I was 5 years old when The Beatles stopped touring, so I never got to see them live. It didn’t help that they never played the Shrine Mosque in Springfield or the Cane Hill University Amphitheater.
I’ve never seen Beatlemania or any of the various Beatles tribute groups because I can’t imagine paying to see an imitation (that’s also why I’ve never seen an Elvis impersonator). I figure if you didn’t get to see the real thing, then you just missed out.
But I’ll go see just about anything for free. A couple of years back a local Beatles tribute band was going to do a show at New Town so we loaded up the picnic basket and lawn chairs and drove out there. As is always the case when New Town tries something we’re really interested in, it began to rain about three songs into the set. The show was canceled and the band has yet to return.
A few weeks back I got an invitation to see “RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles.” Apparently it’s been well received on Broadway. I’m not sure why they named themselves after an obscure Beatles song (at least as obscure as a Beatles song can be). If I were going to put together a Beatles tribute band and name it after one of their songs I’d probably go with “Rocky Racoon” or “Octopus’s Garden” or “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” Odds are those names have already been taken.
Anyway, the show was Friday night and The Wife and I were looking forward to it. We had arranged for her to drive home from work and then we would drop off The Son with the Mother-In-Law and head downtown to see the Faux Four at the Fab Fox. But about 4 p.m. it started to drizzle. Freezing drizzle.
Now a logical person would say, “freezing drizzle — no big deal.” Unless that logical person lived in St. Louis. St. Louisans are incapable of driving in inclement weather. I don’t know why. It’s not something new. Missouri has long been home to unpredictable, unpleasant weather. But any time it snows or sleets or rains heavily the people here JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT.
Think I’m exaggerating? True story: Last week we had our first big snowstorm of the season — roughly one inch of snow. I get up to news that half of the schools in the area are being canceled. I look out the window and can still see the grass poking out from the thin layer of white stuff on my yard. Is this for real? In Stockton we didn’t cancel school for a freaking blizzard. And we don’t have snow plows and people tossing salt around in rural Missouri. You dig your way to school.
It normally takes me 30 minutes to drive to work, but given that it’s snowing I figure I’ll leave an hour early just to be safe. I arrive at work TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER. How on Earth can a light dusting of snow completely paralyze a major metropolitan area in the Midwest? It’s not like this is Florida or someplace where it never snows so they don’t know how to deal with it. We get snow every winter, usually in greater quantities. A lot of people wanted to blame MoDOT for not properly pre-treating the streets but c’mon, people. It was a minor snowfall. Stop driving like idiots.
So naturally, when the Winter Weather Advisory came out yesterday afternoon, my already-always-nervous nature went into high alert. We were already on a tight schedule even with good weather. At 6 p.m. The Wife wasn’t home yet and I made the mistake of turning on the local news. “THE ROADS ARE A MESS. ACCIDENTS EVERYWHERE. IF YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO OUT TONIGHT, DON’T.”
The Wife gets home and declares the roads are fine if you don’t drive like an idiot. I’m not worried about us, I’m worried about the other idiots. It’s clear that she wants to go and if she’s willing to risk it, who am I to be the coward?
“Can we take your car? Mine has a crack in the windshield and I’d rather not take it out in freezing rain.”
We get in The Wife’s car and start it up. rrr rrr rrr vroom.
“Uh, is it always like that?”
“No, just sometimes.”
We make it to the retirement community without problem. Once again the St. Louis broadcast media have grossly overstated the danger of the situation. Yes, we did see accidents and there were roads closed, but the main drags were fine. The Wife takes The Son inside while I wait in the car. She returns and turns the key in the ignition.
rrr rrr rrr. rrr rrr rrr. rrr rrr rrr.
Apparently Beatles tribute bands and I are cursed to never come together.
We call AAA who inform us that due to the high volume of traffic problems, it will be 90 minutes before anyone can help. We go inside and have a nice visit with the MIL and the AAA guy arrives about an hour and 15 minutes later. He checks it out and declares our battery near dead, charges it up and recommends we don’t stop for anything on the way home.
By now it’s around 9 p.m. and we put The Son in the car and head for home. We haven’t had dinner so we go through the drive-through (not stopping for anything) at Chick-fil-A so the night isn’t a total loss. The drive was uneventful and by 10 p.m. we were sitting at the kitchen table eating chicken sandwiches and waffle fries and drinking Coke and Jim Beam (The Son was just drinking Coke) and listening to Revolver.
Not such a bad way to end the night after all.