Friday, March 21, 2008


Fiction Outtake: Easter Eggs (Trevor's Song era)

"I just don't get it," Eric said. "I've done this for years. Why's it a problem now?"

"Because we're ShapeShifter," Mitchell said with a small shrug, like it was no big deal. But it was.

"We were ShapeShifter before yesterday! What changed?"

Now Mitchell sighed. "The number of records we've sold, the number of people who come to see us every night, the security staff, the type of hotel we stay in… do I really need to keep going?"

"It's called success, wanker," Trevor said, leaning around Mitchell so Eric could see his face.

Eric was privately glad when Mitchell gave the bass player a shove back into place. He understood it, and Mitchell knew that. Lord knew, they'd had these talks often enough. They were starting to be routine -- until the reason for today's talk. There was nothing routine about this, about what had happened.

Worst of all, their manager said if they didn't start being more careful, there would be more of them. They were lucky this was the first time.

He shook his head again. "I just don't get it."

Trevor sighed loudly. "What you don't get," he said, standing up so he could pose and vogue, "is why the band's in trouble over something you did. You're the good one, the one who never creates waves. So now that some chick's pissed that you threw candy into the crowd when she was busy begging her boyfriend to suck her face or something so she wasn't watching you and took one of your stupid candied eggs to the face and now she's making noise about suing us, you're pretending it doesn't make sense. What doesn't make sense is why no one's bothered to see how bad the girl's hurt--"

"JR told us not to try to contact her," Daniel said quickly. "Because she's got her lawyer involved."

"We still ought to know," Trevor insisted. "Did a corner of the wrapper put her eye out? Does she have a bruise she could have gotten when some crowd surfer dropped his foot? Did the stupid chocolate egg make her swallow her own tooth?"

"I don't throw that hard!"

"Maybe you should have," Trevor spit at him.

Mitchell growled. Trevor sat down.

Eric tried to understand what that had been about. It made about as much sense as this girl, who was having a tantrum about being hit in the eye by one of the chocolate Easter eggs he'd thrown into the crowd. He'd been throwing Easter candy for years. He'd done interviews about it. Every single ShapeShifter fan out there knew that for a few shows before Easter, Eric threw chocolate eggs. That was just one of the things ShapeShifter did.

And now this girl, who had been there only to make her boyfriend happy, was having a hissy fit. Trevor was right: she hadn't been watching the band.

"Hey," he said suddenly, "what about that bit about 'Enter at your own risk' that's on the back of every ticket? Is that still there?"

He was met by three dumb looks.

"I'll call JR and ask," Mitchell said after a painfully long minute of silence. "You might be onto something."

"A ticket," Daniel said. "Shit, I'd forgotten all about those things, it's been so long since we've needed them."

"That's because we're ShapeShifter," Trevor said. He tapped a cigarette on its box. "I told you idiots I'd make this band big."

"Yep," Mitchell said, standing up and heading for the hotel phone. "It's all because of you, Trev."

"I hope this doesn't mean the end of my eggs," Eric said.

"It does," Mitchell said. He paused and put the phone down. "Look, it sucks, but is it such a shitty thing to have to give up? Think about it, Eric. Can you give up the eggs if we're getting all this other stuff in return?"

This conversation, too, was starting to have hints of déjà vu to it. They were having to give up going in the front doors of hotels, of being able to move around without a bodyguard shadowing them. Every time someone complained, that was the answer: all this other stuff in return. Our dreams, they're coming true. It's worth it.

They were only chocolate eggs. But that didn't mean he was ready to give them up.

Have you seen the free download yet?

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Maybe it's just because of the conversation you and I were having, but I read the end of this thinking, "Yeah. How fair is it that you have to give up so many of the simple pleasures in order to achieve your dreams? Why does getting what you want involve in some way turning into precisely who you don't want to be?"

In spite of the lighthearted tone, this was a thought-provoking post.

Either that or my hormones are out of whack today. One never knows after 40, LOL!
Yeah, there's an element of the past day in there, for sure.
I love it! Read the ticket honey. You tell 'em.
I'm feeling a tad bit of deja vu...
Can I have ONE chocolate egg!


dancing comes full circle
This post reminds me of when Rott and I went to a KNAC.COM event at a club and DJ Junkman (aka Junkie) was tossing CDs into the crowd. He winged one just a little too hard like a frisbee and caught this girl in the forehead. HEH. I swear he was hiding between all us for the rest of the night waiting for some dude to jump his bones screaming that he was her boyfriend. To this day, Rott always greets Junkie with, "Dude, thrown any good CDs lately?"
Clever work, for sure! Timely, too! :)
What struck me most was how freaking litigious Americans have become. Yes this is fiction, but it so easily could have happened. Suing over getting beamed by a chocolate egg? Absolutely ridiculous. Obscene even.
I really like how the beginning of this really captured a typical "guys giving each other crap" conversation. Then, when you were expecting it least, it became thought provoking. Fabulous.
being an aging metal head myself,, i cannot imagine even thinking about suing anyone for getting hurt at a show... i mean.. wasn't that why we were there??? loud music and the very real possibility of carnage right before your very eyes???
Yup, I'm with Bunnygirl -- not only was this story a pleasure to read as a story, it got me thinking, too, about how the achievement of big dreams often turns out to be a double-sided coin. With the achievement of any dream, new challenges and difficulties arise. I've already seen that at work in small ways, and I'm sure it's no different with the achievement of big dreams.

And I love chocolate eggs! Eric is more than welcome to lob one at me! :-D
Yep, Eric can through chocolate eggs at me any time! I love the inner message. Great post, Susan.

Happy Easter.
Seesh - that would be "throw"!!
Hee! Shelley, are you a little excited by the idea of the chocolate egg throwing?
I wouldn't give up chocolate eggs easily either, but then I wouldn't give them away either :)

On a more serious note this illustrates perfectly how litigious society has become. It takes all the fun out of things as once someone sues, the party is over. Even Erics.
She's just mad because it didn't land in the right place, but if he has to give it up, well, if they are dark chocolate, I'll take them.
Great post, and so true: when you get to where you thought you wanted to be, it so often turns out not to be quite as you imagined.
I would not give anything made out of chocolate :)
Thanks for the comment on my blog.

I love the way you incorporated the the weekly scribbling, or was that coincidence? Clever!
You win some, you lose some. You win a spot in the big leagues, you lose the freedom of egg throwing. It's actually the sacred balance of the universe at work, even in Trevor's world.
A fantastic post, fun, but thought-provoking.

Somehow I think today would be a lot better if someone came in and bombarded me with chocolate eggs.
I loved the fact that they had an out with the back of the ticket "Enter at own risk", nice little touch.
I like this. It's light the way they tease and joke each other, but at the root of it is something very serious. Nice job!!
I like the discussion centering on what is okay and what's not okay to give up in pursuit of their dream. It's also extraordinarily realistic - we seem to lower ourselves, culturally, to the lowest common denominator. If he always throws eggs and someone isn't paying attention, rather than telling them to pay attention, they punish the artist. Silly and backwards. Great story! You made me care about these guys, and see them as real people. Brava!
I think I like Trevor the best. =P
He really shouldn't have to give them up. It's one of those harmless things that make a show special.

Excellent look into the restrictions of stardom.
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