Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.
Date: Couple years back now.
Venue: Outside (in our hometown).
It’s the morning of a gig in our hometown. We are due to play outside at an afternoon celebrating local musical talent. I hadn’t yet mulled on the validity of our presence on the bill, that particular anxiety could be saved as a treat for when I’m running low on self doubt.
Now, I’m hazy on the specifics. But at some point during this unseasonably chilly June morning, I was awoken by an unseasonably agitated Ritchie. The conversation went something like, but not necessarily, this.
“Graham, you looked outside?”
“I’m in bed, Richie.”
“Yeah, but you seen the weather.”
“No, on account of me being in bed.”
“It’s due to piss it down.” Richie explains, pausing to leave room for me to panic. Fortunately, I am groggy from my recently interrupted slumber. (I like to sleep in on the day of a gig. I once read it was something that Joe Strummer used to do. Or maybe it was Joe Mantegna, the rock radio DJ from Airheads… I forget, either way sleep is rock and roll).
“The gig’s outside. We’re gonna get really wet.”
“How’s that different from any other show? You’re the sweatiest person I know. Why are you now so worried by body moisture?”
“There’s gonna be about 2 inches of surface water.”
I consider our options. “Umbrellas?”
“How we gonna hold them and play at the same time?” Score one to Richie. “Any other ideas?”
“We could play in slow motion. Pretend we’re in a nineties boy band music video.”
“You’d have to take off your shirt,” Score two to Richie. “Also, you’re an idiot.”
“I don’t know, I think you’re being pretty negative. We need to embrace this whole situation. Sure, it’s gonna rain. So what? We need to encourage the sun to come out.” I offer it a fit of positivity.
“I don’t know. Hawaiian shirts?”
“I’m gonna be freezing.”
“So what?! Worst case scenario, it’ll be funny. Best case, we are ahead of the weather curve and you work on tanning those arms.” Richie thinks for a moment. I consider whether the killer point was the inherent humour in wearing something vastly inappropriate in torrential rain, or giving the crowd free tickets to Richie’s Gun Show.
“Fine.” He concedes.
Date: The day after the rainy, frost bite ridden show.
Crowd: Mercifully, none.
The day after the hilariously attired, albeit incredibly wet, outdoors show I’m awoken by the phone. It’s Richie. The conversation went something like, but not necessarily, this.
“I can’t make it to practice tonight.” He complains.
“How come? You were fine at the gig yesterday.”
“Got a cold.”
The lesson, if there is indeed one to learn, is to wrap up warm. There’s nothing punk rock about hypothermia.
Photo by Luis Sarabia via Flickr.