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"Age is a high price to pay for maturity." -- Tom Stoppard
|Episode 43: How we got front row seats to the MTV Music Video Awards|
@ Where`s Cherie?
Aug 05 2002 - 16:44 PST
cherie writes: September 2001
Cherie and Kristi pose in their Scotish wedding gowns.
Notice our ticket says: Standing Room.
Cherie and Kristi with our "rock star" glasses at the MTV music awards.
Cherie looks back from the front row.
Jennifer Lopez waves hello.
N'sync takes home an award.
Cherie and Kristi.
Cherie and Kristi with Scott, the man who got us front row seats.
Will Smith says "peace."
Bono told me that I had a nice dress.
Kristi, Scott and Mary J. Blige.
Michael Jackson with N'sync.
The view looking back.
His smile is N'sync.
How We Got Front Row Seats to the MTV Music Awards
This story starts, how most of my stories start. 'I met this guyÅ.' So, I met this guy named Ralph at the Cannes Film Festival. Ralph is a producer or an agent or an entertainer or a member of the CIA. I'm not sure, and neither is Ralph.
He has one of those important jobs that you can talk about for hours, but can't explain. After logging at least a 100 hours of conversation about Ralph's job, here is what I 'think' he does. He finds people with money and he finds people with talent, and he gets them together.
Somewhat like a modern day Robin Hood, he takes from the rich 'it's an investment', and gives to the poor guy 'with amazing potential.' The rich guy gets a contract no smaller than the Bible, and the poor guy gets a bank account no smaller than the Red Sea. Ralph plays the tall, dark, and handsome hero.
Ralph's name might suggest he is some goober neighbor of Bart Simpson. Or, since his last name is 'Henderson' that he is the father of a family of cartoon bears. Ralph is as misnamed as Mel Gibson is. We all know 'Mel' is short for Melvin. In other words, they both need to be renamed with cute guy names like 'Brandon' or 'Collin'.
So Ralph calls while Kristi and I were in the middle of a 'Mel Gibson' tour of the Scottish highlands.Ralph said 'Do you want to go to the MTV Music Awards in New York next week, I have tickets.'
We screamed 'yes', did a little dance, and that was the last time I ever remember Ralph calling us.
Now Kristi and I had three problems, which I will list in order of importance.
1. What to wear2. How to get to New York3. Where to stay while in New York
Scotland is cold, so it is a good place to buy raincoats, umbrellas and kilts. We missed summer season in Scotland (July 16th) so we spent our Scottish vacation smack in the middle of the rainy season (July 17th through July 15th)
Before Scotland, we were in the riding camels in the Sahara Desert and throwing tomatoes in Spain's biggest food fight. In other words, we didn't have a thing to wear.
Thus began our formal-gown shopping-spree in Scotland. You know why there are not any famous fashion designers from Scotland? Because the sheep make their own designs. And no one argues with a sheep, it is bad karma. Someone shears the fuzzy critter and then the Scottish people just slop the wool over there shoulders and consider it "highland fashion."
Finally, after searching kilt after kilt store, we found a place with a bunch of very nice gowns. Funny, they were all white. Maybe, I thought, since it was summer, white was the color of the season.
Then some lady at the gown-store was telling Kristi how she always wished that she could go to a prom. She said that in Scotland, they don't have proms and no one ever gets dressed up like on TV shows.
"Then what are all these formal dresses?"
So Kristi and I had the choice of going to the MTV Music Video Awards in a kilt or a wedding dress. (Incidentally, the kilt outfit was more expensive.)
Needless to say, Kristi and I bought two cream Scottish wedding gowns to wear to the MTV awards.
We called Ralph to tell him the good news, even though guys never get as excited about new clothing purchases as they should. This is when Ralph's original sentence construction slightly morphed. His original sentence of 'I have tickets to the MTV Music Awards' changed to 'I am sure I can get you tickets to the MTV Music Awards.'
After we hung up the phone, we recognized the verbiage switch.
'He said he was sure, right?' I asked.'He said he was sure,' Kristi replied.
With 'what to wear' out of the way, we headed for the travel agent who got us a deal to New York for $120. After we bought the non-refundable airline tickets we called Ralph again to tell him the good news. This was the last time that Ralph answered a call from us on purpose--where he could recognize the caller ID.
It was in this conversation that Ralph pulled the 'pretty' card. His new and improved response became: 'I am PRETTY sure I can get you tickets to the MTV Music Awards.'
But, everything works out for Kristi and I, so we began working on dilemma number 3, "where to stay" in New York. We made a list of 11 friends who lived in New York and informed them by phone and e-mail that we were planning a 3-day trip to the Big Apple. Then we waited for the 'you can stay with us invitation.' Eight friends did not respond, and three friends thought it was nice that we notified them of our plans. 11 friends, 0 invitations.
It was the day before we landed in New York that Veronica (a flight attendant for American Airlines) came through and said we could stay with her. Kristi and I have been to New York so many times, we know it like the back of our hands.
Actual Cherie/Kristi conversation:"Where does Veronica live?""I think she lives in Queens.""Don't we need to go to the Bronx?""I thought we wanted to go to Queens.""Aren't they the same place?""Maybe, I don't know."
The ever-gracious guests, with a one-day notice, we could only buy Veronica a 'thank you' gift at Scotland's airport. We purchased some Scottish shortbread because Kristi didn't think my idea of giving her Haggis was very funny. Haggis is the 'National Dish' of Scotland. It is a bunch of tasty organs (heart, liver, all the good and mushy ones) mixed with oatmeal and spices and cooked in a sheep's stomach. It may be the only weird meat dish that DOES NOT taste like chicken. Yes, I tried it. Needless to say, the shortbread won.
The morning of our flight to New York, one of our 'no responses' finally responded. Michael offered us his bed in a great apartment in downtown Manhattan. Michael, of course, came with his bed. Michael is the Student Body President of Colombia University, which I took to mean he has the best body on campus. He does.
Did I mention that the closer the MTV Awards ceremony came, the less certain Ralph's tickets became? Ralph's phone number is burned into my memory as secure as the 80's song 867-5309.
This exact conversation was held at least 84 times in the 3 days preceding the MTV Music Video Awards.
Ralph answers his phone not recognizing the caller ID.Ralph says: 'Ralph Henderson.'Ralph thinks: ÑI hope this isn't Cherie and Kristi.'Cherie & Kristi say: 'Hi Ralph, it is Cherie and Kristi!'Cherie & Kristi think: ÑPlease don't say, 'I'll call you back'.'Ralph says: 'I have to call you back.'Ralph thinks: ÑCan I change my number?'
After the call ends:Kristi: 'Do you think he will call us back this time?'Cherie: 'No.'Kristi: 'What should we do?'Cherie: 'Let's give him 15 minutes, and call him back from another phone.'
Cut to three hours before the MTV Music Awards. We still didn't have tickets. We were in the lobby of the Trump Tower, just after sneaking past the 'high police security.' Outside was a mess of 14 year-old girls who had set up camp to 'star watch.'
Kristi and I were inside waiting for 'Ralph's contact'. We were casually hanging-out with Pete Sampras and his wife. (Hanging-out is defined as being in the same lobby.) Incidentally, the night before Pete had just won an incredible match against Agassi.
Ralph's contact comes up to us and says three words: No more tickets.
What we did then, might be described as begging. We pleaded our case. We had just bought formal gowns and flown all the way from Scotland. There had to be something we could do.
Our story touched her. Or, perhaps it was the money we handed her. She disappeared into a secret room and began negotiations on our behalf.
Never, during any of this, did it ever occur to me that we would not be going to the awards show. I was just certain that we would go. Perhaps the only people who can understand this type of insane certainty are those who have actually found their soul mates. I was simply certain that we would go.
Enter Scott, a guy with a big head, big mouth, big wallet and a big car. Scott asked us if we'd like to ride in his limousine to the MTV Music Awards. We said we would love to, but we wen't sure if we had tickets. Moments later, Ralph's contact appeared with two tickets. We were going to the show, and we were going in a limo.
We called Ralph and got his machine. Can you imagine that? So we made up a song about how Ralph was our hero and we thanked him a billion times and made a mental note to buy him a thank you gift. Perhaps Haggis?
After we darned our formal attire we waited for Scott's limousine. It never showed. So we took a very sophisticated taxi and then didn't even get to walk up the red carpet. Our nosebleed seats were not even seats; they were standing room only. In sum, we were overdressed in formal evening-gowns, our limo stood us up, we just had to pay big bucks for the crapiest seats in the place, and we had to walk in the yucky-entrance because our seats weren't good enough to walk down the red carpet.
But, stay tuned for the next episode to find out how we ended up getting front-row seats to the MTV Music Awards, meeting all the stars, traveling around in a limousine, and going to Snoop Dog's VIP after-party.
Click on each picture to see it full size.
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