There's a definition of Magick: Think it, wish it, make it real, it is real. David Byrne touches on it at the very end of "True Stories", when the last of the credits roll: "If you can think of it, it exists somewhere".
Everything went perfectly tonight. We got to Cupertino, stopped at P&W market to grab some sandwiches that hit the spot, got to the flynt center and snagged some prime parking, walked right in and sat down in some kick ass seats. Roni says she got them last Tuesday... as in this week. The girl's got skills.
So, YMCA comes on the loudspeaker, and without missing a beat half the audience starts doing the hand gestures. Roni says the guy sitting next to her could be overheard muttering "Oh stop that... they should all just grow up." To her credit, the wife apparently said "They have grown up..." My first thought when she told me this during intermission was "How sad it must be to be him."
Out onto the stage, house lights still up, walks a Gumby. Not the green guy who walks into books... the one with the weird bandanna and dull expression. He starts doing a Gumby version of the dance, until a guy who looked like a roady ran out and tackled him, sweeping him toward the opposite end of the stage.
What can I possibly say about the show... I literally laughed so hard that my sides STILL hurt. There was a lot of old stuff, but new material as well. I think we had a high republican quotient in the audience tonight, because a couple of the Bush/Iraq jokes seemed to unsettle some parts of the crowd. One highlight was a rant from one of the supporting cast playing a official from the office of Homeland Security calling a skit an example of comedy terrorism, and veering into an area specific diatribe that had tears streaming down my face. At one point Roni almost lost it completely when he called Oakland "Those Jerry Rice stealing bastards", amongst other things ("About the only thing Oakland is good for is that it give you a place to look at San Francisco... take away SF, and what do you have? FRESNO!!").
Biggest groan of the evening: Eric -- "I was going to sing something from Michael Jackson tonight... 'Songs in A Minor'..."
When intermission came, I turned to Roni and said I was hoping that, since this WAS Cupertino, that there had to be SOMEONE in the audience recording the show. I *really* wanted to get a copy of that rant for her... when I hear something coming from the seat next to me. I turn, and there's a classic old geek listening to part of the first act on his iPaq, which apparently had a one gigabyte compact flash card installed. We had a little geek out, and after the show he took my email address... thus I cross my fingers.
The second half of the show was basically a history of Eric Idles career, including something I didn't know about him... he had been born during the second world war, where his father was a rear gunner radio man in the RAF. In a bit of tragic irony, he was hitching hom after the war was over, and a load shifted in the truck he had gotten a ride on, crushing and killing him. Folks, you either learn to laugh, or you become a serial killer.
After the show, the encore, the standing ovation, and some confusion, I stood in line to do something I NEVER do:
I got his autograph.
Yes, I actually did it... I got a can of spam signed by Eric Idle, chief player in the skit that eventually gave us the word Spam as "unwanted commercial email". And I got to shake his hand, and thank him... not just for the autograph and the show, but for giving me something to laugh about all those years ago, every Sunday night at 10:30 PM on WNET, Channel 13, NY. That was 1975... I was 12. When I left the lobby, I actually bibbled at Roni in a way that only a fan boy can. A couple of women who had been right in front of me turned and smiled... they SO got it.
In my last post I revealed a lot about myself about what would happen to me over the next 6 years. I have no doubt whatsoever that Monty Python was one of the things that helped me to learn how to cope.
He said something that resonated... how, after he left the orphanage/boarding school he had been stuck in for 12 years, he discovered a comedy revue -- and realized that you could laugh at your oppressors, and how that changed his life.
Thanks again, Eric.