Via Chicago

Note: This is my recap of Lollapalooza 2006, which originally posted on my myspace page. It’s even better now, though, because I added pictures. Whoo-hoo!

I rarely feel like a hillbilly.

I rarely travel to cities larger than Lexington.

Perhaps the two are related.

I recently traveled to Chicago, where Cory, David, Derek, The Beard,
Rachel and I took part in the annual Lollapalooza music festival.
Given that Chicago is significantly larger than Lexington (I could do
a google search to get the exact figures, but a) I’m too lazy; 2) it’s
not necessary; and d) nobody really cares), I was a fish out of water.
Actually, I was more like a fish that had been gutted, cooked and
served with a side of rice.

Having been to Chicago previously, I wasn’t concerned about the usual
fears one has when traveling to a big city, all the usual things like
three-card monte, knife fights and terrorist attacks.

Instead, I worried about sticking out.

And, at times, did we ever.

In short, the Clampetts hit the city.
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The trip got off to a great start as David took a quick route into
downtown, finding our hotel with virtually no problems. We even found
an empty parking spot about a block away from our site, which I
thought only happened in the movies, so with little effort, we were
soon tromping about the street.

Actually, most of us first made phone calls home, letting our mothers
know we had arrived safe and sound.

Then we took to tromping.

David and I took upon the task of handling our check-in at the hotel.
I’d like to think it was because the others thought we were the most
suave and sophisticated of the bunch, but I’m pretty certain it had
more to do with the fact everyone else wanted to stay outside and
smoke.

Either way, we got the room key, figured out the best way to get
Rachel from the airport to the hotel (which still resulted in an
old-fashioned ass-chewing from the aforementioned Miss Crowe, but a
trip with Kevin just isn’t a trip without at least one good fight) and
decided to go with valet parking at the hotel rather than ordinary
parking.
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As the attendant unloaded the car, David and I, now viewing ourselves
as the de facto urbanites of the group, huddled to discuss how much to
tip the bellman.

I told him I thought it was supposed to be $2 a bag, but I pretty much
based that on an old episode of Seinfeld.

David was convinced, and if it was good enough for him, it was good
enough for me. See, I was already viewing David as being far more equipped to handle
the lead in Chicago than I could ever be. For one, he drove in the
city. I had made it clear that I couldn’t handle all the horn honking.

David is also well-groomed, which I realize now means nothing, but it
made sense at the time. While the rest of us were dousing ourselves
with liberal amounts of Axe or Tag if any smell-good products were
used at all David was using various forms of complex grooming
products, no doubt with French-sounding names, including, I’m sure,
male parfume, which was carefully dabbed at strategic locations.

David, who lives in Frankfort, is a metrosexual in search of a metro,
so he took to Chicago like me at a Chinese buffett. (I’m not sure he
would admit to being this, so would that make him a closeted
metrosexual?) Either way, his style did nothing to prevent us from
being snookered.

The bellman came to helps us with our bags, and David and I decided to
give him $15, although it might have actually been as much as $20. We
slipped him the cash, only to watch jaws agape as he stopped, gave the
cart to someone else and left.

We’d gone about 30 feet.

At that point we realized the importance of tipping AFTER you’re
actually in the room.
We made up for our tipping ignorance later, making sure to leave
exactly the right amount for exactly the right person. As we prepared
to head back to Kentucky, we straightened our room feces-throwing
monkeys would have been embarrassed over the rancid condition of our
room. It harbored more diseases than Pamela Anderson/Kid Rock’s
wedding party. We also left the maid (is “cleaning lady” the preferred
nomenclature?) some cash, two leftover bottles of beer and half a
bottle of vodka.

The Flaming LipsGive a giant hand to The Flaming Lips

Let’s just condense the rest into bullet points:

• I couldn’t stop looking up and gawking. (Cue Gomer voice). “Well,
gollee, those buildings shore are tall.”

I’m a sucker for a skyline. It’s often my favorite part of visiting a
city. I LOVE driving into Cincinnati. When you turn that curve and the
skyline open ups, it’s almost breathtaking. Hell, it IS breathtaking.

And Chicago, well, it’s much, much, much taller.

And when you’re in the city with America’s tallest building, it’s only
natural to look up.
Except I felt like a total tourist (which I was) and an idiot (which I
am). Maybe I should have been more subtle, much like sneaking peeks
when a woman showcases some cleavage, but in most MOST cases, the
Sears Tower is slightly more impressive.

Nobody was remotely interested in seeing the tower with me, despite my
near-constant nagging. I somehow conned Derek into walking to it, and
I marveled at the building.
And on the way back, I said to hell with it and openly ogled some
hookers’ breasts. Or maybe they were college students.
It’s hard to tell some days.

Particularly in the big city.
Cory and some guy from The Hold Steady

• Cory and I were on an elevator with a gentleman wearing a neon green
T-shirt proclaiming he was in town for a family reunion. The shirts
were everywhere in our hotel, and the folks were very friendly. I
thought about skipping a Lollapalooza show or two to hang out with
them.

So, here we are riding up the elevator, making small talk when Cory
makes a slight noise then goes immediately silent.

The elevator stops.

The door opens.

The man exits.

The door closes.

“Well, I just about killed us,” Cory said.

“How so?”

“I was looking at that guy’s shirt and thinking about the reunion, and
I almost said, ‘There sure are a lot of you people here.'”

I should probably point out the reunion was for a black family.

“I still can’t believe that I almost did that,” Cory later said. “I
have no place in modern society.”

• Sarah sent a care package, which included Funyuns, honeybuns, fruit
pies, Tylenol, hand sanitizer and Rolaids.

And condoms.

Which, by the way, were labeled “for her pleasure.”

There were five guys and just one girl on the trip, and Sarah STILL
thought the odds were against anyone pleasing Rachel.

• David, Rachel and I prepared to go to the Field Museum, a
world-renowned museum, mind you, to see the King Tut exhibit.

I’m ashamed to say I actually asked Rachel if I needed “to wear a
shirt with sleeves.”

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2 thoughts on “Via Chicago

  1. Pingback: Lollapalooza 2010: Sorry bands, but it’s about the food « So … there I was

  2. Pingback: Lollapalooza: The Dork Knight Rises | So … there I was

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