More Miserables



The last time Debbie and I went to the Fulton Theatre, she had to get up in the middle of Act One to go to the bathroom. I should have realized that a few hours of drinking before the show would have led to that, but I didn’t, and our seats were right in the middle of the row. Everyone in the row had to get up in the middle of the show as she excused her way to the bathroom.

So, the next time I bought tickets to a show, I told the ticket seller that my girlfriend had a weak bladder and we needed aisle seats near the bathroom. The ticket teller put us in a special section, where she said that we could get up any time we wanted. Cool.

Before the show, Debbie took me out for dinner at a nice pub near the theatre. She informed me that she wasn’t gonna drink so she wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom. Then I told her that our theatre seats were very bathroom accessible, and she immediately ordered us a pitcher of beer. After we poured out the first two glasses from the pitcher, the barmaid filled a plastic cup with ice and floated it in the pitcher. It kept the beer cold all the way to the last drop.  All my years of drinking, I never thought of that.  (Though I often thought about resting my beer in a Slushie at the Ballgame.)

After dinner we walked to the theatre, and it turned out that we were in the handicapped section. Great seats, in a private section, 16th row center. There was only one problem, there were handicapped people in our seats.

“That’s okay,” we told the usher. “We’ll just sit in their seats.”

“No, you get the seats you paid for,” she told us as she rousted a group of blind people out of our seats and off to where they belonged. It was quite the production, as they shuffled off blindly looking for their seats. Debbie and I were slightly embarrassed, but grateful that at least the blind people couldn’t see us. They probably figured that we must have been in wheelchairs or something, because they didn’t grumble when they had to move.

The seats were excellent, not theatre seats but padded chairs that weren’t bolted to the floor. We easily had enough room around us to maneuver wheel chairs, so we were able to stretch out and get real comfortable. The show was excellent too. I had seen Les Miserables before on Broadway, but I actually enjoyed this performance more. It helped that they had a special screen off to the side that displayed the words as they were being sung. So, I was finally able to understand what was going on.

I had always assumed that Fantine’s “I Dreamed a Dream” was a happy song. When I saw Susan Boyle sing that song on Britain’s Got Talent, it brought the audience and judges to their feet. Now I was able to read the lyrics and I learned that it was a very sad song about dreams dying. A lot of the great songs in the show were sad songs, but at least now I know how to keep my beer cold on a hot day while I’m listening to the soundtrack. So, Fantine’s dream may be dying, but my dreams are coming true.

Peace & Love, and all of the above,



Open Mike Night

Open Mike Night


The Alley Kat is my favorite spot in town. It’s just around the corner. Walking Distance. Heck, it’s stumbling distance. They have $6 pizzas on Monday night and Open Mike Night on Thursdays. I’m still practicing my saxophone for Open Mike night. That’s gonna be my next adventure. I already threw out the first ball at the local baseball franchise. If I could get just the right song for Open Mike night, I think I could maybe run for mayor of this town. I’ll probably play “Tequila.” But, tonight, I was just checking out the competition and enjoying the best pastrami sandwich in Pennsylvania.

Having finished dinner, Debbie and I were leaving the bar at 11 and Randy started bustin’ my horns. “You guys gonna leave before I go on?”

“It’s 11 o’clock,” I countered, “It’s over.”

“No, it doesn’t end until 12.”

I thought Open Mike was from 9-11 pm, but I was w-w-w-w-w-w-rong. See how I’ve grown? I can even admit when I’m w-w-w-w-w-rong, now.

“Well, Debbie just had two full glasses of ice water. The window for her being able to drive sober is now open, and I want her to get home safely, so we’re leaving. (Beat) I’ll be back when she’s safely on her way.”

Randy is a character. (Would he be appearing here if he wasn’t?) He looks like a short version of that big guy in The Green Mile. (note to self: Google his name…Michael something, I think.) He wears bib dungarees like you would expect a farmer to wear and when he gets up to the mike you’re just sure you’re gonna hear, “Massa’s in de cold cold ground” or “Zipadeedoodah” and then he completely fools you by singing Roadhouse Blues. He’ll usually follow that with something from The Who.

Everybody loves Randy. That’s one of the reasons he always closes the show. He lives about 50 feet up the block from The Alley Kat, so he knows everyone in the neighborhood, and everyone knows him.

Drunk white girls can’t resist him, and it just so happened that there was a drunk white girl in attendance that evening. She was with her two girlfriends, who were not yet as drunk as she was. When Randy got up to the mike, the drunk chick went up to him and started doing a dance that would have cost me money to watch in New York.

After a while, Randy, always the professional, gave her a look that said, this is all fun and stuff, but I’m trying to sing a song here.

So, not knowing what do to with herself, but still inebriated, she just went around the bar giving lap dances to anyone who would smile at her.

I, of course, smiled. What the heck. I like to encourage talent.

The next day, I called Debbie. “You’re not gonna believe what happened.”


“I went back to hear Randy sing and some drunk chick tried to give me a lap dance.”

“You didn’t let her!?!?!?”

“Of course not, Honey Bunny.”


Dating a Mennonite is a lot easier than I thought it would be.   I don’t have to worry about her going on the computer.


Peace & Love, and all of the above