOD and have an uneventful walk back to the car.  Pokey did a great job.  All told, I lost about 4 minutes out of my life...
(The Section between the Elvis Stage and the Pokey Lafarge Stage)

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