Batman, Robert Plant, the Joker and two morons: All in a Friday

Batman and the Joker.

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant.

I had a busy Friday.

I took off work to watch The Dark Knight with Jeff (after failing to convince him to watch a midnight showing, too), and we met in Lexington at about 8 a.m., thinking there might be a growing crowd for the movie.

My favorite poster for the summmer’s (and year’s?) best movie.

When I arrived, there was exactly one person in line.

And she was a theater employee.

She also had neither any information about her place of employment nor a sense of humor.

I tried making small talk with her as I waited for Jeff, but she would have none of it. In her defense, she probably thought I was hitting on her, but I assure you I was not because a) I would probably never find anyone I’d want to flirt with standing in line to see a 9:30 a.m. screening of a Batman movie; and b) should there actually be an attractive, single girl in line to see said movie, she’s going to take one look at the head of the line (me) and (rightfully) think, “Nerd. Not a bad-looking nerd, perhaps, but he’s first in line to watch an early morning showing of Batman and didn’t have the dedication to go at midnight, so that means he’s just weird. Plus, it’s Friday at 9:30 a.m. He probably doesn’t even have a job.”

I asked Grumpy Employee Girl about the crowd for the midnight screenings. She knew nothing about them. I tried to soften the questions a bit, asking if they were expecting big crowds for the morning shows. She knew nothing about them.

I have no patience, and I don’t suffer fools easily. “You don’t know much about your job, do you?” I asked.

She just looked at me.

Awkward.

I tried again.

“So, you all normally don’t open this early. Will there be breakfast-flavored popcorn?”

“No, just the usual.”

“I was kidding.”

“Oh.”

“Well, I feel pretty stupid being the only person in line, but I was pretty certain there’d be a lot of people lined up for the 9:30 show.

“I think we have a 9 o’clock one, too.”

Well, I’ll be damned. She possesses a minute amount of theater-related knowledge. “Really?”

“Yeah.”

“I have tickets for 9:30. You think we can exchange them out for the 9 a.m. ones?”

Big surprise here: “I dunno.”

Pause.

“You do mean there’s a 9 o’clock show for Space Chimps, right?” I asked.

She looked at me as though I had thrown a turd in her general direction.

“I’m kidding. I know you mean The Dark Knight.”

Fortunately, Jeff soon arrived, Grumpy Employee Girl went to work and we watched the movie. (You want a detailed review, go elsewhere. All I’ll say is this, for now: it’s incredible. Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker is one for the ages, and the move actually exceeds the hype. Go watch it).

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Later that night, I rolled into Rupp Arena to watch Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and as in Louisville, they did not disappoint. The crowd, however, did.

How is it that I always manage to sit next to assholes? I’m not going to address the people in front of us who were dancing the most non-cool dancing throughout, saving, instead, my vitriolic comments for Douche and Doucher sitting to my right.

Just prior to the lights going down and the stars taking the stage, Doucher (who was about 5’4”) loudly proclaimed “Can you believe we’re about to see Alison Krauss and Robert Plant?”

Um, actually I can believe that, as their names are printed rather clearly on the tickets I purchased. If, say, The Oak Ridge Boys and Axl Rose took the stage, I’d find that preposterous. Krauss/Plant, yeah, not so much.

Later, Douche and Doucher started raving about T-Bone Burnett, the producer mastermind who concocted the whole Krauss/Plant collaboration. “Man, I can’t believe we’re watching T-Bone Burnett,” one said.

Clearly these guys have exceptionally low levels of incredulity. They are probably always surprised to find a delicious chunk of chocolate at the bottom of a Drumstick ice cream cone. Actually, that always pleasantly surprises me, so I’ll let that slide.

Perhaps they were simply overcome by the sheer good fortune of seeing Krauss, Plant and T-Bone all on stage at once, but the two fellas were pointing at the wrong person while insisting it was, in fact, Burnett.

Now, T-Bone Burnett is kind of a well-known producer, but he’s a behind-the-scenes type of guy. So, if you’re such a huge fucking fan of T-Bone Burnett that you’re excited about actually seeing him in concert, it’s really not unreasonable to suggest you might actually know what the fuck he looks like. I don’t go to a Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band concert, get excited about seeing Nils Lofgren and then point at Clarence Clemons all night.

Nils Lofgren

Clarence Clemons. Can you spot the differences?

Making it worse, the guy they misidentified as T-Bone (actually, Buddy Miller) was wearing an old-school hat, which could have possibly been misconstrued as befitting a “T-Bone,” but the guys clearly ignored the fact that the actual T-Bone was wearing a get-up worthy of a Civil War coroner.

In this photo by Mark Cornelison T-Bone is at the far right.

As my friend said, “Who looks more like a ‘T-Bone’: that guy or the one dressed like Col. Mustard?”

Col. Mustard

They couldn’t contain their enthusiasm, though, and later tapped me on the shoulder to point out “the great T-Bone Burnett” (actually Buddy Miller).

“Um, yeah,” I said. “That’s not T-Bone.”

They looked at me as though I had insulted the Queen.

“That’s T-Bone,” I said, pointing to the man who was, in fact, T-Bone Burnett.

“You sure?”

“Positive.”

“Well, man, I saw the T-Bone Burnett Band play, and he wasn’t in it.”

“That’s certainly odd because I assure you that’s T-Bone Burnett.”

They turned away from me, quite sure I was a moron. The timing could not have been any better because as the song ended, Robert Plant began thanking the man who organized this whole event, Mr. T-Bone Burnett.

As the actual T-Bone Burnett took center stage, I made certain to look at my two stupid concert neighbors, flashing them a Cheshire Cat grin. They were not amused.

It pleases kitty.

A few minutes later, I took a mighty whiff of cigarette smoke, which is completely banned inside Rupp Arena. I turned to my companion (not the two morons but the friend who attended with me), and asked if she smelled it. She did. “It smells like it’s right next to us,” I said, and as I turned around, there were Douche and Doucher, leaning down, smuggling a cigarette between them, sneaking puffs like high school bandits.

A security guard came over to ask them to extinguish the offending cigarette, causing a disruption in our viewing and hearing of the concert, but that was actually better than when the little guy started in on a horrendous falsetto during Krauss’ a cappella rendition of “Down to the River to Pray.”

Fortunately, the duo left before the show was over, but I’m guessing they probably read the recap in Saturday’s newspaper and thought, “I can’t believe they played an encore.”

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3 thoughts on “Batman, Robert Plant, the Joker and two morons: All in a Friday

  1. Hilarious. Great stories. So the morals of the stories are :
    a) don’t expect too much info from someone who sits in a booth all day.
    b) people who smuggle/sneak in legal cigarettes probably don’t have too much going on in their lives, so don’t expect too much from them either.

  2. As if you can condemn people for wanting to smoke in a concert? Is there really a more ridiculous complaint on earth? If you go to a concert, expect smoke. From machines, cigarettes or pot. That’s a big given.

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