I have a free lance gig going on for the summer, a production management job for a cable TV industry convention. One of my tasks is to help choose two bands for the show, so the event organizers and I went bar hopping to check out prospective bands. I’ve been bar hopping for several weekends now, trying to catch the better party bands in this city. What a job, eh?
Well, one night into the bar tour, one of the cable TV honchos brought his wife along. They were in their mid-to-late forties; he’s paunchy, she is well-maintained, there was talk of kids. And so there I was, the lone 30-something in a group a decade or two older. Sometimes, I think out of habit, they would sort of talk over my head. I felt like a teenager. But on the whole the group was alright, except there were a lot of complaints about having to wait until past 10PM to catch the party scene in full swing.
The Cable Wife, one of those maturing sorority types, kept commenting on my seeming lack of enthusiasm. Well, I couldn’t help it, some of the bands we saw were really rotten.
One for instance, had a 50ish guitarist yelping back up vocals, singing “Fame, I’m gonna live forever.”
It was just so wrong. One band even did a cover of I don’t know, a song titled, “The Age of Aquarius.” I could not relate. But let it not be said that I was intolerant. I sat through several covers of “I Will Survive,” “Last Dance,” and “Celebration” with a straight face—what more could anyone want from me?
Maybe it was the school girl bully speaking, but Cable Wife kept harping on me, saying, “You look like you’re waiting to take your kid home.”
Well. No kid of mine would ever be caught dead in this bar, rocking out to this kind of band. I mean, a mother can only hope, right? But Cable Wife was, by extension, a client so I just nodded at her and smiled guilelessly into my margarita.
We trudge through a few more bars and then decide to make a last stop into Ratsky’s at around 2AM. The crowd was livelier, but the music was predictably, hip-hop and rehashed dance-pop. Ratsky’s has turned into the one-beer-all-night hangout for the kids, so needless to say the band was not quite what we were looking for. There was a lot of screaming and guitar screeches but not much music, I think.
Cable Wife was grooving most vigorously to the beat, while the rest of us were just waiting for the night to be over. She says, “Hey c’mon, don’t you guys know how to have fun?!”
I just had about reached my tolerance limit for benevolent smiling, so I turned away and kept my eyes on stage, where there were two bare-bellied singers oh-ohhhhing into the mike, and one guy with a knit cap (don’t ask) jumping up and down.
Fifteen or so minutes later I let my gaze drift back to our table. The men were still smoking furiously, beers sweating on the table. Cable Wife was quiet, her head propped up on one arm, not a hair out of place, lipstick still shiny. She was sound asleep. And she was snoring, snoring ever so softly.