Friday night, we adjourned to rock_god and sirrani's house for some poker. We ended up playing a very silly but very fun game called Guts, and I ended up getting very silly on wine very unexpectedly. Saturday afternoon was hung over errand running time, and Saturday night was Jennifer's birthday extravaganza in Adams Morgan. I had fully intended to keep it in check since Sunday was going to be such a big day, but sadly, Adams Morgan got the best of me. After a small setback in the restaurant and a teensy altercation with one of the Flower Guys, we were off to Millie & Al's where we met up with g_nice, his buddy, bruthae and bobwhite. After spending way too much time at Millie & Al's, we went back down the street to Kokopooli's, an all-time fan favorite. The almost didn't let me in after the touch of trouble I had with the stairs, shaking his head and saying "you're too drunk." I looked him square in the eye and asked, "for what?" He smiled and let me in, admitting, "you got me there." We closed Kokopooli's, got some pizza and cabbed on out of there. Sure, with the day's events on Sunday starting at 10:30 in the morning I should have had been a little more concerned about getting home at 3:00. But goddammit, MTV had to be showing that Basketball version of Surf Girls all night, keeping me up until at least 4.
Sunday was forte all the way, baby. The crowd met up at my place at around 10:30, and after an hour of procrastination, McDonald's and 7-11 runs, we were on our way. I thought the park was where the rides were going to be. But as it happens when more than one car caravans to a chosen location, a race ensued. I'm sure there are still fingernail dents in the Oh Shit Handle of Greg's car, but fear for life matters little when victory is on the line; and the taste of that victory sure did wash away those moments of doubt*.
Thanks to the racing efforts, we got to King's Dominion in a decent amount of time, and walked straight on to the Drop Zone, the 272ft vertical freefall ride. For most rides such as this one, the worst part is waiting at the top for the fall to happen. In this case, the worst was going up and feeling like it was about time to stop, then realizing we were only about half the way. It was at about that same point on the way down that my mind could no longer comprehend the distance I was falling, and ala Homer, checked on out, not returning to me for at least 20 minutes. But I'm still convinced I left my understanding of my multiplication tables somewhere on that ride. We went to this ridiculous ride next that started at 0mph and shot us straight up a 90° track, over top and back down again. After those two, I insisted we do a few more "normal" rides, so we hit some of the wooden coasters. If Kings Dominion works the way it did on Sunday every day, then I'm going back. It seems that people only want to go on the new rides, so the old rides are lineless. We spent about an hour on line for the Hypersonic XLC, but were able to walk on and off the Rebel Yell twice in 10 minutes.
The combination of an egregious hangover and a burst of overstimulation left me a little uneasy for the first half of the day. I was convinced on each ride that this trip was going to be the one when the harnesses fail and I was going to go flying out. I was more scared of the rides Sunday than I ever have been at an amusement park. Then, we stopped for lunch. The giant turkey leg did me just right and I was on course for the rides for the rest of the day.
Al was coming on at 8:30. Since I was very excited about the show, I was convinced that everyone else in the park was just as excited and would be waiting in the amphitheater and making it next to impossible for me to get a good seat. Mickey, Greg and I had brought collapsible lawn chairs for the show, so we went out to the car to get them while Rob, Leanne, and Meredith went to stake out seats, (and Andy, Michelle, HM and Don, who were unconcerned, got on the hour-long ride for the Volcano). The three of us make the quarter-mile trek out to Greg's car to get the chairs and make the walk back, and begin to ponder what exactly will be in store for us during this Weird Al concert. Would the spectacle of it be in the show or the audience? Would it be mildly amusing camp or just a completely fulfilling joyride? The only solid conclusion we came to was that the crowd would probably be a lot like the crowd at a They Might Be Giants show. We approached the gate after hauling the chairs from the car only to find out that the chairs are not allowed in the park. Fantastic. Mickey and Greg were nice enough to walk the chairs back again and let me get to the show.
After a rousing game of That's Your Boyfriend, the opening band started. As Rob pointed out, this band, The Gaskets the most deceptively named band I have ever seen, who had somehow beaten out other bands in order to secure this show. It was a singer and a Casio player, who had the Casio atop a trash can, so it kinda looked like he was playing the trash can (although it did sound more interesting when Leanne said he looked like he was playing the "Bin Box"). A girl approached Leanne before they started playing and ensured her that if she were into good music, she'd like the Gaskets. "They're a lot like TMBG, if you're into them. I know a lot about music, so I wouldn't shit you on this." Sure enough, they were plenty like TMBG. Even going so far as to play a TMBG cover. Not before, of course, playing a song about how they're playing at a bar and everyone else is drinking but they're underage, or the love song about wanting to be your flight attendant so he could secure your emergency exit and give you salty peanuts, to the full-on spectacle that resulted in the singer flopping around the stage singing about wrestling a pig. So at least we were right about the TMBG part.
Weird Al came on not long after the openers. Al fulfilled every expectation that I had for the show. He opened with a polka medley of current radio songs, such as that System of a Down song, Fell in Love With A Girl, Last Nite, that Hives song, and so on. Then came the costume changes. He wore the fat suit. He wore the red Michael Jackson jacket. He wore his Kurt Cobain outfit. He did a whole medley of his B-sides, if you will. During costume changes, he'd show little films. All I have to say it that Al must be in impeccable shape. He was all over that stage: dancing, jumping down into the audience, and doing the can-can, and never getting winded once. It was everything I wanted it to be.
So there it was. The last weekend I'll be in the area for the next three in a row. Perfect.
*Super big ups to Greg for driving. Mmm...roomy SUV