Thursday, December 23, 2010


It was almost midnight by the time we piled into the station wagon in the crowded parking lot. There were six of us total, five teenages and one adult. We all smelled like the crowd we had just left. We smelled like the marijuana cloud that the concertgoers had created and imbued into our clothing though none of us smoked pot ourselves.

By the time us kids had dragged ourselves into the old station wagon we reeked from three hours spent standing on the lawn of the ampitheatre with our heads involuntarily caught in a pot cloud and our feet in beer-soaked turf. Dave Matthews and his band had been off stage for half an hour by the time we all piled into the car. A good full hour of sitting idle in traffic awaited us.

What else to do besides put in yet another of the six or seven Dave Matthews Band albums we had brought on our drive? Shea Quinn and Tim Atherton had already fallen asleep in the very back of the car. In the front and middle sections of the car sat three wide-eyed and wide awake concert-lovers looking to stretch the night out just a little more.

We put the album in and began to sing along. We hoped this would ease our disappointment having not heard some of our favorite track played live that night in Hartford. It did for awhile.

It did until the two boys in the middle seats- one a nervous-by-nature tenth grader named Dan and the other a tall, gangly dude of the same age named Chris- decided that singing along to the songs playing on the sound system was just too boring for this time of night. Why not speak the lyrics instead? Wouldn't that be fun for everyone?

It did get a big chuckle out of Jason, the son of the man driving the car and chaperoning this event. Jason looked back from the passenger seat at his two friends as they happily chanted the lyrics to every song in a truly awful monotone. Oh, this is fun, they thought as they reveled in their ridiculous idea. They were all too happy to entertain anyone they ever encountered with half-brained ideas just like this one.

Yes, Dan and Chris were certainly thoroughly enjoying themselves and both were silently thinking , Wow, I am such a funny guy!

And the driver? He was the family man forced to sit in a car full of hyperactive high-schoolers that reeked of smoke, sweat and all the grime shared by a thousand people standing too close to one another. There were the smells, the traffic, the fact that it was a late night turning into a long morning. On top of all that two moronic high schoolers were sitting directly behind him in the station wagon speaking the words to some of his favorite Dave Matthews songs. It must have been a toxic cocktail. A migraine ensued.

The driver speaks with his son in the passenger seat and politely suggests that the two guests in the middle CUT IT OUT. Why not just listen to the songs instead of reciting the lyrics as if it were the Pledge Of Allegiance?

Chris and Dan shut up, the traffic subsided, and the crew could finally head home. Few words were exchanged until someone suggested they all stop at Dunkin Donuts once they rolled back into town. Iced Vanilla Bean lattes all around, everyone!

Jason and his father very generously rewarded two obnoxious people in the drive-thru at three in the morning. There is nothing qute like the lingering aromas of a concert mixed with vanilla flavoring.

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