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Vegas '06 Ramblings, Rantings & Remembrances (Photos Added 7-8-06)


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It’s been just over three weeks now since our fairy tale ball with even the handsome PRINCE in attendance, and it seems even more surreal to me now than it did at the time. I have watched a few of the videos made while Gerry was there with us, and my reaction was so strong that I decided it was best to not watch more. LOL

Since my return from Vegas, I have been mainly focused on looking after my mother, who is struggling to cope with the sudden unexpected death in May of my beloved father. I've also been very concerned about my brother, Duke, and some health problems he's had (it's all there in the prayer thread). And, oh yeah, my responsibilities at work. But I am finally taking a few moments to reflect upon and recount some of the highlights of the trip.

I left for the first leg of the trip on Wednesday afternoon, June 7, 2006, and drove the hour’s distance from my adulthood hometown of 21 years, to my childhood hometown of also 21 years, (I’ll pause while you do the math - that’s right, I am 42) to rendezvous with Valerie, my best girlfriend of 30 years, my kindred spirit, my maid of honor, my daughter’s honorary aunt and namesake, the wise and realistic Ying to my romantic and naive Yang, and my gift from God sister-at-heart. [side note: Valerie has always called me Kathleen. My husband does too, when it’s not Hon that is. Kathleen IS my real name after all, but Katie was always a family nickname and preferred by me once I reached adulthood. All through my school years, though, classmates knew me as Kathleen. Don’t get me wrong, Kathleen is a beautiful name, but once it’s butchered with a Southern accent, it mostly comes out as Kath-ah-lay-ne, and that just gets all over my nerves!]

After a celebratory bon voyage dinner, we then drove another 45 minutes or so to my uncle’s house in Nashville. My uncle had graciously volunteered to let me leave my vehicle at his house, chauffeur us to the Nashville airport and retrieve us upon our return Monday evening. He not only did that, but hefted our luggage in and out of his car’s trunk as well. One of the last of the true gentleman. A man born of the Greatest Generation, like my own beloved father.

My Uncle Bobby is a retired career Army serviceman, a THREE WAR veteran, who now volunteers at the Country Music Hall of Fame (himself the grandson of Uncle Dave Macon, a famous member of the Hall and one of Country Music’s and The Grand Ole Opry’s early “stars”). We had a most enjoyable journey to the airport as my uncle recounted his experience of the people he had seen at “the Hall” that day.

He saw and spoke to: Earl Scruggs, the great pioneering banjoist; George Jones, the legendary country music singer; Vince Gill, who has eyes so beautiful that they rival Gerry’s, a tenor voice that’s so beautiful he could make the angels weep - oh, and he plays the guitar quite adeptly as well; Little Jimmy Dickens, the comedian who, out from under the spotlight and stage of the Grand Ole Opry, is a rather dour little man; and Porter Waggoner, another country music legend!

I finally confronted Uncle Bobby and practically accused him of making it all up just to entertain Valerie and me on the trip to the airport! He laughed and said it was true and seemed surprised at my being so overwhelmed at the list of VIP’s he had just named! Just another day’s work at “the Hall” for Uncle Bobby. Well, if truth be known, all those ‘stars’ couldn’t hold a candle to the quality and heart of a man that lives inside my uncle. Thanks for all you selflessly do everyday for all those around you, Uncle. :kisswink:

So, after having been expertly delivered to the Southwest Airlines Terminal of the airport by Uncle Bobby, Valerie and I excitedly made our way through the doors of the airport and, since it was around 7:00 PM, there was hardly any waiting at all in the line to get our boarding passes. I was proud that I managed with only one suitcase and my carry-on cosmetic bag, with one change of clothing inside as well, and my purse. However, I was chagrined and quite taken aback when I was informed by the Southwest employee that my suitcase was overweight by nine and a half pounds! ‘Damn clothes! Why did I have to bring so many?’ I thought. And of course, I knew that the outfit I brought along for the talent show carried a great deal of the blame! But, no turning back, and with a clouded brain, I chose to just forge ahead and pay the extra 25 bucks for the weight, praying they wouldn’t weigh ME, or I’d be slapped with another and probably even greater fine, and mentally deducted the $25 from my funds allocated for gambling.

About that time, my cell phone rang, and it was my third brother, (I have five older brothers!) Mick, who, realizing that we were more than likely at the airport at that moment, simply called to relay his fond farewells for our trip. He’s been to Vegas many times, and enjoys his gambling forays. He’s disciplined enough that gambling is enjoyable for him. Oh, and his fond wish quote? “I just want you and Valerie to know that I hate you right now.” Thanks, Mick...love you, too.

Seriously, a couple of weeks before, while he was home, not long after my dad’s untimely and unexpected death, Mick gave me one-hundred-and-eighty dollars with which to gamble, as his proxy. He had recently planned a trip to Tunica, Mississippi, where there are casinos built along the Mighty Mississippi River, but all that changed when my dad died. Instead of playing at the craps table and enjoying his much deserved vacation, my brother spent that time grieving the loss of our father, planning and executing the funeral and burial, and staying with my mother and helping her cope.

Mick gave me precise instructions on how to “play the 180" in Vegas. He told me to play it when I was on an upswing and having a lucky streak. I even had a bit of a fantasy about how I would play it right after winning the Butler Award for the Talent Show! Well, that little fantasy didn’t play out, but I wouldn’t change the outcome of that night one bit, or any moment of the entire trip for that matter!

(:bow2: Swan; you were the rightful ‘winner’ even though it was downplayed as informal and no “talent winner” was officially voted on. Your and Nathan’s music was so soul-stirring and beautiful! Although the other ‘entries’ were all stirring, the sharing of your soul with all of us, in spite of your illness, eclipsed any kind of “competition” there might have been. We were all so connected at that time, and beyond! Meeting you and getting to know you was better than any prize I might have ‘won’! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that feeling!)

(And Gerry...if you or Tonya ever happen to read this...may God Bless you both forever, for appearing at our convention! In my humble opinion, you being there legitimized our convention on a level you will probably never understand. Gerry, I’ll write more to you, pair-sonally, about that later on, big boy!)

Meanwhile, back at the airport, I discovered that the shoes I was wearing must have been finely crafted with a metal shank interior, as I set off the alarm at the gate through which I had to pass. No problem, just turn back and remove the shoes, put them on the conveyor belt and walk back through the gate, bare-footed. Somehow, this was mortifying for me and I was relieved to finally exit the security area. You would think a Tennessee girl wouldn’t mind being bare-footed wouldn’t you? Sorry, couldn’t pass up the cliche’.

We made it to our designated gate, finally, after walking the ENTIRE length of the airport and concourse. I couldn’t help but ponder, “Why do my flights always seem to dock at the last gate?” To make the journey through the airport complete, I didn’t settle with stopping at the area within the gate, I continued on to the very back wall of the concourse (which was no trouble as it was only an additional 15 or 20 feet) and “tagged” the wall, as if I were completing my leg of a relay race and was passing my baton onto the next member of the team. Valerie grinned and shook her head at me. She’s so patient and tolerant!

Another side note at this point to tell you that earlier in the day, I had decided to have a spray-on tan applied to my body. Since wisely concluding that tanned fat is much less ‘unsightly’ than white fat, I indulged in this little extravagance, hoping it would bolster my confidence when meeting not only the general public (why do I care?) but in meeting my friends from Gerry Fandom.

Admittedly, I am a spray-on tan virgin. Let me just enlighten some of you other virgins who might be contemplating having this done as well. First of all, take an old towel with you to sit on in your vehicle afterwards...especially, if like me, you have leather seats. Like Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that! And, please wear clothing that you don’t care about, because even though they tell you that the “stuff” will wash out, my white bra is now a beige one. Thankfully, I was wise enough to wear clothing that I could dispose of, if necessary.

But most importantly for you virgins of spray-on tans, when they tell you that you can’t shower for at least six hours afterwards, don’t take it the way that I did. I said, “No problem, I showered just before I came here.” Smugly, I also thought, “In six hours, I’ll be on my way to Vegas, baby! Heh heh” What they don’t explain to you about that statement, is that it’s not because you MIGHT WANT to take a shower in six hours, or even because it takes that long for the “stuff” to dry and you don’t want to wash away all of the ‘tan’. Ladies, they tell you that because by the time six hours is up, you will be DYING to take a shower! You will feel completely sticky and itchy and gross all over your entire body! And, IF you’ve had your face sprayed, too, in six hours, you will look like you’re the lone castaway just rescued from a treeless island in which you’ve just spent an eternity baking away in the tropical sun!

At this point of the elapsed six hours time, I am in the Nashville airport, and I become fully aware that people are staring at me. But why? The whole idea behind the spray-on tan was to lessen my appearance and not call attention to myself! Now I was doubly cursed in that I began to ponder over whether the stares were because I was overweight, or whether it was from the nuclear glow I was giving off from the spray-on tan! (Couldn’t possibly have been because they thought I was attractive, or that I simply met their gaze, or that I gave them a friendly smile, or they thought I had pretty eyes, or anything so preposterous as all that!)

To top it all off, our flight was delayed. It was due to depart at 8:35 p.m. Looking at my watch as the plane pulled back from the gate, it was 10:00 p.m., Nashville time (Central Standard). The pilot ventured to say that he’d have us to Vegas by 11:55 p.m., which would be nearly 2:00 a.m. our time. Oh well, I told Valerie that I had already been acclimating myself to Vegas time the past few nights anyway, as my excitement about the trip, and posting on GALS, kept me from falling asleep until late at night.

The flight was blissfully uneventful, and Val and I each managed to catch a little cat nap. As we approached Vegas, there was a thunderstorm, which I believe might be a rare thing for Vegas, so I took that as a sign of good luck! It was beautiful to see the lightning strikes (from a distance thank goodness!) across the sky and the faint lights of Sin City glowing just ahead of where I could see out the plane’s window. Our landing was smooth as glass and our anticipation grew as I eyed the Vegas Strip for the first time, from the plane’s window.

Valerie has made several trips to Vegas, and so I was ‘along for the ride’ as I bowed to my “Vegas Guru” regarding all the logistics of traveling to, from, and throughout Vegas. Valerie as always, is an accomplished planner and organizer! Even with her expertise, there were some bumpy spots hypothetically, in our road from the airport to the hotel. It was around 3:00 a.m. (don’t say it!) Central Time, by the time we got to the Sahara and into our room. By this time, I wanted a shower in the WORST way, what with the spray-on tan, and judging by the color of the run-off water, I did in fact, shower off most of the sticky yucky stuff. Wonder if the Sahara was able to get that stuff washed out of the wash cloth and towels I used! Honestly, I tried not to make a mess!

Val and I slept in the next morning, had a leisurely lunch at the Sahara’s buffet, which seemed a mile away from the casino and lobby, but I guess I must have been famished because by my Tennessee clock it was well past lunch time.

[to be continued]

Edited by Songbird
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After lunch, Val and I were in the casino at the Sahara. I was losing money fast into a video poker machine and suddenly, out of the cacophony of the casino’s bells and whistles, I heard a familiar voice! I turned, saw a group of probably five to seven or so women passing by, and at a fast clip, too. My brain suddenly registered that I was hearing Dr. Em’s voice! I recognized it from the GB Casts that I had listened to on GALS! It seemed as if I were frozen to the spot, but finally I reacted and shouted out, “Gals?” A couple of them turned around and I added, “Are you Gals?” While the others went on; not sure they even heard me; Jen (stagewomanjen) and another lady (seems like I recall it was one of the ladies from GB-USA) came over to me and we introduced ourselves. After a few quick words, they made their way to catch up with their group. I never even SAW Dr. Em, except maybe the back of her blonde head, but I thought it was so cool that I had heard her voice and recognized it, while in the midst of the noise and clamor of that casino!

Later, Val and I made our way to the Monorail, on which we enjoyed traveling. It wasn’t crowded at all! Is it still a best kept secret? I know that it had not been opened long. Well, Valerie knew, and told me. heh heh We had promised brother Mick that we would do a ‘recon. mission’ (he’s a military guy so I use his language) on the new Wynn Casino and Hotel. We exited the Monorail at the Vegas Convention Center, crossed the street, and were promptly picked up by a shuttle from the Wynn and bussed right over to casino! We chatted with a sweet little older couple who were on the shuttle with us and they were from Kentucky, so it was like running into a neighbor! Val is a Kentucky-born gal, and a huge KY Wildcats fan, and naturally, the couple we met were, too. I was reminded of my own parents and it did my heart good to see them walking along, arm in arm, and later we even saw them doing a bit of gambling in the casino. Aw, how sweet! The couple that gambles together, stays together. :lol:

The Wynn was beautiful and I took some pictures for Mick. I even had to take one of the ladies’ bathroom, it was so upscale! I took a picture of Valerie and me in the reflection of the bathroom mirror.

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You could tell everything was brand-spanking new and there was what seemed to be an entire crew of hotel employees on hands and knees spot cleaning the plush colorful carpets that lined the walk-way to the hotel’s theater (Le Reve) and beyond toward the exit for the shuttle bus. We checked out the casino but obviously no picture taking within.

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As we made our way back to wait for the shuttle bus, who was waiting there as well? The sweet little couple we’d met earlier. So we chatted some more with them about the Wynn and the weather; just chit-chat. Back at the end of the shuttle ride, the driver said, “It sure is good to hear voices from home.” Turned out, he was originally from Memphis and had even attended Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, which is a city in eastern-middle Tennessee, and a not too distant drive for either Valerie or me. More proof that ‘we’re all connected’ and it is indeed, a small world.

Back on the Monorail, Val and I made our way down to the last stop which was near the MGM Grand. We went inside and just the lobby alone was impressive! We made our way through the casino and as Val knew it was there, we trekked over to the Lion Habitat. I don’t know about true ‘habitat’ but it was an exhibition that’s for sure. There were two lionesses and I marveled at how they played and moved so similarly to my own kitty cats.

I’m a cat person. Don’t know why, but I’ve just always loved cats. Dogs? Well, I was bitten by one when I was a little girl, so I guess they sense my fear. I don’t like it when they bark a lot and when they sniff and lick me. If it’s a quiet, laid back dog, who won’t lick my face or smell my parts, I’m okay. But, a kitty cat, now I’ll make an instant connection with it, whether IT recognizes it or not! So, even though these were fierce lions, and I respected them as such, there was a part of me that wanted to pet them and scratch their huge chins and make them purr. I bet they purr loudly, too!

After a look see around the little souvenir area on the way back to the Monorail, we made the ride back to the Sahara. We relaxed and readied ourselves for the Thursday night festivities.

We were scheduled to meet some of the Gals at Pacos Mexican restaurant at the Sahara. This was a pre-convention dinner leading up to traveling to the Excalibur for the Thunder From Down Under (male revue) Show. Valerie and I knew that this would be a much needed girls’ night out and a chance to really let our hair down, so to speak, prior to the official Convention registration scheduled for Friday. Little did I know at that time, just how ‘liberating’ my experience at TFDU would be! More about that later.

On our way to the restaurant, Valerie and I went to scope something out at the hotel and in passing through the crowded lobby, I saw these two women who passed us going the opposite direction, and I commented to Val after they’d gone by, “I think I just saw two Gals.” She said, “How do you know? Did you recognize them from the site?” I said, “No. They just looked like Gals. They were dressed nice and had a little flashy pizzazz to their clothes and jewelry. They looked confident and a little sassy. I can’t explain it, I just have a feeling that they’re Gals!” As we continued on, I did recognize a famous Gal, Bethy, and called out to her. She stopped, we introduced ourselves, exchanged a few pleasantries, and we were off to our separate adventures, with the promise to talk more the next day at the convention.

Val and I had arrived a few minutes before the scheduled time and were standing just outside of Pacos reading the menu they had posted on the wall. My cell phone rang, and I saw that it was Libby (touchmetrustme), one of the Gals whose cell numbers I had entered into my cell phone’s phone book. She began introducing herself and talking, and as she spoke, I swore it sounded as if I could hear her voice in my other ear, too! She was discussing meeting at the restaurant, etc. and I was replying, ‘yes, yes, okay, etc.’ and as I walked closer to the sound of the voice, I turned the corner into the foyer of Pacos, and voila, sitting there were the two lovely ladies whom I had picked out of the hotel crowd and proclaimed to be Gals, and one of them was talking with me on her cell phone!

I looked right at Libby, grinned, and said something like, “Yeah, okay, that sounds like a good idea.” She saw me and heard me at the same time and I think it finally hit her that I was the person on the phone with her, too! It was so funny and a split-second bonding moment for me! Libby was embarrassed, but I got such a kick out of the whole incident, that I was instantly laughing and at ease. I learned that the other lovely lady was Bonnie Anne, or Swansong, and it was a delight to meet her as well.

Libby orchestrated getting us a table, with room for more Gals to arrive shortly, and the four of us settled in to get acquainted. Jill (discoveringme) arrived soon thereafter, along with Carrie (Carimia) and her lovely daughter, Heather. So many Gals began gathering then and we all had such a great time meeting, laughing and talking and putting the faces and real life names with the forum names. (Tinker3bell) Penny joined us at our table and we had a thought provoking discussion about how and when we had discovered Gerry. Since Val and I go all the way back to the Attila and D2K days, we had much to tell. Penny had driven all the way from eastern Arizona, by herself, and I admired her instantly for being so courageous!

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In what seemed like no time at all, we reluctantly had to part in order to head over to the show. I was sorry that Penny couldn’t go with us. I don’t think she had gotten tickets in advance. Val and I went with Libby and Swan and we shared the cost of a taxi.

[to be continued]

Edited by Songbird
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Katie, I'm loving your memoirs, and was glad you told about our phone conversation. It was sort of like you rounded the corner like: :seeyou: Hehehe, If I hadn't been with Bonnie, I might have kept the phone to my ear and talked on indefinately while looking you in the eyes! :embarassed: She nudged me and prompted me that I could hang up because that was you I was facing. :doh: I am forever doing dumb stuff, embarrassing myself... but I always laugh harder than anyone else about it. :rotflmao:

Edited by touchmetrustme
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I left for the first leg of the trip on Wednesday afternoon, June 7, 2006, and drove the hour’s distance from my adulthood hometown of 21 years, to my childhood hometown of also 21 years, (I’ll pause while you do the math - that’s right, I am 42) to rendezvous with Valerie, my best girlfriend of 30 years, my kindred spirit, my maid of honor, my daughter’s honorary aunt and namesake, the wise and realistic Ying to my romantic and naive Yang, and my gift from God sister-at-heart.

Dang it, Song, I love you! And Val too!

Continue the story!!! I can't wait!!!

And I'm sorry, but did you just refer to yourself as "yang"???? Hahahaha. Yang. Ooooohhh...I love it when I get a good "yes, I've got the maturity of a five year old" laugh...yang.

Anyway, continue on Katie!

Jen

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Ok, that's it, I am DEFINITELY coming earlier next year!! Katie, I just love reading your memoirs, it really brings back the feelings I had, meeting everyone! Can't wait to read more!

Isabeau

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THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER RECAP IN THIS POST!

I loved watching Libby in action with the valets, cabbies, etc. She wasn’t shy about asking how much the fare was, etc. and in addition, she negotiated a sweet deal for several of us after the show, by obtaining a limo to take eight of us back to the Sahara! Five bucks each for an entertaining limo ride (including the tip!); it was priceless. The limo driver got a great deal, too; eight lusty lively women riding the crest of the high received from those beautiful Aussie male strippers! Whoo-hoo! Or as we say in the South, Yee-haw!! Val rode up front with the driver, and she told him where we’d just been. He said soberly in some foreign Yugoslavian accent, “Too bad they’re all gay,” referring to the strippers. Valerie cracked up at that and I’m sure we’ll be adding that little quote to our long list of one-liner quotes we’ve exchanged over 30 years, for an instantaneous laugh-fest! I don’t know about the gay part, and I don’t care, but I feel it’s something that the average guy must have to tell himself so he won’t get insanely jealous! :lol:

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to the taxi ride to the Excalibur. Libby gets a phone call on her cell. I’m thinking she’s talking to some lifelong friend, when in fact, it turns out to be Cassie, whom Libby has never met either, who has just arrived at the airport. Libby gets a general description from her, assures her that we’ll get her show ticket if possible at the will call desk and see her at the Excalibur. Cassie, you couldn’t have called a better person! Libby once again, took the reins and had things under control in no time flat!

Upon arrival, we were making our way inside and up to where the theater was. We met this guy coming toward us, and once again, I had this feeling...something about him, his hair, his clothing, the way he looks...that he’s one of the dancers/strippers. He’s got his eye on Val, and even gives her a little smile. I’m totally playing it cool, so I don’t look over at her until after he’s gone by, and I’m like, “Valerie, he was checking you out big time!” She’s like, “Who? He was? Where?” [sheesh. Time for Katie to shake her head at Valerie in disbelief]. Anyway, we found out later that one of the guys was downstairs and some of the Gals (coughDawnFergiecough) were having a meet and greet session and photos with him. I can’t be sure if he was the same one who ‘appreciated’ Val or not, but I like to think he was one and the same. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

We were able to pick up our tickets, including Cassie’s, get our seating assignments and wait for the doors to open for the second show. Here's a pic of Val, Libby, and Bonnie Anne (Swansong) waiting patiently for the show to begin. Posted Image

Finally a beautiful woman approached us and it was Cassie! We were relieved that she had made it! At last, it was time to get in line and go into the theater. We had the most unbelievable seats! We were not in the VIP section, which was the very middle row of two tables, running back the length of the room to the bar, but we were at the front of the table just to the right of the VIP seating! I looked across at Val in her seat and said, “I am not believing these seats!”

As a singer, with a good bit of stage experience, I am always intrigued about the goings-on backstage in any kind of show or performing theater. So, as the time came for the show to begin, and the music began to play, I was watching the back curtains and seeing the movement of people preparing to dazzle us on stage! The emcee for the evening was a sparkling-brown-eyed cutie by the name of Ben. He had a great rapport with the audience, and I had a sneaky suspicion that there was a male dancer/stripper’s body underneath that clothing. Heh heh...I was correct.

Ben got everyone ‘warmed up’ and then the show began. Their physicality had enough variety for everyone, and by the end of the first number, those around me and I had picked our ‘favorites’. Cassie was really liking the guy we all thought looked like a smaller version of the wrestler/actor known as “The Rock” - Dwayne Johnson. Was his name Sam?

Valerie liked Michael; he was blond and of course they were all ripped. *giggle* I was drawn to David, oh-he-of-the-pale-blue-eyes and black hair and teeth so white they glowed! There was something Matt Damon-ish about his face, but Nancy and Val both thought his mouth was Brad Pitt-ish. Matt or Brad, it was all good. :cunning:

You are not going to believe me when I say this, but the reason that I was drawn to David was because I thought he was a really talented dancer/acrobat! Okay...OTHER than his beautiful EYES! - can you tell by now that I really notice a person’s eyes?! David seemed ‘in tune’ with the program. I thought some of the guys were a bit too nonchalant. You know, those guys are actors, too. (Oh my, I just had an image of Gerry doing a strip show; oh he’d be soooo great at that! :heat:) These guys are performers and they are doing a show for the mutual benefit of themselves (money) and the audience (entertainment). I was entertained and really enjoyed the show without critiquing it too seriously. It was just laid back raucous good-natured fun!

Toni was a celebrity at one point when she was pulled onto the stage and the dancer who was dressed as a vampire, crawled over the top of her prone body (without touching!) Tone...how did you NOT try to take a bite yourself?!

At one point, Ben was holding court on stage, and he was recruiting people from the audience to ‘come on up’. I, like everyone around me, was pointing to Dawn as our favorite candidate for him, but instead, as I made eye contact with him, he shook his head no, then pointed to ME and wagged his finger for me to come on stage. Oh brother, never volunteer someone else if you are not willing to do the job yourself. That’s what ran through my mind. But, bolstered by Valerie and all of my present sista-gals, I reluctantly rose from my chair and took Ben’s hand as he led me to the center of the stage.

I said to Ben on the way there, “Please just tell me I don’t have to get on my knees. I will never be able to get back up!” :rotflmao: I think he assured me that I wouldn’t be doing that, and told me to stand “heah” (LOVE the accent) and he left me for the girl at stage right.

Now, I have to tell you that I was curious as to why Ben had chosen me from the crowd, other than the obvious fact that I was sitting right up front. There was a young blonde bimbo with big boobs, wearing a strapless dress and a tiara, of all things. The other lady was probably younger than I, too. What I remember about her is really full hair, rather ala early 80's Barbra Streisand, and she also had big boobs. Hey, I’m just realizing, perhaps Ben is a boob man. It’s the only thing I can think of that the three of us on stage had in common! Because of my overall bountiful size, I felt rather self-conscious being on stage with the ‘beautiful people’, but I tried to make the best of it. Hey, at least I wasn’t still ‘aglow’ from the spray-on tan!

I have sung on many and varied stages over more years now than I care to count, so I wasn’t nervous up there in front of everyone. And with the lights the way they were, I couldn’t make a lot of eye contact in the middle of the room anyway, and for me, it’s less nerve wracking when you can’t ‘eye-ball’ the audience. I could still see Valerie, Cassie, Swan and Libby and some of the other gals, so I was okay. I could sure feel the adrenaline kicking in, though. It made my knees and hands tremble just a bit.

What really sent my heart stuttering was Ben’s announcement of a contest! Not just any old contest either. It was to be a fake “O” contest! I believe my internal reaction was “Oh fook!” :scared: I shook my head in disbelief and felt my knees shaking with more vigor! A contest between me, the Bimbo and Barbra? I had my work cut out for me.

I looked over at Valerie and I was instantly reminded of all the great fun times we have experienced together. If our laughter were measured in liquid form, then we’d have our own ocean. I also knew instantly that this had the potential to be a memory we would recall and laugh over for the rest of our lives! I also knew instantly that I MUST incorporate Gerry into this ‘performance’! So, with the gauntlet of challenge thrown down, I felt the undeniable urge to not only pick that bad boy up, but run with it!

After sizing up my competition, and hearing the Blonde Bimbo’s demonstration, I felt a surge of confidence. I surmised that she had watched way too many porn movies, and/or didn’t really know much about the subject matter. She was really exaggerated and silly. Ah the innocence of youth!

All I had to do was remain calm and formulate my plan. Fake O, Fake O...what could I do? Honestly, I’ve never faked one before. No kiddin’. Besides, if you’re really doin’ the deed, can’t the guy tell whether it’s real or not by the internal reaction? (Hope the O.S. doesn’t get me here. I’m struggling to keep this rated PG!)

Ben unwittingly bought me a few more moments to think, or agonize, whichever you prefer, by crossing the stage and allowing Barbra to go next. I don’t remember what he said to her or anything. I was brainstorming. But I do remember thinking that her ‘performance’ could best be described as sounding as if a goat were being slaughtered. I think I made a disapproving face, but I recovered quickly.

Man, my adrenaline was kicking in big time by this point! Ben approaches me, and suddenly I feel like the sacrificial goat, but he is sweet and charming. Did I mention that he reminds me of a friend of mine back home? He did, so I felt really at ease with Ben. Oh, my friend back home... Michael? He just happens to be a ‘former male stripper’. Too bad I didn’t know him back in those days. :tasty: Now, he’s a happily married man and very loyal, with two kids, and since I’m the same (well a woman with one kid, but you get my drift) we have a great friendship and we have discussed everything from religion and politics to how he feels about women with boob implants! (He prefers the real thing, by the way...heh heh)

Anyhoo, back to Ben. Ben cozies up to me and I think he asks my name. Someone who was there, can you confirm that? He asks if I’m married, and I reply ‘Yes’ trying to keep my answers short and sweet so as not to ramble, as I tend to do, and you now fully know this, you brave few who have stuck with me during my whole story thus far!

Ben asks how long I’ve been married and I say, “Almost 21 years.” Why didn’t I just say 21 years? Our anniversary was coming up on the 22nd of June for pity’s sake. If Ben had asked my age, I probably would have said “42 and a half” as if I were some kid who still counts the half-years! I get a big round of applause for that accomplishment and Ben seems genuinely happy either FOR me, or that I’M happy that I’ve been married that long, too.

Then he hits me between the eyes with this innocuous little question: “Now tell me, have you ever done this kinda thing before?”

“Well, there was that time in 1984 when Valerie and I saw Peter Adonis and his male revue show in Huntsville, Alabama, before Wayne and I got married. But wait, I can’t say that! Half the audience here probably wasn’t even BORN in 1984! How do I answer this question?”

I SWEAR to you, that is exactly what ran through my head. It never occurred to me that he was asking it in reference to the Big O! But when I heard the audience react to my indecision and who knows what my expression looked like, I realized that they, and Ben, had come to the conclusion that I probably HAD faked the Big O, and many times! Thinking of a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”, I decide to just leave it alone and not plead my case. What can I say? I am an artist, I will gladly sacrifice myself for the audience’s entertainment!

I don’t remember what happened after that, but suddenly the moment is upon me, and with visions of Attila dancing in my head, I give it my best shot. I take a couple of slow deep breaths in through my teeth and gasp, catching my breath in my throat, and with clenched teeth, I proclaim with fervor, “Oh God...Gerrrry!”

The audience goes nuts! Ah sweet success! I take a bow. They must not have thought I had it in me. They don’t know me vewy well. :cunning: It was all for you, my Sista-Gals, and for my inspiration, Gerry/Attila!

Ben announces that the winner will be chosen by audience applause and he starts with Bimbo, who receives applause from her buddies, a nominal reaction at best I think. Then he goes to Barbra, and her friends cheer her, and the applause is better than Bimbo’s. But, as Ben is even approaching me, the applause and cheering begins and gets really loud! It seems as if the cheering for me is not only Gals and Gerry fans, but most of the audience as well. I am an applause junky and I was definitely in my element! Thank you all of you who were there for supporting me and my premiere Big O performance!

Ben tells me that I have won the contest and I am awarded with a complimentary Thunder From Down Under Calendar, and Ben takes my hand to steady me as I descend from the stage, and he again congratulates me on my long marriage. I think I may have even surprised ol’ Benny Boo-Boo Bear.

Ben danced in a couple of ensemble numbers throughout the show and at one point, he even looked down at me, made eye contact, and said “You havin’ a good toym?” Oh yeah, Ben Baby, I’m delirious! I enthusiastically nod my head ‘yes’. Valerie shouts out to me, “He LIKES you. He keeps looking at you!” I’m like, “Huh? Who me? Nah. He’s just being nice.” But Valerie teased me the rest of the vacation about my boyfriend Ben. My response to that? “Yeah, he liked me. Me and Shirley, the eighty-year-old grandma who was there and who Ben brought on stage to dance for! He knew there were at least two women at the show he felt ‘safe’ with! :lol:

During Michael’s solo number, he jumped out on the tables and danced, and as he made his way near our table, he stopped in front of me and put my hands on his chest. Cassie wanted a full report on how he felt and smelt. :lol: What can I say? He felt good. He had chest hair thank goodness, and it was short and slightly stubbly...must have been growing it back but keeping it trimmed. He was all oiled up with something, although it didn’t feel greasy afterwards. I roved my hands down to get a feel of the six-pack but Michael wasn’t going for that and pulled my hands back up to his chest. After the Big O performance, this just seemed like no big deal. Then, suddenly Michael leans down and kisses Valerie on the cheek right next to her lips! She’s shocked and I’m like “whoa what the...? Sweet!” Val perks up those brows and I see she has a new level of appreciation for Michael!

After the show, we naturally must have a memento of the evening so Valerie and I have our picture made with the ensemble. I’m sitting on my Buddy Ben’s lap, and Val is perched lightly on one leg each of Michael and Sam. I like how Michael’s hand is wrapped around her tiny little waist. I don’t like how Ben has to peer around me to be able to be seen in the picture. Ugh! Here’s a thumbnail of the picture: Posted Image

All the Gals are congratulating me on my Big O performance and I tell them that they inspired me, along with Gerry and those Attila images. We wait around for the guys to leave so they can give us autographs. When Sam came out, I hand my TFDU picture to him to autograph and while he's signing, he glances up at me and says, "Ah, Miss Org*sm!" Hmmm...I seem to be developing a certain notoriety.

Ben finally arrives and he's swarmed by a bunch of eager women. Someone mentioned that he was shorter than he looked on stage. great ego builder there lady. what a betch. I spoke up and said 'good things come in small packages'. Ben had his own come back which I can't recall now but I think it was cheeky.

The truly dedicated to David Moore waited for his arrival. He was the last one to exit, but he is so cute! Cat got to shmooz with him a bit. I think he got a kick out of meeting a fellow Aussie. Cat (Terry's Witch) tells about it in her own vacation post.

Libby is sitting in a seat behind where David decided to stand and sign autographs. He even laid down his possessions and keys on the table where she was sitting. After he gave me an autograph, I backed out of the way for the swarm of other ladies, and took myself over to where Libby was seated. She said she was keeping an eye on his stuff. I looked at David, with his back to us, and said something like "Yes, this is a good angle in which to watch his stuff alright." We both laughed and Libby agreed that his stuff looked mighty fine from where she was sitting!

At last, it was all over too soon and we dazed and crazed women made our way to the exit of the Excalibur. The ragtag little crew that had assembled were all trying to figure out how to get back to the Sahara and with whom, when our venerable Libby took the bull by the ba...horns. Libby procured a limo and in we went; Swan, Libby, Cassie, myself, Jodi, Jill, and the last minute addition of Nancy, with Val taking the front seat with the driver.

Poor Swan was feeling sick, and I believe that the only reason she didn't get sick at her stomach was because Libby commanded that she not be! Other than that, we had a raucous great time riding back to the Sahara! The evening was over too soon. Val and I headed back to our room in the Tunis Tower (how did we get way over there away from all the other Conventioneers?!) laughing and recapping the night together.

We looked forward to registering at the Con the next day! I would finally get to meet our beloved Dr. Em, and so many of the other ladies from Gals and the other sites.

[Next installment to come in the near future! And please note the change to my Gal Name!]

Edited by Songbird
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Ah, yes, Michael. I took my TDFU photo to work and introduced him to my co-workers as my fiance. We've set a date for the fall, the problem is, he just doesn't know it yet. Oh, well, I won't sweat the small stuff.

:cunning: ::D:

I tell ya, the limo driver and his "too bad they're gay" comment had me cracked up. I think he purposely took the long way back to the Sahara so he could hear all the women's comments. I think he was highly entertained. :rotflmao::rotflmao:

Val

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"too bad they're gay" :rotflmao::rotflmao:

There is an entertainer that I am very fond of, a singer who's name I will not call. I have been in love with him for 45 years, so you might figure out who he is. Anyway, he has lost 2 paternity suits and pays child support for those two offspring (one of them may be an adult by now, not sure). Also, he has admitted to several other affairs with women. However, his dear wife, the mother of his 4 legitimate children, has stayed with him through it all. Ya think she thinks he's gay? Well, anyway, my ex-husband was so jealous of this man that he used to try to persuade me that he was gay! Can you believe it? The man is a cad, a ladies' man, the King of Romance, and a two-timing jerk.... but he's definately not gay! I agree with Katie that this is something men tell themselves about gorgeous sexy men, in an effort to alleviate their own inferiority. And I think it is hilarious!

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Katie! This is hilarious!! I was in the Celebrity Suite when you reinacted your winning "performance". :funnyface: I must say, it sounded lovely! And from what I gather...me...the PRINCESS OF VANILLA could have whipped those two other contestants with little effort! I'm SO glad your performance stomped all over them! :rotflmao:

Libby! I haven't forgotten your comment to me about EH on Saturday night! Hooray!

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Songbird - I'm just loving reading your story. What a fantastic time that whole weekend was. I loved meeting you at the restaurant. I just instantly felt like I had met someone I'd known forever. And your performance at TFDU was to die for. The GALS table wasn't the only group cheering. :woo:

As a quick side comment, I love your description of your friendship with Val. I, too, have a friend that I can describe the same way. We have known each other for 30 years (since we were 12), she was my maid of honor, is my daughter's godmother, and all of my kids surrogate auntie. I can't imagine going thru life without her. Who knew we could have such good taste in friends in the 7th grade? :lol: We just got back from spending two weeks with her on vacation. Friends like that are a gift from God.

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Songbird - I'm just loving reading your story. What a fantastic time that whole weekend was. I loved meeting you at the restaurant. I just instantly felt like I had met someone I'd known forever. And your performance at TFDU was to die for. The GALS table wasn't the only group cheering. :woo:

As a quick side comment, I love your description of your friendship with Val. I, too, have a friend that I can describe the same way. We have known each other for 30 years (since we were 12), she was my maid of honor, is my daughter's godmother, and all of my kids surrogate auntie. I can't imagine going thru life without her. Who knew we could have such good taste in friends in the 7th grade? :lol: We just got back from spending two weeks with her on vacation. Friends like that are a gift from God.

Friends like that are a gift from God.

You got that right Jill!

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