Barenaked Ladies Concerts Are Me

I really wanted to write this post a hell of a lot sooner, but I was either too tired to give it the coolness it deserved, or the guide dog stuff had taken over my brain. But I think now, the time is right. Hope I can do this justice.

Back a while ago, under my birthday post, Barbie mentioned that she and Steve were cooking up a surprise for me. and oh boy were they ever, boy oh boy.

Ok, where do I begin? I guess I begin when Barbie called and said she had this brilliant idea for a birthday surprise for me when I came down. She talked to Steve, and I overheard, “I’ll get her on the bus if I have to drag her through Guelph kicking and screaming.” So I knew this was going to be good. He told me he would throw in some money and that would be my Valentine’s Day present. Then Barbie asked me what my dream birthday dinner would be if she were to make it. I told her, and then I got thinking. If she’s making dinner, then we’re not going out for dinner, so what could the surprise be.

All the way leading up to it, Barbie kept asking me what I thought it was. I said it must be some kind of concert or show. Steve overheard this, and erupted into this tyrade of “What? Do you think we’re made of money? A concert in Ottawa? Do you think we can afford that?” This did two things: make me second-guess myself, and raise my suspicions that I was right. That explosion seemed a little over the top to be genuine. It did throw me off, though, so I guess it did its job.

Every time Barbie was talking to me, she seemed to be bubbling over with excitement about this surprise, and kept trying to make me guess at it or giv me hints. She said that the whole place where we were going was a party room, and then steve chimed in and said he had tried 3 times to do this and hadn’t been able to yet. I was still confused.

Then, just before I came down, Barbie kept insisting that I bring down the Barenaked Ladies CD that I got for Christmas because she wanted to hear it. I didn’t think much of it, just packed it and didn’t give it another thought. I was happy to do it, because I hadn’t listened to the CD yet, so now I definitely was going to give it a listen.

When I got there, she was trying her best to contain the surprise. She raised the mystery of it by letting me touch an envelope that she said had to do with the surprise, only for a second. Then I thought, again, that it was concert tickets. But I didn’t care, whatever it was, I was sure it would be fun.

The day of the mysterious event, which I had only been able to learn happened at 7:30, she said we were taking a bus out to Kinata, and asked if that gave me any clue. I thought about Scotiabank place where they have hockey games and concerts, but thought for sure that tickets there would be too damned expensive, so I said I didn’t know, and that Kinata was a big place.

Then, she really wanted to hear the Barenaked Ladies CD before we started on this epic bus journey to wherever we were going. Again, she asked me if I had a clue. I said I thought it had something to do with the Barenaked Ladies. She started laughing, and she and her boyfriend told me I’d be sorely disappointed. Yes, her boyfriend was in on the shenanigans too!

So we got on the bus, and she started to worry. “When should we tell her?” she’d ask her boyfriend. he told her to wait, and she did, even though it seemed to be killing her. We rode on the bus for a long, long, long time, about 45 minutes or so, but I can’t remember how long it was. Just before we got there, her boyfriend said, “We’re taking you to this big theatre to see this new movie.” I’m like ok? Barbie had mentioned wanting popcorn when we got to the surprise, so that made sense. I wondered what was so wonderful about this movie that Steve would drag me kicking and screaming through Guelph to make sure I saw it. Steve’s not the biggest movie buff. But I knew this had to be good, so off we went. Then, Barbie said she had to talk to people about getting special things. Then I was very confused. What sort of special things do you get at a movie?

Oh, and there was this other mysterious thing that kept happening. Barbie kept asking if I’d ever heard of Tomi Swick. I’d say no, and ask why. She’d give me no good reason. She’d just say she’d heard of him somewhere.

Finally, the truth came out. Her boyfriend said, “This is not a theatre, it’s Scotiabank Place, and we’re seeing the Barenaked Ladies.”

Just imagine the shriek. Honestly I can’t remember what I did, because I was just so happy! Maybe Barbie can fill in that little gap. Suddenly all the pieces started to come together. I’d forgotten about this, but Steve had tried to see the Barenaked ladies twice before, and this was his third attempt, but the poor guy ended up staying home for a few reasons. Steve *was* trying to throw me off by saying concerts were too much money. Plus, a few days before I took off to see Barbie, Steve was mentioning bands that I would pay to see, and he’d mentioned the Barenaked Ladies. He’d also randomly asked me from time to time if I’d listened to the CD, but I didn’t give that much thought because we both like their stuff and he got it for me, so he’d want to know if I liked it or whatever. Of course Barbie would want to hear the CD before we headed out to see them! It was all becoming clear to me now!

And Tomi Swick? He was the opening band! Ah! That’s why the little bum couldn’t tell me where she’d heard of him.

I was sitting there, guarding her and her boyfriend’s seats while they went off on the quest for popcorn, thinking about how cool this was. Then they came back, and made it a hell of a lot cooler! I don’t know what Barbie had done, but she had convinced Gene at security to let us move down so we were really really really close to the stage. Gene, you’re a good man. I guess she told him that this was a birthday present, and tried to make it so we could go backstage. We couldn’t, which was probably for the best, since I would have turned into a stammering nincompoop and humiliated myself in front of a band who I’ve loved for years. It would have been inevitable.

We moved down, down, down, and found our new seats just as the first Barenaked Ladies song started to play. Then I started to gush. They’re awesome, and they’re very awesome live! I can’t even really explain it. They do a whole hell of a lot of good songs, I mean, they’re the Barenaked ladies, plus they improvise raps and other cool stuff. Like they did this whole song about Winterlude, an event that happens in Ottawa. How awesome is that?

At one point, they started naming off towns around Ottawa, asking if people were from there. It was then when a lady beside me yelled, “Renfrew!” which is where I’m from. Eek, this small world is getting smaller. Creepier yet was that this lady’s husband works at the same school as my mom! Needless to say, mom heard about me being at the concert before I had a chance to tell her! It’s a really good thing we hadn’t had a couple drinks before going there, that would have been bad, bad, bad.

For two hours, they played. I could sing almost every song they sang. People threw underwear at them. They came out and did a couple encores. It was an awesome night, but Barbie went and added her own little touch to it.

She stood up, and I didn’t know what was up her sleeve. She tried a couple times to get their attention, pointing at me, yelling, “It’s this girl’s birthday!” I started to worry that her and Gene the security guy had something planned for me. Finally, after a couple yells, and getting other people to join in, she got their attention. They said, “It’s whose birthday? Hers? How’d you like to make out with a whole rock band?” I started turning beet red at this point. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Then, they said, “We’ll get Van Halen on the phone!” and everybody laughed. The Barenaked Ladies talked to me! Um, eek!

After it was over, I felt like I was in this little humming bubble that muffled all sound, but I didn’t care. My voice was gone. It was awesome. Then the funniest thing happened. As we went to find the bus, we were running through this alley thing. From ahead of us, we heard someone badly playing a trombone. Just as I thought I was getting what tune he was trying to play, it would change! Then he would stop playing altogether, and start yelling random things at people. At one point, I thought he was chasing us, which really weirded me out because it reminded me of my nightmare with the trumpet-playing terrorists. But he wasn’t chasing us at all, and after we got clear of him, Barbie’s boyfriend gave us a fine description of this, um, musician? He was wearing nothing but underwear and a bandage on his leg, and his clothes were folded beside him. Allrighty then. Welcom to the homeless in Ottawa. All I could think was I’m sure he’d make a lot more money selling the trombone than playing it. But then again, that’s why I’m not yelling at people and badly playing a trombone in an alley and he is. Ouch! That was mean.

That was, well, long and involved. But my point is thanks Barbie, her boyfriend, and Steve for the awesome surprise! It’ll be a long time before I forget the awesomeness that was that night. I’ll get you all back some day. I will!

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