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."