Last night I saw Tom Petty live with my sister Booper and Corey. He (Tom, not Corey) played all my favorite songs and sprinkled in new stuff and was generally amazing and fabulous. What made the concert an all-around enjoyable experience, however, was the drunk-ass flower child in front of us on the lawn. She stumbled in during the opening act, blue thong riding high above her mauve hippie skirt and below the hemp faerie shirt she had on.
It quickly became obvious that the slope of the hill combined with her intoxicated state would cause her to fall down any minute. "I want her to fall forward and roll. Which way do you want her to fall?" I asked my neighbor, a stranger laughing louder than I was at Stumbly.
"TIMBER!" Corey shouted, as she collapsed onto his feet, nearly spilling Booper's beer. Stumbly's friends hoisted her back up and scowled at us as we tried to decide which way we wanted her to fall next.
There was a brief interval (during "It's Good to be King") when I was quite concerned for her health and safety, as she completely passed out on the ground and passersby kicked her in the head repeatedly as they wound through the crowd. This feeling quickly passed as she shot upright and grabbed the ankles of her drunk boyfriend, pulling him down with her.
Then, during "American Girl," she woke from the dead and danced a crazy jig until she had wiggled kind of far away from her friends. Poor Stumbly was lost among the crowd ten feet to the right of her crew and it took her forever to weave her way back.
On an ordinary Wednesday evening, I would listen to Tom Petty music and watch boring things happen, like Corey washing dishes or trashy people having arguments in the street, or perhaps listen to my neighbors fight. Last night was so special to me because I got to spend quality time with my family listening to Tom Petty and mocking unfortunate others. As Stumbly backed her thongy bottom toward Booper, I could barely resist the urge to give her a little shove. One wicked grin from my sister told me she was on the same wavelength.
I wish we had pushed her. That would have been a far better finale than the crazed search for the car we got instead.