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October 29, 2010

The Michael Bolton concert was okay. I won backstage VIP passes from an auction at a local non-denominational church. It was a dry auction, no booze, which was a disappointment. They were raising funds to fight blindness and racism. I was the twelfth, and last, participant at the auction, so I was able to bid aggressively.

The worst part about the VIP passes was the helicopter ride. The chauffeur and I picked him up at Boeing field, where his plane arrived. We then rode together in a helicopter down to Emerald Queen Casino. He's beige and outdated like a suede blazer with leather elbow patches, and he smells like black licorice tastes. I told him straight to his tin-man face that I would confidently bet one thousand dollars that my pregnant sister could tap him out in a cage fight. He disagreed and kept going on and on about a time when he knocked out Kenny Rogers at a wine and cheese festival in Ontario...

Fortunately, Bolton requested that there be a nice bottle of bourbon in the helicopter, and he poured a couple of snifters three-quarters full. I finished my first glass, but caught myself before hollering over the blare of the propeller for his attention and another round, "more, Michael Bolton, please", which would have been a travesty and a severe strike against myself. I have a short list, forcefully written in blue Sharpie ink, of things that I vow to never do. Three of the top four items involve Michael Bolton. The first is to: Never group the words "more" "Michael Bolton" and "please" in the same sentence, in the form of a request.

He asked me if I wanted his autograph. I told him that I didn't have anything for him to sign, but that I would grab some toilet paper after we touch-down at the casino. I was trying to avoid conversation, because helicopters are loud, and Bolton was yelling at me so that I could hear what he was saying (number two on the list is to: Never allow Michael Bolton to yell at me).

The base of the helicopter finally made contact with the cement surface of the top of the casino. Bolton got out first, and then turned around and reached out his hand to help me hop down. It was a bit of a drop from the cockpit to the ground, but Bolton has long legs so he didn't need any help. I reluctantly grabbed his hand. It was wet and cold like an otter's nutsack.

Before the sound check, Bolton asked me if I had any requests. I said "yes, ear plugs, or a gun".

I did tell him that if he sings "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You", I would storm on stage and choke slam him into the drum set. His singing style already sounds like he is struggling through a toilet delivery, and the last thing that I need in my dark life right now is to envision Michael Bolton in a bathroom singing farewell to a commanding deuce.

He said that he had a surprise guest accompanist for that nights' show. He then grinned and put his hand on my shoulder like a dirty high school math teacher with a windowless van, and told me who the guest was. Kenny G.

All of a sudden I felt a hot sensation run from my feet up to the top of my sparsely-haired head. The convincing thought ran through my mind that the helicopter never successfully landed, but instead, we actually crashed somewhere in Kent, I was dead, and all of my verbal abuse of children over the years on Xbox Live sent me to hell. The room started spinning and my vision fogged up. I threw up violently all over Bolton's violet turtleneck, messed my pants, and collapsed to the ground.

The truth is, he did me a favor, because I was passed out through the entire show and woke-up in the back of a town car in my driveway three hours later.

I was pretty hungry at that point, so I asked the driver if he would be willing to run me to Wendy's, which he was totally cool about. His name was Quincy. I ordered my usual Frosty and seven Triple-Stacks. So, all-in-all, it was a pretty good night.

Until next time: Approach auctions with caution, if a concert is a prize, and Michael Bolton is the option.