Waiting In Line For A Show

A few kind Baboons have announced their intention in recent comments to wait in line for tickets to the Tom Keith Hurrah! this afternoon at the Fitzgerald Theater.

You should have a nice enough afternoon to stand around with your strange friends and friendly strangers. We expect sunny skies and a high in the mid-50’s. I know only a few things about the show itself but from what I’ve heard you will see sights that are not likely to be repeated. It will make the Sunday papers and people will talk about it for years. No solemn occasion, the goal is to do a show that the funniest guy in town would have loved. Tom appreciated the direct approach to humor. You may remember he went light on the subtext and heavy on the slapstick.

Having said that, I can’t imagine Tom waiting in a long line for anything. He was generally unimpressed with whatever was being handed out at the end of a queue, doubly so if a whole bunch of people thought it was something special. The presence of a crowd just about anywhere was a sign to him to turn around and head in the other direction. The one exception was any case where he was appearing in the show. It wasn’t that Tom thought he was worth the price of admission (though he was). It was simply a matter of fulfilling an obligation. He had a job to do.

There is a time in a typical American life when a person is willing to stand for hours and even camp out overnight, if necessary, to gain admission to a much anticipated concert or event. The urge fades with time. Maybe it diminishes in synch with the willingness of one’s friends to devote the better part of a day to getting in the door. There is a social aspect to standing in line together that, in the best cases, breaks down barriers. People chat, save spaces for each other, commiserate. On occasion it turns ugly, like when the rain starts and there’s only one narrow awning to stand under, or when someone budges.

Ultimately the quality of your line-standing experience is determined by the strength of your legs, the condition of your stomach, and the dispositions of the people around you.

Share your standing-in-line strategies and experiences.

66 thoughts on “Waiting In Line For A Show”

  1. Morning all. I never thought about whether I had a strategy for waiting in line… I have always had bad “line kharma”… I can never choose the right line. So I gave up long ago to seeing the other Customs/Immigration line or the other grocery store line move faster than the one I’m in.

    But when it’s one line and a long wait, I guess my strategy is to keep myself occupied. Books and crossword puzzles are my mainstays and I like to people-watch. When I see people in long lines with their stadium chairs, I always think “I should do that”, but then I don’t want to deal w/ the stadium chair when I’m done waiting.

    I’ll be heading over about 2:30 and my second ticket is now up for grabs… who needs it?

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  2. All the long lines I can remember standing in were at The U.Registration sorts of things and then waiting to get in to attend the mandatory graduation. We stood outside for 40 minutes in 100 degree heat. I graduated in August.
    Before that I STOOD ON LINE at the University of Chicago. East coast folks, of which there were so many at that college, stood ON line. I used to say to them, “Where’ the line we’re standing ON?” But because they were from New Yawk, they were be definition right and we mid-westerners were wrong. A dumb argument, only entertaining when you are standing around in a long file waiting and waiting. Why were the lines for registration at a 2000 student college so much longer than at a 45,000 student college? I suspect that is a more economic question than existential.
    I have never stood in line for a ticket. Tom and I had similar attitudes about many things.

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  3. The last time I stood in a line was for the final morning show performance at the Fitz in ’08. The strategy was simple – get there early – and I made it in.

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    1. It was also the last time I stood in line for something that I WANTED to stand in line for (airports don’t count in my book).

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      1. i did a winter xbox line standing for my son a couple years ago. i held of on a damn cold winter pre christmas evening until 330 am and the doors opened at 8 i think. i got the last coupon. felt sorry for the guy behind me and pissed about the last second butters. il be there 200ish. see you there.

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  4. I have stood in line to have books signed by authors, record jackets signed by performers, and ticket lines to buy tickets to something or other. Generally these have been shorter lines and no strategy for coping was required.

    One of the more memorable lines I have stood in was the line that formed on the sidewalk outside of K-Paul’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Restaurant personnel came outside and sold cocktails to those in line, turning the line into something akin to a cocktail party. This was a good strategy since all tables were filled and you ended up seated at tables with people you didn’t know unless you had chatted with them in line.

    The longest line I remember standing in was the line that former outside the State Capitol by people wanting to show their respects and gratitude to Hubert Humphrey by filing past his casket in the rotunda. Warm clothing was the only strategy required as it was a bitterly cold night.

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      1. obama was a long line all around the town a couple years ago. that was a kick. did a long line for jimmy carter book signing a couple years ago too.

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  5. The nice thing about waiting in line to have an author sign a book is that you have a book with you to read while you wait. Getting to the front of the line and actually saying something intelligent to the author, well, that’s another story. I eked out something witty to Jasper Fforde (phew – added bonus: he liked my name), but burst into tears meeting Krista Tippet (my dad had just died and grief was leaking out), totally fumbled meeting Marge Piercy, Miss Manners was gracious regardless of anything I might have said, and I was just glad I didn’t tick off Walter Moseley.

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  6. I remember standing outside for a long while at Paul Wellstone’s memorial over at the U stadium -it was already packed iinside, so a crowd of us stood out and watched on a large monitor all that was going on inside. Luckily it wasn’t too cold a night.

    I’ll be with you there in spirit tonight, Babooners.

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  7. I am an impatient line member and my irritation increases as the time passes and I have to remind myself that the others in line around me actually have redeeming qualities. Until recently there has been relatively little to stand in line for out here. We have had such an increase in traffic with the oil boom that the time spent waiting in line in your car to make, say, an unprotected left turn, has really increased. Our infrastructure in the way of widened lanes, new traffic lights and alternate truck routes hasn’t kept up and we share our city streets with multitudes of pickups, oil and water tankers, and other weird and wild trucks from Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, etc. Willston, a city 3 hours north west of us, has increased in population from 12,000 to over 24,000 in a few months, and elderly residents are afraid to drive their vehicles in town because of all the traffic. Watford City, another oil boom town, only has one traffic light with hundreds of oil trucks and pick ups going through town. I am envious of the Baboons waiting in line today and I bet you all manage to make the wait as interesting as possible. Thank you so much for your kind words yesterday regarding Albert. PJ absolutely made the day by naming her new kitten Alberta.

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  8. i am doing the math and if there are 100 sets and everyone gets two. man this is going to be a quick dismaiial of the moderate late comers. i may rethink the 200ish and make it 145ish with a book

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  9. I love line camraderie when it breaks out. I remember standing in the dark waiting for the last morning show. Dale walked by and seemed utterly shocked that anyone was there let alone waiting to see him.

    One of the sweetest lines I waited on in the past was at Chipotle on Halloween. If you came in dressed as a burrito, your burrito was free. Most of the time I was the only-non-high school student waiting. The definition of dressed like a burrito devolved into wearing aluminum foil. I liked the foil yamulkes the best. Inevitably someone would have a roll of aluminum foil to share and once you finally made it thru the line you of course handed your foil off to those in line. Alas, the give-away became a victim of its own success and was changed and limited this year.

    This evening I will be the house manager for the closing night of a more than sold out high school production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” We are also wrapping up our coat drive for Joseph’s Coat (a free store for struggling folks in St PAul). I set a high goal of 600 coats plus accessories. We are only 124 coats short (if I counted right). It is fun to see families take ownership of the project-sending emails and making Facebook postings asking for coats. When the elementary choir is off-stage they are making polar fleece hats, scarves, and blankets. It was so fun to see them last night in their rainbow colored shirts sining along to the show and hard at work to keep other folks warm.

    To those of you who make it into the Fitz tonite-Please laugh extra hard for me!

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  10. A heads up baboons! I just made a quick reconnaissance trip past the Fitz. As of 11:45 A.M., there were six people in line. It’s a glorious day out there, so it shouldn’t be a horrible wait with a lot of kindred spirits to talk to.

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  11. The first person got here at 9am. My wife and I got here at 11am and there were 4 folks ahead of us. Having worked at an arena/auditorium complex for 10 years in my youth, I don’t wait in line for much. It has to be something very special. Like this. Until I found the secret entrance at the Fair, I’d wait in line every year for the live Morning Show. My wife and I got here at 4:30am for the last Morning Show. And we’re here now. Valerie Argenbright is setting up coffee and hot cider for us now. The line is very friendly and we’re all behaving well. The sidewalk is a little chilly to sit on but, again, it’s worth it. There are three young people in Guy Fawkes masks protesting Scientology on the diagonal corner. That’s all to report right now.

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  12. Afternoon.

    I love the fact I can read about who’s in line where! Technology at it’s finest… wish I could be there with all of you.
    I’m at work, again, today. Members of The Rochester Symphony are having informal sessions with local Suzuki students called “Playing with the Pros: A Concerto Preparatory Experience”. It’s very fun; a whole day of very nice music. And these kids are REALLY good!

    Lines… Not any more than I can help lately. I try to have a magazine or paper if I know I’ll be waiting long. But I have bad feet; I can’t stand very long.
    A few years ago when the DVD version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Pulse’ (concert video) was released I waited in the car at the local Best Buy about 15 minutes before the store opened. Then when I saw another guy at the doors I got in line behind him. The doors opened and suddenly 4 more people came running from cars and we all ran to the DVD section to get that disc.
    Crazy, right? So much for my waiting in line.

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  13. My friend called from the 1st balcony of the Fitz. She left much too late for my taste but got in just the same.

    The list of performers includes bagpipers, PHC folks, and wonderful local performers like MAria Jette , Arne Fogel, and Dan Chouinard. What a wonderful tribute to Jim Ed.

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  14. What a line-up of performers, a really terrific show. Loved every minute of it. I spotted Amy Klobuchar, Bill Kling, Mike Pengra, Peter Ostrushko, and judy Larson in the audience and there were probably lots of other “celebs” that I didn’t see.

    I loved how Dale got the show off on the just the right note by having everyone turn on their cell phones and play their ringtones, nice job Dale. The audience participation was great fun, I bet it was really fun to watch for those seated on the stage. There were so many highlights, each a gem in its own right. I do hope they post lots on MPR’s website. In addition to those mentioned by others Jearlyn Steele, Connie Evingson, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and that little songbird Megan Fischer were all wonderful as were the magician and the jugglers.

    I also enjoyed meeting some new baboons, but I missed tgith and his sweetie. I did meet vs, tim, Beth-Ann and Anna; Joanne, her hubby and LInda I had met before and we went out for dinner following the show. A memorable evening. Husband too, enjoyed meeting the baboons I hang out with on the blog. I’ll bask in the glow of this evening for a long time.

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    1. I’m not good with names, and I’m thinking that Beth-Ann wasn’t there, so who else did I meet. I know I met Laurie and Kathryn, I think?

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    2. Glad you were there, Plainjane.
      The show was a fitting tribute with ample evidence that Tom made lasting friendships with the finest people around. The cell phone bit, by the way, was the idea of Dan Rowles, who did a masterful job directing the show. I’m thankful to him for giving it to me!

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    1. Beth-Ann, it was a grand send-off. I the car, on the way home after dinner, my husband said that he’d like a send-off like that. I replied that in order to fill the Fitz we’d need some serious door prizes.

      All joking aside, I thought someone might have posted something (Garrison in drag) on youtube, so I googled “tribute to Tom Keith” and discovered that his entire memorial service is on youtube. Here’s the link, be forewarned it’s over an hour long, but you’ll learn a lot about Tom by watching it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApFPenl5QR8

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      1. Thanks, PJ. I checked out your link, and it is (as you say) video of Tom’s memorial service, November 4. The event last night seems to be called the “Hurrah” for Tom. Apparently the plan is to post “highlights” of last night’s show about a week after the event. When that happens, I’m sure one of the baboons will catch it and post the link. I’d guess that many of us who were able to attend the Hurrah would want to see it again, as well as those who just couldn’t attend.

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  15. Greetings! I generally don’t wait in line for anything by choice — I avoid crowds and traffic. But I made a BIG exception for Tom Keith’s Tribute. I’ve been kicking myself for NEVER having attended a PHC performance, any Morning Show live broadcasts, any State Fair shows and definitely missed the Final Morning Show broadcast. So I knew I had to make this one. Managed to talk Jim into going so he would drive and told him we’re leaving at 1pm so we could get there by 2. And it was perfect. We got the center seats in the first row.

    I brought some blankets and a folding canvas chair that I used after chatting it up with TGITH, Sherrilee, Tim, Linda and Catherine. Then I went back to our spot in the line and settled in my chair and we chatted with the friendly strangers next to us. The MPR folks were wonderful that they provided hot cider and coffee. It was actually quite a lovely time sitting in line with other fine folks that loved the Morning Show and Tom Keith.

    The show was absolutely wonderful fun. I’m not sure I’ll ever get the picture of Garrison Keillor in drag close up out of my head though. Some things are just not meant to be — but it was totally hilarious. He took one for the team — make that 3 — pies in the face. Even the stage hand cleaning it up made it entertaining — not sure who he was. Thank you all for sharing the evening. Linda, Margaret, her husband Hens(?), Jim and I went to a Kurdish restaurant afterward and enjoyed some amazing food. It was a wonderful evening and well worth spending the day in St. Paul.

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      1. Babani’s. I never even heard of Kurdish food, but it was very tasty and delicious! Margaret and Hans go there often apparently. Linda had been there before as well.

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    1. I could be mistaken, but I think the panachey stagehand was Alan Frechtman.

      I recommend the dowjic and the jaajic at Babani’s. Margaret and Hans gave me tastes from their plates too – everything was excellent.

      Sherrilee made Genway pins that were the envy of all who passed. If she had had extras she could have sold them and made a tidy profit. Valerie Arganbright took a picture of me wearing mine.

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      1. I can confirm that the stagehand was Al. A dear friend of Tom’s and an all-around great guy, his antics weren’t planned (he said) but just grew in the spirit of the moment. I think he might have hurt his back in the process, but like all show business people, Al is a trouper.

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  16. I appreciate how you Babooners who were there last night are relating the experience. Please keep it up all day… I’m of course kicking myself that I didn’t just rearrange the d*** calendar so I could go.

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  17. Hey TGITH – can you please post the information you mentioned to me about the Peter and Lou Berryman concert on Saturday in Minneapolis? I, of course, forgot some of the details — and I’m sure some other folks here might like to know about it. Thanks. By the way — nice hat!

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  18. StJoan of Arc Concert Series Schedule

    Sunday, December 11 Neal & Leandra
    Whether it’s a star, a newborn baby or Neal’s impressive outdoor Christmas decorations guiding the airplanes home, the holiday of light brings us together in the darkest month. Come celebrate The Light of Christmas, Neal & Leandra’s concert return to St. Joan’s, their first time back in a long while.

    Sunday, January 15 Martin Luther King concert
    Robert Robinson returns for Been to the Mountaintop, our annual MLK Holiday concert, a celebration of communities and collaborations. Robert talks about welcoming pop music into church, and helps lead the combined choirs of St. Joan’s and Mount Olivet Lutheran. Some 200 voices in all, they’re featured on Robert’s new CD. Hosted by Dan Chouinard with T Mychael Rambo, a soulful band and special guests.

    Sunday, February 26 Folk mass
    Fifty years ago the Second Vatican Council opened an era of dialogue and change, guitars and burlap. In Me ‘N You ‘N Vatican Two, Dan Chouinard brings together musicians to sing and talk about it: Patty Peterson, LeRoy and Sharon Vague, Fred and Anna Mae Vagle, Cyril Paul and many more. Sing along to the strummy strains of those first guitar mass tunes and see how much we’ve changed since then. Or how little.

    Sunday, March 25 Ann Reed Heroes
    Some years ago Ann Reed wrote the song “Heroes” in gratitude to the women trailblazers of the last century and a half, ending the song with a litany of 40 names. Now, in her show Heroes: A celebration of women who changed history and our lives, she’s woven together the stories of these and other women with music, images and anecdotes. Featuring Leslie Ball, Aimee K. Bryant, Dan Chouinard, Joan Griffith, Thomasina Petrus and Denise Tabet, plus the SJA Women’s Choir.
    This activity is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as approprioated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

    Tickets are priced at $20 each, or $70 for the series, plus a coupon for a CD, purchased before December 11th. http://www.stjoan.com

    I have tickets to all the concerts and would be delighted to hook up with baboons!

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  19. Thanks trail baboons for giving me the Jim Ed/Tom/Dr Larry Kyle button! I’m honored!
    What a great evening…one minute laughing, the next…sobbing.

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  20. OT – Hans and I had a funeral pyre in the back yard this afternoon. We found Joe, Hans’ 20 year old cockatiel dead in his cage this morning. A sudden, and unexpected death. We’re celebrating his long life with us this evening, perversely?, having roast duck, caramelized small potatoes, with sweet and sour red cabbage. Hadn’t planned it that way, but they duck on sale at Aldi’s, and I didn’t have room for it in the freezer.

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    1. What is life expectancy for a cockatiel? It seems like 2 decades was a long run for a bird. I am glad you had an appropriate ceremony for him.

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      1. For dinner, Renee?

        Cockatiels have been known to live to be 30. However, the life expectancy of a companion cockatiel averages only 5 years, so Joe lived a long life in captivity. It was a bird we rescued from a family whose children had lost interest in him. He was two when we got him.

        He was the beginning of a long line of bird rescues for us. We’re down to two and are determined not to get more. Birds should not live in cages. Gizmo, our double yellow headed Amazon parrot is roughly 40, we’ve had him 16 years (and, I might add, is the main reason Hans and I have vacationed separately during most of those years). We brought him along on the trip to Steve’s cabin.

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      1. Thank you, Anna. We’re both OK with it. He had as good a life as a bird in captivity can have, and spent a lot of time riding around on shoulders. I will miss his serenading me when I’m working on the computer. He was a delightful singer.

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  21. Do cockatiels talk too?

    I just googled double yellow headed Amazon parrot. They seem to have only one head. Where does the name come from?

    PJ you can wait on these questions as you say good bye to Joe but it seems if pie in the face can be part of a memorial-2 headed birds are right behind!

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    1. Snort.

      Some cockatiels talk, Joe didn’t, but he was a marvelous singer. Would burst into song for no apparent reason, and just keep at it. We took it to mean that he was happy.
      And, he did a marvelous wolf whistle. Always put a grin on my face when I’d come out of the bedroom in the morning and be greeted with a wold whistle. Always cracked me up.

      And, no, as you correctly discovered, double yellow headed Amazons don’t have two heads. In Gizmo’s case, I’m glad of it, since he doesn’t like women and bites, very hard. It’s not unusual for parrots to bond with one sex only, and Gizmo clearly prefers males. We don’t really know if Gizmo is male or female (I suspect female), we’re not willing to pay $200 for the blood test. We rescued him from a woman who had not had him out of his cage in the two years since she and her boyfriend split. Gizmo loves Hans (although he has bitten him several times too), but displays very aggressive behavior toward me. He does like my company though, and is much more likely to talk when I’m around. When I leave the office to go downstairs, he moans and complains, doesn’t like to be alone.

      They are named double yellow headed because they have yellow both on top of the head and on the nape.

      One thing I’m absolutely sure of, the day Gizmo dies, will be a sad day in this house. Hans will be inconsolable. Fortunately, parrots live a long time. He might well outlive us both.

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  22. i sure did enjoy the day yesterday for tom, the spirit was perfect. dale was the perfect intro and the rest of the evening was wonderful too. garrison was there but in a memory of tom role rather than star, very nice, alan was priceless. the first pie took them by surprise, a coupe of dancers were scheduled next and there was a 3 foot blob of shaving cream in the middle of the stage. he went and found a mop after throwing an impromptoo hand towel down like a warning flag and floor condom in case the dancer felt thr need to dance center stage. i got to sit onstage 3 inches from richards keyboard (no claustrophibia on his part) tim and sue paid a wonderful tribute dressed in their kilts and i was glad they didnt let peter ostrusko play you are my sunshine anywhere other than in my recollection. the best part of the day was hanging with with baboons in line thanks sherrilee for the pin and linda for finding it all 3 times i unknowing lost it from my lapel.my technique was perfect thans to dales heades up as to the details of the day. jim ed will be a common memory that is often referred to in my memory recall box. i hope i make someone remember me with a degree of fondness i have for toms life. well done tom dale babooners all.

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