Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"an ocean's garbled vomit on the shore . . ."

This is the world's longest post. Grab a beverage, settle in, put your feet up.

First, I will relate the travel nightmare that was my trip home from Chicago yesterday, or rather this morning.
After the Decemberists concert, I decide to go next door to a place called Smartbar, where we were told we would meet the band. So my friend and I stay there for quite a while, but the band never shows up. We have to get back downtown to catch the last train out at 12:40 a.m. (My friend was going on a diffferent train, but also at 12:40.)
So I get to the train station at about 12:05, and discover that the 12:40 train does not go all the way to the Geneva stop (Geneva is the last stop on the commuter train, and about 25 miles from DeKalb.) So I ask the ticket lady why the last train stops at West Chicago instead of going all the way on to Geneva like all the other trains. The response is something along the lines of "Yeah, that doesn't really make any sense, does it -- I mean Geneva is only a mile down the track."
Thank you -- very helpful.
But, she assures me, I will be able to get a taxi at the West Chicago train station to take me to the Geneva station, where my car is parked.
The train is fairly empty, but I am treated to an arguing couple across the aisle. Apparently they also don't have a ride at West Chicago, and for the one hour ride, the old man yells "fuck," "fuck this," "those motherfuckers," and "this motherfucking thing" about three times per minute.
So after an hour, I arrive at West Chicago, expecting there to be cabs parked out front. Alas, it was not to be. I overhear some lady talking to a group of youngsters (I think they were at the concert):
Lady: Excuse me, are you going to St. Charles? (St. Charles is a sort of "twin city" to Geneva, where my car is parked).
Youngsters: No, sorry. We live here.
Lady: Well, do you have a car? I am desperate. I was just released from the hospital, and I don't have my phone or wallet, and I thought this train went all the way to Geneva.
Youngsters: We have a car, but we're all drunk, and we can't drive to Geneva. We live just down the block from here.
Lady: Thanks anyway.

Meanwhile, I am on the phone calling information to get a cab. Apparently there are four cab companies in West Chicago. Company 1: no answer. Company 2: Voice mail. Company 3: disconnected. Company 4: here's how the conversation went down:
Me: Hi, I am stuck at the train station and need a ride to Geneva.
Dispatcher: Yeah, I don't have any drivers.
Me: Aren't you a taxi cab company?
Dispatchter: Yes, but none of my drivers can come get you.
Me: I don't understand. I'm stranded, and you are a cab company.
Dispatcher: I'll call around. (Hangs up)

It is now 1:55 a.m.

Now the lady who had needed a ride comes up to me, as we are alone at the closed station, except for the arguing couple, who are still arguing.
Lady: Are you going to St. Charles?
Me: I'm trying to get a cab to Geneva.
Lady: I just got out of the hospital. (Shows hospital wristband.) I have no money. I'm stranded.
Me: Well, if I get a cab, you can ride along to Geneva.
Lady: Thanks.

So then the lady starts asking me all these questions: Can't you get a hold of anyone? (Yes, bitch. That's why I'm still calling people.) Well did they give you any other numbers? (Yes, you dunce, but I am just calling the disconnected one over and over, for fun.) And so on.

At this point, I truly think I might have to sleep in the train station. Well, the lady is cold and goes inside. I decide to call Geneva and St. Charles cabs too, knowing it will cost more, but desperate at this point. I get pretty much the same siutation - closed, voice mail, disconnected, etc.

So I start calling all the West Chicago numbers again, but of course, to no avail.

Finally, at about 2:30, I decide to call the police station. I explain my situation, and the nice person puts me on hold, and then comes back with another cab company number that covers all of the "west metro." So I call this number, and get a real person, and am told that a cab will be there in 20 minutes. It is getting a bit cold, so I go inside the station, where some guy is snoring on a bench, and the lady is also sleeping soundly.

Well, 40 minutes go by, by the cab finally arrives, so I wake up the lady, and we get on our way. I say to the very nice cab driver to take us to the Geneva train station, but the lady tells the cab driver to take her to her house in St. Charles. She takes over the situation, I guess. So I say, "Listen, bitch. I'm in charge here." And she starts to say something, and I give her a quick chop to the throat to shut her up, and she spends the next 5 minutes gasping for air.

(The italics part may not have actually happened.)

Since I am a nice guy, and I just want to get home (which is still a 1/2 hour drive once I get to the station), I just say, "Yeah, let's drop her off first." So we drop her off, and the cab driver is shocked to hear that I don't even know this lady. I say, "Yeah, but I needed a cab anyway, and she was desperate."

So I have to pay for the whole cab ride, even though we went way out of the way to drop her off. It ends up being $25. What I don't understand is what kind of person she must be that her friends and family make her take the train home, without offering to pick her up at the station, after she has been released from the hospital for complications from a liver transplant.

So, I get the the Geneva bus station a little before 4:00 a.m., very tiredly drive home, and get to bed about 5:00.

But . . . The Decemberists were amazing. The opening band was an acoustic band called Cass McCombs, and they were ok, but way too mellow for a live show.
But The Decemberists came out and blew us away. They are amazingly talented, especially the drummer and the lead guitarist, and they played a 50/50 mix from Picaresque and Her Majesty. The crowd was very young -- mostly high school kids -- and even Maya felt old. But the band played a great variety, opening with "Shanty For The Arethusa," leading into "Billy Liar." A rollicking version of "The Sporting Life" pepped up the crowd. Crowd favorites included "The Engine Driver" and "July, July" (Maya's favorite.)
One song I was most impressed by was "The Chimbley Sweep," which was much more fun live than on the cd, with a great drum solo excursion in the middle. My favorites were "Los Angeles I'm Yours," "Sixteen Military Wives," and "Eli the Barrow Boy."
I was disappointed because my three favorite songs were not played: "Song for Myla Goldberg," "I Was Meant for the Stage," and "On the Bus Mall." Oh well.
But the finale was an incredible version of "The Mariner's Revenge Song," and was a great way to end the show.

But of course, my night was just getting started.


At 1:16 PM, Blogger Jake posited...

I'm still laughing over the italicized part which may be true...oh I really hope it is...haha Great story :)

At 4:16 PM, Blogger aa posited...

oh goodness. . . i would have gone insane if that happened to me. lol. wow.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Good story. One time, Mr. Lade karate chopped someone.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger matt posited...

i came up behind lade and startled him and he almost karate chopped me.

youre shitty post show experience beats mine by about 134792983 Mr. W. But, on the bright side, you made my laugh. That makes up for it right?

At 5:39 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

It's not a contest, Matt. (But I would win.)

At 9:47 PM, Blogger Manda posited...

Karate chops own. srly.

I karate chopped my horn the other day when some dickweed pulled out in front of me as I was doing 55 on 210 and had to slam my breaks since he totally went .89 seconds before I would've passed the side road thingerjigger.

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Jake posited...

Ah, Smart Bar. I went there once because Erlend Oye was DJing a set. he flirted with my friend and then kissed her on the cheek.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger P "N" K posited...

Personally I prefer Mike Myers's "Judo Chop" for maximum damage and subsequent suffering, but I suppose Karate Chops work.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

and Smart Bar is also where I rubbed elbows with The Boo Radleys. A lovely bar with $6 beers.

Anyway, I hoped you punched out that Norwegian motherfucker for moving in your chick.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger Manda posited...

Wanninger, What do you think of Xiu Xiu?

At 8:29 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Amanda, I think that I have never heard them.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous katja posited...

Well, on the bright side you could speak the language... I was stuck in Algeciras with €50, all by myself... It was scary, especially since I couldn´t explain to anyone why I was stuck and where I needed to be... Oh well.

You´re such a nice person, most people would´ve left the woman where she was, or spoken up and said that they needed to be dropped off first.

Oh, and everything closes too early in the States... A party doesn´t really get going until 2am

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Josh posited...

Mr. W: do you ever download music?

At 12:06 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Yes, Josh, I do. I try to keep it legal when I can, and for that I use Napster to buy songs.
But sometimes I go the illegal route -- For example, when I was dj-ing, I would download "promotional" remixes of songs that were not available for purchase. And when I would download songs for dj-ing that I would never listen to on my own, such as Chingy or something like that. For that, I use Kazaa.
So I do believe that downloading illegally is stealing, but I have been guilty of it from time to time.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger hannah posited...

ahhhhh i'm super pumped for the minneapolis show... when they came to fargo they didn't even have a stage at the avalon... which made them sort of hard to see, but we were close so it didn't suck as bad as it would for the kids way in back.

did the bass player pretend to be a whale?! did you get to scream?!

oh poopstains.

At 2:59 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Yes, we got to scream -- but it was teh guitar player this time who pretended to be a whale. Fun stuff!

At 9:13 AM, Anonymous ERiK posited...

Xiu Xiu is fucked up. I don't really like them, although I like the song "Crank Heart."

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

La Forest is really good, and I kinda like Ciaustico! or whatever it's called


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