My sister and I had a strange reaction to the realization that we couldn’t afford VIP Packages to a summer music festival featuring the New Kids on the Block. We decided to make a Youtube video and try our damndest to make it go “viral”. The goal, you ask? No idea. Of course we assume that all of the members of NKOTB will see the video, fall madly in love with us and leave their families. That’s a given. Beyond that, though, it’s just for fun.
We began shooting in my living room with a very solemn “written word only” introduction. In the video, we are known only as “The Williams Sisters” and made sure to explain that we were not Venus and Serena. I mean, the difference is obvious. We do NOT play tennis. After donning appropriate New Kids attire we headed downtown to our favorite bar to have a courage drink and force some patrons to sing along to “The Right Stuff”. In our heads, we had the bartenders singing behind the bar, the bouncers dancing on the sidewalk and the patrons bobbing their heads in unison. In reality, we played the song on the jukebox and had somebody film us flubbing the lyrics and laughing too hard to get any good footage. We’re really good at movie-making.
After noticing that nobody at the bar cared about our venture we made the wise decision to head to one of the gay bars to do some New Kids Karaoke. Not only do they not mind when we sing NKOTB songs, they encourage it. We set up the camera and did a rousing rendition of “The Right Stuff”, complete with dance moves and my visible windedness. At midnight, we realized we had to book it to Division Ave if we wanted to catch the gay club at its peak. On our walk, we experimented with some 80s dance moves across crosswalks and almost got hit by a few cars. It’s all in the name of art. We also managed to get some passersby to stop and lip sync some lyrics on the sidewalk. When we reached the door to the gay club we knew we had made the right decision. The sidewalk was crawling with flamboyant drunks and eager-to-please hags (of which I am one). Rather than dive right in, we decided to take our chances in the club and see if the DJ would play an NKOTB song.
After checking with the bartender on whether or not filming was allowed inside the building we headed to the DJ booth, got distracted by Montell Jordan on the way and stopped on the dance floor. I was filming my sister in her Joe Mac getup when a giant bouncer stopped me, beckoned for me to follow him and sternly instructed my sister to stay put. She was nervous. I was nervous. He silently urged me to follow him up some dark stairs and I went without question (in retrospect, I should probably ask questions before following a giant man up a dark stairwell in a sketchy club). When we got to the top of the stairs he explained (by pointing) that I could get an interesting angle from up there and I continued filming while my sister danced, scared and alone. I was then led to one of the go-go dancer platforms where I shot from yet another angle (and caught chlamydia) until I decided I had enough interesting angles of my sister dancing awkwardly by herself and thanked the giant.
We abandoned the dance floor and headed out to the street in hopes of exploiting some drunk gays. We got some great footage of a drag queen, a couple we deemed “Jack and Grace” and unsuccessfully tried convincing others to join in. At that, we decided to head back home to Eastown and try our hand with the bikers and punk rockers at their respective hangouts. Followed of course by Yesterdog. What we encountered in Eastown was not what we bargained for. We parked across from a man who was gearing up his motorcycle to leave and I quickly jumped out of the car to stop him. I was seconds away from convincing this middle-aged, bearded man to perch atop his motorcycle and lip sync some “oh oh oh oh oh”s when my sister “saved the day” by asking if she could simply sit behind him on the bike and sing the song. He creepily and enthusiastically obliged. While we were focused on the biker, a crackwhore (not exaggerating) was watching from the shadows.
She fell into step with us as we headed toward Yesterdog and made conversation. She remembered the New Kids and wanted to be in the video. I happily joined her in a round of the running man and sang another portion of “The Right Stuff”. We thanked her for her time and began walking away only to realize she wasn’t leaving. She asked if we could spare some cash and of course we said we didn’t have any on us. She very helpfully pointed out that there were several ATMs within walking distance and offered to escort us to one, reminding us that she had just allowed us to use her in our video. Entrapment! She went on and on about how her and her daughter were hungry and asked if we were going to Yesterdog. I said we were and asked if she wanted us to get them some hotdogs. Her reply was, “oh no, we don’t eat pork”. Uh. What?
We had already agreed to go to an ATM, get cash and break it at Yesterdog to give her a few dollars. We got the money and headed back in the direction of the food when she insisted we go into the liquor store to get change instead because it was “closer to where she was going”. At that point I started to get irritated. I told her that we weren’t going that way and that if she wanted money she’d have to just suck it up and follow us to Yesterdog. While I was all puffed up and preachy, my sister had already headed into the liquor store. I shook my head and followed her in, noting that the crackwhore opted to wait outside. The guys in the store offered to go outside and tell her to leave, as they had dealt with her before. They said she didn’t have a daughter, she didn’t want food, and she did, in fact, want some scratch-off lottery tickets. A wise investment. My sister and I opted to go tell her that they wouldn’t give us change and tell her to follow us back to a more populated area. She did. We told her we had to pee and ducked into the punk rock bar, promising our quick return. We hid in there until last call.
Miss crackwhore was gone when we came out and we were finally on our way to hotdog heaven. Only a line of about 25 drunk people stood between us and some Ultra Dogs. While waiting in line, we naturally began quizzing the other hungry queuers about NKOTB. Our video-research was mistaken for flirting and we managed to adopt two line-stalkers in a matter of minutes. One was an old man who looked a lot like Sean Penn (now, not then) and the other was a douche I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a lineup today. Generic. They talked our ears off throughout the entire wait until it was our turn to order. Generic Douche insisted on buying our food ($4 total. Big spender) and then we were obligated to sit with them, since the hotdogs all came out on one tray. My sister enlisted the help of a more attractive and less annoying line-waiter and formulated a plan for him to storm up and demand we leave with him. He chickened out and left so we were forced to come up with a last-second plan b. Sean Penn was getting touchy-feely and giving me vibes like he thought he was going to sex me, so I was in panic-mode. My sister looked at me for a split-second and bolted from the table. I took a moment, mumbled something about her being my ride and ran out of there as well. We literally ran down the street to our car, looking behind us to make sure Generic Brand and Wrinkley Rain Man hadn’t followed us and giggled all the way back to my apartment