The Russian Band story

When you work at a venue, stuff is bound to happen. So stuff happened. But there was one night that stood out above any other night I spent there.
Just about one year ago, when I still I lived near the venue I worked at,  I was a voluntary cameraman, which basically means you get a camera and just shoot the band while they’re performing.
I had just moved into town, and got lucky enough to end up living about 10 minutes away from this venue. One night, I signed up to work when a Russian folk-band would perform. Being a big fan of some folk-music, I made sure I’d handle the on-stage camera while the band was playing. This was a good move.
As usual, I got some free coupons to get drinks, so I spent them on beer most of the night. As the concert came to and end, so did my soberness. I had been drinking beer pretty much constantly when I was given the opportunity. The band stopped playing, so the people were slowly pooring out of the building, giving me easier access to the bar. More beer was had.
After the last visitors left, we cleaned up the place and re-opened the bar. It’s a custom to do that. Consider it a ‘Thank you’ to all the volunteers that worked that night: You work and clean up, we provied free booze afterwards.
One of my mates was working too that night, and back then we used to drink whiskey-cola, so he fixed us up. And he fixed another. And another. And then some. And every time, there would be less coke and more whiskey. My vision became blurred and I slowly lost the ability to make sense when I opened my mouth. Right around that time, one of the managers told me to go clean the band’s dressing room.
When I got there, the band hadn’t left yet. In fact, they were still going at it. This is where taking up the stagecam turned out to be a good move, because they reckognized me and told me to sit down and drink with them. Of course, they were Russians in the most stereotypical sense of the word, so they were drinking vodka. We emptied about two bottles before I headed back to my colleagues. Forget about cleaning up the dressing room, I had to tell everyone that I played the singer’s balalaika. No, that’s not an innuendo, a balalaika is a triangular snare-instrument. And I played his.
I staggered back to the bar, still holding half a bottle of vodka, shouting incomprehendable things at imaginary people. When I sat back down, my mate set me up for another whiskey-cola which I downed witin seconds. Then I fell off the barstool.
This was the signal for my mate and one of the other colleagues to take me home, kind of. They were shitfaced themselves, which made it quite the effort for them to pick me up and take me outside.
There are only three clear memories I have that give me any indication of what happened after we left.
One: running over cars. I must have jumped on and walked over any parked car that got in my way. It’s a miracle I didn’t set off any alarms.
Two: bush-wrestling.  At one point we walked by a bunch of knee-high bushes. One of us pushed one of the other guys in, followed by the other two guys jumping on top of him.
Three: talking to my ex on the phone around 4:30am. I think I called her to tell her that I was kicking an empty drinking carton. This epic adventure had to be reported.
I have no recollection whatsoever about where the other two guys went. The last thing I remember was lying in the bushes with them, and after that I was walking home by myself. I don’t know how long I blacked out, and I still haven’t found out where they went during that period, because they can’t remember either.
What I do remember is coming home and pulling out the couch to sleep on it. When I laid down, I immediately felt like my insides were rebelling, so I wanted to get up to make a run for the toilet. Then I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the toilet in time. To give you an idea, this toilet was only 6 or 7 steps removed from my room. I wouldn’t have made it. Instead, I looked for the best thing to hurl into, which turned out to be an empty lastic bag. I opened it just in time, and still missed it completely. Of course, I only found out about that when I woke up the next morning.
The thing that woke me up was the smell. It reeked. Horribly. When I got myself to open my eyes, I didn’t notice anything at first. Then I saw a stain coming out from under that plastic bag. I lifted it, and immediately felt like I was going to throw up again. The complete floor was covered in stinking black puke. The longer I looked around, the more I discovered. It was everywhere. I’m still amazed that I managed to miss the furniture. And the stench was incredible. And I had to clean it up.
When I eventually got myself to get up, after overcoming the terrible headache that welcomed me when I first tried to raise my head, I went looking for some towels to clean everything up. While I was doing this, I got a text message saying ‘You sober yet?’. I assumed it to be one of my colleagues, or even that ex I called, but it was from my mother. It took me ten minutes to find out why my mom had sent me a text message, but after going through my text history, it turned out that I had sent her the following text: ‘Ich heb op de bandalailai van de nwanges hergeelig’. I had no idea what it meant. Untill later that day, when I read it again. It was supposed to say ‘Ik heb op de balalaika van de zanger gespeeld’, which means as mush as ‘I played the singer’s balalaika’. My phone is set to word reckognition, but as my hand-eye coordination had gone awol, I didn’t actually manage to type what I had in mind. People still talk about that text. One guy even has it on a t-shirt.
The aftermath was pure horror. Apparently I had promised to come work again the next day. I felt miserable and just wanted to sleep, but I am a man of my word, so I got to work anyways. The place turned out to be completely sold out. It was packed. At one point, I couldn’t take the crowd and the heat anymore, so I sat down near the entrance to get some fresh air. I must’ve looked incredibly fucked up, because the manager eventually sent me home to get some sleep, which I gratefully did. I ended up being sick for an entire week.

I wouldn’t’ve done it any different though. I mean, some guy ended up with my text message on a t-shirt. There’s no beating that.


~ by freudianzombie on June 1, 2007.

One Response to “The Russian Band story”

  1. […] for her to look at. Yes. That is an actual, Russian balalaika. I bought that shortly after the Russian Band story took place. I thought it’d be a nice touch to the whole ‘Russian girly […]

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