I'll Just Stay Here and Keep an Eye on the Booze
July 08, 2008


Have I ever told you about the time I almost died in a mosh pit at a Primus/Jane's Addiction/Pixies concert? Hoo boy, that was fun! And by fun, I mean one of the most frightening things I never thought I would experience.

I was almost 16, and my friends and I waited in the general admission line for hours so we could get a good spot in front of the stage. We all got in to the venue, sat on the floor for a while, and then stood when the lights went down. Things were still okay at this point. There was plenty of room for everyone. But once the band took the stage, I think my feet may have left the floor and the only thing holding me up were the other people swaying and pushing around me. I started screaming "Out! OUT! OUT!" and managed to make my way to safety outside the pit. I hadn't really been a fan of crowds before that, but nearly dying in the mosh pit didn't really help the matter.

What, may you ask, does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, most of the year, I can avoid excessive crowds. However, on the 4th of July, it proves a bit more difficult as everyone in the U.S. seems to have "MUST SEE FIREWORKS" imprinted on their brain, and once the sun goes down, the streets are flooded with people who need to see the night sky illuminated for 15 minutes. It's not that I don't like fireworks, it's just that in my experience, the effort to get to that "good spot" to actually watch them is usually not worth the trouble.

This year, we ended up spending a lovely evening with some friends of friends playing Rock Band, grilling some tasty food, and drinking margaritas. After dinner, the plan was to head to Foster City to see fireworks. I kept secretly hoping that we were having so much fun that we wouldn't go. No such luck. So we piled in to cars, and headed out.

Did you know that Foster City is sort of a peninsula? And there's really only one or two ways to get in and out? There were people EVERYWHERE. Walking, in cars, on bikes. It was kind of insane. Luckily, I was not driving. Otherwise, I think I would have lost my shit and turned around to go home. We managed to get parking, and while walking to the park where the fireworks were going to be, we ended up stopping, and standing on the sidewalk and seeing most of the show right from where we were. It was actually kind of nice. I took a bunch of photos, the show ended, and we were so close to the car, that it didn't take too long to escape the madness that was everyone trying to leave Foster City at once. I even didn't mind that much when we took an unexpected detour to get to the freeway. I think the key thing in this year's fireworks escapade was that I WAS NOT DRIVING.

So next year, if you want me to go watch fireworks with you, here are the rules: give me a couple of margaritas and some good food, shove me in the backseat of the car, drive me to the fireworks, and don't make me walk far to actually see them. As long as there's no mosh pit, I think I'll be just fine.



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© Whitney Brandt-Hiatt: All writing, images, and photogrpahy are the property of Whitney Brandt-Hiatt unless otherwise noted.