For some reason while writing this book I took to listening to Def Leppard’s Slang on repeat for hours. I have probably been through these songs as many times as the band thanks to that and I still have something of a Pavlovian response to it. Whenever I am stuck or having trouble getting started, I put on Slang and pretty soon it’s three hours later, I’ve exceeded my day’s words count and I have to pee like a racehorse, but my butt is numb because I haven’t moved from my chair in so long. TMI?
It was a cold March morning. Myself and two friends got up before dawn. We were in college so rising before dawn was a major feat. We pulled on warm clothes and drove to Richmond. We stopped on the way to pick up some breakfast at McDonald’s. That might have been what changed the outcome of the entire morning, that drive thru run. Sigh. Anyway we arrived at the Coliseum and got in line. The line didn’t look very long so we hoped we’d get decent seats. This was right about the time a bracelet system was being introduced and we didn’t have bracelets. The sun rose as we crept toward the door, but the Coliseum cast its shadow over us. I don’t mean that in a poetic way. I mean the fecking Coliseum was between us and the warmth of the sun. As I recall, we were 16, 17, and 18 in line when we finally stepped out of the shadow and into the sun. Things were looking very promising. We were getting closer to the door. We had a little more warmth from the sun. We were going to see Bon Jovi!
Yeah, Bon Jovi. It dates me, but I don’t care.
Anyway, we were hopeful and more warm than we had been in hours. Two and a half hours if you want to be specific.
Then the end came. The first couple of people in line just walked away. What the hell was going on? Then the people right in front of us turned around and delivered the bad new. Sold out. How could they be sold out? We were twelve, thirteen and fourteen in line. The Coliseum seated over 20,000 people. We were too stunned to even be upset as we shuffled to the car, drove back to school and went back to bed.
However, when Tesla played at my university, I took no chances. I skipped a class to be first in line at the ticket booth.
Funny story about Heavy Metal. I used to know John Workman who was the editor of Heavy Metal Magazine when the movie came out. Lovely man, stayed at his house a few times, knew his family. Still miss him, but we lost contact about the time I went to Korea to teach. Anyway, for years Heavy Metal was only available as a bootleg and I wondered why so I asked. Apparently when the movie was made it wasn’t standard practice to get music rights for video release, just for the movie. The magazine at that time was defunct and no one was pursuing music rights so the movie could be released on VHS. Lucky for them the bootleg in circulation had a really terrible problem with the picture swaying <cough> or so I’ve been told because I would never, ever have a bootleg <cough> so when the official release came out, fans flocked to get it so they wouldn’t have to take Dramamine before watching anymore.
Am I going to excerpt it here? No. It’s the great big OMG moment in the story. I can’t just tell you what it is.
What I can tell you is that I didn’t see it coming. I know, it’s my story. How could I not see it coming? Excellent question, but I remember the day I wrote the scene, getting them stuck in the snow away from the cabin and having to walk back and talking when – well a deeply personal truth came out. As I was writing the scene, I was yelling at the computer. I yell at books and movies when things like that happen, but they’re not my story. So the revelation really stunned me. I used that later when some other characters found out. Despite having known the character for years, they didn’t know the whole truth either.
I guess you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out what it is.
This is the song Cassie took the name of her campground from. I had no idea it was in The Walking Dead, which is surprising as I am an ardent follower since the graphic novels. I also didn’t know Nirvana had covered it, but that isn’t as surprising as I never got into them as much despite working at a record store when Cobain died. The video here is from the Carter Family because, Carter Family.
I think it’s important to watch A Hard Day’s Night every so often to remind myself that once upon a time The Beatles were essentially a boy band that the record company was trying to make as much money off of as possible before popular interest waned. Of course, being The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night has about as much in common with Spice World as a Rolls Royce has with a Honda.
“So is everyone full?” Ida asked, coffee pot in hand.
“Yes, it was excellent,” Jason said. “My compliments to the chef.”
“Oh, don’t you dare. His head’s already big enough.” Ida cackled.
“I’ll take the bill,” Jason told her.
Cass’s parents objected and Ida over rode them. “There’s no bill.”
In my family who was paying the bill was decided before the invitation to go out was offered. It was never “let’s go to _________” it was “I’m taking you to ____________.” My brother and sister-in-law like to take my mother and I to a place called Margarita’s in Girard once a year for our birthdays. It’s an Italian restaurant and the invitation is always issued as “we are taking you to Margarita’s Saturday about 6? Okay?”
So imagine my surprise when I started spending time with my former husband’s family and discovered the tradition of the fight over the check. Picture this. You’re out with your (then) boyfriend’s parents and one set of grandparents. You’ve had a lovely dinner. The check arrives. The table erupts. I mean erupts. Mamaw makes a grab for the check but father-in-law is quicker with the credit card. Papaw shoves the card back across the table and puts down cash (exactly correct change that you never saw him count.) Mother-in-law stands insisting that they will pay the bill, slipping it neatly from under the cash and starting for the hostess desk. Boyfriend gets into the act, following her and pushing money into her hands to “at least let us pay for our share.” Naturally she refuses. Mamaw insists that they will get it next time. Papaw says he’s leaving the tip. He leaves a dollar. (I loved that man, but it never mattered what the bill was, he left a dollar tip.) You wait until the melee has moved toward the desk and fill out the tip with your best guess. In the parking lot, after the goodbyes and promises to do this again have been said, boyfriend asks if you left a decent tip as his grandfather always leaves a dollar.
Did this exact scenario happen? Pretty much every time I had a meal out with the in-laws though some details changed. Not to protect the innocent, but because sometimes things just played out differently. Add a few more relatives to the mix and it became a floorshow for the entire restaurant.
So when I was writing the above scene, that’s what I was thinking of.