Saturday, April 4, 2009

"The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get . . ."

My brother, Jim, and I went to the Morrissey concert last night. Jim wore his pink mesh tank top and head-band. OK. That's a lie. That's what I wanted him to wear because I thought it would be funny. I told him to wear that, or a glittered off-the-shoulder camouflage sweatshirt, but he "forgot his at home." (Likely story . . .). Here is Jim's review of the concert experience:

"The concert was good, but it was awkward because I felt a little bit like I was cheating on Adam Ant."

For those of you who don't know, my brother Jim has had a major man-crush on Adam Ant for years. He won't die happy until Adam serenades him with "Goody Two Shoes." Given Adam's conspicuous decline in popularity since 1984, I suspect Jim could easily convince him to fulfill Jim's plan to have him perform a private concert at Jim's church. I know that sounds like an unorthodox arrangement, but Jim has had to be creative due to the requirements of the restraining order . . .

I, on the other hand, only have eyes for Morrissey. Unfortunately, he only had eyes for the people in the first three rows of the concert and didn't seek me out ten rows back like I thought he would. Nonetheless, I know that when he started the concert with "This Charming Man," it was a secret acknowledgement intended just for me. You can see Morrissey sing to me (and a few hundred other people) on youtube: This link shows Morrissey opening the show with one of my all-time favorite songs and the video nearly simulates the view we saw--we were just a little further stage-left.

(Aside to Morrissey: We both know why you came to Milwaukee--to ask for my hand in marriage. But I understand--pulling me on stage for such a matter in front of all your adoring fans would have been too public and I respect that you are a very private man. The fact that your tour was called the "Tour of Refusal" is, I trust, a coy implication to me that you are playing hard to get. Just remember, "the more you ignore me, the closer I get." I WILL be celebrating your 50th birthday on May 22nd of this year; I WILL be baking you a cake; and I WILL be hosting your birthday party whether you attend it or not --just like I do every year. Your favorite is still Angelfood, I hope? Also, I will send you an E-vite for the party, my Silver Fox--look for it every hour on the hour. Finally, I like the cigar-smoking, half-naked Sailor you prominently featured as your stage back-drop. Is he single? Just kidding. No, but really--is he?)

In other news, Jim has entertained me non-stop with his stories. My personal favorite (so far) stars one of Jim's best friends from the Marine Corp. So as not to embarrass him, I won't use Brad Olson's name (tee hee). Jim and Brad became instant friends almost 15 years ago when they were both in the same artillery battery in the Marines. They have the same sense of humor, the same interests, and similar personalities. I met Brad more than 11 years ago at Jim's wedding. He lives in the Chicago area. He has cooked Thai food for me and stayed at my house. He has played with my kids and is one of Jim's friends for life. Jim reports that Brad is one of the few people on Earth, Jim would trust to watch his own son, Ashton. One thing Jim and Brad do not have in common is their size. Jim is a lean 5'8" and 140 pounds. Brad is a hulking 6'5" and 250 pounds with no body fat. I have never seen Brad do the splits or even touch his toes (this observation becomes relevant later in the story).

Recently Brad had some time off from work, so Jim asked Brad if he would be able to visit him in Alabama. "No" was the reply. Brad was off work because he was undergoing knee surgery due to a recent injury. Originally, the injury was thought to be break-dance related, but it was later learned that Brad was able to perform flares, windmills, and headspins without incident. Rather, Brad injured himself using a pair of Jumping Stilts after breakdancing. For those of you who don't know what jumping stilts are, search for them on youtube and you'll quickly find out. In sum, they are stilts that fasten to your legs; they do not come off if you fall. They make you about two feet taller, claim to give you SuperHuman Powers (you can run 20 mph and jump 6 feet in the air!) and they make you waayyyy more susceptible to the unforgiving laws of physics. Especially if you are already 6'5" and 250 lbs.

So, to make a long story not so long, Brad was running, jumping, and having a good ole' time on his stilts, until he crashed and hurt himself badly. He reports that he was using the stilts correctly: "I was wearing my helmet and everything, but I didn't think I needed the knee pads." By the way, Brad says that if you know any one who wants some jumping stilts, he doesn't need them anymore.

For me, the best part of the story--and the part that made me laugh out loud and that will continue to make me laugh out loud every time I hear it--is NOT the part about the stilts, but the part about the breakdancing. It would be a lot more respectable if it were still 1985 or if Brad was not a 34 year-old retired Marine . But something about a Thai-cooking, kid-sitting guy with the physique of a pro-wrestler doing the "worm" cracks me UP! What's more, is that reportedly Brad was not drunk; he did not lose a bet; he was not raising money for a worthy cause; he did not even have an audience (unless you count his brother); and had no other excuse that would legitimize his unlikely pursuit. No--He was breakdancing for real and for the love of his art.

This is just one story that kept me laughing this weekend (and probably the only one fit for publication). So, thanks for staying with me as I shared it. It takes a special kind of commitment to make it through my posts sometimes. Cheers!



Jim said...

I'm sure Brad will love this blog, think it's funny just like I do, and admit that all of the details about his adventures are completely accurate! (To make it up to you Brad, the next time we are together in Milwaukee, I'll buy you dinner and drinks at The Safe House, that's a promise). But I also want all to know, that though Kelly thinking of Brad break dancing is the funniest, I have a thought of Brad that has lasted even longer and I think is funnier...When he was a kid, he got into a makeup bag and got ahold of a pair of eyelash curlers. He decided to put it on his eye and clamp down! When he did, and his eyelashes were tightened down on, he freaked out and yanked the device off and ripped out all of his eyelashes on just one eye and then had to walk around for a while sporting his new eye with lashes and one eye without...that is the funniest thing ever!

mangycur0861 said...

So I guess I should have stuck to my old job when I was younger on the playground. Do you remember the HUGE GHETTO blasters that were all speakers one cassette deck and took like 25 D batteries. It was my job to carry that thing! So I guess I should just keep my job on the sidelines as a sound man! and as far as the stilts I don't need any more power. So they are for sale!!! Oh Jim I know you told her about the time when I was (way)younger and found my aunts eye lash curler and tried it. Yup clampdownd locked in place I paniced and out came all my eyelashes!! OUCH you would think but it all happend so fast. I almost thought about making it a matching set!!
Cant wait to come to Milwaukee again we will have to make a stop @ the Safehouse!!!

mangycur0861 said...


Terri said...

Did Morrissey play with his mic cord with each song he sang? Because he really liked to play with the mic cord to This Charming Man.
Here is a funny tid bit that I had with eye lashes, well not me but anyway. There was this kids that from my point a view seemed to be a big dumb bully type of kid and right not I am blanking on the name but he was over at our house for some reason, I think he might have been friends with Jim and John or was just over for whatever the reason, anyway I think he name was like block head or had the name block in it or who knows but I remember this day like it was yesterday. This kid was standing at our front gate and was laughing about something he came over to witness or look at and I remember looking at him and I noticed that he did not have eye lashes and it freaked me out enough to remember it and I just thought that boys didn't have eye lashes and later that evening I couldn't get the image of his bald eyes out of my brain and I asked my mom later that night if boys had eye lashes or not, she laughed and said yes and then I looked at JIm and John closer and noticed that indeed boys do have eye lashes and then I thought maybe only mean boys don't have eye lashes. This is how a 5 year old mind thinks. Anyway, maybe Brad ripped off his eye lashes but at least he didn't scar a five year old for life.
Anywho... that is my story

Kerry (Hanigan) Benes said...

It must take incredible dedication to be friends with your family! You people are ruthless! All though, I did get a good laugh out of that one. Thanks, Brad.