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Mike Randle


Bartlet Diary No. 2,
October 29, 2003



Paula, being her usual anal-retentive self, shows up at LAX at 8 a.m. for a 10:25 a.m. flight despite her helpless husband’s protests that he had to make it to a sports bar in order to catch the opening of the Michigan State game and couldn’t she take a shuttle instead?

But it’s good she got to LAX early – she wore this huge-ass belt buckle that set off about 100 alarms and she got escorted to a private area where they made her open everything and take off her shoes and belt and lift up her shirt.

Come to think of it, I think she just lifted up her shirt for the hell of it.

Eventually, everyone else wandered over to the same gate area. I heard through the grapevine that the Singer forgot his guitar. But he brought the guitar case. In my book, that’s preferable to my hoe Heather, who once left her viola and viola case in El Paso on some WACO tour.

“The Band Relaxing”

Arrived in Philly around 6:30 p.m. Why am I skipping the part about the actual flight itself? How was the plane ride? you ask. HOW DO YOU FREAKIN’ THINK? I’m stuffed in that stupid pocket in the seat in front of me, leftover peanuts riding up my butt, and Paula, Ana, and Heather are laughing their asses off at some stupid in-flight movie with Jim Carrey while poor Chapple and Dan are trying to sleep. This is supposed to be rock star living? Where’s the freakin’ crack? No, these so-called rock chicks insist on drinking juice and then their Don Johnson-lookalike flight attendant warns them that the spicy Bloody Mary mix has 2,070 milligrams of salt in it. I’m like, BRING ON THE VODKA. But no, these girls want to be SOBER for the flight. Get me to first class, NOW.

Mike Fornatale and Gene Kraut are there waiting for us when we arrive. Somehow we all end up in the vans and blah blah blah, follow each other to the Best Western City Center Hotel which is within walking distance from the Philadelphia Art Museum and has a view of downtown Philly.

But no one cares about the tourist crap. Everyone dumps their stuff off, then heads straight for the sports bar/pub in the hotel. Paula stuffs me in her purse and drags me to the bar to meet my girlz – fiddle chick Carrie (I know she wants me, she has a thing for bears), violin goddess Julie (yeah, I saw her checkin’ me out when she thought I wasn’t looking, she’s got a thing for cuddly bears, too), cello gal Ana (she ignored me all night, and I love girls who play hard to get with us teddy bears), and viola Chiquita Heather couldn’t keep her hands off me. She’s always squeezing me ‘n shit.

Now here’s the weird thing – these girls are sexy, lithe, and gorgeous. But they eat like pigs. We’re talking huge plates of mushroom cheeseburgers, hoagies, cheese French fries, and an endless supply of the Philly local brew Yuengling (pronounced Ying-ling). (Educational note: For you beer aficionados, Yuengling is a lager, and apparently in Philly, if you ask for a lager, they always pour ya a Yuengling. In fact, it’s the nation’s fifth-largest brewery. But enough Googling on the Internet.)

Meanwhile, the guys – Guitar God Mike, Camera Shy Rusty, School of Rock Daddyo, Chapple Time Chap, and Horn-y Probyn and Klooky had already gone through several pitchers and were watching the Yankees/Marlins game. (Well, everyone except Probyn, who was munching on his home grown dried strawberries.) In fact, Keep the Peace Rusty almost got into a bar brawl with a local over the score.


Okay, so Rusty didn’t get into a brawl. It was just good-natured ribbing. But I’m losing my mind. Bartlet Bear here wanted a beer brawl. isn’t that what rock tours are all about? Throwing chairs ‘n shit and getting busted by the cops? But nooooo, these guys are so goddamn MATURE. they’re RESPONSIBLE adults.

People eventually left to hit the sack. Carrie went to her room to draw up blueprints of her morning 35-mile run (the girl’s a marathon champion, for Chrissakes, that girl can RUN!), soon followed by Probyn and Ana and Heather. Julie, meanwhile, had a fellow Texas friend visit her at the bar – this cool dude named Matt who had long hair. But wait. the dude’s an engineering graduate student. AUGH! Does no one ROCK in this band? Everyone is so healthy and mature and intelligent. Where the hell are my groupies?

I was so desperate for rock ‘n’ roll chaos that I tried getting Paula to body slam Rusty against the table, but she refused. Then I overheard Randle and Chapple announce it was time for SHOTS.

Now we’re talkin’.

But no. Paula and Daddyo decided it was time to crash. They went to their respective rooms, Bartlet Bear here protesting the whole way. Bitch coulda left me with the others at the bar to drink some shots at 1:30 a.m. But nooo. She drags me to her bed and makes me sleep until 9 a.m. when that crazy-but-hot roommate of hers, Ana, started brewing hot water for that sludge she calls tea. (And I swear, I know Ana wants me, Bartlet Bear. I caught her checkin’ out my bear butt before I too finally fell asleep by 2:30 a.m.)

Next: Phallic sculptures, pink water, and brucethelover.com rules!

Mike Randle


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