Monday, May 25, 2009

Livin' On a Prayer

Kathy and I headed south this weekend to celebrate my old friend Jeff's 40th birthday. We got caught in plenty of traffic (and had a long trip even under the best conditions) so despite setting out at 9 a.m., we made it to the lunch party at 2:30, missing the cheese course entirely. (Good for my cult, bad for my soul.)

My car doesn't have air conditioning, which wasn't a huge problem when I was thinking I'd be employed enough to trade it in, but as things stand, it looks like I'll be driving with the windows open for another hot summer. But for long trips, I need to remember to sunscreen up. My forearm is bright red, and the sting is only now finally starting to go away.

Afterward, Jeff, opened up his gifts, among them such reliable gags as chattering teeth and other reminders of how old we're all getting. But the biggest reminder for me is this: I remember my dad's 40th birthday party. My mom invited all his friend for a surprise party, sprung just as he and I returned home from an Indian Guides camping trip.

There were chattering teeth at that one, too.

I can't believe I'm only a few months away from hitting that milestone. It's weird -- it feels like if I hit that birthday, the first one that I really remember my dad having, then I must, by logical deduction, be a grown-up. We'll see about that, I guess.

Kathy & I spent the night at my brother & sister-in-law's, and got to play with our niece and nephew in the morning, and have some tasty barbecue, to boot. Then, we hit the road again, avoiding I-95 altogether, choosing instead to take 295 north and then route 40 north until the Delaware Memorial bridge.

Already feeling a bit like my dad, I suggested we stop at a liquor store before we left Delaware. We wound up hitting a small (very small) package store attached to a bar. The guy at the counter immediately introduced himself to us, and asked if we liked Bon Jovi. We gave a fairly non-committal answer, and he said "You're looking at their new drummer."

The story goes, their current percussionist, Tico, is planning to retire, and they need a new one. And this guy was it, hooked up through a sound-engineer friend of his. He'd be meeting the band themselves really soon, but in the meantime, Jon's family and their bodyguards have all been coming down to check him out, because that's the way they do things.

Then he said that he'd soon be marrying a supermodel. He implied that he hadn't yet actually met said supermodel, but it was a done deal. He has a cross on a bracelet, and he'd occasionally kiss it and point to the big guy upstairs, who was totally hooking him up.

He mentioned he had a girlfriend once who was Greek, but she cheated on him, and that was that. He asked what nationality I was beside Greek; it was then that we realized he'd misread Kathy's "I Heart My Geek" shirt.

Then he explained how fit he was, and how that was important when you're in such a major act. He demonstrated by leaning back, back, and further back against the beer fridge door, essentially making an ark with his body (which was definitely in shape, no argument there). He told me to count to ten, and he did backwards pushups while I counted.

Then (yes, this kinda keeps going), he told us he was an amazing singer. He didn't want to make to much noise, but he wanted to really belt it, so he invited us into the walk-in cooler. We closed the door, kind of wondering if this would be the last thing we'd ever do. He gave us a choice of two songs we could hear, and soon he was belting out Steve Perry's "Oh, Sherry" with all his heart.

Finally, Kathy & I buy our Tuaca. (We went in looking for tequila, but they had a lousy selection). He gives us his autograph and his phone number, telling us to call him and he'll get us passes for when Bon Jovi plays the Meadowlands.

I'm *still* not quite able to make sense of it all. Will we be on TV?



Sharon GR said...

Somewhat surprisingly, I don't think Tico Torres is leaving Bon Jovi. Who knows? Maybe you just got a MAJOR SCOOP!

tofu-powered art-chick said...

What a character- glad you made it out of the freezer!

Travis said...

You are a brave man to enter that cooler. You should have gotten your picture with him.

Dave said...

Punk'd! what was the name of the place? i'll have to look for it some time ... I go up 95 from Wilmington.

Rob S. said...

I'm not sure of the name of it; it was a small package store attached to a bar on Route 40 north, only a couple minutes south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.