James VanOsdol

Weekdays, 7 - 11pm

My worst concert experience: Stepping in human s***

A co-worker just asked me what my worst concert experience ever was. That’s an easy one to answer: Iron Maiden. Not because of anything Iron Maiden did, mind you… they were completely awesome. Bruce Dickinson still nails all the notes.

Five years ago, I went to see Maiden and Alice Cooper at the First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre (now Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre; whatever). It was ten thousand degrees outside, but that was fine with me–I packed baby wipes in my shorts. Nothing says “metal” like patting down one’s face with Cottonelle wipes during “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.”

At some point towards the end of the show–I’m not sure if it happened when I was in the bathroom or while I was walking through the grassy parking lot to my car–I stepped in human excrement.

I wasn’t immediately aware of what had happened. My first hints came on the car ride home, when I became aware of “a smell.” Because it was hot and disgusting out, I assumed that the stench was coming from the two guys I went to the show with. “Man,” I thought to myself for the entire trip, “these guys reek.” My brain hadn’t made the connection that sweat, no matter how much of it has been excreted, does not smell like feces.

When I got home, I realized my left shoe was covered in dung. Just to clarify, there are no dogs, horses, or cows allowed at a rock concert. After a brief moment of denial, I disgustedly accepted the fact that I traipsed through man-made feces. After giving it some thought, I remembered a guy awkwardly and drunkenly pacing between the parked cars. He showed all the signs of a ground-s***er. There’s a good chance he was responsible for “Number Two of the Beast.”

After chucking my shoes out the back door and scrubbing myself down with chlorine, I took a shower and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I had a chilling thought: Did I track it into the car? As I stepped out into the 90 degree weather a few minutes later, I considered that if there was dung in my car, it was going to be slowly roasting on the accelerator pedal. Sure enough, when I opened my door, I dry heaved to the sight and smell of excrement painted across the driver’s side floor and door interior. This sort of thing would never happen at a Mumford and Sons show. Then again, I’d never go to a Mumford and Sons show. I had to take my car to a couple different car washes before I was convinced it was habitable again.

I’m going to see Maiden again next month, but I’m afraid. Very afraid.

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