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Monday, June 12, 2006

England Wins! Also, Stoke

June 10, 2006

Chalkie, our tour manager, is a calm, caring man. He always says "please" and "thank you." His table manners are impeccable. Instead of kicking Zachary in the head to wake him up in the morning, as is our usual protocol, he whispers softly in his ear, easing the drummer into consciousness. We're all sort of in love with him. So it came as a surprise this morning when he was weirdly anxious and irritable.

When a car cut our van off, he said "fucking hell!" instead of his usual smile and wave. When we paused at a rest stop to use the bathroom, he yelled at us to "make it quick!" Then, about an hour outside of Stoke, he pulled the van off the freeway, parked hastily in front of a pub, and ran inside. Confused, we chased after him.

The pub was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with Britons, all dressed in white jerseys adorned with a red cross. It seemed that a match featuring the English team in something called the World Cup was about to take place. We found Chalkie amidst the masses, finally smiling again.

After the England team finished off the Paraguayans, a contented Chalkie took us into Stoke. In Stoke, there lives a mysterious tribe of children who roam the field behind the Underground venue playing football and making out with each other. The locals called them Emoks, a conjunction of Emo and Kids. I call them totally awesome.

The show was amazing, as was the club afterwards. (Though the strip club we went to after that was amazingly bad, in that there was no nudity.)


Ben Lee


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