So gang, we pick up at the after concert festivities. I have only
been given one back stage pass in my life, that is why I say they are so
hard to get.... that is why I am rushing us out the door nearest the
back stage with husband and another friend in tow. We pass a gathering
of security people and jerks...who I apologize to and say good bye,
nicely to. We are high tailing it to the back door, and I'm digging in
my purse for a cigarette (I've started "packing my own") so I
have this antique cod box filled with a variety of 60 or so hand packed
filtered cigarettes in a variety of tobacco flavors in the top of the
pile in my backpack. When at that moment, two campus police cars pull up
and three very official uniformed and police like people come towards
and stop ME! they have me in this little circle, and want my ID...there
has been a complaint that I "did" something in the bathroom
from the janitorial staff. I am on a high - thinking wow, I
have a backstage pass and I am going to get to really see John instead
of wait till all the real family and friends have gone first.
I'm laughing and saying things like " what did I do, I have been
good, I can't believe this is happening"
The 22 year old or so female cop says that I need to take some tests...
"Oh, ha ha,
oral or written? Look, I can do this...I close my eyes and touch my
nose. I can do this... I do a little tap dancing step. And I can do
this...and I recite the alphabet backwards."
She is not amused and I'm
ruining her "I'm gonna bust you, spiel"
I lean towards her and
put my hands on her shoulders - asking, "Am I done? I have these
backstage passes. You don't know what hell I have been through already,
Can we hurry this up? John Prine is back there... and (well you get the
picture, I'm talking a million miles a minute)
She jumps back hands up and
orders me to keep my hands off of her, or she will have to restrain me.
Terry and friend Mark are behind me saying "Just be quiet- do what
she says, Reeda, don't do anything else" So okay, takes forever to
explain every "test" I have to take. I continue to ask her
what I have done wrong. They can't tell me exactly what I have done
wrong... but I was reported by the janitorial staff. hah, it was
security jerk, I am sure.
This was a nightmare, pinch
me please. I am in these cool
little heeled boots and she wants me to do these balance tests. She offers to let me take off my boots, because I've
"Officer, I hardly ever wear anything with a heel, so balance is
kind of rough in these when I am just walking" ( I
was so P.O.'d all I could think to myself was "bring it on blondie, I can do this on my head with my eyes
closed, I'll be
damned if you're gonna screw this up any more")
I do the just plain stand there and look
at her test (duuuuuh)
I do the stand on one
leg, hands at my side and count One- One Thousand...Two - One
Thousand....all the way to 30 one thousand (a little much don't you
Then had to do exactly 9 steps of heel to toe then
pivot, step... and go back the same way....she made me do this twice. If that wasn't enough, I had to just stand while she did the big ass cop
light in my eyesf "Follow my finger" (oh yeah? well why
don't you pull mine)
"Do you have any eye problems"
I turned 41 this year and my eyes went to hell, I just spent $300 on
bifocals... it was crushing."
" Is that all?" she had to ask
"Yes that's all, except I sit on a computer for
work and play about 18 hours a day, rarely sleep, I've been
drinking and crying"
The eye test goes on for a
good 5 or 10 minutes and she gives me this massive head ache, at one
point because I am staring at her finger all the way over to the very
farthest left she could stick it and she has this big bright cop light
in my eye. Ouch that hurt. (Was she really trying to see my brain?)
I look at her and beg,
"Please, are there any more tests, I
really want to go back stage. Am I in trouble? I'm not driving. I've
been good. I just lost my tickets a couple of times tonight."
"Have you been drinking?" she
" Yes, I have - I was down with all
these really cool Prine fans on Main Street called Whiskey River. I'm a
light weight, I probably had more than my share, and I ate, and I've
really been watching myself. I'm just a wuss when it comes to drinking.
(I am talking a million miles a minute)
"Are you on any drugs"
"Well if you call a mega vitamin B, Gingko
Biloba, Ginseng, St John's Wort, and E and a C" drugs, then yes I
She gets this look in her eyes, "So you are on a lot
of High Energy vitamins?" " Yessssss, It helps to keep me
from getting drunk and being an idiot."
We go through this conversation
about 4 more times...I reach for a cigarette, she stops me and tells
me I can't smoke. I explain that it has been 3 hours, I have all this
adrenaline running through me...."Pllllleeeeaseeee are we done
"Do you know that it is illegal in Iowa to be publicly
" No I don't, Officer, I have been good, I'm not
belligerent, I haven't puked or peed anywhere I'm not supposed to."
"Well it is illegal and you could go to jail for it.
Where do you live? (good God, she has my drivers license in her
hand, they have radio'd me in, was this a trick question?)...you should go right home, she scolds.
"I live in Davenport, ma'am, and I have these back stage passes... Ask John Prine... he's just over there, he'll vouch for me... honest. (Like name dropping has ever ever impressed anyone, I just wanted her to let me go) Plus she probably didn't even know who he was. " I promise, I will go straight back to the hotel after I go back stage - OK? I'll be with them and I point to Terry and Mark"
"Well, okay then" and she hands me back ID. (Run Reeda, run away, run fast)
I go to hug her out of relief, and she jumps back again in the ewww cooties stance, "Don't lay your hands on me"
I am getting a little choked up because it is sinking in that I almost went to jail and parts of tonight sucked so bad that I need to go find a corner and cry.
As I grab for cigarette, and close up my bag (oh yeah, when I first opened it for a cigarette, all three of them stood over me with their lights and shined into my bag with great curiosity) so I left it on the ground in full view the whole time too.
I pick up my bag and look at Terry and Mark when cop number two lays into me.... I put my arm out to his shoulder (yeah yeah, I know, "Don't touch me") And he proceeds to ask me if I read the rules that you aren't suppose to bring cameras into the venue.
"Of course, I say, those are standard rules"
Well says he, ( like they are so pissed now that the aren't going to bust me) "You took a lot of pictures and we could have taken your camera away.... you should follow the rules" (You should have done your job then, not now, duh) He said it in such a way that it was like na na na na na na......YOU were the only one and we are going to make you miserable for it.
"Yeah, okay, whatever"..... that's all I could say.....
I did take pictures, I did take quite a few, with the flash, I tried so hard to get the damn camera to shoot without the flash, but my eyes were full of tears, and there were many others taking pictures from beginning to end... AND not a one of the insecurity jerks stopped them, not a one moved from their spot...like in every other venue in the world that I have ever been to....you take a picture, and they are on you like white on rice threatening to take away your camera if you dare do it again.
I know that if the stage was small and crowded that I would never take a picture, it could blind John and he could get hurt...this stage was huge, and he was 10 feet back from the edge.
All I could do was run, I ran to the road technicians van, one of them was in it and he let me in. I sat in the seat and just bawled....in disbelief, he was so nice, and couldn't believe it either, I realized what I was doing and looked at him, and apologized, didn't want to bring his night down, didn't want whatever jinx I had going and jumped out of the van. Now this is where the power of just plain old wonderful comes in, throws his door open and calls me back and hands me a towel to dry my face off. I love those guys, they are just the cream of the crop, and he took the time to make me presentable.
So....now that I have bored you tears with this awful crap...I have never been in trouble, never been bothered or bothered cops or whatever they were - EVER - I still don't understand it all. (all that stuff in parenthesis I didn't say out loud, but thought it during and after the fact) Don't know where those rules begin or where they end, and who was wrong, and who was being harassed....and is it possible that the "janitorial staff member that reported me" was the same "insecurity staff member that I bothered to get my seat" I may have rubbed him the wrong way, with my, "I have tickets, those people are in my seats, hell no I'm not walking that miserable mile back to the ticket office to do this again ... you need to get those people out of my seats"
I looked at Terry and asked for real- seriously, I wasn't obnoxious or bad, I wasn't, was I? (he has seen the worst and best)
He explains....that he understands my excitement, and he knows that I wasn't bad... but, to THEM - my excitement was taken as "hostile questioning" with all my questions at a zillion miles a minute, touching and hurry up-edness.
He sat to the side with the two other uniforms....and they said that I was "marked" from the moment the first security guard got on the radio to all the other security guards. That they were all on the "lookout" They said that I did upset the people that were near the area where the jerk security guard was...with all my purse shuffling , his flashing lights and putting his arm out to keep me from passing the invisible barrier of people with tickets in hands.
Anyway, if any of you are here that were there, I'm sorry, from the bottom of my heart I am really sorry if I screwed up Iris's show for you.... I kept looking to see if anyone was looking, if anyone was bothered, but they were all watching Iris, intently, so I thought I was being kind of low key, I wasn't trying to cause a scene.
I'm kind of thinking that the female cop was new and the two other men with her were like letting her get some experience in or something. Don't get me wrong, I come from a family with cops, I'm not putting them all down - but there was something wrong about what happened to me, almost mean and bully like.
Okay...Now the good part .... ††