Friday, September 22, 2006

Glorious highs and tremendous lows in Spokane Washington

Our story begins at the Center Stage in Spokane
Washington, a dinner theatre cum concert venue,
DJ arena, art show, coffee shop, and, perhaps,
breeding ground for giant pandas. It begins after a
thirteen hundred mile drive, spread out over two
and a half leisurely days spent alternately
watching Blade, the Cutting Edge, White Squall,
finishing my Michael Malone book, and slowing for
road construction that never seemed to actually
be occurring. It begins at the Center Stage but it
ends, for some of us, in prison jumpsuits. For the
rest of us it ends with late night Jack in the Box
and a feeling of confusion, frustration, and
thoroughly justified hatred. But it begins at the
Center Stage.

Our friends at Spokane 7, an arts insert in the
local paper, pulled out, if not all, a large majority
of the stops last night: four bands, three DJs, two
artists, and a patridge in a pear tree. The only
thing missing were drink tickets, but dinner was
free, delicious, and included some potato sausage
cabbage soup that I'm still smiling about.

Spokane is a city I can't seem to get my head
around. The streets near the club were peopled
with zombies, toothless hobos, women with capes,
well dressed old people, angry drunks, and the
diverse but completely lovely crowd that came
inside to watch the show. We met up with Division
Day who are our outer bookend this tour. Two
more shows and I'm home. Wonderous. Anyway, we
played in a dinner theatre with no diners, which is
good because I'd rather not play to somebody's
duck pate. We had a blast and, for the first time
ever, did an acoustic, sit down encore, banjo,
stomping, and all. I was almost in tune.

And everyone seemed happy. Joy was in the air.
Besides some strange gentleman outside screaming
about beating up some other drunk guy and his
cohorts ("I'll fuck you up man. And all yer emo
friends" (proceeds to fall down)), it was a
veritable bubble of good cheer. And, since the noise
curfew there was 10:30, there was time to scurry
next door for billiards, chatter, and more booze.
And that's where things turned sour.

Of course, at first, that feeling of all-is-well was
intact. Beer and pleasant company have a way of
doing that for you. I was demolishing Ryan from
DDay at pool, he was weeping, I spilled a drink
down Zach's shoe: like I said, good cheer. Kevin &
Seb from DDay, the only single boys on this leg,
were talking to some lovely ladies, one of whom
we dragged out of her coffee shop last time we
were in town and decided we were good enough to
check out again. She, her friend, and our two DDay
mates left to take a walk. I continued whooping
Ryan at pool.

Ten minutes passed.

Then, there were sirens.

And more sirens.

And, wait. Is that Kevin in handcuffs? No. Can't
be. But the guy with him looks an awful lot like

Oh. Shit.

And there we were, out on the sidewalk, watching
slack-jawed as ten cops stood around, their cute,
curly little tails waving in the breeze, figuring out
what to do with two of the least likely criminals
since Mother Theresa teamed up with Spiderman.
Then, to our chagrin, they were pushed into a car.
Rohner, Pete, and I approached one of the piggies
to ask what in God's name these two were being
handcuffed and, presumably, taken away for but
were shouted at for walking into the street by an
infuriating moron with a mustache a twelve year
old would be ashamed of. "They can call you from
jail," said this pre-pubescent jackanape. And like
that, they drove off.

Skip ahead to this morning. The two chaps are
being held for...second degree burglary.

Now, a few details have become clear. Firstly,
they were picked up across the street from the
pool hall we were at, having snuck into an
abandoned, under-construction office building.
Okay. Honestly. What are you going to steal from
a gutted high-rise? Cinder blocks? Rebar? Gravel?
The jury is still out on that, which, come to think
of it, let's hope the jury doesn't stay out on
anything. Secondly, they've posted bail. As I write
this, we're unsure if justice will prevail and the
case will be dismissed or if justice will take a dirt
nap and our boys will be further shat upon for
reasons unknown and surely unsatisfactory. We'll
see. For now, I have faith. The charge is too risible
for them to be tried. Of course, I've been wrong

So say a prayer. Enjoy your weekend. Stay out of
construction sites for Christ's sake. See you soon.


Anonymous said...

That wasn't an office building. It's one of the last surviving art-deco theaters in the country, currently in the midst of a multimillion-dollar restoration. And it just happens to be located in the most heavily-patrolled block in the city. "Community treasure" might not be too strong of words to describe the place. Think the Fillmore. Probably not the smartest place in town to break into.

Nevertheless, the show was incredible. Spokane is always overjoyed to have the Birdmonsters and the Division Days in town. We'll get some good lawyers lined up for you next time...

jeffro said...

have you ever wondered why "Spokane" isn't pronounced with a long "a" sound? Like "Spoh-kayne." This keeps me awake at night.

Ryan said...

Man, I feel really bad now for being a bit light-hearted about what was going on that night. I assumed that nothing worse than a good scolding (and maybe a fine) would come out of it. We'll keep our fingers crossed that things will turn out all right, and if there's anything I can do, please let me know.

I still have to say it was a great, great show, and we're really glad you came back to Spokane. Hopefully all this doesn't mean it was for the last time ...

Gasoline Hobo said...

listen, i was only screaming because that guy was going to steal my gravel.

thinking good thoughts re: kevin and seb's possible future criminal record

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