Sunday, December 12, 2004

Last night, Bigs and I went out with my co-worker, Heather, and her husband, Joe to a tacky house tour. It was coordinated by a former co-worker of Joe's, who puts it on every year. You pay $15, and get on a bus and ride around town looking at the most decorated houses in the cit-tay. It is also BYOB. Big and I are not huge fans of bus tours to begin with, but Heather and Joe made it sound fun, so we decided to give it a good-willed try.

Let's set the scene:
Me and Big, dressed in jeans. Me in the Rolling Stones Tour 1973 replica tee I picked up at Hot Topic the previous day. Big is wearing the Crow t-shirt I bought him for Christmas. On the back is written "You Job Is To Tell Them That Death Is Coming For Them. Tonight." The rest of the crew, including Heather and Joe, reside in the Glen Allen area and are dressed in bright colors, looking as if they emerged directly from the Snow Bunny and Ski Dude sections of the Abercrombie catalog. To say we felt out of place was an understatement. And it only got better.

From the years of roadie crew work for Uisce Beatha, the two of us have learned that if one imbibes, it's best to pace yourself, not to get too out of control too quickly, because you don't really want to be That Person who crashes and burns, and does something that many will talk about for tours to come. Joe could tell me exactly which returning tourists made an ass of themselves last year. And basically, the unspoken rule of rock and roll is that the band can basically pass out somewhere and it's cool. For the road crew to do so not only disses the band, but you're basically useless and put more work on your buddies.

That Person morphed into a bunch of people as the hours went on and on. Basically, we were on a moving bus with open containers of alcohol with what appeared to be lightweights, getting drunk on Miller Light, and making faces as they sampled our drink of choice to bring, Dark and Stormys (Black Seal bermuda rum and ginger beer). In hour number two and a half, someone behind us opened up a bottle of Tequila, and began passing it around to his group. Many many off-key Christmas carols serenaded us as we continued to ride the Booze Bus From Hell. By the time we reached the James Center, the finale of the tour, Big and I were stone cold sober and stepped off the bus for about a minute, gazed as some party members attempted to climb on the illuminated reindeer, while the others went off to climb the Christmas tree, sticking their heads through the gaps so someone could take a picture. That is the tradition of the tour apparently.

I'm certainly not looking down upon these people and their traditions, but I really wouldn't do it again because it was simply not my scene. I'm used to a crowd that could party with Keith Richards and look cool doing it, but somewhere in the middle of everything, no matter how much booze is floating around, someone usually will start a conversation about world events, or something significant to basic humanity. None of that was going on, and if there was, it was so loud and the radio was blaring Celine Dion yammering about Feliz Navidad that we couldn't hear it. The only highlight was when they started playing "Do They Know It's Christmas." I attempted to lead the bus in the chorus of "Feed The World! Let them know it's Christmas time again!" unsuccessfully (they didn't know the song), and then Big and I got into a discussion about how kick-ass Live Aid was. But that was about it. And we met one cool couple who recently got married in Vegas. John asked me to be on-call next year for the tour so we wouldn't have to go again. I think I'll stay home and work on my peace-promoting, gay and lesbian friendly Christmas cards.

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