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Don’t take concerts and haircuts for granted

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

Howdy, friends!

Well, we are starting to get a few more things opened back up now and I’m glad. I went to see Gena’s Cuts N Tans at 8 a.m. Monday and had this mop head I possess trimmed up.

As soon as Gov Tater said the hair folks could open back up last Friday I made my appointment immediately. It was either get a haircut or buy a dog tag.

I enjoyed my long haired days in the 1980’s, but it just didn’t have the same effect on me in 2020. I’d rather be cool than look cool I reckon, hair wise I’m speaking.

It’s still going to be quite a spell before we all get back to normal, or this new normal. We will have to grow accustomed to the coming days ahead.

One thing that stands out to me being a music admirer is how long will it be until we can see another concert ? What rules will we have to abide by to attend? How is social distancing going to be enacted at a music venue?

I’ve always enjoyed witnessing the artists I’ve admired perform their talent live onstage. Personally speaking though, I’ve never really cared for the audience members surrounding me at the shows.

My wife has tried to educate me over the years that folks go to shows for different reasons. I just want to see and hear the performance. You would think that would be a simple reasonable request, but it’s not.

You’ve got wavers, dancers, talkers, drinkers, can’t sit downers, running arounders along with a host of other characteristics that basically have nothing to do with seeing a show.

At an Eagles concert at The Forum years back before we lost Glen Frey, I had this waving lady sitting next to me. Arms outstretched in the air waving left and right. The problem with that is I couldn’t see the band every second beat of the music because of flailing arms directly in my line of sight.

So, long before anyone ever heard of social distancing, I explained to this lady mid-song the definition of personal space and that I had bought my ticket for that space and her behavior was violating the area I paid for with good money.

She wasn’t pleased to say the least, but she ceased.

I attended a comedy show at Sam’s Town Casino on an occasion featuring the comedian Ron White.

A woman sitting directly behind me must have purchased every album the guy recorded because at the very moment before he delivered the punch line to each and every joke she would vocally release the loudest most hideous laugh you’ve ever heard.

Folks, I’m talking about a shriek that would rival the Wicked Witch of the West. A horrible experience.

We had the opportunity last year to see Bob Seger at The Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

I had seen him once already in Memphis. My wife was with me, but she didn’t actually get to see because I had purchased floor seats and with her being vertically challenged she couldn’t view the stage when everyone stood up.

So, in Nashville I bought top notch seats. First riser, first row, right side of the stage. No one could stand in front of her this time. We were set.

This guy behind us was talking to his friend the entire show. Not discussing the show mind you, but any and every random thing you can think of.  I swear, I don’t think he ever took a breath, just continual, persistent words flowing from his voicebox.

The room goes dark and the spotlight shines on Alto Reed, Bob’s sax player, and here it comes, what everyone waits for at a Seger show – the opening saxophone solo of the classic hit “Turn the Page.”

The dude behind me is still gum bumping 90 to nothing. You’d think his jaws would be sore at this point but they are healthy as ever.

I turned around and locked eyes with him, delivering the greatest death stare of my life. I didn’t utter a word, I just zoned in on his pupils. These guys were young, in their early thirties. Either one of them could probably have whipped me all over that arena.

But do you know what? They we’re fixing to have to do just that, and I think ole motormouth realized that it was time to end that conversation.

One of us was scared and the other one was glad of it, and I’m not going to say who was which.

If you see me at next year’s Springfest and I’m onstage, or backstage, or just walking around, I’m more than happy to visit and talk with you to no end. But if I’m out front watching the show, then that’s what I’m doing because I’m a music fan and I enjoy it tremendously.

If I say “Hey, I’ll holler at you later” and walk away to another viewing spot, that’s code for “I’m watching the show and I wish you would let me.”

Oh well, at least I’ve got memories of attempting to see performances over the years. That may be all I have for a while.

Folks, take care of yourself and your neighbors and tell your Momma and them I said hello.