Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My White (Purple) Whale

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As promised, I'm here to share the debriefing from my secret mission last Saturday. So here goes. The tteh! crew took the beautiful city of St. Augustine by storm for the day. We had drinks at St. George Tavern and more drinks and lunch at A1A Ale House. I recommend the fish tacos!. We visited the Bloody Sunset house on 124 Marine Street, had more drinks at the No Name Bar and then Robert and Nick puffed on some cigars at Stogies. We didn't see the ghost upstairs, but had a lovely 20 minute conversation with a guy who drove a limo in Hawaii and repeatedly told us, "I wouldn't lie, I met a lot of people."

Two highlights for me were him telling Prince, "I'll be waiting back stage after the show to pick you up" and Prince saying, "no you won't you, you'll be in the front row" and the other was him threatening to kick the members of Wu Tang Clan out of his limo for breaking his crystal glasses. Limo driver, "You know how much that crystal is?" Wu Tang Clan member, "We are the Wu Tang Clan!" Limo driver, "You'll be the Wu Tang Clan on the side of the road!" This is the same guy that told us that he pushes his bike from Palatka to St. Augustine, a 30 mile trek, just in case he wants to ride it back. Classic!

Finally, we finished the day with fruity drinks in The Backyard of Meehan's Irish Pub. All that made for a great day, but my main purpose for the trip was the attempt to obtain a copy of the limited Record Store Day release of the Arctic Monkey's 7" single, "R U Mine? with the B-side "Electricity".

I woke up at 7:30 am on a fricking Saturday morning, walked the dog, picked up Robert and then we swung by to get Tiffany. The clock read 8:30 am and we were heading down 95S, to the ancient city's famous attraction, Music Matters. It's one of the only, if not the only, record store in St. Augustine that still sells vinyl. All the way down I was nervous. Were there going to be a lot of Arctic Monkeys fans? Did we leave too late? Who will I have to beat down to get my hands on the prize? Robert mentioned something about this being my white whale. I thought to myself, I hope I'm more successful than Ahab. As we pulled into the parking lot and I saw that a line (8 people) had already formed, my worries grew because there was only one copy of this purple beauty.

As we walked up, I started to size up the competition. I worked my way from the back of the line to the door. The first two, in front of me, were a young couple. I pegged them for Flagler College students. She was wearing a tie-dye T-shirt, black horned rim glasses, Birkenstocks and her hair was in a dirty ponytail. He was dressed like Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. I ruled her out, but I kept my eyes on him, looking and listening for any hints that would tip his hand. Next in line was your average middle aged couple, him in velcro Teva sandals (no socks thankfully) and her in mom jeans and a plain looking shirt tightly tucked in. They were definitely not Arctic Monkeys fans. With a quick glance, I immediately ruled out the next lady in line as well. She was gray haired and looked to be in  her late 50's.

Tiffany zoned in on #3, but I didn't see him as that much of a threat. Like the lady behind him, he seemed to be in his late 50's, but she was convinced that he was someone to worry about. He did look like he was the type of guy who might go in and buy everything up and then sell it on eBay so we started to devise our plan. Would Tiffany use her female powers?  Maybe Robert could go buck naked and yell, "hey look at me!" as he streaked by the store. The more I studied this guy, the more I tried to convince myself that he was there for the Grateful Dead Live release or maybe the Paul McCartney single, however I would still keep our plan in my pocket just in case.

Finally, my eyes made it to the first two in line. They were a hippie looking couple. She was sans bra and I swear she smelled of trail mix and patchouli and when he turned around he wore a glorious granola saver, Phish t-shirt and matching hat. Yes! Eliminated! My eight competitors were now narrowed down to two, the Ezra Koenig look alike and Mr. Grateful Dead.

As the owner emerged from the store around 9:50 am, 10 minutes early, to welcome and thank everyone for showing up, I listened carefully to his instructions. Then something pretty cool happened, he told the Phish couple that they would get the album they wanted because they had been there since 5:30 am. It was go time. Just before the door opened, I asked Tiffany and Robert to hit the LP section and I would go straight to the 7" single section. The door opened, we all piled in and I made a bee-line to my section. "Grateful Dead" wanted Coldplay, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. Yes! I looked around and "Vampire Weekend" was nowhere to be seen. I moved to the counter and saw the purple circle tucked into it's virgin white sleeve. I swear, as I reached for it, a bright light began to shine through the window and angels or maybe it was Florence + the Machine could be heard in the background. The owner handed it to me and I'm sure I had a child's grin on my face. It would be the perfect start to an awesome day with friends and I hope I get a chance to do it all again next year.

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