I was going into Dolly less than overflowing with enthusiasm. I mean there are a couple of things I like about her – her singing and her big heart. Basically I was there because Tracey is a big fan and I’m a big fan of Tracey. Although that’s on shaky ground after she was kicked out of the Dolly concert about three songs into the first set.
Due to some procrastination when buying the tickets Tracey and I ended up enjoying the concert from different rows in the Boondall Entertainment Centre. At least I think the late purchasing of tickets was why she wasn’t sitting next me. I’m a little too frightened to ask too many questions about it in case I don’t like the answers. Still, we could pass drinks, popcorn and our binoculars.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, what I couldn’t do from where I was sitting was to tell Tracey to put her video camera away when she suddenly decided to make a bootleg copy of the concert. But it’s okay because an usher took care of that for me. He balanced precariously along the terraced seating, past a dozen other patrons, to point a torch at Tracey and demand she turn the camera off. He then went on to demand my 7 month preggers wife shuffle back along the row of patrons, in the near dark, to the walkway and out of the hall.
By the time I shuffled along my row of concert-goers (giving a number of the women pause to think perhaps they should have gone with steel caps instead of open toed shoes) to find out what was happening, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Nor was the usher who she’d followed. I asked another usher at the door where my wife was and he pointed to the unisex toilet and told me she was in there. I repeated my question because the idea my wife had been dragged out of the concert and into the toilet by an usher seemed like such a bizarre idea I couldn’t quite get my head around it, but he assured me she was in there.
Five minutes later, to the relief of my overactive imagination, Tracey failed to emerge from the toilet and instead came back from the direction of the front entrance, and more specifically the cloak room, where she’d been told to surrender her camera before re-entering the stadium.
We again did our circus act along our respective rows of increasingly frustrated Dolly fans and found our seats.
After this, for a couple of songs I was a little preoccupied. I began to count all the video cameras I could see around the stadium – all obvious with their glowing screens. Not that I had to look far. The usher had to shuffle past two other people videoing the event to get to Tracey, but maybe it was some sort of crackdown on pregnant women. They’re probably upset two people are essentially getting in for the one ticket price.
At intermission I admonished Tracey for her getting pulled out of class and sent to the office. I mean what sort of example is this setting for our unborn child?
Not much has changed at the Boondall Entertainment Centre over the years. Internal is still a nightmare. The big problem seems to be toilets, especially if you’re a woman. The line was thirty deep outside the ladies when I tottled off for a tinkle myself. Not surprisingly then, there were a couple of women ducking into the men’s loos to take advantage of the unused cubicles. It’s always a bit funny when a women ducks in to use the men’s loos, but I do wonder if it would be so funny the other way around. Why Boondall hasn’t fixed this problem is beyond me. Not enough female loos would affect sales of food and drink, firstly because women lined up at the toilets aren’t lined up at the bar or canteen, and secondly because I imagine after you’ve nearly peed yourself you’re a little more cautious about how much you drink going back into the concert.
Thing is while standing over the loo lollies I felt I had to keep looking over my shoulder, although perhaps I was looking over the wrong shoulder.
You know who are big fans of Dolly? Gay men, it seems. Something to do with all wigs and drag I’m guessing. You don’t want to know what some gay men get up to in the toilets, but suffice to say the doubling up of patrons in stalls probably accounts for the smaller lines at the men’s toilets. At least in this case.
You know what? I don’t care. Just make sure that door stays firmly shut please.
Back in the stadium, Dolly cranked it up again with all her biggest hits. The second half of the concert was much less eventful for us, which was nice, although I was keeping a careful eye on Bootleg Tracey. Ultimately one of us went into Dolly bursting with excitement, but both of us came out thrilled to have been a part of Dolly’s Better Days Tour. And while I could have done without the show in the toilets, personally I’m in now awe and in love with Dolly Parton and her music. It’s no wonder she’s got such big hair, there is a big personality and a big voice for it to sit atop of.
And for all you sceptics out there, let me assure you the years have been kind and Dolly is still huge. Actually they both are.
Bruce started his blog because friends and family kept wanting to know how he managed to feed and clothe such a large family while still having fun and being able to afford holidays and beer. He had no idea, but thought if he started writing things down some sort of pattern might emerge. When not at work Bruce enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies. He’s recently taken up the cycling challenge with a view to surviving long enough to see all his kids out the door so he can finally sleep in.