After getting past the morning grogginess, we were revving to go to Pensacola Beach before the show that night. Kyle was being an “on the fence Phillip” about going since his throat was sore. Common knowledge once you join a band: if one person is sick, most likely you will get sick too, or else the rest of your band will be sick and you’ll be so paranoid about getting sick that you’ll end up making yourself sick anyway. K.D. kept repeating how the vitamin D from sunshine would be good for everyone. Thanks, doc! Though Kyle seemed more convinced than he had been before, the task of unhooking the trailer was still at hand. After much ado (about nothing), it was unhooked, locked and left in the obliging yard. Mission accomplished.
Kellen was given co-pilot duties since he used to live in the same area, though there were occasional clucks of disapproval from his friend, the Pensacola native. I was once again given my back-seat-lounge-cargo-space area and tried to steady myself during sharp turns- not so much of a success. We ended up stopping at a local Wal-Mart so that K.D. could look for swim trunks. Here, at this point of the story, I’m surprised that I can’t recall with fondness how a ragingly liberal, vegetarian band didn’t spontaneously combust simultaneously upon even entering said store’s parking lot. Maybe bathing suit material is fire proof and/or flame retardant. It certainly isn’t ridiculousness retardant because…
as K.D. was looking through the hoard of knock-off, cheaply made beach gear, Kyle and I witnessed one of the most amazing occurrences the entire tour. There was an older woman standing behind K.D., wearing a silly hat and a white blouse. Why she had a hat on inside, I’ll never know. Why she decided to talk to K.D. I’ll never know even more. She seemed to be concentrating deeply about what aisle the prunes were on or if she needed a clean-up on aisle HER PANTS. SNORT. But as we watched her from the sidelines, she seemed to be staring at K.D.’s back. After a moment more of observation, I poked Kyle, realizing full well that she was, in fact, reading his shirt. Mind you, the “logo” was written in a Nordic, grunge script spelling out “Death” and then below it, “to all tour”. Not exactly something you want grandma to be staring at attentively. Kyle paused momentarily and almost appeared stricken, then smiled when the woman tapped K.D. on the shoulder. Maybe she thought he worked there, and that was his uniform, though Target workers always wear red? Maybe she thought it was a Celtic design? Either way, K.D. turned around slowly and carefully, finding his words in his own surprise.
K.D. : “Can I help you?”
little old lady : “Why, yes! You can!”
[awkward, life-shattering pause]
little old lady : “What does that shirt of yours say?”
K.D. : “… Uh, it’s uh, a band. They’re a band.”
little old lady : “Are they! I have two sons who like a lot of different music. What a pretty shirt!”
K.D. : “… um, thank you.”
little old lady : “I should ask my sons if they know that band. That sure is a nice design.”
[motions for her husband to come over. Kyle and I are dying.]
little old lady : “Look, honey! Look at this young man’s shirt. Isn’t that pretty?”
little old man : “Why yes, that is a nice shirt.”
little old lady : “You have a good day now!”
K.D. : “…”
Only in a Pensacola Wal-Mart.
We got back on the road for the beach only to realize that not only did it look like rain, but that it was massively late in the day aka massively crowded. Oh, and did I mention that it was Blue Angel weekend? Yes. That. No.
We ended up sitting in the car for an hour trying to find parking. Hardly a successful endeavour until deciding that a tow truck would not actually be able to shimmie into the beach outlet store’s parking lot, so we were safe. Of course the planes were loud as hell, and kept flying by in their annoyingly-neat formations while the locals took videos and pictures; this in turn led to Dan and Kellen getting anti-commercial and anti-community, saying that they were “just planes wasting more fuel” and should at least “do something worthwhile.” You tell ‘em, boys.
We ended up going to a small but packed local bar for a locally-made but famous drink called Bushwackers. Kyle no likely, K.D. semi-likey, Dan LOVEY, Kellen LOVEY, Emily no likey then likey after going outside to the porch. I think it might have been made with 151. Sweet God in-----
K.D., Kyle and I ended up having an extended conversation about marriage, children, and all things adult. When it got too serious, it was time to actually go to the BEACH! Yay immature jokes en route to the sea side! Yay band members feeling tipsy and then attempting to swim! We set up camp by the ultra-hot life guard (sorry, guys. He was FINE.) then ran down to the shore like little school girls. There was much swimming, payload talks and fish discussion- Kellen was sure that they were trying to bite him (the fish, not the payloads). Silly high maintenance Jew not being used to being eaten alive in the ocean.
I started being the baby from South Park about going on the Ferris wheel that we had passed while driving in. Kellen has initially snorted at the idea of putting in a Ferris wheel but then seemed to soften when my head literally popped off of my mounted jaw whilst asking to ride it. As the others ran along, Kellen and I got a seat in the enclosed Ferris wheel car. For $50 more per person, we could have had champagne. What a loss! Afterwards, we hit up a pizza kitchen that was ridiculously overpriced while discussing classic rock (mosters! rawr!). At the end of it all, we got a beach picture where Kyle and I blinded everyone with our whiteness.
The show later that night was highly disappointing. Only two of Kellen’s local friends, his mom and her pal showed up. The door guy was a punky kid who was nice but obviously had no hand in promoting. The bartender was also nice, though possibly high on heroin or drunk or both; he kept making shadow puppets and then pretending that they could bark. They gave us free beers, as well as water. HIGH ROLLERS WE ARE! At the end of the night, we got paid in a case of water and the ticket price Kellen’s mom paid. Good times.
Went back, loaded up, navigated to Dallas, and prayed that we would make it there alive and unscathed. The goal was to drive the whole night and then some. How do you think we did? Stay tuned!
Fine Young Poet : Em
an artist who chooses to starve