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This weekend, I took my wife out to see Sean Paul as an early birthday present. He spun the hits and a good time was had by all. (Well, the girl who looked like she was about to puke before the show started and stumbled away a few minutes after the lights dropped may not have had the best time, but I enjoyed myself.)
Girls were screaming. Boyfriends and husbands were raising our hands when instructed. The back up dancers had very shiny outfits. Like I said, a great show.
But, I’m not here to discuss the show. I’m hear to talk about the towels.
All. The. Towels.
First, some background.
In the ancient dark ages before we met, my wife went to a Sean Paul concert and managed to snag a towel he had thrown off stage.
This story has always lurked in the periphery of my life… the kind of funny thing you tell at parties to get a sheepish grin from your better half. But, in my mind, I had imagined a single towel tossed off stage near the end of his show.
That may have been the case when my wife first saw Sean Paul, but let me tell you: Sean Paul is all in on the towel gag now.
I mean, it really should have been called the Sean Paul and His Many Towels Show.
He came on stage to screams with a small towel resting on his shoulder and before the first chorus, it was launched in the air and quickly snatched by a fan a few feet to my left.
“Wow,” I thought. “He ditched his towel quick.”
Man, was I naive.
As if by magic, another towel appeared in his left hand while he sang into the microphone in his right.
I scanned the stage and saw a large man just behind a stack of speakers with a handful of identical towels on a pedestal.
Suddenly, enjoying the music took a back seat to a new goal: get a towel for my wife.
My eyes locked in on Sean’s left hand. I fixated on that towel like a puppy obsesses over a rubber ball.
He waved it at the crowd. He bounced it to the rhythm. He taunted the dancers and his DJ with ample evidence that they could not be as comfortably dry as he was.
He threw at least one towel during each song, and sometimes two.
There were two men off stage, one on each side, whose only job seemed to be replenishing his endless supply of towels.
I began to wonder about the economics of this endeavor. I mean, Sean Paul clearly has a line item in the budget for stage towels. Is he keeping track each night? Like, is there grainy cell phone footage of him yelling at somebody after a show when they gave him too many towels?
“I can’t throw out three per song, you idiot! It’s not special if I do that! Get it together or I’m going to bust you down to holding my sunglasses when I finally take them off!”
(This might be funnier if you do your own Jamaican accent. I will not provide this service.)
Anyway, the moment of truth came early in the show for me.
Sean came to the front of the stage. He waved the towel. He threw it high in the air, and my world went into slow motion.
Now, understand, these were black towels, which are hard to see against a black ceiling with the millennium’s premier dance hall music blasting eardrums that may have been a little too-old for this crowd.
Excuses aside, I had a good eight inches of height on the plethora of female fans surrounding me, so this should have been an easy catch.
I jumped, which was unnecessary, and the towel grazed my outstretched pinky. It fell to the floor and a crowd of crazed girls dove for it before I even realized my terrible error.
The towel was gone and he never threw one close to us again.
I continued to follow each new towel as the night went on. We did manage to procure a giveaway CD and some stickers that my wife said I shouldn’t put on the minivan. But, we left toweless.
Still, it was a great show.