Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lessons I've Learned, Part 2

Never Sit On A Bleeding Man's Shoulders

I'm from a hick town in Missouri, where you have to be creative when it comes to finding something to do on a weekend. Unfortunately, none of us were very creative. Mostly we sat on gravel roads and drank beer. Occasionally we snuck into the swimming pool in the middle of the night for a dip, and once we stole some fire extinguishers and sprayed them, from the back of a pickup truck, on the cars parked on main street in a neighboring town. Once we put a stolen picnic table in the back of my El Camino and had someone drive us around while we sat at the picnic table and played quarters. That's some redneck entertainment for you. But mostly there was just a lot of driving up and down the street looking for someone interesting to stop and talk to. Very boring stuff. So going to concerts in Kansas City was big excitement, and we went every chance we got.

Going to concerts was a big ordeal, because we had to come up with the cash, buy tickets for everyone who wanted to go, drive a couple hours to get there, then presumably get loaded, watch the show, and weave back home without getting arrested. I've seen a lot of bands, but couldn't honestly tell you if most of them were any good or not, because the goal seemed to be more along the lines of getting supremely wasted rather than seeing and appreciating the band. I've diligently kept all my concert ticket stubs, not so much because I'm sentimental, but because otherwise I'd have no idea what bands I've seen.

On one particular occasion, we went to a Monsters of Rock concert. There were 4 or 5 of us in the car, and I was the only girl. The guys were drinking beer, naturally, but had brought along a bottle of Everclear for the sole purpose of taking a shot, then holding their breath until they passed out--they would do this from a standing position, to see if they fell backwards, Nestea Plunge-style, when they passed out. What's that? You say you've never thought of doing anything so stupid? Then you must not be from a redneck town in Missouri. This is the kind of creative thinking that small-town life inspires. Yes, it turns out, you will pass out if you take a shot of pure grain alcohol and then hold your breath long enough. And yes, naturally you will smack your skull on the ground while you're out. You're only out for a second or two, but at least your retarded mission will have been accomplished.

Because this activity calls for the goofball participant to be standing, this was not something that could be accomplished in the car on the way to the show (the way all normal drinking and driving should be done). So every so often, we'd stop somewhere, one or more of the guys would take a shot and smack their skulls on the ground, and we'd continue on. Very normal, very healthy behavior.

We arrived at the concert in the middle of the day. Several bands were to play, so this event, held in an outdoor arena, would last all day and evening. The floor area in front of the stage did not have seating, but was instead a big open area for the crowd to gather and stand, while people who wanted to sit could do so further back. We stood in front of the stage, pretty close, in the tightly-knotted crowd. They guys I was with were all tall, and I'm 5 foot 6. I couldn't see as well as them, and for some period of time I sat on the shoulders of my boyfriend, who was 6-foot-4-inches tall and weighed 190 lbs, perfect for a girl to perch atop and see the show. It was not an easy seat to relax in, however, since he was, shall we say, moved by the music, and continued to jump around to the beat pretty much the same as he would have had he not had a person sitting on his shoulders. Eventually I had enough of the bucking bronco action and got down.

I'm probably kind of self-absorbed, and don't tend to look around much, so it took me awhile to notice that people were staring at me. It was the horrified, gape-mouthed looks that caught my attention. On my way to the bathroom, one girl put her hand on my arm and asked me if I was okay. I gave her a puzzled look, and then suddenly began to take in the stares of lots of other people around us. They were all focused on my crotch area--which to my horror, I realized was covered in blood. Seriously, it looked like I had just given birth. In such a situation, it's natural to take personal inventory: Had I inadvertently stabbed myself? Had I been stabbed by someone else, and been too drunk to feel it? Is that even possible? Had I, indeed, given birth? Had I, earlier in the day, spontaneously given a big bear-hug to someone that, now that I thought back on it, was actually soaked in blood from head to toe? And the unthinkable: Had my monthly rendezvous with "Uncle Freddy" (yes, that's what we called it back then) arrived unexpectedly?
I don't think so--
and thank God, no.
I surmised pretty quickly that my boyfriend must have cut himself upon plummeting backwards to the ground at the last Everclear stop, which had been a gravel road. Sure enough, when I inspected the still-jumping-and-thrashing boyfriend, I found that the back of his neck and head were bloody, and that he had a nice gash on the back of his drunken skull. By then, the bleeding had stopped, though, so he just took his bloody shirt off and threw it away, and looked more or less normal. I, however, did not have a fresh set of clothes to wear, so it was my misfortune to have several hours ahead of me, baking in the hot sun with my dried-blood ensemble. Drunk.

The lesson: Well, it started out to be "Don't sit on the shoulders of a bleeding man," but maybe it should be "Don't socialize with crackpots who look for ways to injure themselves." Or at the very least, "Bring a change of clothes with you when you're socializing with crackpots."


leesepea said...


I'm so glad I read this at home, and not at work, lest I re-live the silliness of last Friday.

Funny story!

And I *heart* the new look, it's totally awesome!

Anonymous said...

SWEET, SWEET layout!

karla said...

I knew you guys would love it. Ryan Franklin did it for me. You can check out some of his other great stuff at:

I'm going to credit him on the site and write a post about it later, but for now, check out that link.

I love the new look, too! I didn't even give him much guidance, just told him I wanted a martini glass on there and that's about it. He came up with it all himself.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Wait a minute! Didn't anybody's Momma get killed by a train? Didn't anybody go to prison? Didn't it ever rain? Didn't anybody pass out in their grits?

Sounds like a pretty tame town to me.

(Geez, kid, I can't believe you did all that stuff. You're a pistol.)

Maja said...

Hehe, good story, and nice template!

Walker said...

LOL I'm been to more concerts than I can count but I never remember wanting to go brain dead and fall backwards smacking my head . You must have gone through alot of dates and I bet some don't remember any of them du to concusions. Very funny post.

Fish said...


just wanted to say thank you - you have the rather dubious honour of being the very first person to post anything on my web site. The zoo and I have just taken a look at your new look and we are a bit overwhelmed, (you can tell by Toffee's glazed expression), so we've decided to stick with our strictly amateur the way, one good thing about "him" is that he makes me feel quite normal

Katya Coldheart said...

love the new layout, it took me a minute to notice that it had changed though...

great story...the things you do to make your own fun...lmao


Auggie said...

You are wonderful! Love the new design.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for dropping by the other day. You have a wonderful blog, cute stories!

Lisa said...

Very cool new template, I like it! wish I could give my blog an overhaul. Will go and check out Ryan Franklin's stuff.

I must say I was impressed with your boyfriend. Fancy smacking his head after passing out like that, and still managing to stay upright at the concert, jumping up and down with a girl on his shoulders. That's impressive stuff that.

PC said...

I couldn't help but wonder what color the pants were....?

karla said...

Just regular jean shorts. Thank God they weren't white. Oh, and just to be clear on this, it happened years ago, and the boyfriend of the story is NOT my husband.

pylorns said...

Your blog ain't bad either - although you are stuck in blogspot... you should do something about that.

mrhaney said...

hello julia. hope you do not mind but i added you to my favorites list. you may get a visitor or two from my site. the end of your story was scary. i am glad you are o.k. though. passing out and falling on your head is a dangerous thing.

Anonymous said...

And that is why I like to be on the STAGE SIDE of a concert like that! It's much safer BEHIND the stage than in front of it! lol

BTW, Anybody who has a martini on their header is OK by me!

Brandon said...

what a coincidence! i'm from a small hick town in Missouri! well, kinda.

Emily said...

I am so ashamed -- I've been a wee bit busy at work for the past several days and I haven't carved out time in my schedule to ready your witticisms. Lord have mercy, what is wrong with me?!

This is the best story I've heard EVER!

Does it make me white trash if I think that driving around playing quarters on a picnic table in the back of an El Camino sounds like an AWESOME good time?!

karla said...

I've got to tell you, it was really, really fun. I have pictures, I think. I may have to dig those out.