September 06, 2006

Lines of Doom

The kid will write his own report tomorrow, but I thought I'd tell my own short tale of today's registration for the American Idol auditions.

Keep in mind, this was to register to audition, not the auditions themselves. Auditions are on Friday.

So we got up at 4am. Theoretically (according to the AI website) registration was to start at 6am, and nobody was allowed to camp overnight in line or even line up prior to 6am. So of course people started lining up at midnight.

We got to the Target Center just prior to 6am, and because of a gap that was being maintained for some reason or other at the corner, thought that the line wasn't Too Long, and decided not to lug the camp chairs along. After waving goodbye to the Pirate (who drove us there), we hiked to the end of the line...

... And discovered that it continued around the corner. And around the next corner. And pretty darned close to the next corner.

We stood still, packed like sardines in an amorphous can approximately 8 people wide and thousands long, for the next 4 hours. They didn't register people at 6am, or 7, and I suspect from the lack of movement that they started considerably after 8 (although I couldn't swear to it - they might have spent time trying to loosen up the crowd up front - it was probably pretty bottlenecked by then).

I really regretted that chair, I did.

We started detecting movement on our end of the line at around 9:30, and it took probably a bit less than an hour for us to get to the registration desks. Even very stop-and-go movement was considerably better than standing stock still and trying to avoid accidental inappropriate touches to and from one's neighbors. But by the time we got registered my kidneys and my feet were lodging acute complaints. Acute enough that I was afraid to sit on the sidewalk afterwards while waiting half an hour to be picked up by the Pirate; I knew that if I sat that far down I would never be able to rise again.

There wasn't much singing going on. It was mostly a politely subdued crowd, and the poor woman who was gamely trying to raise a Wave proved unable to get one going for more than a few feet (although we halfheartedly joined in, the Wave seemed to end with us, even when she attempted to slip forward and start one from the other direction).

At the front of the line as we arrived there was a large man singing in a beautifully trained and fabulously carrying voice. Once we settled into our own place in line we saw one woman who had an Idols shirt and Idols patches and an Idols Camp Chair with autographs from various well-known Idols celebs. There was also an emaciated young man who was for a time shoulder-to-shoulder with me, who spent the entire time in line with his hand to his Ear Bud, singing sotto voce with music that only he could hear in a reedy voice (we wondered why he was risking damage to his vocal chords in such a way, given that there were no auditions to be done that day, and that our late position in line made it unlikely that he'd be interviewed by the numerous media folks being courted by the people at the front).

Other than that, the people around us were normal, quiet, Midwestern types. Directly behind us were a young gal and her mom (brought for support and transport help only, as the auditioner was 21 years old - kids under 18 are required to be accompanied by a parent/guardian) who had traveled for more than 20 hours from Michigan in order to audition. The only odd thing about the fresh-faced pair was that they had traveled all that way to audition for a show that they had never once watched. They had just arrived at that moment, and had not realized that they would have to stay for several nights in order to audition. We wrote down instructions for them so that they could get to a reasonably priced motel we know of near the Mall of America.

My kidneys are still complaining, and still are my feet. It's nearly midnight, and the week is looking very very long.

I'm off to bed!


Blogger renee said...

I was thinking about your boy today - my dentist is in downtown Minneapolis and I had an appointment today. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find a parking space, but luckily I didn't have much problem. Good luck to him - at the very least it'll be great blog fodder.

11:54 PM  
Blogger mrspao said...

Oh, fingers crossed. You got the first part over - hooray.

Hope your kidneys and feet recover soon - he's worth it :)

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHEW, what an ordeal!

6:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Feed