please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Treachery of Images

You know how time passes? Yeah. Let's review the small brick of identification badge photos I occasionally wear around.
Although let it be said first that I am not one of those stagehands who never, ever take the damn things off. I don't understand this, as the damn things will almost certainly get in your way while working, and to those who practice this strange pretension, I inevitably make jokes about needing to "sniff each others' laminates" to identify one another.
They always act like they don't get it.

Now see, that one there is the one I use when I work at the Rose Garden. It is from three, maybe four years ago. Damn, that's a young-looking me, considering. And I might add that probably at the time, I spent not a little time looking in the mirror and sighing piteously. Even then.

Whereas this one here is from a year or two later. I use it to open doors at that shoe manufacturing concern that I occasionally work at.
Okay, it opens one door, and I haven't actually worked there directly for the company in over a year. Here, I have already started to gain weight, feeling weird about same.

Whenever I work in Seattle Center, I gotta use this thing. A few more years had passed, and I was a bit more okay with my perma-beard used to conceal increasing chin swag, further enchanted with my ever-so-subtly graying hair.

It also, of course, has a film flaw that makes it look like I've got a perfectly flat, white, horizontal scar that runs -strangely- over my moustache on the right side of my face.

It also just says RICH, in caps. No last name.

This one is my favorite, as I look like a murderer. It is the one I use when I work at the casino, and due to the exigencies of digital photography, my head is somewhat longer here than it generally appears. And both my moustache and eyes are drooping in a manner that I for one find sinister.

Would you employ this man? He looks like he's looking for ways to do something that will result in the mug shot that this already resembles being taken.

Speaking of casino work, let us briefly consider the career arc of one Harry Wayne Casey, who we know (and love) as K.C., leader of The Sunshine Band.

That's a pretty flattering photo. I know this because I spent last Saturday evening more or less forced to stare at him, as I was training a spotlight on him.

This act has always been a pretty good band fronted by a pretty bland singer that sings bland lyrics. He has decided to reinforce this by being embarrassing.

Okay; a whole three songs into the set, he stops everything. The band, the dancers all leave the stage, and K.C. engages in ten to fifteen minutes worth of the worst stand-up comedy I've ever heard. This even included the line, "What else is going on in the news these days?" This was followed by three maudlin ballads.

Then he got back into some crowd-pleasin'. This isn't hard, since there's at least ten songs they could play that literally everybody there would know. But again we stop- introduce the band! Okay, now we do "Get Down Tonight", but wait- you know what would be really appropriate? How about a disco-themed salute to Our Troops Overseas? God Bless America!

Yup. That's every bit as bad as it sounds. Mind you, Ronnie Milsap was a pretty funny show too.

Ronnie is also heavy on the god-and-flag love, but pretty much everybody on the casino circuit is. Not only are you inevitably playing to a house of Olds, but you also have the fragile egos of performers themselves to consider. The fragility is increased tenfold the morning they wake up and realize that now all they're good for is casinos and state fairs. They cry a bit, and then start getting religious.

Anyway, Ronnie's lighting director is also a longtime friend and Superfan, which I'm told he was being ridiculed for by the rest of the roadies. For my part, I can say that he was almost too busy laughing at Ronnie's jokes and singing along to call the light cues properly. Fortunately, Ronnie doesn't move much.

This show too, had a comedic element. It was opened by this asshole who apparently is also a longtime friend/superfan. He tells shitty jokes! Then he leaves, and heeere's Ronnie! When he did the inevitable "My record company is a buncha crooks..." type joke, lighting director Superfan says, "Oh, don't go there...Heh heh heh..."

Jeeezus. And when Ronnie made the joke later on that the spotlights we were training on him were "so bright that even I can see 'em!", the crowd turned around and glared at us, as if we were trying to hurt Ronnie, or make fun of him.

After the show, and the thank Jeebus, and Bless Our Troops, after Ronnie left the stage and house lights came up, a family of tanks came up to Corey and I and said, "Not your kinda music, huh?" Corey just shrugged his shoulders, and I said, "Drive safely."



Blogger LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I think I like the "murderer" photo the best. Actually it doesn't look so sinister to me, and sort of looks like a cousin to Beau and Jeff Bridges -- affable with an edge, you know.

K.C. getting political and commenting on current events? Oh, the very idea is so off since their only appeal was that they were so clueless to anything important going on in the world. His lyrical brilliance was exemplified by inserting "Uh huh, uh huh" into the middle of a sentence not by being relevant or up on the issues.

4:01 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Fully agreed. I mean, when he wasn't feeling sorry for himself for being bald and fat, or defensive about no longer being young, he was playing to what he suspected the crowd's prejudices were.

And he was sort of right, but really, they would have just been fine if he had done an hour-long version of "Keep It Coming Love".

5:29 PM  
Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

So that's what you look like!
And like you weren't trying to hurt Ronnie Milsap.

3:35 PM  

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