I wasn’t part of the original punk scene, not by a long shot. I love music, rock in particular, but punk? I thought that it involved gouging oneself with safety pins and razor blades, and getting spit on by the musicians while you were beaten up by the audience. Not exactly my idea of a good time.
However, when I met my husband, he introduced me to his favorite band of all time, the Ramones, and he showed me that there were cool, funny and non-violent punks as well as the gobbing and bleeding type. I started going to some punk shows with him, and it has been a great experience – except for that one night we saw a show at the Continental in New York…
This was not the soft-fluffy version of a punk show. I was surrounded on all sides by people that I would cross the street to avoid in broad daylight, but I was still determined to stand my ground, looking every inch like a PTA mom lost in a Hell’s Angels meeting.
I heard someone loudly mumbling behind me – incredibly shocking in New York City – and instinctively turned to see what the problem was. I am short, and had my purse tucked up under my arm so it would be safe and not bothering anyone. Unfortunately, when I got pushed backwards, my purse had ended up in the face of this wee, ugly, gremlin of a woman behind me, and she was foaming at the mouth angry over it. I apologized, pulled my purse forward, and turned back to face the stage, figuring the problem was over. In the normal world, a sincere apology is usually accepted.
The snarling Boston terrier-faced thing behind me was not satisfied. She started hurling some more verbal abuse at me, I think something about my physique and my mother? I turned around and pulled out my ear plugs to see what I’d done now, and her taunts turned toward how I wasn’t punk because I wore ear protection.
(I love the punker-than-thou crowd – It’s an argument that never ends. For every scar, piercing and rip, there is someone who has done it in a more extreme way. Pink hair? I have a green Mohawk! Little scar? I have major burn scars! Tattoo? My eyelids and earlobes are the only virgin pieces of flesh I have left! And on and on, ad nauseum. )
I laughed at the venom-spewing human pimple, because I could care less if people think I am punk or not, but she was starting to get on my nerves. I said something about the desirablility of not becoming deaf, and she responded, “Well, at least I can get laid.” Um, what? I wasn’t aware that deafness increased sexual desirability, but one look at my adversary told me that it would take the loss of several more senses on the part of her would-be lover for her to *actually* get laid. But that was all beside the point. Even if she had just finished satisfying the entire 7th Fleet, I was not impressed, and it had nothing to do with this annoying caterwauling behind me. I lost my patience.
Friends, it makes me blush to remember the things I yelled inches from this horrid woman’s pie hole, things I would never say today even in impolite company. And it is a testimony of sorts to the resilience of punks that she didn’t seem the least bit phased by my tirade. But I felt better having said my piece, even if it was all off-topic and incredibly crude. I may have said something about her duck, shutting that duck up, and something about a Bundt cake, but who could tell, with all that noise?
The best revenge of all was watching her later, pounding her ineffectually little balled-up fists on the back of a giant man, because she was at the edge of a mosh-pit and was very angry that he had moved back and out of the way. Um, you’ve done this before, right Little Gremlina? You’ve heard of this slam dancing thing, Miss Punker-Than-Thou? The PTA mom in me had the last laugh as the crazy little monster had someone new to yell at, and could finally enjoy my ear-splitting music in peace.