My friend Vicky had come all the way from Providence, and there we were stuck at the door. The place was at capacity and I tell you, these Billyburg drinking establishment (oh, excuse me, art venue) proprietors are hard-asses.
From the hallway, we could at least glimpse the stage. The Hungry March Band was making noise. They looked fun, but to tell you the truth, I was a little ambivalent about being there at all. I had a 6am wake-up call lurking in my back-brain. I still had at least an hour's worth of work to do once I finally got home from the bar -- er, I mean, art venue -- and here it was going on 11pm already and we couldn't even get past the Stasi door people. I was happy to stand there patiently in the hallway -- we could see the stage, after all -- and wait for the Thing We Came To See to appear. After a decent interval, I would express my admiration then catch the "L" train back to Manhattan. Sounded like a plan to me.
But all of that did not take into account my friend Vicky.
I am one of those pussy-boys who actually, you know, stands on line? I am constitutionally incapable of finding ways to crowd the line or surreptitiously worm my way forward. In short, I generally leave the heavy lifting of jumping the line to people like Vicky. This allows me to remain virginally pure while still getting me into the show.
For Vicky, getting into the show is a primordial urge. It's like when Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park "Life will find a way." You can't stop it. You can't out-think it. For Vicky, the intention to Get In is a force that seeps into the interstitial spaces of the cellular structure of the cosmos. Slowly but surely, the infection takes shape, it grows, it spreads, the body cosmos cannot resist.
And pretty soon, we were past the door. I don't know the details of the transaction. I don't want to know the details of the transaction. Suffice it to say that I suddenly felt Vicky's hand closing on mine in the dark -- a grip that would brook no hesitation -- and the next thing I knew I was sailing past the door people and plunging into the crowd.
I was raped into the show!! I swear!!
Just in time, too. The drum roll started somewhere off to my right. A fanfare of brass. Banners rose above the crowd at the back of the room, pressed forward, shoving their way through the mass of drunken flesh.
A marching band! Who doesn't love a marching band??
Well, unless you're shoving $7 hot-dogs down your food-hole and you're stinkin' drunk on stadium beer, you probably don't love them. I don't either, particularly, unless I'm close enough to actually check-out all the cute drummer boys.
Here I confess: drummer boys really turn me on. What is it about drummers, I wonder?
I'll tell you what it is about drummers: they hit things hard, with abandon.
Rock drummers are the best because they generally have short- or no-sleeve shirts, or they take their shirts off completely. This upper body strength nakedness completes the elevation of their art -- above the legendary power of music itself. This is nakedly hitting things hard to create rhythm. This is hot.
Some things cannot be explained in words. Some things can only be explained by taking your clothes off.
We're talking penetration, here. That's what the Extra Action Marching Band is all about.
As in: "Marching into your space and taking it over".
Help! I'm being invaded and I can't help but get it up!
Let us distinguish between Extra Action and all the marching bands you've seen on football fields from your high school days forward...
You know how all the really daring marching band directors insert "The Stripper" into their repertoire? Woo-woo. Racy. Crowd favorite. Soft-core drum & bugle corps porn.
Extra Action doesn't play "The Stripper". It strips. In some cases literally, notably the Flag Corps.
And it strips you, too. Though not necessarily of your clothes.
Yes, they invade. The crowd. Your face. Your nostrils.
They literally, not figuratively, stink. I'm convinced the failure of the Flag Corps to shower and launder their, um, "uniforms" is all part of their plan to penetrate and conquer. They smell like your junior high school jock-strap, back when you could never remember to take your gym clothes home every once in a while so your mom could wash them. They crawl up your nose, and they crawl up other places too.
Standing there in the crowd, being shoved out of the way by a pair of stinky pom-poms to your face so the Cheer Squad (girls, and boys who do some not particularly credible imitations of them) can clear a generally inadequate amount of space to do their Pep Routine... you recognize that this is one of those moments... one of those moments when you've stopped being you and you've become the crowd... stopped being a corpuscle and have become the blood...
In conclusion, there are some things I could say about that evening that could get certain people in trouble. But I won't say those things in here.
There are some secrets, after all, that should remain on the 50-yard line.