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6:42 a.m. - 2005-02-23

Have I taken the time to mention how much I love my new job at the paper?

Yes?? No??

Eh.

So anyway ... yesterday was Deadline Day. My first Deadline Day since coming back to the paper.

Deadline Day is quite literally ... a raging hell full of winged demons whose eight inch-long fangs are constantly trying to rip the flesh from your skull in their eternal quest to suck your brains out of your head in one single slurp.

To put it bluntly ... I am conditioned to hate Deadline Day.

On Deadline Day, I have worked as long as 8 am until midnight. Probably later than that at least a handful of times.

Yesterday??

I was finished at 1.

1 p.m. Not a.m.

The simple reason behind this is that we USED to have this sales manager who waited until Deadline Day to start selling advertising and then brought it all back to the production people who had to spend all day on Deadline Day crafting these ads for this anal-retentive woman, thus putting everyone behind for hours and hours and hours.

Not anymore.

She's dead.

Wrapped in plastic.

She's not really dead. I just thought I'd throw out one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite television shows of all time. Anyone care to take a guess on the show?

Anyway, from 1 p.m. until 5, I just kinda hung out and helped others.

Went and got my hair cut around 3 because ... well ... I can.

Because it's Deadline Day, Susie had made arrangements to pick up Andrew from daycare and take him to church for the evening because she's obsessive about being at church every waking moment of the day as we didn't know what time I'd be home.

So I got home around 5:30 and decided to clean house for the evening since there was no family there and I could concentrate on laundry and dirty dishes and stuff.

I decided to put in some music.

I decided to put in a music DVD.

Do you see where this is heading?

Do you???

Is it THAT obvious that I've told you all of this crap as a natural segue into my story about ...

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THE NIGHT FREDDIE MERCURY WOULDN'T STOP SPITTING ON ME

I had put in my "Queen - Live At Wembley Stadium" DVD and the memories started flooding back.

For those of you unhip to the Queen experience, Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of the band until he passed away back in the early 90s.

It was a warm September evening in 1978 and Queen was coming to town for a stop on their "Jazz" tour. Which doesn't mean they were singing jazz music ... that was the name of their current album at the time.

Myself and my friends Richard and Pat (who ... after high school ... became gay lovers who are still together today. Did Freddie make them gay? The world may never know.) went to the concert and were able to score the prime positions of standing right next to the end of the little catwalk that extended from the stage into the audience.

So the show starts and we're all going nuts because ... well shit, man ... it was QUEEN!!!

We're pumping our fists in the air and playing our air guitars high above our heads as we're screaming along to the music.

Freddie takes a look at the catwalk.

And decides to strut his stuff to the end of the catwalk where he stood about two feet above us.

Naturally, we're going apeshit because Freddie was God. It was Freddie's world in 1978 and we just were lucky enough to live in it.

Until ... the buck teeth came into play.

Freddie had some amazingly deformed choppers which prevented him from doing things like ... ohhhh ... maintaining any saliva in his mouth.

So Freddie's standing there, screaming out the lyrics to "Tie Your Mother Down" and we're rocking and all of a sudden ... it starts to rain.

Yet we're inside an arena.

Everyone in the general vicinity stopped rocking out and began staring at each other in confused states.

Freddie's singing about how our mommies and our daddies are going to plague him until they die, but they can't understand that he's a peace-loving guy and is clearly oblivious to the mystery rain.

As we looked up at Freddie, the rainfall's genesis became clear.

Freddie was spitting all over us because he couldn't help it. By looking up, we could see the showers of saliva clearly with the spotlights from the top of the chassis illuminating each drop.

At this point ... everyone started freaking out.

"AAAAAAGH!!!" some were screaming. "This crazy fucker's spitting all over us!!"

"EWWWWWWW!!" others were hollering. "I didn't pay $15 to be spat on for two hours!!"

"JESUS!" I yelled. "Go sit at the piano and do ballads for the rest of the night, Freddie!!!"

Alas ... we had to make snap decisions. Did we all haul ass to the back of the arena, thus giving up our prime rocking-out positions but secure from getting spat on by this fountain of bodily fluids?

Or did we stay there and cover our heads with our shirts every time Freddie came near?

Myself and my friends decided on the latter, while others retreated safely out of spit's way.

So for the next two hours, drool came flying out of Freddie's mouth at amazing speeds, hitting us all square in the face like bugs smacking a NASCAR windshield.

We left that auditorium soaking wet from sweat and the saliva of Mr. Freddie Mercury.

The drive home that night was a quiet one. Nobody wanted to talk about how we had paid good money to be slobbered on for a couple of hours.

Richard soon left school ... too embarrassed to finish his education once it got out that he had served as Freddie Mercury's spittoon for the evening.

I transferred to a school where I changed my name to Peter Von Fillibuster.

Pat relished in the attention that he got from the gay community at school and was wearing daily makeup soon after graduation.

But none of us will ever forget the loogies that flew through the air that evening and were planted firmly in our hair and face.

And last night, after a moment's deliberation, I removed the DVD and changed it to a Coldplay DVD.

Because Chris Martin of Coldplay has never had the opportunity to soak me with his spit.

Curse you Freddie Mercury.

Curse you and those fucked-up teeth.

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