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Ben, Dom, Sherrard and I arrived at Seattle Center in reasonably jolly spirits. We parked Ben’s car, paid the ridiculous parking fee, and wandered toward one of the many entrances. Around that time, Ahe called me to inquire after my whereabouts, for she was already at the main stage waiting for the Decemberists to play. Having never had a problem before, I told her I would be there momentarily, right after I picked up my ticket. I had forgotten that Will Call was on the other side of the Seattle Center. So, being the little nerds we are, we made jokes about quests and riddles that must be solved in order to enter Bumbershoot. I definitely found it strange when we arrived at Will Call, and there was a sign which read “Send only one representative up to the window, bring two forms of I.D.”. Funny, I thought I was just picking up tickets to an event, not the dossier of a top secret government official. So up to the window I went, and handed them my driver’s license and credit card. After a few minutes (!), the lady handed me my ticket. Ticket? I ordered TWO tickets. One for me and one for Dom. That, I thought, is why my credit card was charged $36 plus a service fee. Is THIS the service they were talking about? I told her that I definitely bought and paid for TWO tickets. I even got an email confirmation for said transaction which I foolishly did NOT print out because of my pathetic human faith in the robots that run the system. She asked “did you buy the tickets on the 25th?” “Yeeeeeees.” “Oh. Well, apparently, there were some computer glitches with a number of orders that day. Yours must have been one of those orders.” Ok. Any respectable business would have then said “So here’s the other ticket you ordered. Have fun!” She did not do this. Instead, she “offered” to take my credit card and call the “head office” to see if she could find a trace of the other ticket. Meanwhile, some other poor girl was going through the same bullshit at another window. She kept asking them if she could just get in there and check her email to show them she did, indeed, buy her ticket. This, again, should have been reason for them to admit mistake and just fucking hand the things over. But nay. 15 minutes later, I was called back up to the window. “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t find the other ticket”. “Um. Ok, how do I get my money back for the other ticket I paid you guys for?” “That’s a matter you’ll have to sort out you’re your credit card company.” “I have to call my credit card company for your computer glitch?” “Yes ma’am”. “Can I buy another ticket from you for the original, pre-day of show price?” “I’m sorry. I can’t do that.” I’m sure you’re real fucking sorry lady. This was my queue to stomp away from the window and begin an impotent string of obscenities as I stormed up the street. I realize it’s probably not that particular lady’s fault, which is why I didn’t yell at HER. But, who’s fault is it? And what kind of dystopia of customer service do we live in when I have to track down retribution for a mistake that Bumbershoot ADMITS to have made?

So, this being the day of the show, the ticket prices have gone up TEN FUCKING DOLLARS. Dom kindly suggested that he just go home so I don’t have to buy another ticket. But I didn’t let him do that. I just bought another exorbitantly priced ticket for a festival that used to be free, and asked the cashier who I should call to voice my outrage about having to buy another ticket. He told me, and we entered into the pit of the hippie and frozen banana hell that is Bumbershoot.

I checked the time and saw that if we tried to see the Decemberists, we could stay for, maybe, one song before having to head over to the comedy stage to get in line. So instead we opted to buy lunch in the Centre House and cut our losses. Or rather, MY loss, and everyone else’s misfortune for being around a crabby Jessica.

By the time we got in line for Patton, I was feeling a bit better. I was still outraged, but Patton is Patton and I knew that, barring any further fiasco that would prevent me from seeing Patton, I would be ok. We were in line at 1:30 for the 3:00 show. That may seem ridiculous, but, trust me, it was necessary. After a while, Chris and his friend (whose name STILL escapes me) showed up, followed by his friend’s girlfriend and about a billion of Ben’s countless acquaintances. A few of us played cards (with my fan-made Serenity playing cards that I procured at Comic-Con. Joss’ face is on the Aces. Yes, I am a NEEERD). Andrew showed up to try and jump the queue. We did not have a problem with this, nor did any of the other hundred of people in line who’s friends were doing the same things. However, since we were at the front of the line, and because Andrew has that shifty look about him (just kidding, Galoo!), a security fellow told him he couldn’t cut. WHAT? Andrew was sent away and we never saw him again.

At 2:45, they began to let people in for the show. It was around that time that I noticed a small gathering of people on the other side of the door. Who are they, I wondered? Well, Sherrard told me. They are people who paid EXTRA for their tickets in order to receive VIP bands that allow them to get into places FIRST, regardless of how many people are in the proletariat’s line. Ah. I see. Bumbershoot is REALLY sticking with the original “music for the people” concept, aren’t they? AAAAARG. Anyway, the special people went in and we filed in after. We still got fairly decent seats, however.

The first comic who came on did not identify himself. It’s ok. He was occasionally funny and mentioned about 100 times that he was from New York. Isn’t it funny how different New York is from other parts of the country? Like, say, Seattle? That guy thought so.

Next up was Paul Gillmartin, who is none other than the Paul of Dinner and a Movie with Paul and Anabell. Yes, he is a twat on that show. Here, he was pretty funny. He did a character (Who’s name…guess what…escapes me), in which he was a Republican representative on a tour of liberal events to field questions. At first, I thought he would be taking questions from plants in the audience, but after a few questions, I realized that these were real questions from well-informed, liberal Seattle-ites, and he was giving off-the-cuff, conservative prick answers like “George Bush doesn’t hate black people. He just doesn’t think about them” and “the reason we care more about fetuses than babies that are already born is because we don’t know whether or not they’re gay yet”. I liked him. But, the whole show being only an hour long, I was eager for him to get off the stage to allow for more Patton time.

Patton. Was. Amazing. He did a few of the jokes from his album, but he always does some new stuff and he always treats each individual audience as, well, an individual audience. He also said he LOVED Seattle audiences because they’re the only ones in which every single person actually gets his jokes. He said Seattle is a beautiful city made of “unicorn tears”. He said that because of this he needed to prepare himself for touring in places like Idaho, so handed out some cards with some heckles on them and had people read the heckles after he finished a joke. Good stuff.

You know, comedy is such a BROAD subject. It doesn’t seem right that someone like Dave Coulier or Ray Romano can be considered a comic because that puts him and Patton in the same field. And they SO aren’t. Patton is more like a liberal unifier with some jokes. When I see him, I feel better about the world. If someone with those ideas can be put in a position to speak to large audiences, and maybe just one little girl or boy in Indiana or somewhere will see him and change their minds about Bush, we just might be ok. After his set, the audience gave him a very earnest standing ovation, and he thanked us profusely and humbly left the stage.

I felt pretty good after that, but I wanted to try and stick around for Eugene Mirman who was up next. For some stupid reason, they required everyone to evacuate the theatre before bringing in the next group of people. Obviously, if I went back outside and got in line, there is no way I would have gotten back in. So we tried something I’d done successfully a few years back. We hung around the bathrooms, pretending to be waiting for someone. It didn’t work this time. The big beefy security guys said that EVERYONE had to leave the theatre. OoooooK. What’s with the tight security? Just as we were giving up on the dillydally, Eugene Mirman walked RIGHT past us. I froze, trying to think of some reason to get his attention. I had nothing and he was gone before I knew it. Oh well. We lost Ben to his other friends and stood around in a daze for a while.

Finally, we decided to kill some time in the beer garden before Okkervil River. Mmmmm. $5 MGD. $6 Mike’s Hard Lemonades. They taste so much better than the reasonably priced versions. After a while, Sherrard noticed Ahe and her friends on the other side of the garden. We stared at her for several minutes attempting to get her attention but it wasn’t working. Finally, I decided to play “creepy stalker” and call her on her cell phone. I told her “I’m looking right at you,” in my best lecher voice. It would have worked better if cell phones didn’t have caller I.D. Eventually, she saw us and headed over. Our group of 15 corralled in the middle of the garden until a table opened up. One of Ahe’s friends was a PERFECT gentleman and insisted that I take his seat because he couldn’t let a lady stand. How often does THAT happen from a young male? Like…never. Unless it’s Dom. And he HAS to do that or else he’ll look bad. This was a guy I just met and it left quite an impression. Thanks, guy. I do wish I could remember names. Eventually, Team Ahe declared that they were tired of Bumbershoot, and headed off back to the Hill. Team Brugos sat in the empty chairs for a while and then it was time for the parting of ways. They were off to see some One Reel (fuckers) short films, and we were to take in some Okkervil River. On our way out of the beer garden, we passed…EUGENE MIRMAN, who was smoking and talking to some people. We paused for a bit but I could still think of nothing to say other than “Hey man, you’re jokes make me feel good inside” and so we departed.

Two songs into the Okkervil River set, we realized that they were drunk and definitely did NOT give a fuck. They were speeding and sassing through their set and, as Sherrard noted, playing their songs in album order. If they didn’t give a fuck, neither did we. Fuck you, Bumbershoot. Mostly. Sherrard is going to email Patton and request that if he comes back to Bumershoot next year, he should also play a venue outside of the ‘Shoot so that his fans don’t have to be subject to metaphorical sodomy just to see him. I hope it works.

We opted, instead, to buy Sherrard a birthday dinner at the best little Pho house in Seattle. After Pho, we pushed it a little too far by getting a drink at the Jade Pagoda, when really, we should have all just gone home and slept. This was confirmed the next day when I realized that I’d left my tab open at the bar when we left. As drunk as I get, I’ve NEVER done that before. And this time, I’d only had ONE drink. That’s how mentally exhausting this weekend was. But fun. Definitely fun.


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