Standing Room Only Until You Fall Down [A Modern Fable]


There’s nothing like the concert experience. Actually, there is, public transportation during rush hour, minus the loud music.

As Horace Face made his way through the crowd, barely holding on to three beers in wax-coated paper cups, his knees buckled. Beer sloshed all over him. He had never experienced such a sensation before. He did not like it one bit. He recovered as if nothing happened, so he proceeded.

Speaking of proceeded, so too did the opening act for The Mollygoggles, Alternate Fools, the up and coming post-romantic-emo-ska trio with a twist, they were actually a quartet. The keyboard player, Maynard T. Trumpet, who played offstage, claimed to have stage fright, but it was just a ruse for a much more sinister plot. He watched Horace with great interest.

Horace handed off the half empty beers to his friend and enemy, Trixie Sixx and Bertha “You Brought Her” Buttox. Trixie looked at her mostly empty cup with curiosity and slugged it down, eyes crossed.

Horace made himself as comfortable as one could get in a loud rundown arena. He put his free hand in his pocket, sipped his flat lukewarm beer and closed his eyes while grooving like a white man does at concerts; barely and with an extreme overbite.

All of a sudden, he twitched uncontrollably, beginning with his hands, then through the rest of his body. He was in full-on convulsion mode. He fell flat on his back, jittering wildly.

The audience around him cheered, respecting the hell out of his abstract dance.

The song ended, and Horace recovered. He sat up and shook his head, as if to loosen the bad mojo out of himself.

Bertha helped him up. “My God, what the hell was that?”

Horace answered with the most dumbfounded expression.

Meanwhile, Maynard flipped a coin. Heads, he will stop playing the C major 9th chord; tails, he will keep playing it until that dude dies. The coin landed and rolled off the stage, disappearing onto the floor. Maynard cursed like a drunken priest.

MORAL: One in 5,000 people are C major 9th chord intolerant. The consequences can be lethal, leading to partial to permanent paralysis, severe kidney damage, uncontrollable seizures, and in some cases, instantaneous death. Consult your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough to use C major 9th chord-canceling earplugs. Common side effects are loss of hearing, wax build up, ear irritation, and loss of balance.

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