Last weekend, I was going on and on about how I couldn’t stop thinking about the Black Swan. There were so many parts of the movie that I simply couldn’t get out of my head for the life of me.
If you ever are in a pickle like this and need a distraction to take your mind somewhere else, I have the solution:
Take a train to another state
Go see a live taping of the Maury Povich Show
Take a bus back
Sit down for an hour
Go to a friend’s apartment
Take a cab to the Lil B concert
Order a full pizza
Go to sleep
I’m still not at a point where I can fully analyze what happened yesterday, but for right now, here’s a more expansive timeline of the day’s events.
9:00am — Wake up and immediately realize that I am 30 minutes late for the Maury Bus. What’s the Maury Bus, you say? Oh nothing, just a bus that leaves EVERY MORNING from 33rd and 6th in Manhattan and goes to Stamford, CT, carrying what will soon be the day’s studio audience.
9:02 — Go back to sleep, furious at myself for missing out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
9:05 — Wake back up, motivated. “Who needs the stupid Maury Bus, I’ll find a way to Maury. ” I triumphantly mumbled, and ran out the door in the same clothes I wore the previous night.
9:52am — On the train from Grand Central Station to Stanford. As I dozed in and out of consciousness, I faintly heard the conductor say: “Sorry about the change, but this train will no longer be making local stops. After the next stop, this train goes express to Stamford.” Everyone around me is furious and collects their belongings. I smile, immediately realizing that this is my day and nothing can actually go wrong.
11:00am — I’m in Stamford and have absolutely no idea where to find Maury. I eventually figure it out, get a cab, and walk in. Lacking a ticket, a highly-coveted wristband, and my friends, I didn’t really know how I was going to get passed security. When I finally made it to the front of the line, this dialogue took place:
Officer: Where’s your ticket and wristband?
Me: My friends are inside.
Officer: Oh, okay. Come right in.
That was it. Apparently “my friends are inside” is all it takes to breach Maury Povich security. Go figure.
11:15am — Find my friends in the waiting room, sitting with all of the bus travelers. After a quick scan of the room, I realized this might be the single most diverse gathering of humans, ever. It was legitimately like Noah’s Ark in the Maury Povich waiting room. While we waited, they fed us pizza and entertained us with old episodes.
12:30 — Showtime. Still without a wristband or a ticket, I stay close to my friends and hope I’m not asked to show any identification. I walk right in without being questioned because, after all, this is my day. We wind around a hallway, take a hard right, and then BOOM:
1:00 — After a 15 minute Black Eyed Peas medley to get the crowd pumped up, an unassuming gentleman comes out on stage, whips out a microphone, and screams:
WHO’S READY FOR A PATERNITY EPISODE????????
You would have thought we were all on an “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episode and we all won
a lifetime supply of cocoa butter brand new cars. Everyone jumped up out of the chairs, high-fiving strangers and screaming at the top of their lungs. For the next 20 minutes, this dude ran us through today’s program (5 PATERNITY TESTS), how to react to cute babies and deadbeat dads, and the importance of keeping our energy up throughout the show. I hadn’t paid that close attention to directions in my entire life, because I didn’t want to be the one to mess up.
1:35pm — Maury walks out. That 71-year old man drips with swag. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve seen Jay-Z live, I’ve watched Obama countless times, and I look in the mirror every day before I leave the house, but no singular member of the triumvirate can compete with Maury. Even the most subdued and relaxed-looking audience member was shouting “MOOUUURRRRRRRYYYYYY”. Everything was perfect.
1:35-2:45 — I mean, you’ve seen Maury. You know what’s up. Black/White girl from the South/New Jersey comes on and tells a story of a courtship gone awry, a baby that popped out somewhere during that time period, and a potential dad that claims the baby isn’t his because the 6-month old doesn’t have a goatee like him. When she came out, we clapped… when they showed the baby, we awwwwwwwwed, and when the man came out, boy did we ever booooooooooo. Then Maury stands up and says “There’s only one way to find out for sure… Give me the envelope”
This is the part that I love. On TV, you see Maury reach for the envelope, say the result of “You are/are not the father”, and usually a subsequent break dance by one someone. As priceless as that is, the reactions of the studio audience are equally awesome, if not better. As Maury reached for the envelope, the audience slowly stood up. Hands were over mouths, on top of heads, and holding the hands of others in the crowd. And when the verdict was read aloud, people went crazy, standing on chairs, jumping up and down, and behaving in an all-around ignorant fashion. It was awesome.
3:00pm — Maury’s over, I’m in complete shock over the past 90 minutes of my life, and I zombie walk over to the Maury Bus that’s taking us back to Manhattan.
5:00pm — Walk to a friend’s apartment and wait for him to come home so I can tell him about Maury. He finally arrives, I act out the entire show, and then it hits me: Lil B in 5 hours. I’m excited and terrified.
6:00pm-10:00pm — Spent getting emotionally prepared for Lil B, which essentially means prepping for the concert the same way he’s prepping for his own concert: watching Lil B videos over and over again.
First Note: Before I go on, I’m aware that most people don’t know who Lil B is. That’s a good thing. If you are lucky enough to have never heard any of his music, KEEP IT THAT WAY. My co-conspirator Matt and I are in way too deep and are so far in the abyss that is Lil B obsession that there’s no turning back. Don’t use this as an opportunity to discover a new artist. He’s not an artist; he’s a cult leader.
10:15pm — We arrive at the Highline Ballroom and are greeted by a sold-out house. Lil B sold out a legitimate venue. I scan the crowd and realize, for the second time today, I’m standing on Noah’s Ark–A really slim-fit jean Ark. Some of everyone came out to witness the cult leader perform all of his hits.
Second & Final Note: The more I go into Lil B, the less it will make sense to those of you that haven’t heard his music. You shouldn’t know what a “chef-off” is, any of the lyrics to “Ellen Degeneres”, or the names of anyone Lil B claims to resemble.
11:00pm — Lil B’s opener Maluca, who was quite good, finishes her 10th song and finally screams “Y’all Want Lil B? Y’all Want Lil B? SWAG. SWAG. SWAG. SWAG.” Everyone starts going crazy. I look at Matt and we give each other the look of “We did it.”
11:05 — Lil B comes out and starts into his set.
Everyone around me knows all of the words to all of his songs. I’m so puzzled by that fact and yet so tickled that my only reaction was to jump up and down for the next 90 minutes. Between every song, he would talk to the audience for an extended period of time. Some gems:
Everybody looking at me, I look the best, I rap the best, I have the most videos, I have the most songs, I have the most views, I look the best, I dress the best, I wear the same shoes every day, I wear the same pants every day.
To an audience member: May I knight you? (Knights him) You have been blessed, I knighted him
I feel embarrassed, I got my little chest hair growing, I got a little chest hair… Shout out to all my dudes that got hair on they chest… Shout out to all my dudes that got hair on they butts.
12:30am — Lil B abruptly ends concert and just starts signing autographs. I can’t stop smiling because I realized I just participated in one of the funniest, oddest, hypest subcultures I’ve ever witnessed. People were leaving talking about how he’s a prophet. The fact that he’s pulled this off and brainwashed so many kids makes me think he’s a genius. I leave the venue, pleased with how my day went. Thank you to all parties that were involved.