Trains and Muffins and Beers, Oh My!

The author and the band in happier times (9/23/2011)

As if I needed another reason to prove I can’t be trusted with alcohol, I present to you the time I verbally harassed a member of a very prominent and popular rock band right to his face

During the summer of 2011, my (at the time) pre-teen daughter had spent most of that summer telling the same joke over and over to anyone and everyone who would listen:

Two muffins are in an oven. The first muffin leans over to the second muffin and says, “Man, it’s getting hot in here.” The second muffin screams, “AAHHH!!! A TALKING MUFFIN!!!!”

To hear an eleven year old tell this joke is super cute. To hear an eleven year old tell this joke repeatedly, day after day with no end in sight, will make you a believer in corporal punishment.

In September of that same year, my brother-in-law Michael, a very successful insurance agent, treated me to a concert in Oklahoma City featuring Matt Nathanson, Train, and Maroon 5. It was held at the spacious, open air OKC Zoo Amphitheater on the northwest side of town.

While Matt Nathanson opened the show, a group of about sixty concertgoers (including Mike and I) were treated to a backstage meet-n-greet with the band Train. We gathered in a tented area behind the main stage, munching on snacks and helping ourselves to the free beer.

After about thirty minutes of feeling like big shots wandering around behind the stage at a major league rock concert, we were ushered into one particular tent. Moments later, Pat Monahan, Jimmy Stafford and Scott Underwood (singer, guitarist and drummer for Train) arrived in our tent and immediately began playing tunes.

There was a bit of talking and joking mixed in with the 20 minute private set, and at one point Pat Monahan looked out over the crowd and said, “Man, have I got a joke for you – funniest thing I’ve heard in a while, and I think you’ll love it!”

In my inebriated state, those words hardly registered…but his next words certainly did.

“So,” Pat began, “these two muffins are sitting in this oven…”

“HA! I KNOW THIS ONE!” I said loudly. My brother-in-law, completely mortified, tried to silence me.

“…and one of them says to the other, is it hot in here?”

“THAT’S NOT HOW IT GOES!” I corrected our host, too loudly.

“…and the other muffin says, Aaaahhh! A talking muffin!”

“NO NO NO, YOU’RE TELLING IT WRONG!!” I announce to Pat and the other two band members and approximately fifty-nine guests as they laughed at his joke.

At that point, Pat notices me. Or, he decided to stop ignoring me and let me hang myself – I’m not sure which. Pointing to me over the crowd, he said, “Yes? What were you saying?”

By this time, Mike has me by the arm and is dragging me out of the tent as I’m yelling over my shoulder, “MY ELEVEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TELLS THAT JOKE ALL OF THE TIME, AND DOES A MUCH BETTER JOB THAN YOU DID!!!”

Pat said something to the group at that point – I couldn’t hear it as I was now well outside the tent, being towed away by my embarrassed brother-in-law. I heard some giggling, then a loud burst of laughter from the tent we’d just departed, and then Mike was dragging me up the walkway and around to the front of the amphitheater. I was sorry I’d missed something funny, until I realized it was most likely something funny…about me.

Within minutes I started to feel bad for embarrassing Mike, myself, and a musician I liked and respected. However, it was too late to go find him and apologize, and I was sure he had already moved on and forgotten about it – he had a show to do for a few thousand adoring fans, after all. Can’t let one misbehaving drunk ruin your night for you.

To his credit, Mike has never mentioned the episode, and it only comes up when Train comes on the radio and I begin to reminisce about what an idiot I was that night.

So Pat, if you’re reading this – I’m sorry. You’re an excellent storyteller.

It was all the beer’s fault.

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