WARNING: EPIC LONG READ AHEAD.
Allow me to lay out my frustrations of a couple of incidents that happened to me over the last week.
I don’t know if anyone else finds this at gigs like I do, but no matter where I stand at a show, I seem to ALWAYS be blocking some sort of main thoroughfare that just happens to materialize right where I decided to plant my feet. There could have been no one anywhere near the spot until the moment I decide to stand there, but once that happens it’s instantly transformed into the exact place person A needs to travel through to reach destination C having left origin B. It could be a convoluted wacky route to the toilets, or the apparently new trendy journey to get to the bar by taking the least shortest path to get there. I don’t know what it is, but people just start bumping into me or trying to squeeze between me and whatever I happen to have decided to stand near; and I take up a fair whack of real estate.
So here comes example one. I went along to The Zoo to see the absolutely amazing Justin Townes Earle. He’s an American singer/songwriter and son of Steve “you can smell the whiskey burnin’ down Copperhead Road” Earle. The guy is a fantastic showman and writes some truly brilliant songs. He was supported by The Wilson Pickers‘ Andrew Morris and fellow American, Jason Isbell. The show is kicking along nicely and Morris has finished his cool set. He was joined by fellow Pickers Ben Salter and Danny Widdicombe which was a nice surprise. Jason Isbell blew the stage to pieces with his awesome music and absolutely insane guitar playing. Justin Townes Earle was who I was here to see though, and great opener acts were just icing on a cake I already knew was going to be fantastic.
I decided that the best place for me to plant myself was off to the left side of the stage, right against the wall out of the way and took up this spot and got myself in a cool zone to soak up some good old country tunes. Not five seconds after getting myself situated do people start cramming themselves between me and the small group of people I’m going to immediately name The Hillbilly Fucktards who had decided to move into the three metres of space I had in front of me. But they decided to do this in the 70 odd centimetres of space that was directly in front of me…leaving them the full other 2.3 metres that they could have inhabited terra nullius…a veritable no mans land.
The Hillbilly Fucktards were clearly already full steam ahead on their journey to alcohol poisoning at this stage and were being jovial with each other and leaning against each other for balance or comfort or both while they loudly talked about some sort of bullshit I didn’t give a fuck about. Their long and malleable appendages which were capped with full glasses and bottles of their chosen poison flailed around in the air, punctuating whatever drunken point they were making, or illustrating some detail of a story that was probably a lie. I am thankful that none of the contents of these glasses and bottles ended up being spilled all over me, though it was close.
Within no time The Hillbilly Fucktards’ drinks ran empty and they all teetered off to the bar to refuel before continuing on their mission to be the drunkest cunts in the venue. As they left I thought to myself “now salty, here’s the perfect opportunity for you to move forward here and occupy the space they were just in…so they can’t come back to it…you, sir, are a GENIUS!”. So I slide myself along the wall and comfortably take up the space in which The Hillbilly Fucktards had vacated. They booze, they loose. Or so I thought. The triumphant group returned from their bar mission and seemed to just reform in the exact same spot they had, which now included me. I was like an adopted member of their group it seemed and nobody seemed to care.
FUCK THAT. I cared. So I slowly slid my way back to where I was before. If they hadn’t noticed I was there, they noticed I had gone as they fluidly filled in the space I had left and planted themselves squarely back right in front of me, again leaving their claimed 2.3 metre buffer zone. Now when it comes to times like this, I’m a real stubborn cunt. There’s no way I’m moving. Fuck those guys, I was here first and I want to enjoy the show. I don’t drink anymore, so I’m stone cold sober and wanting to marvel at the display of musicianship and lyricism that is taking place in front of me on stage. So I’m standing my ground and going down with the ship if it kills me…or I have to kill them. Either way I’m watching this fucking show and The Hillbilly Fucktards aren’t going to ruin it for me.
Now it could have been my persistence and the epic negative vibes that I was mentally blasting at these idiots, or it could have been the fact that the journey to the bar so they could SINK PISS MATE was too far, but they decided to pull up camp and relocate to somewhere else and I didn’t give a fuck where, they were gone. Peace at least. I could stand with my three metres of nice space in front of me and let Mr Townes Earle take me away to a better place on the wings of his music. Sure, I was still the footpath to the toilet and the bar for every moron that couldn’t walk anywhere else in the entire venue to get to those places, but generally if I ignore it, those fucks become easy to ignore.
You’d think that this was the happy ending and soon I’d be riding a wave of country music gold and wishing I was in Nashville with a geetar slung over my back and a huge cowboy hat. But you’d be wrong. No sooner had The Hillbilly Fucktards decided to vacate their land, along come who I’d like to call Pretentious Wanker and Dumbshit Mate. I don’t know what it is, but by standing within the one metre radius around my body, people must just begin absorbing my aura of fucking awesomeness or something, because that’s exactly where Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate decided to stand. I was so close to them if I had stuck my head forward as far as it could go without even moving my body I’d have been right between their faces. Now the epic invasion of personal space I can sort of deal with. The dodging half drunk wobbling fuckheads standing using each other as ballast I could mostly handle. But Pretentious Wanker and Dubmshit Mate weren’t happy to just stand there and watch Mr Townes Earle play some great songs…they also decided that RIGHT NOW was the best time EVER to start having a conversation about something. Again, no idea what they were talking about, I couldn’t give a fuck. But by this stage the music on stage was quite loud and they clearly couldn’t hear each other. “They probably realised this and just stopped talking and watched the show” I hear you all assuming. Not quite.
Pretentious Wanker proceeded to lean towards Dumbshit Mate and scream what he wanted to tell hm directly at his ear. Dumbshit mate then returned the favour. They did this over and over, their conversation seeming never to end. I was reaching my boiling point. Everything within me wanted to crane my neck forward that little bit and at the absolute top of my lungs just yell “SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP. ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!”. I cooled down and they stopped for a short while, then obviously realised they had something else they had to talk about and started again. The same epic rage started building in me again as I started picturing scenarios in my head of what would happen if I had just let rip at these cunts and told them to shut up. In any event it never ended well so I calmed myself again. My fiance decided that she wanted to go and sit down at the back of the room and I come to the realisation that I was fighting a battle I just couldn’t win. So with a heavy heart I joined her and we sat at the back of the room, where there was noone else anywhere nearby and sat and watched the rest of the show. It wast really great.
So tell me. Should I just stop going to shows? Has deciding not to drink anymore ruined the gig going experience for me? I’d hate to think that to enjoy a show like I used to I’d have to have had a few drinks or be off my face. I know that I’ve probably been both Pretentious Wanker, Dumbshit Mate and any number of species of Hillbilly Fucktard at sometime drunk at a gig…but surely deciding not to be any of these things anymore shouldn’t destroy the pleasure of going to see live music should it?
OK so incident B happened a few days later whilst spending some quality retail therapy time at Chermside shopping centre. I was in that fabulous glass fronted wonderland that is the Apple store. I had seen a couple of iPhone cases that I really wanted to find and have a look at, so figured that the Apple store would be as good a place as any to start looking. Plus I’ve only been in there twice before so I figured any excuse would do. They basically have a wall of iPhone cases in the store against the right wall at the back of the shop. The area was mostly deserted when I walked in so I went and planted myself in front of the case wall and started looking at some of them. Now as mentioned previously, I take up a sizable piece of the floor when I’m standing on it. I’m not a small person and I’m very hard to miss. So I don’t understand how when I’m standing right in front of a wall of products, clearly looking at them, people feel that they should come and stand in front of me to look at the same things I am. I don’t mind if you reach in front of me and grab something to have a look at…with a “‘scuse me” thrown in is always nice but not a deal breaker. But why would you feel it was ok to lean right in front of me, or even squeeze between me and the wall of products to look at something, and just stay there blocking everything I’m trying to look at? I’m not invisible and you are not a fucking window.
A mother and daughter clearly thought I was as they decided that they’d basically push in front of me to grab a couple of things from the shelf and have a conversation about them…call a staff member over and continue talking to them while I’m still trying to look at shit, now on tip-toes trying to look past them. I decide to take a step to the side and look at whatever is in front of me then. It was nothing too interesting, so I decided to be just as much of a fuck and reached into the even smaller space now between them and the wall and grab some stuff to look at, making it clear that I was basically shoving them out of the way. And they moved. Good. Get the fuck out of my way.
I then thought I needed to take this mission closer to the ground, so I squatted down to look at the merchandise that had been placed closer to the centre of the Earth. iPhone cases worthy of this antideluvian shepherd. So I’m squatting down looking at some stuff when a customer I’ve decided to call Shitcunt comes and stands looking at some of the stuff that’s above me. Which I’m fine with. I’m not looking at that stuff! Look away my friend! Oh wait…what are you doing? Why have you decided to look at the stuff above me, but by standing right over the top of me so close that if I were to stand up I’d be placing myself squarely inside your chest cavity, or at best in your armpit. I was trapped! Like a moth in a bath! I could feel my bezerker rage building up inside of me again and decided it was time for action. I figured I’d just stand up; through Shitcunt if I had to. This is pretty much what happened. I stood directly up and bashed Shitcunt aside. He took a stumbling step away from me, looked at me in what seemed like absolute shock and exclaimed “OH! SORRY MATE!” like he hadn’t even seen me there. I didn’t acknowledge his apology nor his existence, I just kept looking for the Holy Grail of iPhone cases that I was pretty sure I’d find. Anyway what does Shitcunt decide to do? Exactly the same as the mother/daughter pair had done, who I realise now I forgot to name. Let’s name them after the fact, The Dumbsluts. So here’s Shitcunt leaning in front of me, not to just grab something to look at, but to study intently at the sake of my being able to actually see anything.
Well my loyal readers, that was me done. I exclaimed “FUCK THIS!” and made a retreat from the Apple store, once again defeated.
So my question is this…are people just cunts? Or now that I’m in my 30s am I just getting older and losing patience with pretty much everything, most of all people?