Rockabilly Ruckus

Saturday was WMNF’s 5th Annual Rockabilly Ruckus. I had been pretty hyped about it for a few weeks. Since I am not drinking (and sometimes get a little bored just hanging out watching folks tie one on), the Ruckus seemed like the perfect event: good music, food, beer for the imbibers and plenty of atmosphere and people watching.

We headed to Skipper’s around 5 p.m. The show started at 4 p.m., but the bands continue to get better as the night wears on, so we figured we wouldn’t be missing much. We neglected to take into account how many rockabilly fans are in the Tampa Bay area (who knew???). The place was packed by the time we got there. But we managed to find a bench w-a-y in the back to park ourselves on.

We sat there for all of 30 seconds before Chatty Cathy came over and asked if she and her friends could share our bench. Which would have been fine, if she hadn’t been so damned chatty. Her chatter drove Amy to express an intense desire for Conch Fritters… right then. So off we went to the restaurant/bar section (thereby surrendering our seats). The restaurant was slammed… so slammed that it took them one hour to serve us cold conch fritters, cold fries, cold hush puppies and lukewarm shrimp. And the Ruckus is going on outside without us.

We finally made it back outside… to find wall to wall people. There was not a bench, a ledge or tabletop that was not already occupied. We found a spot w-a-y in the back, by the exit door, where we could stand. And we guarded that spot with ferocity. At least there we weren’t shoulder to shoulder with dirty people with pompadours.

Okay, to be fair, the dirty people and the pompadour people are two separate camps in the rockabilly scene. The pompadours are a proud people. In fact, one of the bands sang an entire song about rockabilly hair. And they are also covered in elaborate, colorful tatoos. Fascinating. The dirty people are… dirty. They have long hair (often stringy), band t-shirts and less artistic tatoos. And they smell.

But the most interesting person we spoke to all night fell into neither of these camps. She was of the over 70, drunk, dancing persuasion. She approached Amy and I, as we stood innocently in the only spot we could claim as our own, and said, “I just had to come over and tell you that you two are just like mimes. You don’t move, and you don’t speak. Just like Mr. and Mrs. Mime.”

My first thought: Lady, if you came over here and freaked Amy out right after I have finally gotten her to relax, I will f*ck you up… 70 or not. Second thought: You HAD to come over and tell us that? And the final thought: When the HELL have you seen a mime that didn’t move?

I really didn’t have time to ponder the situation for long, because the main act was taking the stage. Amy had been really patient up until this point (this really wasn’t her scene), but I was sure she would like this act. Until the woman started to sing. Amy leaned over and said, “She sounds like a duck with a hot coal shoved up its ass.” Right, then. And Kelloggs out.

Oh, and one final thought… I don’t even like rockabilly. Oops.

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2 Comments on “Rockabilly Ruckus”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Mimes? WTF?
    ALMOST as strange as you not telling me you had a new blog!! grrr.

  2. Miss Kris Says:

    Heh. Heh heh. Heh heh heh. There are odd people out there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 70-year-old out at a show. Only in Florida!


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