Nothing is worse than a guy who rocks too hard for the opening act. Even the people who are there only for the opening act aren’t drunk enough to join him, and one of them is probably sober enough to say, “Can you stop talking? This is my favorite band!” At least, that’s what she screamed at me last Friday. It may seem like rocking too hard is not that bad when the same night began with me yelling at some people I work with for not knowing who Hunter Thompson was and ended with me urinating off a gazebo in the middle of Tempe, Arizona. But you’d be wrong. You never want to rock too hard for the opening act.

Some would say it’s not a surprise something like this happened because of my history. Having long hair for the majority of my life, I had to be prepared to rock (or possibly recite poetry) at the drop of a dime. If someone said, “Rock!” (or possibly, “Keats!”), and I couldn’t respond, I would be labeled a “poseur” and get severely beaten at once. Even with short hair now, I still have that large reservoir of rock stored inside me which acts like adrenaline, so I can overdue it any time.

hunter2Again, to understand what a faux pas it really is, you only have to look at the bookend events. After berating my co-workers for not having read Fear & Loathing, I went on to complain that Hunter Thompson’s plan to have his ashes fired from a gun would ruin my own plan to wheel out a surprise cannon at the last second of my funeral to fire my corpse into the ocean. Eight Red Stripes in an hour will apparently make worlds collide that I had succeeded my whole life in keeping apart. One is the world where I keep my head down at work and make sure not to say anything. The other world is the one where I stay up at nights trying to decide if my body should loft into the ocean, bounce off a trampoline into the ocean, or skip like a stone until it hits the side of a boat. Even horrified looks and one stranger who turned around to proclaim me “morbid” could not stop me from talking.

In fact, those looks only encouraged me to continue with the tale of how that same story resulted in college crazy tests. I always knew college was for experimentation, but I thought that meant gay stuff, not being strapped to a chair with electrodes wired to my head and being forced to watch things like the suicide scene from An Officer and a Gentleman. I had “jokingly” wrote about my death cannon in a Psychology 101 paper, and before I knew it, I was fulfilling my lab requirement by being hooked up to a mammoth super computer. After the last battery of trials (which involved distinguishing from a series of pictures which creepy, distorted face looked the happiest), the technician told me I could probably get some free counseling at the University hospital. I met that proposal with a hearty chuckle, and she asked me to sit back down for a talk. At that point, I ran away. Of course, I dropped the class the next day, which if you ask me, is a pretty funny story of why I had to take American Sign Language as an elective the following summer. It was not that funny according to my worried audience.

I like to leave only when things can’t get much worse, and since our boss wasn’t there for me to make a pass at, I finally went to meet some other friends at a dirtbag, townie bar. This is where the over-rocking occurred. It is also where I talked to the band just beforehand. Normally, I don’t talk to famous musicians because I have to assume most of them are human, and my human theory is that if you can afford to be an asshole, you probably will be. Band members can afford it, but the guy we were talking to was pretty cool. He continued to be cool right up until he was deliberating about the different aspects of improvisational song writing and I whispered at my friend Steve to “show him your tits!” much too loudly.

shirtAfter the rocking, instead of being verbally shamed by any witnesses, I hopped the fence in back and ran away (kind of like in college). Long time friends know of my proclivity to “go wanderin’” when I have too many drinks. Some even wanted to make “Where the fuck is Nathan?” shirts, but that would have cost money which would have cut into beer funds which might have prevented them from actually asking, “Where the fuck is Nathan?” the following Friday when I would have probably disappeared from the back seat while we were at a gas station. I finally ended up at the aforementioned gazebo relieving myself and muttering Thompson quotes about the ineptitude of the bastard law enforcing swine who were out to get me.

he irony is that the cops did get me for something far worse than public urination off a historical landmark the following weekend, but that is a story for a different time assuming I make it through jail alive. Even if they’d nabbed me that moment, it wouldn’t have been for that most grievous of infractions… which was actually stealing a glass from the bar and throwing it against an office building on the way to the gazebo. But rocking too hard for the opening act – that’s a close second.