August 29, 2005

Gratuitous Domestic Posting - Wiggly Round-Up

Gary the Ex-Donk caught the same Wiggles show as we did this weekend, he up in Connecticut and us in NoVA.

Last time I took the Llama-ettes to the Wiggles, we caught them at the MCI Center in Dee Cee. Unfortunately, we were in the nosebleed section way at the back and fell to watching the monitors instead of the stage. This time, however, we saw them at George Mason University's Patriot Center, a much smaller venue. Even though we were about twenty rows up in a back corner, we could see the stage just fine.

Gary mentions the satisfaction of watching your children being completely happy. True, but sometimes it's a long road to get there. My five year old spent the first half of the show obsessing about cotton candy until I finally got some for her. My three year old, in turn, spent most of the show obsessing about when she was going to get to give her roses to Dorothy the Dinosaur. (Yes, the Missus went and got some behind my back. If you don't know what the significance of the roses is, don't bother asking.)

I spent most of my time musing about the pecking order of the Wiggles' side-kicks. Captain Feathersword, of course, remains dominant and, indeed, sometimes seems to eclipse the Fab Four themselves. (He and Murray both got a case of the helpless giggles when he was doing his kukaburra imitation. It's always fun to see that kind of spontenaity in the middle of a scripted performance.) Dorothy has always run a fairly strong second fueled, perhaps, by her hammer-lock on the younger kids' affection, although her ballet routine this time didn't get much of a response. Wags the Dog used to be pretty high, but it strikes me that he has faded somewhat in recent times - he was only on the stage for a little bit. Henry the Octopus is, and always has been, the back marker.

We caught the second of the afternoon's two shows, and frankly, the Wiggles looked a bit tired. I don't know very much about touring, but they do seem to keep to an awfully brutal schedule. I can't keep a smile on my face for five minute at a time. How they manage it for hours on end, in a different city every day, is beyond me. Furthermore, audiences of small kids are extremely conservative - they don't want innovation and new material, they want the old standbyes: "Fruit Salad", "Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack - Cockadoodle-do!", "Do the Monkey" and "Hot Potato". The kids tended to damp down during bits like Anthony's Greek dance, but perked right up when these warhorses were trotted out. Further, I wonder how many thousands of times these guys have done "Wake Up, Jeff!" and "Well, Blow Me Down!" If I weren't a drinker, a job like that would turn me into one right quick.

One other thing that amused me - the parking lot was about 85% minivans. I had brought the gels in my jeep and it stuck out like a sore thumb from quite a way off. I've noticed a bit of a dichotome in the reaction I get whenever I do this. Moms sometimes give me the Evil Eye, as if they expect me to hand the gels some beer and smokes, too, and why not since I obviously have no concern for the safety of my children whatsoever! Dads, on the other hand, tend to look wistful. (FWIW, I never go far from the house this way and keep to secondary streets. I'm pretty sure I'm not violating any actual law about this sort of thing, because when a state trooper was following us down Chain Bridge Road, the gels turned around and started waiving enthusiastically at him. He just laughed and waved back.)

Posted by Robert at August 29, 2005 09:46 AM | TrackBack

Back in the day, Sharon, Lois and Bram were the top stars. Along with Raffi (baby beluga). Saw both of them in concert, which was quite a kiddie experience. I never could stand either band but dutifully bought the tapes and took the boys to the concerts.
The most interesting "Kiddie Concert" experience we ever had was taking the boys to the Nutcracker one Christmas. The most poorly behaved atendees in the audience were adults!

Posted by: babs at August 29, 2005 12:12 PM

My wife wouldn't let me get the jeep, despite all my careful arguments about being able to get it fixed cheaply at the local gas station and needing it during the winter. What's your secret?

Posted by: RP at August 29, 2005 02:14 PM

When the second Llama-ette came along, I leased a Toyota Camry so that we'd have two "child-friendly" cars available. (The Missus drives a Cherokee.) I spent the entire lease term kvetching about how boring it was. Finally, I think she let me go back to the jeep just to shut me up.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at August 29, 2005 02:21 PM

*carefully making notes* Ah, yes, the old whine until you give me something just to shut me up tactic. Works well, especially when the spouse is distracted. As I recall, it may be how I got mine to marry me in the first place.

Posted by: RP at August 29, 2005 08:40 PM
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