Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Story

In an attempt to unstick me, Puffin suggested I tell stories about my past. Long story short, I'm not reliving my shitty junior high/high school years. It was no fun at the time, and won't be any fun for me to write or y'all to read.

I will, however, relate another story. It shall be a Deadhead story.

July 8, 1990. The Grateful Dead and Crosby, Stills and Nash are playing in Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. It is hotter than two hells. In order to save the precious field from being 'destroyed' by thousands of hippie feet, the brain trust at Three Rivers put down a thick mat (like a wrestling mat) over the field, and connected all the chairs together in groups. The mat made the temperature in the stadium go up 20 degrees because it was DARK COLORED and in the sun all day. (Duh)

Being the good Deadheads we were, my friends and I got there very early in the day. July in Pennsylvania. It was HOT. And humid. And we were out partying in the parking lot for HOURS before the show. On the asphalt.

The magic hour comes, and we all stream into Three Rivers. Milling about on the mat, jockeying for just the right spot to see the bands. At least two hours before the show starts, of course.

Again, upholding our true Deadhead status, we pass around the hits of acid. One per customer please. It was the thing to do, you know. No matter that is was 100 degrees in the place, and we were 8 rows from the front.

La da. Da da. Standing around waiting for the music to start, the 'cid starts kicking in. Whoooaa....already?!! Daaam. It's going to be a long night.

CSN hits the stage, and the crowd surges forward. Including us. The Chef (she wasn't then, just a fledgling) grabs my arm, and with huge eyes says, "Oh my Gawd, I gotta get outta here!" At this point, I'm more than inclined to agree with her. "Okay, let's get off the field and go up there (motioning to the stands) it's got to be cooler because it's in the shade." We tell the rest of the tribe whats up, and bolt for the aisle that leads us up into the concrete promised land. (hah)

We push our way thru the hoards of sweaty hippies to the first level. It's still pretty packed, so we walk until we find the ramp up to the second one. The second level dosen't seem to be so bad, but we're tripping pretty good now, and have to keep walking. So we walk. And walk. And walk more. Looking at the people looking at us. (If you've been to a show, you know what I'm talking about)

By now, we've walked around the second level twice. Chef says, "Man. I'm thirsty as hell." "We can get a beer" I wisely interject. "No. I'm tired of beer" she says. "I need something else. I'm dying of heat too" "Maybe we'll find a soda vendor somewhere" says I. "I hope so" So we keep walking. About an hour later, she's red as a beet, and sweating like a horse. "Jesus, I need ice" "Hang on, we'll find some." I'm concerned at this point, because in my cid addled brain, she's going to go into heat stroke or something, and I'm tripping too hard to deal with it. So we keep walking. We round a bend on the third level, and way back in the corner, away from anyone else is an ice machine. A big, old hotel style ice machine. Chunking ice happily into it's bin. Untouched, unhippied, just this big old virgin ice machine.

She turns to me, her eyes as big as saucers. "Do you see that or am I just that high?" "No dude, it's there." I reply. So we RUN over to this thing and plunge our arms into it. Positively melting with joy at the numbing cold. We find some clean empty cups and fill them with ice. Just grinning from ear to ear. Giggling like loons about this cosmic ice machine that just appeared. Suddenly a couple of hippies came around the corner and broke our spell. We skipped off with our cups of ice, to find a nice cushy place to sit and watch (and dance) to the rest of the show. Don't know what CSN played, and can't tell you the set list of that Dead show. All I remember is how hot it was, and the cosmic ice machine.

Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

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