Sunday, July 27, 2008

In Which a Night of Fat-Cattery Goes to My Head

So the Oregon Zoo in Portland, of which I am a loyal member (being that they have all the penguins) has summer concerts on their rather shallow and grassy amphitheater.

Since I am a member, they invite me to pay a lot of extra money for tickets in order that I may be treated like a VIP - they reserve a blanket for us in the best seating area, they reserve a primo parking spot, they serve us dinner and dessert, and then give us keepsake wine and beer glasses.

Both Drew and I have a problem with the line-up-early-and-dash festival seating at grassy amphitheater concerts. You try to get there early only to find out that the truly committed have been there since breakfast, then wait in line to get in, then hurry to the seating area, lay your blanket down on a spot of ground halfway to the concession stands, surrounded by fellow blanket squatters, and then, halfway through the opening act, somebody claims the inch of space between your blanket and the one directly in front of you and sits on your feet.

We thought that this VIP thing sounded like the way to attend an amphitheater concert without the thought of blunt force violence overwhelming the enjoyment of the music, so we splurged for the extra VIP treatment with our Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings tickets.

The VIP seating area is roped off, and the VIP blankets are neatly laid out so that every VIP has a nice bit of real estate to call their own. All very orderly and Republican. A nice fellow took our order and brought us typically awful zoo food. But still, we didn't have to lift a finger to purchase the awful zoo food. The couple next to us were seasoned VIPs and griped about the time it took for them to be served. I'll have to work on that.

This is the walkway in front of our blanket, and the stage not too far away.

Our blankets were situated right in front of a paved walkway that was (a) annoying, as it was a heavily used walkway, and (b) good, because the old security fellow kept it clear of would-be loiterers and squatters.

Keen makes a stylish wine glass holder that doubles as a shoe.

Once the concert got going, our seats were way too close to be able to see the stage over the dancing crowd, so we were (if you are Drew) forced (or, if you are me) liberated to (Drew again) stand (or, me again) dance all night. Luckily the dance floor was about a foot and a half below us, which allowed the shorter of us to dance AND see the stage. Brilliant.

And may I note here that if you have heard Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' latest CD, you have heard about 50% of the goodness that is in store for the live audience. She is a pistol. What a voice. What a stage personality. I am pretty sure that when she left the stage, she was spent. She left it all out there. Heartily recommended.

After a while, as at all concerts, the dancers and forward-pushers got the upper hand of the elderly security squad, and our roped-off VIP section was occasionally breached. However, as I had paid so much for these tickets, I (yes, I) either turned around and stared at them, as if memorizing their faces for a later line-up of suspected trespassers, until they picked up their bags and daughter and left (you're welcome, guys in the second VIP row), or yelled at the ones in front of me until they moved on. No, really. I did.

Wow. A little privilege turns me right into a law-and-order Repub...Right I can't say it. Meany.

I have since deflated back into my regular skin, and have left whatever servitude-induced assholery I adopted for the night behind in the roped-off VIP section.

It just goes to show you. A little privilege can change your outlook. If you are thoughtful and moral, it will open it wider. If you have a small, stingy heart, or just have a little too much Chardonnay, it may make it smaller, darker, and meaner.

I swear, next time I'll be a nicer VIP.

1 comment:

Cpt A said...

Way to step up and assert your Pigletude...I was impressed. And I was totally impressed by Sharon Jones. Mad talent.