The girl on stage sounds like she’s being skewered on the spot. God. That ad-lib just went straight through my ear drums. I’ve been to a lot of concerts throughout the years, but this one just topped them all. For your information: it topped them all in the way of it being pure fucking torture. Picture a tiny guy wielding a katana, yelling something into my ear in Japanese. Now picture him swinging the whimsy katana and slashing away at my ear drums. Even though that sounds like my imagination is just running wild and that all of this horror I’m experiencing tonight is probably affecting my sanity, I won’t beat around the bush; it still fucking hurts.
On our anniversary, Nadia always wants to do something ‘special’ (note the apostrophes). If there’s one thing you should know, it’s that I’m not the kind of man you can surprise with just about anything. No, I come with a pretty lengthy instruction manual on planning surprises, with half of it written in Chinese. When keeping that in mind, there’s one thing in my life that really, really sucks: the woman I married hates to read and doesn’t speak Chinese.
This year, she got tickets for try-outs to American Idol. You know. That popular talent show they air every year. Now, if there is one thing about American television that I absolutely loathe, it’s these talent shows. Most of the people who enter these shows haven’t even got a single shred of talent. They are, in fact, only able to look like a total donkey-ass while obviously being on drugs, and, while appearing to be fully confident that they can sell sex to our adolescent sons / daughters, they’re apparently attempting to summon the ancient spirits of evil into our earthly realm.
Oh, all right. Not quite like that, but you catch my drift.
“Dad! She’s awesome, isn’t she?”
While hating the world, but my current surroundings first and foremost, I turn my head to face my own adolescent son, who seemingly can’t take his eyes off the colorful, squealing pig-girl on stage.
“Don’t you have some sparkly vampire movie to go to, tonight?”
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even trying to hide the frustration in my voice, but that sickening ‘happy-happy, joy-joy’ smile wasn’t about to disappear from his face.
Nadia slammed her elbow into my ribcage.
“Shut up and just enjoy the show.”
“What’s there to enjoy? They’re try-outs. It’s cheap TV.”
Nadia gave me the evil eye, but seemed determined to not let my foul mood spoil her evening. Pig-girl had gotten fairly positive comments from the judges, which raised some applause and frantic whistling from my son.
Then, there was commotion on stage. The band, usually cloaked in shadow during TV shows like this, suddenly found itself in the middle of a spotlight. From behind the décor, a vaguely familiar man with long, black hair, clad in leather, walked toward the microphone standard and tapped the mic.
He chuckled and straightened his wig.
It was Cookie.
“Gene, I brought some old friends with me.” He pointed at the new band. “Thought you’d appreciate this little gift of ours on your anniversary. Enjoy, buddy.”
It didn’t matter that security suddenly woke up after hearing Cookie grunt ‘Your Treachery Will Die With You’ into the microphone and the band started blasting. While they tried to drag Cookie off stage as he kept grunting and the band kept playing, a smile appeared on my face.
Sometimes, anniversary surprises can be good. All it takes is a little help from your friends.