the night I wet myself at a Jimmy Buffett concert
I love the music of Jimmy Buffett. I’m too distrustful of adulation to idolize any-
one, but when my friends and avid Parrotheads Linda and Michael asked me to go
with them to one of his concerts, I signed up immediately.
Jimmy was making his annual appearance at Shoreline Amphitheatre in the Bay
Area. Shoreline was built over a Mountain View, California, landfill. It has 6500
seats with a grassy area behind them that can accommodate another 16,000 folks.
During its first year, a fan at a Steve Winwood concert flicked her/his Bic and ignited
methane leaking from the ground.
After several other fires a safety barrier and methane removal system was installed
under the lawn. But self-immolation was the last thing on our minds as we walked
toward the venue. Our biggest concern was Shoreline’s ban on alcohol. We could
buy all the drinks we wanted inside at exorbitant prices, but we couldn’t bring in
our own. Security guards checked everyone at the gates.
Since this was a yearly pilgrimage for Linda and Michael, they had developed a way
to extend their liquor budget. Just before we got within sight of the guards, they
gave everyone in our party of seven a large Zip-Loc bag of booze.
“Put it in your underwear,” Linda explained, “we’ll buy set-ups inside.”
I was hopeful that the increased mass in my skivvies might attract women, but
that dream was dashed when the cold sack of vodka settled around my original
issue sac. My testes yelped, stampeded to my armpits and said “we’ll redescend
if you ever hit puberty again.” My boys are very vocal.
“Oh, well,” I thought to myself in what I can only assume was a high-pitched voice.
“It’ll eventually warm to 98.6 F.”
We breezed through the checkpoint, even though I was grimacing and walking
like I had glass balls. Inside we met up with some friends of L & M. Two of their
group had cancelled, so we had extra tickets. I called my friend Joe, who lived
fairly close by. It took him awhile to get there, but we still had plenty of time
before Jimmy and the Coral Reefers started.
So Joe and I got our hands stamped and started walking back to the parking lot,
waving the extra ticket. I was moving less stiffly, but my junk was still cold. It
took us just a few minutes to sell the ticket, so we headed back to our seats. We
had only taken a few steps when a clean-cut young man with a walky-talky
He was from the Mountain View police department, and he was part of a team
catching scalpers. “What was your transaction with that black man?”, he asked.
My mind, which I had been altering throughout the afternoon, whirled with my
options. I ruled out running away for fear of being caught and fear of busting the
booze bag. Rolling over on Joe didn’t seem realistic. I knew I’d have to smooth
talk my way out of it.
“The black guy?”, I said.
“Yes, you just handed that black man something and he handed you something
back.” Another clean-cut young man with a walky-talky was detaining a black
man about 50 feet away. Then he said “Steve to Brad” into the walky-talky. Brad
I continued my smooth talking. “The black guy?”
“Look,” Steve said, “we know that man paid you $20 for a ticket. That’s below face
value, so you weren’t scalping. We’re not interested in you. But he tried to scalp it.
Steve to Brad.”
“Oh, the black guy. Now I remember. Yeah, he bought the ticket.”
Since we were in the clear, I’m not sure why we had to stay there listening to Steve
repeatedly trying to raise Brad on the walky-talky. I wasn’t comfortable standing
next to a cop while I was altered and had the altering material in my jeans. And my
crotch was still cold. I snuck a peek down there during a “Steve to Brad” and rea-
lized that the vodka was leaking. It looked like I’d wet myself.
Fortunately, it was getting dark and Steve was quite pleasant. He said that he often
worked concerts at Shoreline and there were always lots of DUI arrests afterwards.
“But the Buffett fans are in a class by themselves. Steve to Brad.”
When the band started warming up, he cut Joe and me loose. “I’m sorry,” he said,
“but we have to take the $20 bill for evidence. Enjoy the concert. Steve to Brad.”
Joe and I hurriedly joined the others after I ditched the Zip-Loc. We did indeed
enjoy the concert. There’s something really liberating about singing “Why Don’t
We Get Drunk and Screw”, the best bar song ever, with 22,498 others. Check out