November 21, 2010
11:52 AM – CHAD
I dressed up as a Starbucks employee and snuck into the Jets/Texans football game at the New Meadowlands Stadium. I’m about to tell you a whole story about it, but if you want to just skip the bullshit, that’s the long and short of it right there. Feel free to go straight to the video and move on with your life.
Ok, so back before Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodds teamed up to turn University of Texas Athletics into the financial juggernaut that it is today, and god fucking bless them for doing so, this isn’t a protest of any sort, but the downside is that you used to be able to get tickets to Longhorn football games for six dollars. Now, they cost eighty bucks. I know I sound like an old coot, rambling about how much cheaper shit was back in the good old days, but this was less than fifteen years ago. You could go to a Randall’s grocery store and buy as many six dollar end zone tickets as you wanted and now those same seats go for eighty dollars. This transition in the market caused me to have to start figuring out ways to sneak into football games, so I’ve become somewhat of an expert at it. I’ve snuck into sporting events around the country in a myriad of disguises, most often dressed as someone affiliated with the food service industry. I’d like to delve off into the psychological side of all of this for a moment. You may not be aware of this, but you can basically go wherever you want in this society if you’re dressed up as a Starbucks employee. You can walk into any sporting event or concert, enter any building or business, and crash any party or event you choose while dressed in such a manner. You can be in somebody’s house… they could literally come home and catch you in their fucking house, and the first thought to go through their head would be: Wow, I didn’t know they opened a Starbucks here. (I do feel like that made for a good punch line, but in the interest of academia, I need to mention that this phenomenon is not Starbucks specific, any outfit that designates you as a cook, or waiter, or other type of servant will usually do the trick.)
How well does it work? I can assure you, I’ve never been stopped. I’ve been postponed, even turned back a time or two (got turned back this latest time, in fact) but I’ve never been stopped from eventually getting in and watching the game. The best one I ever pulled off was with Bob Ray himself, as well as Adam “Bulletproof” Reposa at the Texas/Nebraska game in Austin that year when Correll Buckhalter fumbled away a win for Nebraska on the goal line and Matthew McConaughey was prissing around on the Longhorn sideline for the TV cameras but then got arrested naked with the bongos a couple nights later and he’s not on the sidelines anymore. .. that game. I only had enough shit for two outfits and all three of us wanted us to go, so Bob and I dressed up as, basically short order cooks, with aprons and hairnets and everything, but there was nothing left for Adam. Well, this was back before 9-11, so boxes were a big part of the outfit back then. Nowadays, a box is bad news because of the way they run security, but I used to get as many empty boxes as possible from the dumpsters at restaurants and then tape them back shut and carry them in as part of the whole get-up. The fact that I was nearly buckling under the weight of seemingly full boxes of ground beef, coffee, and so on used to be the selling point of the whole ruse, but now it just looks like you’re there to blow the place up. Anyway, I had shitloads of boxes, but no real disguise for Adam. Luckily for him, he was dressed kind of sharp with a cowboy hat on, so Bob and I loaded up with all the boxes and I had Adam carry just one little empty container of hamburgers. Adam was like, “Who the fuck am I supposed to be?” so I told him, “You’re the boss, lead us in.” and we all three walked right in with impunity.
That was all back in the freewheeling days before the war on terror. Just in case I haven’t carried on long enough about this shit, I’m going to address my unique perspective on stadium security here for you people, as well as defend what I do from being lumped in with terrorist activity. First of all, if a terrorist was going to try to get into a football game and kill a whole bunch of people, then the last thing they’re going to do is draw attention to themselves by dressing up and trying to sneak in. They’re just going to buy a fucking ticket, because they’re really not worried about saving money at that point, anyway. Secondly, and I hate to point this out, but if you’re looking for the densest crowds of people possible, like to kill in an explosion, then the best place at the whole event, ironically, is at the security check points set up along the rims of the stadium. These are all things that will seem obvious in retrospect, should the theatre of war ever make a dramatic switch over into the United States. Oh, I know we’ve had some attacks in the past, but I’m talking about the real shit, when it happens every day, all over the country and nobody can do anything about it. You know how American workers will get pissed off every couple of weeks and go into work and kill as many people as they can until they decide to stop on their own terms and nobody can do a goddamn thing about it? Well, it will be just like that, except instead of yelling out “Take this job and shove it!” they’ll be yelling shit in Arabic that you can’t understand. You’ll get the point, though. Also, you might be comforting yourself with the idea that a terrorist is going to stick out in the crowd at say, a college football game, but engineering students love football, too. There’s really no point to all of this, except I must admit that I feel differently about sneaking into football games since 9-11. Hasn’t stopped me from doing it, though:
Steps one and two – Sneaking into a Football Game:
Find a Box
Disguise Yourself as a Starbucks Employee
Here, I’ll take you into the mind of a football game sneaker-inner: Keep in mind, I’m dressed as a Starbucks Employee, trying to sneak into Jets/Texans game in New Meadowlands Stadium, and they don’t even have a Starbucks there. Having never been before, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, they take their terrorism pretty seriously up there. See something, Say something. I brought along a Starbucks box to go with my outfit, but as I suspected, boxes send up all kinds of red flags at the stadium. There are people in the line whose sole job is to check all containers coming in, regardless of what it is… purse, box, anything.
On my first run, I went straight to the employee entrance, knowing that this had its pros and cons. On one hand, I might be able to just blend in with all the other workers, but on the other, they are used to seeing workers there (the disguise offers me no novelty or advantage at this point) and furthermore, it’s their job to check the workers anyway, and make sure they are legitimate. Everyone who enters the stadium, including security personnel, must have either a ticket or a stadium ID. I’ve always made sure not to come right out and lie about anything or literally “say” that I work at the stadium or have any reason to be there, because I’m convinced that will help me in court someday, should I ever get arrested for trespassing. Well, I get up to the line and the guy wants to see the box, right away. I tell him look, all I have in the box is my regular clothes, so let’s just throw it away all together. He agrees that this is a good idea and asks me if I have my ID. I told him yes, and feigned digging it out of my pocket, but he cuts me off and tells me to show it to the ladies further up in the line.
Ok, so I’m through the first layer of defense and walk up to the ID/ticket checkers. They are two women in their 50’s who are definitely there to check your ticket/ID, but since it’s the employee entrance, they serve much more of a hostess type roll than the average fan would encounter with a normal ticket taker. These are the little cracks in security you look for. As I’m walking up, guess what the first thing one of the ladies says is? “Wow. I didn’t know they opened a Starbucks here.” I do my best Kevin Costner and put on a big smile and tell her, “You’d be surprised what they have in here these days.” Then she points to the other lady and goes, “When you were walking up, she said you better have a coffee or a ticket.” and starts laughing. I tell her friend, “You want a coffee? I’ll go get you a coffee.” We go back and forth for a bit about whether they really want me to bring them a coffee, I make them both laugh a couple more times and then just walk right the fuck in without showing them a ticket or ID or anything. I had basically gone Carlos the Jackal and seduced my way right by them.
I was on my way up to find seating when I hear someone yelling,”Sir! Sir!” It was the guy from earlier in the line… something about me had caught his attention and he had been watching me. The Box! He goes, “Did you ever show anybody that ID?” I was like, “No I’ve got it right here.” and proceeded to take out my wallet and give him my Texas Drivers License. He tells me, “No, no, no. Stadium ID, Buddy.” Well, of course I’d never heard of one of these. I asked him where I could get one, and he was like, “Who do you work for, anyway?” By this time, there was a small crowd of security personnel backing him up. I told him, “CrashCam Films.” and he goes, “TrashCan Films?” and I was like, “Yes.” And he goes, “Well, you need to go to the media booth over at the Budweiser Gate, Buddy, because you’re not getting in without a Stadium ID, not in here.”
Let’s just take a minute to recognize that, had this been a terrorist attack of some sort, this guy would have been a national hero. I mean yes, I would have launched the attack prematurely, killing him instantly, but he would have stopped me from inflicting maximum damage, and would have saved countless lives. Those dumbass women I bullshitted my way past? The blood would be on their hands.
I left, seemingly towards the Budweiser Gate. Getting turned back is nothing new to me. I walked down to the next gate, saw a group of Jets employees carrying some shit up to a regular entrance, and just got right in the middle of them. We had to stop at first, because everybody but me was carrying shit that had to be searched, but then I just walked right in with the group. My Starbuck’s outfit looked just like their mid-level Jets employee formal wear. If it had been a Giants game, I’d have been fucked.
At the Football Game – Jets On Point
Chad’s Changes – Off duty
4:54 PM – BOB
I walked around a bit, making my way to the library. I saw and did shit like this:
I’m sitting in the Mid-Manhattan Public Library. I’m writing the tour journal. You see, I’ve been driving anywhere from 3-11 hours each day. Basically, every fucking day works out like this: I wake up tired and hung over from working so hard. I roll up my blanket and other bedding. Sometimes I have a bed, other times a floor or couch. I pack up and hit the road. I drive. I smoke weed and stare at the road for several hours. We arrive at the new city. I meet up with the cinema folks, run through the ins and outs of the show, get merch set up, deliver screener disks and gear up for the show. I meet up with the derby gals and we all make sure we have a game-plan for the night. I intro Hell on Wheels, movie plays, do a Q&A w/derby gals, sell merch. Then we roll right into Total Badass. I do intro, screen flick, Q&A w/ Chad, give away door prizes, sell merch. Then I settle up (or arrange to settle up w/ cinema). By now, it’s midnight or later. Party. Sleep. Repeat. This is all fine and well, but when the fuck am I supposed to write the tour journal? Oh right. Now, at the Mid-Manhatten Public Library on Day 12.
7:17 PM – BOB
We met up with an old ex-Austinite pal, Rafael Vargas. He’s some sort of big-time artist in NYC, I think:
9:43 PM – BOB
We made our way back to SoHo for some drinks. We forgot to get a pic or vid of Patrick when we were hanging out at his bar, The Living Room, the other night, so it was a nice slice of fate to walk up to this:
Patrick – The Gum Spit
1:01 AM – BOB
Later in the eve, there was a drunken debate about religion and shit. It turns out that Chad practices a sacrilegious ritual before every meal. He disguises it as spirituality, but in reality it’s an affront to millions and millions of Bible-thumping Jesus-lovers. Invite him out to dinner and see for yourself. Here’s some pics that capture the excitement of a drunken religious debate, Chad has some of it on vid:
1:03 AM – CHAD
That night, I went out with Raphael and watched The Giants play The Eagles on television at a neighborhood bar of his called Mulholland’s. Eventually, this became yet another night where I have no idea what the fuck happened, but I do have video evidence of some stimulating philosophical debating that was going on:
Raphael – The God Smack
2:14 AM – BOB
Then we walked back up to the penthouse where we’re crashing across the street from the Empire State Building. NYC is filled with either drunken folks or art, see?
(Coming Soon) Pic of NYC Art