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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeyEYv-kglc 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!