Why Martians Could Have Snagged Me at a Rock Concert Last Night


Be afraid, Martians!! 

Last night my wife Cat and I went to the largest outdoor concert venue in San Diego to see (in order of appearance) REO Speedwagon, Stray Cats, The Pretenders, and ZZ Top.

Whoo-hoo! Rock ‘n roll!

Except … older!

Whoo-hoo again!

By way of generally complementing my mostly silver goatee (which, many people don’t know, is French for, “Bleed less while shaving”), I wore to the concert my usual middle-aged hipster outfit of khaki pants, a Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt, and leather boat shoes.

Once on the grounds of the show, I felt like I’d slipped into some sort of Felliniesque, constantly-shifting hall of mirrors. Everywhere I looked were middle-aged men with silver goatees sporting khaki pants, Hawaiian shirts, and leather boat shoes. It looked like some kind of giant … Bahama family reunion.

Cool! For how long have I longed to belong? There is, after all, protection in numbers. If the tour guides at San Diego’s Wild Animal Park are to be believed, one of the prime advantages of animals herding together in the wild is that their markings make it difficult for perspective and color-challenged predators to single one of them out. (As if such predators don’t have enough problems.) To a lion, for instance, a herd of zebras all packed together apparently looks like a single zebra that’s 50-yards long and weigh 20,000 tons. This tends to give the hunting lion … paws.

Get it? Paws!? Pause?! Get it? Huh? Did you get it? Did you get the joke? Huh? Didya?

Man. I cannot believe that when I was a kid I used to think it was impossible for middle-aged people to be funny. How woefully wrong I was.

And how woefully wrong any hovering, predatory Martians looking down from their spaceship with a mind to extract a single man from last night’s concert crowd would have been to have thought that what they were looking at wasn’t a bunch of individual men, but rather … well, whatever 10,000 bald spots floating atop loud tropical patterns would look like to Martians. Maybe like 10,000 large, single, pupil-less, hair-surrounded eyes staring back at them from a deep, dense jungle.

Pretty scary!

The point is, we’d have been safe.

And all of our wives and girlfriends would have been safe, too. Because … well, because balding and slightly pudgy though we may be, we’re still men, and of course would be instantly ready to do battle with any and all aliens who started trying to kidnap our wives and girlfriends.

Besides, it’s safe to say that if Martians have come to attack us, they’ve studied us first. And I don’t think you’d have to watch Our Kind for too very long to know that, when it comes right down to it, it’s no safer to Martian-nap women than it is men. They must have noticed how much of Human Life women so commandingly control. Plus, men don’t carry around 80-lb. purses they can swinging around like killer Wal-Mart ninjas.

If I was an attacking Martian, I’d go for the men. Women will take you out. Men will try to … bond with you, or charm you, or just chat you up first. You can have a man tied up or drugged before he can finish saying, “So, what football teams do you think are lookin’ strong for this season?”

With a woman, all you can do is scream, duck, and get your Martian backside back to your ship.

Wait. What was I talking about?

Oh, right: Naturally confusing hovering predatory Martians.

Well, last night I would have been snagged by the Martians, because I did break from the pack. And do you know why at last night’s Major Concert I willingly separated myself from my fellow pupil-less Sky Starers?

Because my wife and I totally had backstage passes to the show!

Oh, but woot, and woot again.

That’s right. I, personally, and quite privately, got to chat with Chrissie Hynde. And I now count as one of my personal friends who doesn’t yet know me as well as he really should Slim Jim Phantom, the inimitable, show-stealing drummer from Stray Cats.

The Martians could have snagged me somewhere during the walk between Everyone Else and the VIP area behind the amphitheatre –where, last night, while sipping beer and gnoshing free munchies, major, legendary rock stars showed themselves to be not snotty, ego-crazed basket-cases, but rather everyday, humble, polite people who had the class, for instance, to pretend not to notice that, try though I did to resist, I pretty effectively scarfed down all their M&M’s.

Mmmmm …. rock star M&M’s …..

Man, did this blog ever not accomplish anything.

Stupid Mondays after you spent the night before at the rockinest’ rock show you’ve ever been to.

Tomorrow: I stop doing stupid, lack-of-sleep triggered meanderings about bald-spot confused Martians, and actually maybe say something about the show and my Excellent Backstage Adventure.

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  • "……what 10,000 bald spots floating atop loud tropical patterns would look like to Martians. Maybe like 10,000 large, single, pupil-less, hair-surrounded eyes staring back at them from a deep, dense jungle."

    John, I would love to know what your mother ate while she carried you in her belly for 9 months! Your vivid imagination takes the cake! My blog must bore you!

    My blue monday has turned into smiles and 'wish I could have been there" thoughts. I love M&M's.!!!

    Cheers…carry on, lad!

  • kim

    You young kids have all the fun.

  • Melanie

    hahaha john my dad would have fit right in! 🙂

  • Yes, Melanie, I'm afraid he would have. He couldn't have hung out directly with ME, of course–because, as you well know, your father is an unmitigated dork, whilst I am known far and wide for the utter solidity of my unflappable hyper-coolness. It's like Barney Fife trying to hang out with James Bond. It just doesn't work. (Everyone: This is Melanie. She's an absurdly successful young woman who seems destined to in some way come to dominate our national political scene. Her father is my best friend.)

    Rachel: Thank you. I am, I can tell, going to be moved to have something more to say about the whole REO/ZZ musical style thing. Not that those two particular bands have much if anything in common, of course. But I'm going to be getting to that whole … universe, I can tell. (And thanks for noticing Women Can Kick Martian Butt sentiment. Women are the weaker sex. Right. Like Mt. Everest is really just a little pile of snow.)

    Gretta: Thank you, as always. You sure do say the sweetest things. All I can tell you for sure about my mom's General Intake when I was within her beginning to suspect that somehow there was more to the world than what I was then experiencing is that she was a heavy smoker. I'm also quite sure she wasn't completely adverse to alcohol. I shudder to imagine what that has meant to me. Like, seriously. I shudder. For hours at a time sometime.

    Kim: Do I know you?

  • That is SO cool! I think I'd enjoy concerts more if I had things like backstage passes and could talk to rock stars in real-people-mode. Were the brown M & M's taken out?

    Oh and one more thing about the men…not only will they chat you up and talk about sports, but if they're like my husband they'll try to get you to join their fantasy sports league(s). 😀

  • bueller

    "big gulps huh? well see ya later" – Dumb & Dumber


  • Rachel

    Heard it from a friend who…heard it from friend who…heard it from a friend that you been messing around…. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…sounds like a great time man!! and the Top…they come from my neck of the woods. And amen brother to the comments regarding the women…especially when it comes to martians!

  • I suppose you can call your funny article – which I liked – an "intermission" before the "main story" comes out.

    Love those situational descriptions in your article. Funny.

    And no, you don't know me- I'm one of those "unknowns" you might pass on the street and never knew I was there. Snicker…

  • M.A.

    I hear your WhootWhoot on that concert experience! That would really be some flood of memories in the game of "what were you doing when that song was out back when?"! Though, somehow, I might join the game late cuz I still try to deny my age… But I digress…

    John – you seem to truly be able to take joy in all of life and have fun with it! No wonder the next thought you had was about Martians! But thankfully you'd try to prevent us women from being taken, cuz some of us don't have those 80 lb. purse jobbies!

  • Kerri: Too funny about the fantasy sports team. I'm soooo going to have to write something about that. Oh, and insofar as yakking backstage with rock stars in "regular people mode": forget it. If you're backstage talking to someone after their set, you're talking to someone who just spent an hour or three being wildly adored by thousands of people screaming unending praise at them. That–and especially just then, right after their set–renders them sort of … un-normal. They're extremely … buzzed. I mean, of course. But it's a pretty tweaky situation, going in.

    Michael Duke: Sadly, all too often my "intermissions" actually remain as the ONLY thing I write about that subject. I will, however, persevere about the concert. Why not? It was fun. Thanks for your kind words.

    M.A.: Thank you. Let's DO play the memory game! I'll start it soon. Excellent idea!!! (And, frankly–as I'm sure you know–women without massive purses are just as formidable as those without. Faster hands. Do you know, I once taught a women's self defense class? It was bunch of meek, mild housewives. For about a half-hour. Then they just became Maniacal Damage Machines. Pretty scary. Pretty … well, rewarding for me, actually. God be with any mugger who later tried to accost any of THOSE formerly meek housewives. Yikes.

  • Elizabeth

    John, I am still laughing at your "Woot Woot!" ROFLOL…. You've been watching Bobby Hill waaaaaay too much, dude! 🙂

    Hey… Wanted to tell you that Hunky Hubby got a really good report today — his surgeon said that the cancer hadn't spread beyond the one lymph node. So, we're in MUCH better shape than we were… Plus, turns out it's skin cancer in his ear, not cancer of the head and neck with an unknown primary… So… GREAT NEWS all the way around! GO, GOD!!!!

    Thanks for your prayers.

    Glad you enjoyed the concert… I always liked REO when I was younger…. and they were too… hehe

  • M.A.

    John – thanks for responding to a lot of us and our comments. It's fun to stop in here during breaks in my workday and read everyone's posts. I like everything from the fun talk to the contemplative comments.

    How cool if you did have some memory "game" on your blog at times…could inspire LOTS of fun talk and contemplation.

    Anyway, back to work and thinking about either a bigger purse or self defense classes.

    P.S. Don't know you, Elizabeth, but I am thankful for the good report from the Doctor. Like you said – GO GOD!

  • 4asia

    In August I went to see Tower of Power at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. First show I've been to in years! I kept telling people I thought I was in an AARP meeting. Tower of Power had a hit in the late seventies called "What is Hip?" I'm thinking they could now have another hit with, "What is Hip Replacement"?

    Getting old ain't for sissies.

    billy bob

  • My wife Cat is big fan of ToP, as am I. Good joke about the AARP! "What is Hip Replacement"! TOO FUNNY!

    We saw ToP maybe … gosh, I guess it was 12, 13 years ago. So of course it feels like … maybe two years ago. (Young people: You have no IDEA how fast time goes by. Promise.) But their horn deal was as tight as ever.

    Anyway, no, you're right: Getting old isn't for sissies. It's for … well, people who haven't died yet.

  • Elizabeth: What a blessing about your HH's health. Fantastic. What a great relief. We'r so glad to know this fantastic news. Thanks for keeping us up. (Who's Bobby Hill! OH! THE Bobby Hill! Never, ever mention Bobby Hill to me. He is my favorite character EVER–but, alas, we don't get/have cable, SO I NEVER WATCH TV ANYMORE! I MISS BOBBY HILL!!!! And now we're saving to buy a house, so I can't go out and BUY any King of the Hill!! I can't stand it. I just … can't.

    That's it. Screw buying a house. I need me some Bobby. (Yikes. Sounds like a … gay British criminal.)

    Moving right along…

    M.A.: Thanks again for your very kind and encouraging words. Yeah, I've gotta do that Remember When music game! (Kids: You have no IDEA how much you'll forget!) That would be fun. Remind me again if I forget. Since I will.

    Okay, everyone go over and read the comments in the Best Ending Ever blog. It looks to me like God is going to be setting another place at his table. Hallelujah.

  • Hjordes Norman

    "Plus, men don’t carry around 80-lb. purses they can swinging around like killer Wal-Mart ninjas…"

    omgosh, THAT'S why I always feel so safe when shopping at Wal-Mart! Because I AM. Because of all the women, duh…

    As for the Martian thing, well, I'm still blinking. And the room is kind of spinning. Waaaay too early in the morning for Martians…