Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prairie Home Companion- The Hat Fiasco

We heard Garrison Keillor on NPR radio for the past year. Checked out his shows from the library in audio book form for our vacation and laughed heartily while listening. I'm from Minnesota originally so I find his Minnesota humor funny. He really can be funny. So I was looking forward to his performance at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, about an hour away.

We picked up my in-laws and headed to Chautauqua with the threat of thunderstorms overhead. We got there early and got a good seat. Just a couple of rows back from the roped off area and I was sitting second left from the end of the row. We were enjoying ourselves. I took a few photos of my in-laws and my husband and me and then put my camera away. No cameras were allowed during the performance.

It was still about 30 minutes from the starting time when a woman behind me grabbed my shoulder and told me to take my hat off. My hat had a small brim on it but was down on my head and didn't stick up higher than my hair would have. The brim on the side was pushed down so it didn't stick out any more than my hair would have before I had it cut short this past week. Other women wore much bigger hats, even some men had hats on that had brims. I wasn't blocking her view in the slightest as Garrison would be up on stage which is high enough and in the middle that everyone could see him and the seats are raised in stadium style so people behind are higher (check out the photo below) than the people in front. We were sitting on the end of the row to the left of the stage. I was horrified at her demand. I said, "No, my hat is part of my outfit plus my hair is smashed down under it and I'll have "hat head." I told her I didn't think it would block her view and I scooted over closer to my husband who was seated on the very end of the row to make sure she had a clear view. Then her husband said I was being just another a**.

My husband put him in his place. The snooty woman's husband replied that he was saying it to his wife (but he wasn't.) I could have switched places with my husband and sat on the end but my husband is over a foot taller than me so then she would have her view blocked which in retrospect I wished I had done.

Any other time I'd have taken off my hat just because someone told me to. In fact, I don't really like wearing hats. But in the anticipation of the event I went out and got my hair cut. Short in the back, longer in the front and I gave the hair dresser a photo of what I wanted it to look like which I have below.

But this is what I got.

It was so chopped and is only a 1/2 inch long up at the top where it suddenly gets long. The one side is longer than the other. It is a mess but too short to do anything about unless I want to go short all over which I look terrible with. So I'll wear a hat for a few summer months and then see if it can be fixed. I almost was thinking of not going to the performance but decided I'd wear the hat. And the one time I wear a hat I get called an a**.

I tried to put that behind me to enjoy the performance. Garrison came out and sang some sing-a-long songs which I didn't care for much. He was solo, this wasn't a recorded radio show. It was kind of boring. He mostly made Lutheran jokes which is part of his thing. I don't know if Lutherans laugh about it or not but I just don't care for it. Then he had some risque and pee jokes which I think only little boys and old men and embarrassed little old ladies would snicker at and they were. I looked around and thought man, all these old geesers are laughing their fool heads off. They must be on medication. I knew then that I must not be shaking my bad mood off from the episode with the snooty lady.

Everyone was taking photos even though they weren't suppose to. Flashes were going off left and right. Not one to be left out and trying to get to enjoying myself again, I took out my little pocket-sized camera and took two flashless photos (that were totally out of focus and blurry)

and suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman "greeter" leaned over my husband and told me there is no photography. I looked at her, then looked at about 5 people in our immediate area taking flash photos at that very moment and then back at her. She said, "I know everyone is taking them but they aren't suppose to so put yours away." I put it away. I looked at my husband for support and he shrugged his shoulders with a smile and said, "You aren't suppose to take photos." Sigh. No one else all night was told to put their camera away. Everyone else with a camera except me was taking photographs. I was singled out from thousands of people. Must have been the hat, the hat made me stand out.

Then Garrison started on a story-telling marathon which he does well. But I had heard it before or a story almost the same (a few change-ups) that was told on the audio book we listened to while on vacation just last month. I still got a few chuckles out of it but the second time around just isn't as funny as the first time you hear something. I was hoping for new material.

The program was two plus hours and on those antique wooden benches my back and butt was hurting after one. That last hour was a killer. When it was finally over and we were walking, what seems like 1/2 mile, out to the parking lot in the dark, the lightning started, thunder, and a long, long downpour that drenched us all while we were herded like cattle through the gates. We were left to stand in the downpour waiting for the crossing guards to let us pass. What power they wield with those lighted red sticks. We were packed like sardines and the lady in front of me had her umbrella positioned so the run-off landed on my stomach and legs. At that point I stopped saying to myself, "what else could go wrong." And it has rained ever since, flooding our area.

I'm not whining (but maybe I am,) I'm just saying it was one of "those" days.


Mary C said...

Linda, it sure sounds like it was "one of those evenings!" There must be something to that hat to have had so much go wrong that evening. ;o) How come you didn't leave early? I think if I would have been that bored and having a backache from those seats I would have left, especially since you were sitting on the end - that way you wouldn't have bothered anyone if you got up and left. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Garrison Keillor's performance. I guess he's better on radio than in person.

Red said...

Oh Linda, what a horrendous day! So sorry about the haircut. I wasn't happy with the one I got right before my vacation, but it wasn't as far off from the desired result as yours was. Hopefully it's fixable within the week. They owe you a do-over for free.

Rebecca Remer said...

Linda, that is pretty much the same hair cut that I just got a couple of weeks ago and I like it ok. The back is a bit shorter then mine is and it looks like it could use a straight iron in a couple of spots. It is a pretty popular hair cut among nurses, so I decided to try it. I do have to blow dry it (and sometimes use the straight iron) for it to look right. I have not seen the front though.