So, a few nights ago, I’m at a gig. Nothing unusual about that. I’m a musician, so if for some reason I find myself standing next to Homer Simpson in a nuclear power plant, sweating about an imminent core reactor meltdown, whilst brawling over the last donut, then maybe it’s time to start asking questions about who put what in my drink. Never mind the mustard yellow universe, or missing digits.
For a cold January night in Texas, the crowd is pretty good. The audience is attentive, folks are having a good time, and the music is hip. We play a set, then break. Upon returning to the stage, one of the fellas in the band tells me that there’s a birthday in the house, and they want us to announce the birthday individual, and play Ye Olde Birthday Song.
This isn’t a problem, but I’ve often wondered why people over the age of 12 want this, especially in restaurants where the perpetually jaded waitstaff is annoyed by the fact that they’re singing Ye Olde Birthday Song to someone that they don’t know (or, for that matter, care about). Just take the free dessert and go on with your life, for crying out loud!
For musicians, it’s not so much of a pain. If you’re smart, you can be creative, and do something different with Ye Olde Birthday Song, and before you know it, it’s over, and the band can continue playing hip stuff. But on this night, the universe saw that this scenario shall not be.
I step to the microphone, and ask, “Is there a birthday in the house?”
I repeat the question, and a guy at the bar points at a woman who is seated next to him. I ask the woman,”Is it your birthday?”
She starts walking to the stage. To save her a trip, I say, “It’s a yes or no question.”
She continues walking to the stage.
When she gets to the stage, I cover the microphone with my hand, so that she doesn’t get the impression that I’m allowing her to address the audience. She leans over, and says in my ear:
“I’m from Minnesota. I’m the only one from Minnesota in here…can you ask the bar to cheer for the Minnesota Vikings?”
My response (over the microphone): “…let me get this straight. You want me to get this bar, in DALLAS, TEXAS, to cheer for the Minnesota Vikings, with all of these Dallas Cowboys fans in here? Do you want to leave here alive?! That’s not happening.”
The audience roared with a mixture of laughter and sounds of contempt.
I should preface the rest of this adventure with this statement: Sports are cool. I have no preference for any team, nor any problem with any team (except for any team that has a Quarterback named Tom Brady). Cheer for whatever team you want (except for Tom Brady’s team), stand around half naked in sub freezing temperatures painted in your team colors, for all I care. However, to go to another city that has a team with a rich football history, and has had a rivalry with your team, and then ask the die hard fans there to cheer for your team?! Lady, you’re lucky that in the South, people are generally polite. You got off lucky.
Try that B.S. in NYC, Philly, Pittsburgh, or Green Bay, and see what happens. It won’t be pretty.
She leans over and rather disappointedly says, “Please, will you do this for me?”
My response: “…y-you know that you’re in Dallas, right?”
Minnesota Woman: ” Yes, but what about the history that they’re going to make?”
Me (agitated, because of this request, and the fact that it’s holding up the show): “Lady, you’re in Texas. WE DON’T CARE.” At this point the guy that she was sitting next to her, comes and assists her off the stage, and away from me. We continue the show, and at the next break, as I’m leaving the stage, Minnesota woman gives me a dirty look.
I ignore this.
Then as my back is turned, I noticed that I’m being pelted by ice.
I give a sigh and an eyeroll, and walk away. The guy she was with asks for their tab, and they leave.
….whats wrong with people?