I looked up across the empty theater to see if anyone who knew us could vouch that we were in NO WAY singing about abortion.
My eyes locked with the mariachi guy.
Damn! It was Sergio from Weeds!
Sergio Mayora, proprietor of the coolest place to play in Chicago, was up at 10 a.m., standing on Navy Pier, wearing a goddamn mariachi suit and tiny round glasses -- and watching our band.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here!”
We wrapped up patch cords, and shoved them into guitar cases with as much dignity as we all could muster. Tina unscrewed her cymbals and packed everything onto her rolling drum setup.
We rushed over to Sergio. He may or may not have been slightly intoxicated.
“Oh my God, Sergio. Are we glad to see you!”
“I like your… your costume…” I said.
“This ain’t the costume. These are my everyday clothes. My overalls at the bar -- that’s my fucking costume,” he said.
“I can’t believe it,” Mary said. “They hated us so much they turned off the mics.”
The sun shone down. We stood there with our lousy band equipment, wearing our terrible outfits.
This was not the pinnacle of punk greatness. It was the depths of pathetic. We had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
But I noticed Tina was fired up. She paced back and forth shaking her head at me and Mary.
“They didn’t hate us,” she said. “They FEARED US!” She shook a finger in my face.
“We were badass and we scared the shit out of them! That’s why they kicked us off the stage.”
Sergio pointed to Tina. “You listen to her,” he said.
“At least YOU showed up.”
I suddenly knew what I had to do. Digging in my backpack I found the cassette.
“Sergio,” I said. “This is for you. I’m not sure what it means, but it’s a token of my esteem… and it’s in code.”
“Thanks, Barbie Army. I’ll keep it forever,” he said.