Sunday, May 17, 2009

This Post Goes to Eleven

I have told you before that This is Spinal Tap is my favorite movie, bar none. I didn't see it in the theater, I came upon it a little later. I was 23 years old and had just gone through a pretty ugly break-up. My heart was broken, I was in debt, and I'd burned a lot of bridges. My parents let me move back in with them till I got on my feet which was not much fun for any of us. It was not a time of much laughter. I stayed in my room a lot, not unlike a surly teenager. I had a nice TV and a new water bed and a VCR. I had a very good relationship with the folks at the video store. One day This is Spinal Tap wound up rather arbitrarily in a batch of videos I had taken home to occupy my weekend.

I popped in the video and settled in on the water bed almost defying it to amuse me. I mentioned that the water bed was new, right? I hadn't quite become completely accustomed to it yet at this point in time.


We came to this point in the movie:

I started laughing. Just a little. A silent little giggle, really. All by myself in my brand new water bed.

And when I laughed? The whole bed moved. And when I laughed harder? It practically made waves. This, of course, made me laugh even harder. It became a circular reaction. It was more fun than I'd had in an awfully long time.

Every now and then there is that pivotal moment when things just suddenly turn around. This was one of those moments for me. I knew in that instant that I was done being a cave dweller in my parents house and feeling sorry for myself. Laughing felt good and I wanted to do more of it. I wanted to put myself in situations which would stimulate laughter rather than situations that allowed me to wallow in my own misery.

It's an exaggeration to say that Spinal Tap saved my life, but not much of one.

Since that day, Christopher Guest has been very high on my list of - just all 'round awesome entertainers. I have loved every project with which he has associated himself. He is so smart and funny and Jamie Lee Curtis is one lucky little chickadee because she gets to go home to his comedic genius every night. Tom is smart and funny, too, but no-one pays him as much - or any - money for it.

Imagine my joy when I heard that the actors were bringing their Unwigged and Unplugged tour to Columbus. Six of us decided that missing such an event was not an option. Breathing in the same room where Christopher Guest was breathing would have been enough to justify the price of tickets for me, but just for folks who aren't as easily separated from their hard-earned dollars as I am, they threw in an acoustic concert featuring songs from This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind.

Tom and I ready to, like, become one with the band

After a lovely dinner we headed to the theater. We didn't have to wait long before they took the stage.

Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest

I turned to Tom just before the lights went down and said, "Oh, dear, I feel Squealy Fangirl rearing up something fierce. Are you askeered?"

"A little."

He needn't have feared. My exuberance was easily met by the rest of the crowd. Tom himself was laughing out loud. There was a permanent smile on my face for the entirety of the show. And that white haired lady beside me? She was havin' a ball. When her arm shot out in a classic rock and roll salute during "Heavy Duty", I thought I might pee my pants just a little. It was just - as the gentleman behind me said on leaving the theater - delightful.

I had gone to see Spinal Tap and Christopher Guest. And I got that. But I got more. A lot more.

I got three SNL alum. (why do I always forget that?) I got half the cast of The Simpson's. I got a sitcom icon from my youth. I got Count Rugen from The Princess Bride. I got songs, and stories, and a verbatim reading of the NBC censor's take on Spinal Tap (worth the price of admission, alone) I got and I got and I got. They gave and they gave and they gave.

These men are the real deal. Funny beyond all earthly expectations, surprisingly musically talented, humble (and if any man had a reason not to be...), and just all 'round entertainers.

This is what we looked like leaving the theater. I believe our smiles say it all.

Bloggers Unplugged: Osi, Me, Tom, Chris, Karen and Shannon

*all pictures courtesy of the lovely Chris - thanks Chris!


Pam said...

Sounds like a great time! You all look very happy.

Anita said...

It sounds like a really fun the uber happy faces!!!

Jenny Penny said...

Okay, (a) your title is hilarious, and (b) I want to go to there! I hadn't heards of this tour. I'm going to see where this little bunch is heading, and hope it's near us!

kel said...

I am so jealous!!! looks like fun!And I love Spinal Tap!

Gibby said...

You guys look like you had a blast! So jealous. I actually thought of you last night, because Hubs and I went to see our friend play in his band. Amazingly, I was out on a Sunday night, listening to a metal band (admittedly not my favorite genre, but it was still cool), drinking a beer, banging my head and hanging with my Hubs, no kids. You would have loved it.

Grand Pooba said...

Look at you guys, you're so giddy!! Okay, now I really want to see Spinal Tap!

MiMi said...

I just saw your comment on mama-face's blog...LOVE HER! Anyway, I see you want some more followers and I gotta tell ya, I only have 11!! Sad huh? But I think you're pretty funny after stalking this here blog and I'm gonna follow you now, so you'll have 35!
And, hello, I just looked at your picture and you don't look old enough to be a menopausal Aerosmith fan. Aerosmith, YES, please! Menopausal, I don't see it!

MiMi said...

Mommakin!!! I'm just sitting over here on your site rambling on forever and I pop back to mine and there you are!! I'm so excited! You seriously should have seen me, my arms went up and I did a little happy dance...almost broke the chair! Yea!!!

MiMi said...

I'm such a dweeb, you know how I knit? With the nifty knitter! I don't know how to do it for real!! Also, I LOVE your banner, it sorta looks like an Ed Hardy design.

mama-face said...

Great memories. I miss my waterbed; my favorite part:
Draining it every time we moved. Like moved to another residence. Now I have a bed you can jump on without spilling your glass of wine. Why did I just tell you that?

I left you an award, which is pretty anti-climatic after a weekend like that. Still pretty awesome though, right?

Karen said...

I'm so glad there is picture proof of the wonderful evening we had. It all seems like a dream to me now. We were a happy crew!

Alex the Girl said...

I swore to the guy that I would get my own water bed as soon as I moved out into my own place being that my mom refused to get me one. Something about cats and leaks and such.

Le Sigh.

MaryRC said...

sounds like a helluva show! i'd give it an... elevun! not just a higher ten.