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Fan Again

I have been on what, for me, is a show-going rampage. In the past week, I saw both Book of Mormon and Eddie Izzard’s Force Majeur show. I am not a fan of musicals, but when a show gets reviews like Book of Mormon did, even I can be lured to the theater. I enjoyed it, I laughed. Laughing is good for you.

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B.O.M. at the grand old Orpheum.

Izzard has long been one of my favorite public people and there was no way I would miss his visit to my little neck of the woods. That neck of the woods being so far from where any of my regular event-going companions live, I invited my parents and a neighbor. We all enjoyed it, which did not surprise me. The neighbor hails from Europe and my parents reared me to appreciate that sort of irreverent humor. That we enjoyed the show was predictable enough, but I did not expect the little self-discovery I made at the Izzard show: I was a fan again, and I kind of liked it.

As soon as we walked in, I felt compelled to get in line to buy stuff. I bought a program, and a tee-shirt, and a hoodie.

I eagerly awaited Izzard’s appearance on stage, with no anxiety about what would happen or how I would describe it, or whether I would be interrupted by a phone call or a buggy internet connection. I did not have to set up my lap top or rush for beverages or trips to the bathroom. I did not have to worry about my appearance or whether I had been sufficiently gregarious.

I was able to have a beer… or two before the show. I could time my arrival within minutes of the event, instead of having to make sure I was there well in advance. I did not have to fret over whether I had offended anyone or shared an opinion too loudly or laughed wrong or done anything to appear unprofessional. I was not worried about undermining my legitimacy as a member of the group. In short, I was not there in any official capacity. I was just a fan in the audience.

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Obligatory tour T and program.

It was very nice. That is not to say I would have turned down a chance to interview the man. Are you kidding? I would have been happy to fret myself sick preparing, knowing full well I would just make a fool of myself anyway. Oh yes, I would jump at the chance to talk to Eddie Izzard. But last night that was not my job. My job was to sit, watch, listen and laugh. Oh, and buy things. Buying things gets you extra points as a fan.

Does this mean that I have lost something by joining the hockey media? Have I joined the hockey media? I still wonder. I have been very lax this summer about my column. I have little or no desire to opine on the whats or hows or shoulds of the Sharks. This morning, I did think to myself that it would be predictably jaw-dropping unexpected for Wilson to snap up Matt Cooke from waivers but… I tweeted nothing. Oh sure, it would be more practical to wait until he clears waivers and then gets bought out and sign him. Treating such a move like something practical or remotely reasonable would make it all the more hilarious. Beyond that, I have no strong ideas about what the Sharks are likely to do this summer. It has been like that for weeks.

I did not even watch all of the Stanley Cup Final. I made sure to catch most of it on audio feed, and I did go sit down to watch the final minutes of the final game. But I was not eager to have any thoughts beyond “that is nice, they look very happy,” or “poor them, they tried very hard. Maybe next year.”

How did this happen? Do I really mind it? Am I just built to jump back and forth between fan and formal observer? Did it start with being shut out of the locker room? I don’t think so, though that certainly made me hyper-sensitive to the matter. Among the media, I have always felt out of sorts, insecure and full of self-doubt. It occasionally rises to the level of paranoia, this questioning and self-scrutiny.

One thing I especially do not feel like doing is ranting. I don’t have any overwhelming anger about anything at this particular moment… except for the packages I have ordered that have not arrived yet. That is irksome. But I do not want to bitch or complain about hockey or the state of the world. Maybe that is the laughter hangover, maybe I am in a good place.

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