Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Overture Center: Splenetic Version

...and into the worst freaking nightmare you ever saw. I was NOT in a good mood, and NOT predisposed towards generosity (like I ever am). I ranted and raved about my doctor all the way from work to school, at one point promising myself that I would tell him to fuck off, right to his face.

I restrained myself when Lani put in her appearance. Yes I did. All through dance class, even. I even managed not to strangle the FUCKING stage mother who wouldn't close the FUCKING door to the studio and kept yelling in at her stupid daughter. Sit the hell down and shut the hell up! Let the teacher do her job, you nightmarish creature.

Then it was dinner time.

Time was tight for us, or at least that was my perception. Curtain for Momix was at 7:30, and so we planned to finish dance class, head out for dinner, and head straight downtown. When we got in the car, we had about two hours to curtain. With my diet, my options for dining out are kind of limited; we decided to go to Subway.

When you are in Madison, please do everything you can to avoid eating at the Subway at 1814 West Beltline Highway. Even if it means going hungry--and it won't, because there's a Culver's and a Perkin's right nearby, and Alt n' Bach's is still right next to Ward-Brodt (cursed be its name)--don't eat at that Subway. Never, ever, ever eat at that Subway. It is quite possibly the worst Subway in the known universe, and that's saying a lot because there is a Subway on EVERY FREAKING BLOCK. It's almost as bad as Starbuck's Coffee. The loud music was annoying, but I can deal with it--although I couldn't hear a single thing that the girl behind the counter was saying:


"I'm sorry, what?"

"Would you like cheese?"

"Oh. Yes, please."

"We hamblmblbmblbmbl."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"We have mblmbl cheddar mblmbl."

And so on. That was fine. What wasn't fine was the greasy-haired fucking REJECT behind the counter who--in an otherwise EMPTY FUCKING RESTAURANT, tried to rush us through the line. "Will that be all?" he said after Savannah's sandwich was done, never mind that the three of us were clearly all together. "Is that a Kid's Pack?" he said to the girl making Lani's sandwich. "Will that be all? He's having a sandwich? What kind?" Nobody is making my sandwich yet, and I'm quite frankly still trying to de..."A wrap? What kind?" Wait, wait, I'm not..."Your total is...." Wait, total? We need chips! I want a drink! Nobody's making my sandwich! I looked at him and said "What's the rush?" and I should have said "What's the FUCKING RUSH?" so that he got the point, but I decided at that point, with my daughter in my arms, that cursing was not the way to go. That's not even touching the fact that when the girl mumbled out something about vegetables and I asked for jalapenos, she put on like TWO TINY SLICES of jalapeno. Jesus, sorry for eating your profits, you skank. Dude, go back into the stockroom and keep jacking off. Sorry to disturb you. Don't forget to wipe up the spooge when you're done. Or not. You lazy fuck.

So now I'm really on fire, right? I'm pissed and I'm LOOKING for things to get even more pissed about. I already don't like Jerry's little boondoggle--look, asshole, you want to spend $200 million dollars, how about investing in the future and giving half of that to the Madison School District in trust, investing it at five or six percent and thus tacking a nice chunk of change onto the budget? Then take the other hundred million and shove it up your ass and put downtown back the way it was and kick out the fucking Gap. There was nothing wrong with the Civic Center.

I'm yelling as we walk up the street. I have no idea what I'm even SAYING, that's how bad it is. We get to the Overture. THE DOORS ARE LOCKED? "What is this," I yell, "Soviet Russia?" We have to walk all the way around to the front of the building, and by the time we get there I open the door and shout "IT'S A MIRACLE!" (I didn't really, just go with me here.) I make some sort of sarcastic comment and ignore the people who are standing in the lobby as greeters and FUCKING FASCIST DICTATORS WHO ARE GOING TO TELL US WHERE TO GO.

I need to go to the bathroom, so I find the bathroom. The men's bathroom was designed by someone who had never been to the bathroom, I guess. Maybe Cesar Pelli pees in a cup and has a servant take it away. The door opens into a huge--for a men's bathroom--carpeted atrium. In a women's bathroom, this would be where the couches and stuff are. Here, it was empty. Yes. A large, carpeted, empty space whose main feature was a tiny little "No Smoking" sign. It made me wish I smoked, just so I could light up. Open the door into the bathroom proper. Does Cesar Pelli have children? He must not, because what I assumed to be the baby-changing area was SWATHED IN DARKNESS. Not "Oh, the light burned out!" darkness, either. Deliberate darkness. Maybe so that dads don't have to look at poop. Who knows? I walked out of the bathroom and yelled at Savannah. If I wasn't attracting stares before, I certainly was by this time. "Look at this!" I yelled, opening the door into the gigantic empty room. "What is this?"

I'll say nice things about the boondoggle in the next post, I promise.

What a poorly-designed building. The bathroom doors open the wrong way. All of the signs are ILLEGIBLE unless you're standing right in front of them. Oh, they're NICE, but you can't read them, rendering them totally useless. They were designed by people who don't, you know, USE SIGNS FOR NAVIGATION. I wanted to find one of them and drag them by the fucking nose to where I was standing and yell "TELL ME WHAT THAT SIGN SAYS!" And then shoot them in the head when they couldn't tell me. There's a double-wide assload of unused space. Totally unused. It's poorly-lit. The steps are badly designed in the Overture theater itself; the rise is too short and the run too long, in general. Did I mention that the bathroom doors on the Mezzanine level open the wrong way? I'll explain: they're designed so that you reach out with your right hand to open them when you're coming out, which is GREAT except that the person coming IN can't see the door open and they crash into you. No, I'm not an architect or a designer, and I don't give a damn. I was looking for things to get pissed at.

So I wanted to take a look around the place and see what was what. Some bunch of rich jerks is there, eating food and hobnobbing, and I understand that it's their party and I'm not invited. I just want to go see what the top floor is like, so I drag Lani with me towards the stairs and this security guy says "This area is closed off."

"I just want to go up the stairs..."

"There's a private party, this area is closed off." (He was really nice about it, actually.)

The stairs are NOWHERE NEAR the rich people. I'm wearing shoes, I'm clean-shaven, my hair is tied back. I won't kill them much. I just want to go up the stairs. I mutter at him and sit back down, talking loudly to Savannah about the "fucking rich people" (yes, I momentarily forgot that I shouldn't curse when Lani is around). The security guy comes over--did I mention he was really nice?--and says "If you just want to go upstairs, you can use those stairs over there."

Okay, so now I'm ashamed and he's pretty much talked me out of my bad mood. (Except for the stupid bathroom doors; those came later.) So now I can enjoy stuff.

(Did I mention that the urinal's in the men's bathrooms have those automatic sensors...but they ALSO have a button to flush? What the hell is that?)


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