the other other half

i’ve always tried to see how the “other half” lives…

…and sometimes i like it, sometimes i don’t.

for example, i worked a couple south by southwest music festivals back in the 90’s, and then in the early 2000’s i got a wristband since i was the guy that literally distributed ALL the wristbands that were sold to the public for a few years. so i never “experienced” that shit like a normal person. soon thereafter it grew too big for me to bother, and here we are.

acl fest was a different story. i worked the first two in 2002 and 2003, and then got a wristband and went like a normal person in 2007. it sucked. parking was abysmal. all the food and beverages cost too much. and getting in and out without all access parking and passes was a nightmare.

fuck all that. it was bad enough that when my ULTIMATE dual headliners of the cure and depeche mode came through i couldn’t be bothered…although i DID watch the live streams, and hung out with members of each at a club show the last weekend, but never mind that now.

likewise, because i had worked in a record store i was used to getting my hands on new releases earlier than they actually came out. but one time i did decide to go to a midnight sale. it was for what turned out to be the final beastie boys album of new material, the five boroughs. i got there around eleven-thirty, and there was pizza and beer and the album was pumping through the speakers. i just chilled in the magazine section reading, eating free pizza, drinking free beer, and hanging with san marcos folks i knew…and then a few minutes before midnight they lined us up, sold us all our CD’s, and i went home with that pumping in the malibu.

it was the only CD i played in that car almost all summer. it was my summer of 2004 soundtrack.

so when the boy found out he could get the new mortal kombat game as early as 9pm (when gamestop technically closed) last monday i happily volunteered to go just to get the experience (and ufc needed the sleep). i expected costumes, maybe the soundtrack from 90’s movie blaring, and lots of geek culture.

um…not so much.

one thing you learn pretty quick about nerd culture and gamer culture – they don’t really interact with each other face to face too terribly much, so when they do they are SUPER awkward about it. no costumes. no music. and lots of folks desperately trying to get in and out without breaking eye contact with their shoes and mumbling to themselves occasionally.

i forgot the hype of said on sale would not change the people that would go to such a thing.

so while it wasn’t quite “the experience” i hoped for, the journey served its purpose – the kid got the game the night before it’s official release, so it got to sit all night and download and update and shit so the next day instead of a slow trip in traffic to the store and back and then hours of waiting for all to sync up and he can just walk in the house and play. and that’ll make him indescribably happy.

and that, folks, was the goal regardless.

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