Friday, July 22, 2005

Intrigue On The Conan Line

So this morning, I awoke at 7am. "Why Geoff, you're in vacation!" you may be saying, if you knew I was on vacation. "Why would you wake up at 7am?" "Because I wanted to try to get stand-by tickets to see a taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien," I would hypothetically respond. "Oh, that's pretty cool," you say, maybe.

My friend Kay and I figured we'd better get there well before the suggested 9am arrival time to beat the rush. Well we made it there at 7:45, and did not beat the rush by any means. My rough count was that we were 66th and 67th on line. Things were not looking good.

The first hour went by without incident. I ate some marble cake. Read some of Kay's Times, sat on the "Escapes" section. Talked with a very nice couple from Texas standing in front of us, listened to Elvis Costello give a "Today" concert down the block. You know, basic New York stuff.

About the time a man came out to explain the stand-by ticket procedure, our female Texas friend noticed an unwelcome addition to our group. Two young ladies were strangely standing between us and our Texan friends, but off to the right, clearly attempting to escape notice. We started whispering at first. Had they been there all along? No, they definitely had not been. Were they trying to cut us? Yes, they were.

Slowly we started speaking louder and louder, wondering quite loudly what we should do about it and indicating that we were certainly not giving up our space on Conan's stand-by ticket line. At one point female-Texas-friend went right up to them and said "You know, the line ends back there." The ladies ignored her completely.

Now it was my turn, as it was Kay and I that they were actually cutting. I civilly indicated that we were after the Texans. One of the ladies, pleasant as pie, responded "Oh, should I move? Would THAT make you feel better?" I said yes, yes it would. They waddled a few steps behind us, continuing to try to cut the rest of the line. As I was about to indicate that this was probably still not good enough, this same winner of a person said "You're not from around here, are you?"

(Quick aside: what was she insinuating? That cutting is an acceptable part of New York culture? That only touristy hicks would stand up for themselves? That that's the way we DO IT in Noo Yawk and tough balls if ya don't like it? What the hell is that? Anyway.)

I indicated I was from around here. She said "Oh."

The ladies behind us were none too pleased about this turn of affairs also. An older lady, one of the doddering types but still as sharp as a whip, repeatedly attempted charging the two ladies, presumably to tell them off, but maybe to kick their asses. She also started wailing "Who do they think they are? Conan, help us! Where's Conan when you need him?" She was great.

She was held at bay by another woman, I assume her daughter. Unfortunately for our cutting friends, she was clearly from around here, muttering: "They're not cutting me. I'm from the BRONX." And as soon as the line started moving, she whirled around to the rest of the line, pointing at the cutters and shouting "THEY ARE NOT ON LINE! THEY ARE CUTTING THE LINE!"

The cutters were thus naturally expunged from the line and everyone starting with the people five spots ahead of us on line was rejected in the order they arrived.

Only in New York, kids!


christopher said...

Did you get tickets?

Anonymous said... never cease to disappoint me. (sigh)


Geoffrey said...

It's OK, Dusty...he's trying.

No Chris, like I said in the last paragraph I was unfortunately rejected. It's a shame too, cuz I would've worn my February shirt, which is so hilarious Conan clearly would have discovered me. Ah well.

Anonymous said...

Have any of you Elephants (or non-Elephants out there) ever been to a Conan taping? I think that would be a dream come true.

I'm sorry about the mean line cutting ruiners.


christopher said...

Alas, I've never been.

However, I apparently forget things only three seconds after reading them. So maybe I did go, but just forgot about it.

ted said...

Chris, did YOU get tickets?

christopher said...

Ted? Who's Ted? I don't know any Teds.

Anonymous said...

chris, you might have to find other housing when you're in seattle this fall. we only got room for 1 retard...and i'm kinda permanent

Chris S. said...

I have been to the Promised Land and it was as fun as I anticipated.

Unlike Geo(r)ff, some of us Conan fans actually plan ahead to see Conan and call the hotline months ahead of time to score some tix.

The taping I saw was back in 1999 and, sadly, I can't remember the guests that day (My Letterman memories are far more vivid because I went to that taping in '04), but I do recall seeing the debut of a black-unitarded new character, whose chest was emblazoned with a five-letter slang word that describes pituitary-related growth.

I do remember that Cone Dogg was on his game and seemed genuinely pleased with the transpirings. Go see him and fend off any socialites who pretend that they were on line ahead of you. And please pull the "Walker, Texas Ranger" lever a few times for me.

Caitlin said...

one time I saw conan o'brian in a restaurant in New York. And one time my friend saw him buy a sweater at Old Navy in Seattle. that's almost like going to a taping.

Alex said...

I chased after him on the street one time, until he got in a cab.

Coward. I was just going to murder him.

baz said...

is 11 comments an el blog record? how about 12? buy viagra.

Anonymous said...

blog record? ask the family guy. well over a hundred if i recall correctly.

it was awesome. many opinions. and even... opinions about those very opinions. (i kept asking myself, how can that be)(but knew better than to answer)(know better now also)

look it up - family guy. january maybe. blog historian anybody?

baz said...

i just looked it up because i am a geek. it was in january, and it was around 50 comments. someone even used the word "thread". geeks.

btw, awesome use of parenthesis (sp?), anonymous (sp?).

and on the subject, i've been to a conan taping. it was back in '98 or '99, and i was shocked at how comically small his desk is in real life. i knew he was tony robbins-esque, but damn. the image has actually worked it's way into a recurring dream i have, though it's jay leno sitting at conan's desk.

Anonymous said...

50 is well over 100, right?

Thanks for the compliment. (I think)(that's what parenthesis are for, right?)(thinking?)(each thought gets a new parenthesis)(right?)

Jason said...

Hey, I heard this was a good place to leave a comment if you wanted to find a date to the Conan O'Brien show. Does anybody want to go with me?