In the Fall of 2008, I watched the stock market crash, home values plummet and unemployment skyrocket, while thinking my little corner of the world was the safest investment. As the banks collapsed so did my life. I felt helpless to revive the downward spiral and could not count on any stimulus package arriving for my broken heart.
I was in no mood to plan a fortieth birthday celebration for my good friends, Kate and Anne, and reluctantly ordered tickets to a comedy show (Jay Mohr) months away. Now that the night was here, I was dreading it. Pretending things were peachy was going to be a chore.
I forced myself to send a reminder email:
“Ladies – 6pm, we will have a drink before the show. I hope he is funny.”
A response popped up in my inbox from Anne:
“The plan is we are sneaking backstage. Dress up ladies – no panties. Someone get me the blueprints to the theater. Plan A is ambush him before the show, this way he mentions us during his act. Plan B is after the show. I see Jay as being up for a threesome so someone will have to hold the camera. Could be a long night.”
I smiled for the first time in months – this could be the relief plan I desperately needed.
Meeting at a bar across from the theater, one cosmopolitan turned into three as we plotted and schemed. Laughing at ourselves as if we didn’t even need a comedian, we almost missed the show.
In the blink of an eye and the gulp of a drink, the show was over. As the crowd filed out to do what 40 year olds do, we knew our cards held the promise of something more – sex, drugs and rock and roll, perhaps?
The theater emptied and we hurried towards an opening to the right of the stage. Two security guards shook their heads as we approached.
“Come on, can’t we just meet Jay?” we pleaded.
“Sorry ladies” and “we’ll lose our jobs” – the typical 40 year old response. Our quest needed co-conspirators not party poopers. Guard #1 guided us out. As we pondered our options, both guards left up the far aisle. Jay Mohr obviously did not need that much protection.
Typical daily decisions for the three of us involved carpooling not breaking and entering but we yearned for adventure. The next few minutes unfolded with lightning speed. We pushed through a steel door and faced a long, dimly lit alleyway (when is the last time we were in an alleyway?) with access to a narrow staircase leading to the roof.
I paused only to instruct Kate to hold the door open while we checked things out up ahead – I had watched enough 24 to know always leave a way back in.
At the end of the alleyway, we spotted a white stretch limo. It had to be Jay Mohr!
“Who’s in there?” Anne yelled into the limo. A window instantly descended and we shouted for Jay. “We got Scott Weiland,” came a voice from the darkness of the car, “you know who he is?” Between the cosmo fog and the adrenalin pumping, I could only scream, “I love Pearl Jam.” I later found out Scott Weiland is the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. The promise of sex, drugs and rock and roll was closer than we thought.
We weren’t interested in Scott Weiland so we double backed and bumped into a sleek black bar with young bartenders and servers sitting around. They looked like they were waiting for someone important. I asked, “Is this where the private party is?” A hostess immediately greeted me, “Are you on the list?” “Of course I am on the list!” I insisted. I would only be on the list it if it was a list of crazy over 40 female stalkers. As she left to either check the list or call the police, Anne grabbed me, “Let’s go – Kate’s in.”
Kate was waiting by another staircase we hadn’t noticed earlier because we lost count of the cosmos. As we ascended the stairs, a rowdy crowd spilled out – Jay Mohr’s Dressing Room!! The group seemed to part just for us.
Stumbling over my words, all I could manage was, “Great show!” Kate lunged at Jay while the rest of the room looked on thinking how the hell did we get in without being on the list. Jay Mohr turned and yelled something indiscernible, possibly a codeword for security. We didn’t stay long enough to find out.
Three bars later, still giddily recounting our night to anyone who would listen, it was time to go home. Jay didn’t expose us to a celebrity underbelly but the night proved legendary just the same.