Back in the days of my misbegoten youth, I had a nickname, “Guy at Every Show,” because I went to every single punk show. I saw the Ataris and New Found Glory hundreds of times. (Nothing compared to the amount of times I saw Reel Big Fish and Less than Jake. I number those in the tens of thousands.) And that was fun. But I also made some terrible mistakes, like, for example, going to college, falling for all the wrong girls, and buying a pickle from a Sheetz gas station.
The pickle thing is all the fault of the band, Jimmy Eat World. (This will make sense eventually, I hope.)
You see, when I was a freshmen, my college roommate, who is one of my best friends, and the guitar player in my band, loved Jimmy Eat World. He would wake up, and the first thing he would do was put on Jimmy Eat World or Nada Surf. This happened, literally, every day. So, those became like my emo/indie alarm clock. And even though I was more into ska punk bands like Reel Big Fish, Less than Jake, Sublime and Skankin’ Pickle (And the only reason I’m mentioning Skankin’ Pickle is because pickles will tie into this column later) I really grew into also liking stuff like Nada Surf and Jimmy Eat World too.
We saw them live multiple times. Once we saw Jimmy, with Weezer and Tenacious D! Needless to say, that was amazing, and they all kicked ass.
We also saw Nada Surf, and had to drive back during a blizzard. (And if you know that band, you know they have a song called Blizzard of ’77, so it was apropos.)
But there was this one time, we drove to to see Jimmy Eat World, and we stopped at a Sheetz gas station on the way, to fuel up and get some snacks. And I made the apocalyptic mistake of buying a pickle there.
Word of advice: Don’t EVER do that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love pickles and I actually even own a stuffed animal of the Vlassic Pickle Stork.
But this was an evil pickle.
The pickle was delicious, but it it practically killed me. It was like being shot multiple times in the stomach.
I love spicy food, but I learned my lesson the hard way. One simple lesson learned, don’t eat something that might kill you right before you go to a rock concert.
So, here we are, going to see Jimmy Eat World, at the height of their popularity, and one of my trademarks back then was, when we would go to every show, I would get these plain white T-shirts, and write something funny or ironic on them in black magic marker.
In this case, to give my friends a laugh, I just wrote “The Middle” on my shirt (because that was their big hit) to make it look like I was a poseur.
Of course, people at the show thought I was being serious, and were like, “You know they have other songs, right?” That was funny.
But as great as Jimmy Eat World is, (“The Sweetness ” is amazing) it was hard to enjoy the show with a nuclear pickle detonating in my stomach.
Luckily for me, this was an emo show, which is way unlike the ska or punk shows I was used to. At those, you have to dance, and run around in a circle pit, crowd surf, and rescue girls from being molested. That would have been hard to do with an atomic pickle in my stomach.
At emo shows, you just sort of sway back and forth, and that I could handle.
So, even though I was in mind-numbing agony from the pickle, the show was still great, and I recommend seeing Jimmy Eat World if you ever get the chance.
Just don’t go to Sheetz beforehand. Or you might die young like a rockstar.