Friday, May 22, 2009

The Limits of God's Poo

Note: I realize that the title of this post is probably offensive. In fact, "God's Poo" are probably two words that should never be seen paling around. I can only assure you that all will be explained (if you have the patience to read everything that follows) and that I trust even the most devoutly religious among you will not take offense. Well, not much offense anyway.
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A while back you might recall that the Wife and I purchased tickets to see Elton John and Billy Joel together in concert. I lurked online waiting for the exact second the tickets went on sale and snagged floor seats, twenty-two rows back. They were not cheap.

We spent the last two months looking forward to the date, which was last night. We left the house three and a half hours before the show was to start because we 1. wanted to stop and eat a nice dinner on the way and 2. despise those people who show up late for pretty much anything. My Garmin nuvi GPS device (henceforth dubbed "utter piece of rotten turd fungus") said the trip would take us ninety minutes.

The first forty-five minutes of our date went extremely well. No construction, (which is a miracle in Michigan and I mean this quite literally) no car accidents, no wait at the restaurant (Outback, if you must know), and we were back on the road still right on schedule.

And then everything went to hell.

It started with our first taste of construction which closed the ramp I intended to use. No biggie, I took the next exit. At this point there was one of those signs that said how many minutes to the next interstate. It said something like 18 so I figured I'd follow the utter piece of rotten turd fungus's advice and wind my way through Detroit suburbia instead. After all, the satellites had a better perspective, right? And it had to be better than dealing with construction.

Here's the thing about the utter piece of rotten turd fungus. It apparently does not factor in things like stop lights, traffic, speed limits, or pretty much any other variable having to do with travel time. Long story short, we spent thirty minutes wiggling our way through swanky neighborhoods and sitting at red lights. And when it was all said and done, we ended up back on the interstate that had been 18 minutes away.

But we were okay. The utter piece of rotten turd fungus said we'd get there with thirty minutes to spare. No troubles. Until we hit the largest traffic jam in recorded history. (I'm assuming someone records these things.) Every single car in the state of Michigan was on I-75. The Wife and I realized our error (or rather, the utter piece of rotten turd fungus's error) immediately. See, in Michigan, we have this thing called "going up north." Basically, everyone but me owns property in the northern part of the state and whenever there's a holiday that creates an extended weekend, these people all hop in their Ford F950s and celebrate by clogging the interstates.

We were ten miles from the venue and I could have walked faster than the Murphmobile was moving. The Wife and I watched, sick to our stomachs, as minute after minute rolled by. The estimated arrival time, which was at one time 6:56 slowly became 7:15, then 7:16, then 7:17, all the way to 8:00, a half-hour after the concert was to start. Warily (and irately) we inched along.

Anyway, we finally got to the parking lot a half-hour late only to find that it was unquestionably full. No spaces anywhere. (Well, I take that back. There were lots of spaces for "VIPs." The inventor of my utter piece of rotten turd fungus was likely one of them.) By this point I was done swearing. When God decides it's your turn to get pooped on there's really no point in doing anything other than closing your mouth. And maybe crying. I let The Wife out of the car because there was no point in both of us missing the concert, and I continued my search for the elusive parking space. I finally resorted to driving over a curb and parking on a grassy knoll.

I ran to the arena and found my way to the floor seating. Of course, the concert was well underway and I couldn't see a damn thing. The rows were labeled with chalk scrawled on the concrete floor and I caught a glimpse of a number and so proceeded to count up to 22. Alas, the rows ended at 20. Me=confused. I found an usher and she was about as much help as the utter piece of rotten turd fungus. "Go up two rows," she said. Or something. It was loud in there.

I looked for the Wife. I did not see her.

"You need to go up there!" usher lady screeched. I started walking, but apparently I wasn't moving fast enough. "No! Up there!" She pointed.

"Look," I said. "You keep saying that but I don't know where to go!" Finally, she walked me to my seat and I actually felt grateful that the lady had done the very thing she was paid to do.

So I get to my row and I see her! I see The Wife! I just need to squeeze past a few people and my harrowing adventure will finally be over. The first person is in a wheelchair, but I can get past her. I turn sideways and start to slide down the row when I step on something that feels entirely too soft to be somebody's foot. I look down and there's a flipping dog lying on the floor. The lady in the wheelchair is blind and I just stepped on her seeing-eye dog. There's another dude there who's job must be to watch over the dog, but he's like seven foot tall and his knees actually touch the seat in front of him. And now that I've stepped on the dog, (who I must say was very understanding about the whole thing. Given how the night had gone it's a wonder the thing didn't take a bite out of my ankle.) the dude is not moving. He's not even looking at me. There's no way I'm getting down that aisle. So I find a couple of empty seats two rows behind The Wife.

The way this story deserves to end is I get back to my car after the concert and find it has slipped down the embankment and has been mercilessly battered by furious drivers.

Or as I'm climbing over the chairs in front of me to finally get to The Wife, I trip and land in the lap of a Hell's Angel.

How it really ends is I did climb over those seats and I did sit next to The Wife and I did really enjoy the concert. It was awesome. What I saw of it anyway. And when I got back to the car, there it sat safe and sound.

And so the moral of the story is this: Even God eventually runs out of poo. (And Chevy Impalas have very good parking brakes.)

12 comments:

Anita said...

A few things:
1. Did you and Wife argue during any of this? I am sooo nosy, I know.
2. I'm thrilled you didn't tell us ahead of time that you and Wife were going to the concert...I don't think it's safe to divulge that sort of thing on the Web.
3. How much of the concert did you see? I saw Elton in San Fran years ago and he had a drummer who stole the show. Was there an EXCELLENT drummer?

And...I got to ask Lehane a few questions. See my blog.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

1. No, we did not argue. I was angry at God, not The Wife. Also, my fury was highly creative and, if I do say so, rather hilarious.

2. You're probably right, although fear of having the family jewels stolen in our absence never once crossed my mind. The story wasn't interesting until all the bad stuff happened.

3. I'm a musical moron, so they all seemed amazingly talented to me.

I have already read your Lehane interview and what I took away from it was jealousy. Twenty-six years old...jeesh.

Anonymous said...

I was sure you were going to include a critique of the parking situation at the end of the concert. I hear it was a nightmare to get out of the lot--moreso than usual. Then I hear people were nuts getting back on to the freeway. It took my brother 90 minutes to get home, and they live only 20 minutes away. Hope you missed that traffic issue after all you went through. Glad you had fun at the concert though!

SIL

Big Plain V said...

Did you see my friends Melanie and Neva there? I tried to scam them out of their tickets by telling them that the Detroit Free Press had issued a correction: the performers were actually Elton Joel and Billy John, a hardcore hillbilly rap duo.

Sending you heartfelt sympathy, Mr. Murphy. I don't go to Detroit for reasons very similar to what you described. And also because the first time I ever drove across the city limits, I got pulled over and frisked (they called for backup and also frisked my wife) because of a crack in my windshield. And that night we slept in a room below an apartment where a guy had died and not been found for a week and all his stuff got piled in the dumpster outside our window and we had to lie awake all night and listen to what I'm assuming were homeless individuals sorting through the dumpster.

And there's still a bunch more crap I could tell you about that trip, but this is your blog, not mine, and my comment is already almost as long as your blog post.

Wait, the concert WAS in Detroit, wasn't it?

Paul Michael Murphy said...

SIL--The traffic after the concert was horrendous. We didn't even try to get in the car for 45 minutes. No one was moving anyway. Drive home took 2.5 hours. GPS device was just as terrible as it was before the concert. It suggest M-59 the whole way home.

V--Auburn Hills, technically.

Monica said...

Oh, PMM. There more i know about it, the more Michigan seems like Canada. We have two seasons here. Winter, and Construction.
I'm so glad to hear that you survived your ordeal. (?, was the giant man who didnt get out of the way blind too? or deaf? or both? maybe that's why he wouldnt move)

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Monica--I have no idea. He was looking in the general direction of the stage, but he didn't really seem all "there."

Sarah Dooley said...

You know somebody's going to come across this post and be all like, "That was my dog you stepped on!"

Sorry about your luck. It gave you a good story, though.

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

Know how ya feel. This happens to me every time I plan to go somewhere, like the Dodgers or Angels game. Luckily there's not too much construction around here, just a bazillion cars.

I had tix to see Greinke (My Royals) pitch against the Angels two weeks ago. Got home from coaching late (because of massive gridlock on freeways) and called off the trip down to Anaheim because of traffic. We would've made it by the 6th or 7th inning. The game ended up being 1-0 and lasted only two hours.

At least you made it to the show. With Billy Joel playing, sure the show went on for quite a while. As for God's poo, thanks to you I am now walking around and glancing up every now and then.

Lily Cate said...

This reminded me of two things-
1. I live in a neighborhood that is "Up North" for a lot of people. I finally realized it this weekend, when my quiet little neighborhood became overrun with out of state licsense plates.

2. The service dog. I'll never forget the time, years ago, when I was managing a movie theater, and some lady's seeing eye dog took a dump in Runaway Bride.
Good critique, dog.

Kelly said...

I now see that I dropped the ball in giving driving tips to use on the way to concerts on my blog.
Oh, man I actually laughed out loud when you stepped on the seeing eye dog. And I'm a dog lover...
So. What were the best songs?? I've seen both performers live: extreme talents in one night!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Kelly--I might have paid half what I paid just to hear "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant."