Thursday, February 11, 2010
Bizarro Night at the United Center
Oh, not the hockey – that was great as usual, even though in my mind I’m still protesting the Blackhawks and their refusal to even respond to my email asking if I could be the designated water girl or something for their big “Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness” game in October. Really, if *I’m* not the perfect Sympathetic Face of Cancer, then who is??
Anyway, we trudge through the snow to get to the UC, and it starts as soon as we go through the ticket line. First the purse-checking guy is all jocular, asking me why I didn’t bring him any treats (maybe my brownie-making reputation precedes me?), and then the ticket guy tells me that – brace yourselves – he knows the cure for cancer.
Guy: Wait, what’s your hat….oh, I see, that’s awesome!
Guy: There’s a cure for cancer you know.
Me: Not my kind there isn’t.
Guy: There’s an herb that people use in treatment…
At this point I chuckle knowingly, assuming he’s talking about pot. Used solely for medicinal purposes, of course.
Me: Ah, of course….
Guy: It’s from South Africa, an herb called sutherlandia. Cures cancer.
Me: Umm…..ah! I see!
Guy: Look it up! It’s also called Cancer Bush…
Me: Okay, I will, thanks!
Contrary to my cultivation of a curmudgeonly mien, I find it hard to be rude to people who are so earnest as they’re trying to be helpful. Now, if someone were persistent in telling me to try such-and-such to cure The Cancer, that I should stop traditional treatment, blah blah blah, I might not be quite as charitable. But this guy was harmless. Bizarrely wrong, pushing some herb that sounds like a movie by the Coen brothers, but harmless nevertheless.
Then we go to our seats. Where I sit down next to a guy reading a book, some kind of weighty hardcover novel with an intellectual-sounding name, Where the Gray Owl and the Twain Shall Meet, or something. Then another guy goes clumping through our row to get past us, stepping on my feet, so that he can sit down – and then put sunglasses on and start spitting out his chewing tobacco. Okay then!
The guy in front of us is reading a book on his Kindle, and has an autographed postcard from one of the ice bimbos that he seems to be guarding rather fiercely. Guy behind us, his vocabulary consists of the phrase “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” yelled over and over, except when the ice bimbos come on the ice, and he yells “Yeah, baby, I’ll give you somethin’ to talk about!” I turn around to take a look at him, and he’s the very definition of a pencil-necked geek. Yeah, good luck kid.
Then to complete this tableau, we have the beer-selling guy, who keeps saying loudly in a monotone voice “Beer – beer – beer – beer – beer – beer” as he’s walking along. No variation. No “get your ice cold beer!” or “Who needs some beer?” – just “beer – beer – beer – beer – beer.” It’s enough to drive a person mad.
And the final touch – the kids sitting in front of us. One of whom Deanna notices first because he’s got his iPhone out, and his background picture is of some red bikini’d woman, and the kid is all of about 9 or 10, tops. Then we notice that he’s rapid-fire texting on his other electronic gadget not one, not two, but THREE different girls: Meg, Michelle, and The Girl I Will Always Love. Seriously. Good lord, this bunch makes ME almost look normal.
For some reason, it’s the texting kid that bugs me the most. Because he’s not paying attention to the game at all, just texting texting texting.
Me: Do you think anything would happen if I grabbed all of that kid’s electronic gadgets and flung them somewhere in the stands? Other than wild applause?
Deanna: You should try it.
Me: I could pass it off as my Tourette’s kicking in, where the arm just flails out uncontrollably, grabs stuff, then spastically tosses it.
Deanna: I like this kid.
Me: You would, Miss Texting-Fiend-Even-When-Driving. Me, if he were mine, I’d take him off into the deep dark woods and leave him there, texting merrily away until the wolves eat him. That’d teach him.
By the 2nd period, the kid has pulled out his iPod and starts listening to music, Beer Guy continues to monotone away, and Sunglass Guy still has his sunglasses on. Mai tai anyone??