I had thought about borrowing a couple of Brad Paisley cds before I went to his concert so that I would be up on some of the songs that would be sung and now, after the fact, I realise I should have done so. You see, all of the artist kept on doing that thing where a singer stops singing and holds their mic out toward the audience to indicate we were supposed to sing the lyrics (an entirely stupid idea since I didn't spend a whole lotta money to come and hear a crowd of drunk strangers singing songs--I paid to see a complete stranger, to me both personally and by his works, who I have been led to understand is very good sing some songs). Well, the first time this happened I near had a heart attack for fear that I was going to be recognized for the fraud that I am and pulled by my hair from my very good seats up to the nosebleed section where in truth I probably deserved to be.
I must give you a little context for my somewhat irrational response to not knowing the lyrics. You see, not so long ago I was a student in Belfast, Northern Ireland studying conflict. As part of my unofficial study I went to as many community events as I possibly could. One particular evening I heard about an "unofficial" IRA memorial taking place not too far from where I was living and thought I would go and check it out. I arrived and staked out a place in the general midst of the 50 or so people who had gathered down an alley way. As it turned out it was a memorial service for 5 young men who had been murdered or killed (depending on your point of view) by the British army in that spot. Well, all was going well and it was very interesting when an older man stepped forward and began to lead the crowd in a Catholic prayer (the sort that everyone knows and says all together). Well, not being Catholic and not having done my homework, I didn't know any of the words and I was suddenly sticking out in the crowd like a throbbing sore thumb as an outsider in exactly the kind of situation that you don't want to be seen as an outsider. Well, leaving right then would not have been a great option as it would have brought even more attention to me, so I was stuck between trying to pretend I was saying something and hope it wasn't too obvious that what I was saying didn't match the words of the prayer or stand very solemnly in silent respect. I went for the later one and hoped that if anyone was suspicious of me they would at least give me the chance to explain who I was (I can't even tell you how many times I had random people come up to me over the course of my study there and not very discreetly try to figure out "who" I was--who meaning was I a threat they should be worried about). Well, eventually it ended and the crowd dispersed (me faster than usual) and nothing happened (by the way, nothing ever did happen to me while I was there). But for a good 20 minutes or so I was rather nervous about the situation.
So anyway, right in the middle of this country music concert I had a sudden flashback to that experience and I briefly felt very nervous about my situation. As it turns out, the screaming girl next to me did take notice and told me that I needed to get into it a bit more, but if I didn't succumb to the peer pressure of a terrorist group I was hardly going to give in to her (although, she may have been the scarier of the two).
Two posts from me in one day. I'm exhausted.