What Do Magicians Call It?

It was winter – February 1984. The Police were on what was to be their final tour, supporting ‘Synchronicity’. In late October I waited in an ice storm overnight in order to score tickets. Several for my dorm mates and two especially for my girlfriend and myself. The overnight vigil is a story for another time. This story is about misdirection.

We traveled up to Greensboro early in order to have some dinner and get psyched for the show. I was decked out in my best suit; Ivory white – wide at the shoulders and narrow at the waist, pure eighties. The shoulder pads on that bad suit were so wide I would have become a kite in a stiff breeze. My hair was spiked and angry. The young lady was also dressed to stun; a dress that was all attitude and cut low. She was tall and leggy and had a swagger that would not quit. It was the eighties – it was rock & roll. The crowd was as much of a spectacle as the band.

Get the picture?

Now – we had borrowed her uncle’s camera. A really nice one, in order to record the event for posterity. At the time we weren’t aware that this was the last Police tour – but we were huge fans and really wanted to capture the moment. We parked and approached the auditorium. There was a huge sign at the door that “NO cameras or recording equipment would be allowed. Any cameras found will be confiscated.”  The Man was out to ruin our fun. Damn the Man. We stood in the parking lot debating. Hide the camera and test our luck, maybe losing her uncle’s good camera? Take it back to the car and just remember the show for what it was? What to do?

The lady was all for hiding it in her purse. taking a chance. I came up with another plan. I proposed we take the camera in, but not try to hide it. Just carry it in as though we hadn’t seen the sign. (Or possibly couldn’t read.) “If we hide it and we get caught, we’re nothing but guilty. If we carry it, we can pretend ignorance and run it out to the car if anyone says anything.” Brilliant, right? I slipped the camera strap over my head, wearing the Nikon like a big black necklace. We walked in. We got right through the ticket takers and headed around the concourse.

I saw them long before they spotted us; a cluster of four or five security guards. They were scanning the crowd, looking for contraband or unruly guests. We had to pass right in front of them to get to our seats. No way they could miss the camera. I watched as one of the guards poked another and then pointed at us. “Ah, well” I said, “It was worth a try.” The two guards moved to intercept us and we stopped. The first security guy spoke;

“Excuse me, Miss.” he said, almost making eye contact with my date. (If he had only raised his eyes about 2 feet) “But do you have a camera in your purse?”

She looked at me. I looked at her. I didn’t laugh. It was tough.

“No Sir.”

“Do you mind if I take a look?”

“Go ahead.”

He opened her purse and took a quick glance through the contents. It seemed hard for him to focus. Finally satisfied that she wasn’t sneaking anything by him, he returned the purse. “Thanks – sorry to bother you, but we have to check.” We allowed that it was no problem and moved on.

It took everything I had not to turn around and snap a shot at them.

The concert was amazing. We took a few shots (which I don’t have, she got them in the settlement.) but the music was so overwhelming we mostly sang and danced and reveled in being young and alive.

What is distracting you today? Sex? Money? Farmville? Is anything blocking your vision of the Lord and his plan for you? What is slipping by ‘under the radar’ while you are misdirected?

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Filed under Music, Public Diary

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