Saturday, February 09, 2008

Embarassing Moments (part 1)

This post is for Kate, Katie, Susan, and Sue... as well as all of my friends in cyberland...

I posted a comment in K, K, S, & S's blog about an incident that involved the New Kids on the Block. Let me start by saying that it did not involve them directly - I have never like the NKOTB, but Marky Mark did earn a measure of my respect when he switched from wannabe-rapper to an actually pretty decent actor - the 1997 movie "Boogie Nights" is one of the best movies of the decade, and it was Burt Reynolds' best movie since "Smokey and the Bandit", 20 years earlier.

Anyway, here is what happened on that fateful night back in September of 1989...

Friday, September 15, 1989. I was living in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I had just bought a car, but I didn't have insurance for it yet, so it stayed at my parents' house. I walked everywhere for about 10 months. At around 9 p.m. that night, I walked the three miles from my trailer to work. I came on at 10 and started working. At around 12:30 in the morning, I get a phone call from my aunt who told me that my mother was in town. I was puzzled, so I asked why. Here's why...

My mother drove the 55 miles from her house to Jonesboro to camp out at the local record store for NKOTB tickets for my sister. The local record store was called "Hot Dogs" (ah, Talmadge, the memories!!). There was a parking lot full of cars that night. Wonder why...

Anyway, my aunt asked me what time I got off in the morning, and I told her about 7 a.m. Then my aunt told me that my mother needs to see me, so I told her that I would be there for a few minutes, just to chat, and then go home. Then my aunt told me that my mother might need my help in getting these tickets. I said no way - people know me in this town, and I have a reputation to protect!

Little did I know that my boss was eavesdropping on another line. He, and the rest of the longtime Kroger associates in that store, will never let me live this incident down. And this was nearly 19 years ago.

Anyway, I left Kroger at 4 a.m. for lunch. I walked to Larry's Restaurant (ah, Talmadge, the memories!!) to get a couple of to-go cups of coffee. I then walked to Hot Dogs and chatted with my mother for about 30 minutes before I had to go back to work. I told her that I would see her in a few hours, but she was on her own with the tickets. I told her this was her fault, and that she had no one to blame but herself for this!

Now, what was her fault? A few hours previously, at the high school football game, she told her friends that she was going to Jonesboro after the game to camp out for NKOTB tickets. That opened the floodgates - next thing, mothers and their daughters were coming to her with $20 bills wanting her to get a ticket here, two tickets there, and so on. And my mother, being the nice and sweet & totally unselfish person that she was (I miss you, mom) - she couldn't say no. When it was all said and done, she had to buy 36 tickets at $21 a pop.

Not to mention that Ticketmaster had put up a new policy - you can only buy six tickets at a time. So, my mother had recruited my aunt, my two cousins, and a friend of my aunt's. That left one slot open...

Back to work, and the word had spread like wildfire - Bolivar is camping out to get NKOTB tickets! I said no way!! I am not doing this! Stop it!!!!!

I got off work at 7 a.m., and I walked to Hot Dogs to meet up with my mother. She is still putting the bite on me to help out with the tickets, and I am still not wavering! But I was enjoying the company - here I was, 21 years old at that point, surrounded by a ton of teenage girls. And yet, I couldn't help but think that they were all - every single one of them - obsessed with the New Kids. Yes I know - I was 21, they were around 14-16 - highly illegal, I know. I was born with a brain, by the way! But then I ran into a few of my female friends from ASU, and they asked what in the hell was I doing here. I knew I was in trouble until I told them that I was not getting tickets - my mother was here & I wanted to spend some time with her.

But then, when everything seemed to be in control, I lose it real quick. My mother had discovered one of the oldest tricks in the book, and she had the nerve to use it on me...


I was waiting for my mother to turn into Marlon Brando - she did. Briefly. But enough for me to cave in.

Here's what happened. About 30 minutes before tickets went on sale, my mother pulls me aside, and she asks me a question:

"Bolivar, have you gotten the new Neil Young album that just came out this week?"

I told her don't even think about it - I am not falling for this trap! Don't you dare!!

"I believe the name of the new album is called "Freedom". Is that right?"

Yes, mother, you are correct. What are you getting at here?

"Bolivar, I heard it's Neil's best album in 10 years..."

Yes, mother, I heard that too...

"I heard "Rockin' in the Free World" on the radio the other day... killer song..."

Yes, mother, I heard the song, and it rocks. What are you getting at?

"And I know that you are a big Neil Young fan... do you have it?"

I haven't gotten it yet, but I have every intention of getting it when I get paid this Thursday.

"I will make you a deal..."

Oh boy, here we go, I knew this was coming. OK, mother, give it to me, I'm ready...

"If you help me get these tickets, I will buy that new Neil Young album for you, and I will also buy you breakfast at Shoney's after we get the tickets."

Can you do better than this?

"Oh, and any future concert that you want to go to - I will buy two tickets for you and a friend."

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I caved in - I told my mother that I would help her out.

So, at 10 a.m., tickets went on sale, and I stood in line behind my mother. When it came my turn, I told Mike that I want six tickets. He gave me the strangest look. I told him that these are not for me - he said yeah, right. I also told him that if anyone asks, you never saw me here. He told me that he's telling everyone. Guess what? He did! To this day, my family, friends, and former co-workers at the Kroger in Jonesboro, Arkansas will not let me live down this incident.

My mother bought me the new Neil Young album and breakfast at Shoney's that day before she took me back to my trailer. We had a good talk about my education and about my new car purchase. It was a good visit.

I waited until 1992 to cash in on the tickets - my mother bought two tickets for me to see Eric Clapton at the Pyramid in Memphis. A young lady named Susan and I went to that show, and it was awesome. It was the first tour for Clapton since his son died tragically, and when he performed "Tears in Heaven", I had never seen so many Bic lighters, including mine, go off at one time. It was a very special moment.

My mother passed away in 1996 after a three-year battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. She lived her life the way she wanted to up to the very end. If she had stayed around 45 more minutes, she would have passed away on my 28th birthday. Shortly before she passed on, we reminisced about all the good times and all the crazy times that the two of us have had. I could tell, even in her bedridden state, that she was all smiles. You can bet that the NKOTB episode was brought up. I miss my mother everyday & wish she was still here.

That's it for this one - more to come.

I love you, mom...



Blogger nettiemac said...

Must. Not. Laugh..... Must. Not. Guffaw. (Only teasing ya, buddy.)

I will say that ALS is horrid. My mother lost her best friend (who bravely battled for 8 years), and what it does is just awful. My heartfelt sympathies to you, even after all these years.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Kate/Susan said...

That was so worth the wait... :-)

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. But what an AWESOME memory to have of her and make you laugh and/or blush.

Will you stand in line to get me tickets this year? I'll go anywhere to see these guys.


8:38 PM  
Blogger bolivar said...

Kate/Susan - for you...

Sure, why not?

9:45 AM  
Blogger Talmadge G. said...


What you need for this favour is "motivation."

Go find a nice, near-mint used LP copy of Jailbreak by Thin Lizzy. I have it on good authority that he's still looking for a copy.

[evil laugh]

--Talmadge "I still have my copy, heh heh" Gleck

10:09 AM  
Blogger nettiemac said...

Wow! To resist an offer like that, you'd have to be "Hangin' Tough."

Running and hiding now,

5:15 PM  
Blogger Seraphim9 said...

{{{groan}}} you guys are just not right. LOL!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Susan/Kate and I will have to buy you a t-shirt when we go to the NKOTB Reunion tour!!!! :)

6:24 PM  
Blogger nettiemac said...

I'm just wondering if you got up early to see them on the Today Show yesterday......

(Runs and hides before Bolivar kicks her ass.....)

8:06 AM  
Blogger manda said...

I'll wear my Kevin Harvick shirt just for you on Sunday!

Geeze you write long posts :) I'm guessing you found my blog through kate/susan.

Marky Mark is one of my FAVORITE actors.

The thing I miss about living in Mississippi, is Kroger. The nearest one to me now is in Richmond, I think.

BTW, nice to meet ya. (and I'm a Carl Edwards fan)

I didn't even like NKOTB when they were hot. But I did love (and meet) the Nelson twins. ;)

10:30 PM  

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