Rhett Miller was coming to town. That didn’t mean much to most people around here, but I put it on my calendar and started recruiting friends to go to the show with me. I think I would have had more success asking them to come to dentist with me. At least they might get a free toothbrush out of the deal. Eventually Sr. Cojones stepped up and said he was interested. I had to promise him a free toothbrush, but at least I had a date.
Despite my asocial tendencies, I left work with two co-workers that evening and they insisted on taking the train with me, even though it would likely add several minutes to their commute. The train was full and standing room only and we started talking about our weekend plans. I left out the stuff about waxing my chest and making little outfits for the squirrels in my neighborhood in case I’m ever lucky enough to catch one. Instead I told them I was going to see Rhett Miller. No, not Bret Michaels. Who? You know, Rhett Miller, the singer for the Old 97’s. Then all hell broke loose.
A girl standing nearby asked, “Did you say you were going to see the Old 97’s?”
Another guy chimed in, “Where are they playing?”
From behind another commuter inquired, “What kind of music is that?”
By now, my co-workers, well aware of my general disdain of the general population, were trying not to laugh their asses off at my newfound glory.
The questions continued and I fielded them with the efficiency of the White House Press Secretary, blowing through them like Kobayashi blows through hot dogs at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
“No, I’m going to see Rhett Miller, the singer from the Old 97’s.”
“Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn – just west of the city on Roosevelt Road.”
“About 20 minutes west, Google it, dude.”
“Alt-country, not classic country – get the wax out, buddy.”
“I don’t know if I smoke after sex, I never looked.”
“Marinate in orange juice for a minimum of four hours, then cook slow and low.”
Eventually the inquiries slowed, I signed a few autographs, and settled into a vacated seat to recover from the unexpected deluge of social interaction.
After arriving home, I changed into my finest alt-country show wear (jeans and a t-shirt - same thing I wear to every show) and made the 30 minute drive out to Fitzgerald’s. The streets seemed unusually crowded and I noted that I had to park a block further away than normal. Do you see this one coming yet?
Yep, I arrived to find a sign on the door that simply said, “Rhett Miller – Sold Out.”
I bet those buttinskis on the train got the last tickets.