Nick's...The Story Continues....Again.
Back To The Story……
As I left the table, George and John were laughing at me for getting snookered by Dan.
“What a dumbass!” George said. “Thirty four gotdamn dollars!”
I looked at him and grinned.
“Screw you George, don’t make me tell everybody what YOU’RE payin’ me!” I laughed. “Looks like the rich dude is smarter than you!”
He just glared at me.
Before he could respond, I left and went back to the stage.
I played about halfway through the second set and I was having a ball with the audience.
I’ve never really understood how, if you’re the one on stage, you can talk shit to people in the crowd yet, nobody seems to get pissed off at you. Michelle has seen it many times and she’s always been amazed that I haven’t gotten into dozens of fights but, I love messin’ with people and…they seem to like it.
After I’d finished a song and was taking a sip of beer, a short stocky guy who I didn’t know hollered out that I should play something by AC/DC.
“Man, you need to put that bong down.” I cracked.
“I don’t think so Tim.” He shouted.
“Ok dude, just keep hittin’ it but try and remember that my name is Ron…..not Tim.” I cracked back at him.
A bunch of people laughed but hell….I didn’t think what I’d said was all THAT funny.
“Ok, Tim…just play what you wanna play!” the guy shouted.
Again.....a lot of people laughed their collective asses off!
“Alright dude…how about a little bit of Tony Bennett?” I asked jokingly.
This time, he stood up almost like a cheerleader and led his table as they said, in unison….
“I don’t think so Tim.”
What the hell was so friggin’ funny about that?
I was perplexed to say the least.
Conceding that I didn’t know what the hell was going on, I proceeded to finish out the set. When I had finished the last song I told them that I was going to take a break.
“Thanks ya’ll, I’m gonna take a little break now but, I’ll be back in about twenty minutes.” I said.
Much to my chagrin…..the stocky guy’s table exploded.
“We Don’t Think So Tim!!” they shouted and again…..they laughed like hell.
I just shook my head, put my guitar on its stand and turned off the sound system. I could NOT figure out what the hell was going on!
The house music came up as I was walking across the room.
Suddenly, the stocky dude stood up and shouted.
“Hey Tim….come over here and have a drink with us.”
His table and others around them exploded into laughter…AGAIN!
I remember being perplexed but, in addition to that…I was getting pissed! My feeling was that this guy was just being a grade “A” asshole.
I walked over to his table and looked at him.
“Look man, my name is RON!!” I said too forcefully. “What’s your fuckin’ problem?”
Well hell….the table erupted into yet another collective fit of laughter and the stocky dude damned near blew a blood vessel. He was obviously trying NOT to laugh.
After thirty seconds or so….I started laughing too. I didn’t have a friggin’ clue what the hell I was laughing at, but…there I was, laughing my ass off!
When the laughter died down….there was an uncomfortable silence for a bit.
“Ok….ya’ll are assholes but, I’ve gotta know what's so damned funny!” I laughed.
The short stocky guy could barely contain himself but, he offered his hand which, I shook…reluctantly.
“You ain’t into ‘Home Improvement’ are you?” He said in between giggles.
I thought about that for a second.
“Well no…I’m renting right now so, I don’t do much of that.” I responded.
Dear Lord! The way those people howled, I thought they were POSSESSED!
I hate to admit it but, the truth is that I was as mad as hell by this time!
After what seemed like five minutes of these folks laughing at my expense, the short, stocky guy reached out and patted my shoulder.
“Dude, you don’t have a fuckin’ clue what we’re laughin’ about do you?” he asked.
I was prepared to make an angry response but the look on his face broke down my anger. He was looking a bit embarrassed for ME.
“Dude...you've gotta tell me! What the hell is so friggin’ funny?” I asked while laughing at God knows what.
The people around us got quiet as the little stocky dude explained, rather sheepishly, that there was a wildly popular TV show called “Home Improvement” and that EVERBODY watched it!!
He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of it.
He…..and THEY…couldn’t believe that I didn’t know that the big “tag line” for the show was…….
“I don’t THINK so Tim!”
It’s the only time I can remember being ridiculed for NOT watching TV!
A few of those laughing hyenas later became pretty good friends, even the ring leader who’s name I learned was Scott.
After a bit, I went back to play another set.
Right in the middle of a song, a woman came up ON the stage and just stood beside me.
She wasn’t doing anything. She simply stared at me intensely. I wouldn’t have minded it so much but dear lord….she was UGLY!
I kept glancing at her from time to time but she never changed expression….she just stared. When I got through with the song I was playing, I turned to her.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I wanted to get closer so I could hear you better.” She said. “You’re pretty damned good you know.”
“Well, thanks a lot but, you can’t stay up here.” I said.
Folks, I’m really not makin’ this shit up.
She looked at me.
“Why not?” she asked.
I didn't want to be mean and really...I didn't know how to answer her.
Well…it’s not like there’s some kind of federal friggin’ statute concerning invading the stage is there?
I leaned into the microphone and said one word.
Everybody was laughing but…. the girl was oblivious.
She just stood there waiting for an answer from me as to why she couldn’t stand on the stage with me.
I made eye contact with Scotty and damn him…he was laughing at my predicament. He gave me one of those, ‘Hey….don’t look at me’ looks.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
Hell, I’d have done the same damned thing to him if the roles were reversed.
“Are you gonna stand there the whole time?” I asked.
“Yeah, if you don’t mind.” She said.
“Well, actually, I’d rather you didn’t.” I told her.
“Why?” she asked.
Why couldn’t she just go away?
I mean really…why the hell shouldn’t she be able to stand there?
Hell, if I wanted privacy, why the hell would I be playing music in public? What’s the difference in her being three feet from me on the stage or twelve feet away in the damned audience?
I was argueing with myself!
“I don’t know.” I answered her. “It’s just a little different.”
“Different than what?” she asked flatly.
“Usually people sit down there.” I said, pointing to the crowd.
“I like it up here.” She said. “I want to watch your hands.”
Shit! This was really getting strange.
I laughed and gave up on talking to her. She was just TOO strange.
“Can we just quit talking now?” I asked. “I’m workin’ here.”
She gave me a ‘no shit’ look.
“Who’s stoppin’ you?” she asked.
Damn….she was right again. Weird as hell… but right.
Why me God?
Believe it or not, I finished out the next seven or so songs with her standing there! She was never more than five feet from me. She didn’t speak, clap, boo or say diddly squat….she just stood there!
The ‘Three Musketeers’ were eating this shit up as was the crowd. On the other hand, I was completely weirded out by this damned woman!
At one point, I played a slow ballad.
George, John and Scotty grabbed some girls and took to the dance floor which was maybe, ten feet away. As they were dancing, each of them took the opportunity to mess with me by making faces. John however, took it one step further by abandoning his dance partner and coming onto the stage to my right side where he proceeded to stare at me just like the weird woman was doing.
I tried to ignore him but damn it....it was humanly impossible!
Did I mention that John looks like a cross between Jack Black and Jon Lovitz?
I freaking LOST it!
I left four or five couples dancing to nothing on the floor because I simply quit playing in mid song.
I just stood up, put my guitar on the stand, turned the system off and walked away laughing like a maniac.
John didn’t help matters.
“Ron!” He shouted. “I cain’t see yuns fuckin’ hands! I cain’t hear yuns!”
I thought I was gonna throw up I was laughing so hard!
My destination was the bar.
As I reached it, I sat down and ordered a Kamikazi.
Before I could drink it, the crazy lady walked up to my right side.
“You should never quit in the middle of a song but, I’m still going to sign you.” She said.
I wasn’t sure I had heard her right.
“What?” I asked.
“I’m still going to sign you but….that was very unprofessional.” She told me.
“Sign me to WHAT?” I asked.
“A recording contract.” She stated.
I looked at her.
She had a vacant, very strange look on her face.
“Just who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Gloria E. and I own Capital Records.” She declared. “Well…actually my Daddy owns it but I’m the C.E.O.”
I hung my head.
Why does this stupid shit always happen to me?
“Gloria, please leave me alone.” I pleaded.
“Why?” she asked another of her ridiculous questions. “Don’t you want to be a star?”
“No, actually, I don’t” I answered.
Well damn!! She suddenly became extremely agitated!
“You’re throwing away the chance of a lifetime!” she shouted. “The chance of a fucking lifetime!” she repeated.
“Lady, it’s been my lifelong dream to be an abject failure in the music business! I’m just where I dreamed I’d be so….please, leave me the fuck alone!”
By that time, John had joined me at the bar followed closely by Scotty and George.
“I’ll have you know that I discovered Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn and Toby Keith!” she was almost screaming.
I looked pleadingly at George and the guys.
“Do ya’ll know her?” I asked.
“Oh yeah…that’s Gloria.” George said. “She’s the first female astronaut to walk on the moon.”
I’m sure my mouth dropped open.
“Tell ole Ron ‘bout that lil old stroll yuns took on the moon Gloria.” John prompted.
Damned if she didn’t stand there and describe, in detail how she had bounced over to Neil Armstrong’s flag and signed her name on it with a blue magic marker.
“You know….it’s hard to hold a magic marker with those big gloves on your hand but, thankfully, they trained us hard on that before we went up there.” She said sincerely.
We all stood there as she rattled on about her imagined experiences in space for several minutes until I finally just walked away leaving her to regale the bar with her fictional exploits.
I walked out the back door and stood there alone.
I began to realize that I had, once again, found yet another nut house to play in!
Why me Lord?
Oh yeah...approximately ten years later, Gloria, this seemingly harmless nutcase that we all laughed at literally beat a dude's brain out with an iron fying pan while in a Listerine induced alcoholic rage and is now awaiting trial for murder at Broughton Hospital in Morganton. My brother in law Bud says she'll get off because, and I quote...
"She'll plead insanity and that crazy bitch has got papers to prove it!!"
Too damned funny.....and TRUE!!
To Be Continued