Holy shit. I just realized I’ve never posted about the time I met the Kids in the Hall in 2008 on my Tumblr!
I’ve mentioned this before but my Mom really didn’t monitor what I watched on TV past the age of about 8 or 9. In 1999, when I was about 12 or so, I came into The Kids in the Hall via reruns on Comedy Central. I was so fascinated by their unconventional style, their raunchiness, and their willingness to don dresses and play the part of women. And not in an over the top, parodied way, a la Martin Lawrence…but a respectable, kind, believable, naturally funny way. If you’ve ever wondered why my humor is the way it is and why I’m not offended by anything, blame/thank these guys.
In May of 2008, my friend Liz, who I met through the Kids in the Hall fandom, drove from Indiana to Savannah so that we could drive to Orlando to see The Kids on their “Live As We’ll Ever Be” tour.
I won’t go into details about how I bawled when “Having an Average Weekend” (their theme from the TV show) played at the beginning of the show or how I laughed nonstop and couldn’t breath most of the night. It was meeting them that really stood out because A) by some tiny miracle of the universe, I actually met all of them and B) by some tiny miracle of the universe, they were so much warmer and amazing than I ever wrote them in my imagination.
I met Dave Foley first. I didn’t know what I was going to say or do when I realized I was coming up to him. I wanted to condense his and the Kids’ influence on me as a person and a writer into the most powerful and emotionally potent few words I could put together but alas, I ended up just giving him a hug. But it was the hug that I remember more than anything because of what he said to me as the hug was happening. First, let me put out there that I’m a good hugger. I may be shit in all other areas of life but I’m a southern girl so I know how to give hugs. I do the whole “run my hand up and down your back” bit when I hug too. That’s always created a level of comfort/affection for me so I do it to other people when I want to convey that to them. So, I did that when I hugged Dave. When I did that, he squeezed me a little tighter and said, “Thank you for that.” I will probably never know the exact meaning of that or why he said it (though I have an idea), but even 6 years later, I honestly feel that me picking up that insignificant small little motion when hugging people was justified by that very moment.
I think I met Bruce McCulloch second and I feel I made an ass out of myself. A total, complete ass, which isn’t bloody hard when it comes to Bruce. He thinks on a higher level creatively than anyone else I can think of. Before I found and cultivated my own writing style, I emulated his. It’s very distinguishable. KitH fans know what I’m talking about–it’s that quirky attention to unimportant elements mixed with romantized, poetic dialogue. That was me. Or at least it was what I tried to be. When his website, Brucio.com, was still up, he would answer fan questions. I asked him one and he answered it. Kinda. He replied with something Brucio-esque about having to go down to the river with his canvas satchel and think about it more. I only asked what he’d be doing if he weren’t in the Kids in the Hall. So when I met him several years after I asked this question, I decided a good way to open up my exchange with Bruce would be to bring up this stupid question from his website. For what felt like an eternity, I stood there and explained to Bruce who I was, what question had been, and what his almost answer had been and asked him if he had an answer now. That austere yet inquisitive and almost child-like stare that Bruce generally has on his face at all times just got wider and deeper the more I talked. So at some point, I decided to just shut up about the question, ask for a picture, and do the fade away.
When I met Kevin McDonald, my little world and everything in it just illuminated. Even though I don’t have any favorite Kids, Kevin’s always been the most precious one of the bunch for me. He’s always felt like the most fragile one, and as a fully functioning member of the female species, my ovaries tend to gravitate towards that shit. He was absolutely adorable. I know that much. I don’t remember a whole lot of what I said to Kevin (if I said much of anything) as I was too busy trying to wrap my head around standing in front of the man…but it had to be better than what I said to Bruce. I don’t immediately cringe when I think about going up to Kevin.
Scott Thompson has a way of making you feel like you’ve known him for several years within the first several seconds of approaching him. With him, I got to gossip a little bit about other fans in the KitH fandom. Nothing bad or rude, but it was fun realizing that Scott knew of several of the fans I had met online, because they had been to shows on the tour or were just incredibly passionate with their online presence. He was delightful to chat with. He is so warm and talkative and animated. He was also the only Kid that matched my level hugging skills.
So, Mark McKinney was my wild card. Just like I don’t have a favorite Kid, I definitely don’t have a least favorite Kid. I’ll admit though that Mark was the one I thought I was going to have the truly awkward, “please sign this and I’ll be out of your way” exchange with (but Bruce took that title earlier in the night so…). Mark was absolutely engaging, charming and seemed the most excited to be meeting fans. Again, I don’t remember a single syllable of what I said to Mark but I do remember why my picture with him looks the way it does. Mark and I got all cozy for our picture together but I guess he didn’t feel I was close enough or something because right before the shutter snapped, Mark started pulling me into him more. And I started giggling and blushing. Kodak moment captured.
There’s no doubt that that was one of the most important and integral nights of my life, and the evening, even with the moments of extreme awkwardness sprinkled in, really couldn’t have gone better. I really hope I get to meet all of them again in the near future. I’ve changed so much in those 6 years, they’ve changed so much in those 6 years. It would be nice to meet back up and see how the changes play into a second encounter.
The REAL ACTUAL Magical Mystery Tour Bus from the Beatles The Magical Mystery Tour movie, seeing this and touching it (and rubbing myself against it, lol) was a religious experience, thats my favorite album and movie of theirs, this was in front of the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando, Florida
With a 10-foot-tall Pac-Man statue out front, Namco opened the cafe themselves in Orlando, Florida’s now-defunct XS building. They went in business in 2004 (a year in advance of the 25th anniversary of the dot-eating hungryman) and stayed up for roughly a year before closing down.
It was pretty rad: It had a large 10x10 foot (roughly 3x3 meters) screen where players could enjoy a game of Pac-Man. Up on the second story was a game room with over 100 titles; there was even a Tekken Lounge, a Galaxian Bar (fully stocked) and a Soul Caliber area all overlooking International Drive! Also included: a Pac-Man Museum!
Food was typical and somewhat-pricy, but delicious and with a wide selection. Here’s some items: Ms. Pac-Man’s Pumpkin Pie (topped with maple whipped cream!), Blinky’s BBQ Bacon Buster, Inky’s Mushroom-N-Swiss, Clyde’s Low-Carb Cheeseburger, Pinky’s Pulled Pork Sandwich, and a pizza with a slice missing to look like Pac-Man (that seems a little.. unfair!)