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When I was ten, I made a list of things I wanted to do before I died. It was my understanding that every ten year-old had a list like this, so I felt that I needed to create my own.
My list was pretty simple. I still have it today and it contains only three items.
- Be elected governor of Pennsylvania
- Marry the girl who played Sam Kanisky on that Nell Carter break-out hit, “Gimme A Break“
- See Bob Dylan perform live
Getting elected to City Council is almost the same as being governor of Pennsylvania. One might argue a council member is, in fact, a much more glamorous position. While Ed Rendell did throw out the first pitch to a lot of baseball games this past year, I could not find one new article about him going to a landfill. I’m sure we could try and make more comparisons in order to narrow down which office is flashier, but that wouldn’t prove anything.
In an effort to keep checking things off of my list, I headed out to the Bob Dylan / Elvis Costello concert held at EMU’s convocation center. I didn’t think I would get many more chances to see Bob Dylan live before he was dead. And ever since Elvis Costello appeared with Charlie Sheen on an episode of “Two And A Half Men“, I thought I’d better see Mr. Costello quickly before his career was dead.
I did try and use my Council connections to get better seats on the floor. I thought I was slipping $20 to an usher, but I was really stuffing $20 into the shirt pocket to some guy standing outside of a restroom. That ended rather awkwardly, but I tried to cover myself by pretending I was attempting to buy sheets of acid.
Elvis was great. He performed solo and completely brought down the house. He was personable and charmed the audience with quaint family stories and tales of his run-ins with Governor Schwarzenegger. And in true rock-star fashion, he seamlessly included the name Ypsilanti in one of his lyrics when he said the women in Ypsilanti don’t wear any panties. Sure, it rhymed and all, but he had the opportunity to say “the women of Ypsi take off all their clothes when they get tipsy”, but he chose instead to plug in Poughkeepsie. It was probably for the best as “getting tipsy in Ypsi” is a catch-phrase used by the Aubree’s conglomerate and the last thing Mr. Costello needs is more lawsuits.
Bob Dylan did a pretty miserable impression of Bob Dylan. He mumbled his way through every song. If it weren’t for the band, you wouldn’t have known if he was singing “Masters of War” or “What Was It You Wanted” or whatever. When the people seated around me were yelling out, “Absolutely Sweet Marie” or “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”, I was screaming “ENUNCIATE. ENUNCIATE.” When we got home and I listened to the recording I’d made, it was all muffled and hard to understand. I thought I’d had the recorder under too many layers of clothing, but Kate assured me that was exactly what it sounded like.
All in all, except for the two people in front of me who kept yelling for Travelling Wilbury songs, it was good time. It was a little bittersweet, however. With two of my three life’s goals crossed of the list, there’s a little less to look forward to when I wake up each day. I guess it’s time to take a vacation to California.
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