It’s been a long time since anyone accused me of being cool. Yesterday, however, that door slammed shut completely: I'm now officially uncool forever.
Last night, the Eagles played at Busch Stadium. I attended the concert. I even made sure to get there in time for the opening act, The Dixie Chicks.
Embarrassing as it is, this is my report.
Before I begin, however, I want to apologize in advance for some digressions I'm going to make along the way. They have to do with my new work-in-progress, Be Rich Like Me! A Memoir, by Evan Schaeffer.
Read on. All with be explained.
* * *
The evening began at a downtown restaurant called the Terrace View. I turned my car keys over to my wife, Andrea, and ordered a couple of vodkas on the rocks, doubles.
It's a pre-concert ritual I don't recommend to anyone who likes to enjoy a concert sober. For me, it works.
I also ate a little food. With that out of the way, we walked with some friends toward the stadium.
We seemed younger than the other Eagles fans. I maintained a lookout for anyone I recognized from my grandmother's retirement center.
When I finally saw someone I knew, it was from a retirement center of another kind: the 350-lawyer megafirm where I worked through much of the '90s.
The lawyer I recognized had been one of my bosses. He shook my hand enthusiastically and said nice things to Andrea about what a big loss the firm had suffered when I left.
I think he was being sincere, though he'd obviously forgotten the circumstances of my departure. These circumstances involved a meeting in which the firm's management committee had ordered me, more or less, to hit the road.
Unfortunately, it’s not a story suitable for this concert review. Rather, it's a story for my work-in-progress, Be Rich Like Me! A Memoir, by Evan Schaeffer. Keep reading this weblog for further details.
I told my old boss I was glad to see him. Like him, I was also being sincere, I think.
If my old boss had heard the rumor, recently in circulation in these parts, that certain persons had been promoting me for a federal judgeship, he didn't mention it.
I sort of wish he had. I always like it when people ask me if the rumor is true.
I like to wink and say, "I'm not sure. What do you think?"
I said good-bye to my old boss and walked on with Andrea and our friends. Eventually, we made it through the turnstiles.
* * *
We arrived in time for the Dixie Chicks. Nothing like some banjo and violin to get you revved up for life in the fast lane.
I listened politely, allowing myself to daydream about my work-in-progress, Be Rich Like Me! A Memoir, by Evan Schaeffer. My current dilemma: how to season a true story with just enough irony to lead careful readers to wonder if any of it is true at all? Since no one is likely to believe my story anyway, why not make the work a little more literary by adding additional layers of irony and, hence, meaning?
And would it be possible to test these ideas in a blog post that takes irony as one of its central concerns?
I was lost in this daydream when the Dixie Chicks played the opening chords to their hit song Goodbye Earl. Suddenly, all the women in the stadium jumped out of their seats and began cheering.
No more irony for me. These women were sucking all the irony out of the stadium, taking it into their lungs, and spitting it back out like dragon's breath.
Goodbye Earl, of course, is that rollicking anthem about the wife who, with the help of a friend, kills her abusive husband after he violates a restraining order.
What passion the women were expressing! Even the geriatrics were stomping, hollering, swinging their arms.
Let's go out to the lake, Earl. We'll pack a lunch and stuff you in the trunk, Earl.
The men remained seated, giving the women plenty of wide open space to express their inner vigilantes. It seemed the gentlemanly thing to do.
Earl, ain’t it dark, wrapped up in that tarp?
Now do you understand the fun of irony?
* * *
Next up, the Eagles. The band was made up of the core group--Henley, Frey, etc.--plus a stage full of younger session players who were helping, figuratively, to hold up the stars, and may have been helping literally too although I wasn't close enough to see.
After the first song, our friends had to leave to tend to a sick dog. We all have our priorities.
I have a mansion, forget the price. Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice.
That's right, more irony. A model, in song form, for my work-in-progress, Be Rich Like Me! A Memoir, by Evan Schaeffer.
The song came toward the concert’s end. It began with an introduction by another band member about Joe Walsh's fame throughout the land, especially with police officers and hotel staff.
The crowd cheered, playing along, knowing full well that if that stiff-jointed old man up there on the stage tried to trash a hotel room, it would probably kill him.
But stiff-jointed or not, Joe Walsh can still sing. And he can still play the guitar.
Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through (Everybody sing) I'm cool (He's cool)
That sums it up. The concert was good, Joe Walsh is cool, I'm not.
Although life, I should point out, has been good to me so far. And you'll be able to read about it yourself, just as soon as I get around to completing my work-in-progress, Be Rich Like Me! A Memoir, by Evan Schaeffer.
Stay tuned for further details . . .