Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicago the . . . Band?

At some point, all of us become the butt of a joke.

Several years ago, I made a business trip to Singapore with a U.K. friend and colleague who insisted that we "do karaoke," to which I responded in rather colorful language that it would never happen. A few hours later, and after listening to our host's rendition of a favored Doobie Brothers song go from comical to painful, I took over the microphone and proceeded to "do karaoke."

The next day, compliments of my U.K. colleague, an e-mail went all over my company declaring, "Gillis does karaoke in Singapore." That episode has followed me for years.

Around the same time, I had promised my daughter that I would take her with me on one of my trips to Colorado when she graduated from college. I arranged the business trip to the Boulder area, along with some time for the mountains and a side trip to Colorado Springs. As a nice bonus, my best friend and his wife agreed to join us.

As an additional bonus, I purchased tickets to a concert in Colorado Springs by my favorite group of all time, Chicago. I spent the day of the concert boasting to my friends just how much they would enjoy seeing/hearing America's greatest rock band. Since my daughter had grown up in my home, she had long been a fan.

With great anticipation and expectation, we all went to the concert only to find that the tickets I had purchased were for Chicago the PLAY, not Chicago the BAND. My heart sank and my face tingled with warmth when I looked at the playbill and knew beyond any doubt that this moment was about to become the stuff of legend, and at my expense. My friends and daughter were hardly delicate in their laughter at and enjoyment of my complete and utter humiliation. And once we were seated, they felt no restraint in sharing my fiasco with those nearby. I could only issue a meek threat to stand and loudly sing "Saturday in the Park" once the play had begun. We came to hear Chicago, then by God we're going to hear some Chicago. But it was an idle threat.

On the drive back to Boulder the next day, I knew my daughter was bursting at the seams to call and tell her mom and brothers about our adventure of the previous evening. Finally, I handed over my cell phone to her and said only, "Go ahead." Believe me, from that point she knew what to do. With our family and friends, it soon became the equivalent of the aforementioned e-mail from Singapore.

But you know, the play wasn't half-bad.

1 comment:

  1. "But I think this is a concert of Chicago singing Broadway hits."
    "No Dad I really think it's a musical WITHOUT the band."
    "But they would never do that to me. It's just the band doing something different for us life-long fans."
    Curtain opens.
    Band does not show up.
    Laughter and pointing fingers ensues.