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Lost in transportation

Lot seven.

That's all I thought I had to remember.

Friday night, my wife and I had parked hiking distance from the Charlotte Coliseum for the Shania Twain concert. As we walked away from our car, I looked up and saw the "LOT 7" sign on the nearby light pole -- proud of myself for remembering to look where we parked so we wouldn't spend our after-concert time stumbling around trying to find our vehicle.

Two hours later, my plan almost worked. No one told us about colors.

You see, Charlotte Coliseum is a round building. Parking lots surround the entire place. And each lot has an assigned color. To make matters worse, the entry areas to the parking lots look virtually the same.

So there we were, walking from orange to blue to purple. I finally started mashing the panic button on my keychain in hopes of following the horn blasts. Which leads me to another life lesson: If I am ever truly panicked, I can forget the use of the hand-held remote unless I am within spitting-distance of the car.

But back to tracking the truck.

Miriam was sure the car was in the blue lot. I was sure we were going to have to walk back to Thomson -- a long trek in cowboy boots. We finally decided to start circling the building and checking every Lot 7 we could find. A couple of lots later, we found the car. It was in the green lot.

And people say color doesn't matter.

As for the concert, it was a good show. Although I'm a fan of her older stuff -- before her music got a Def Leppard twinge from her producer/husband -- Shania was personable, beautiful and overwhelmingly accommodating. She spent half the show shaking hands with the crowd, pulling people up on stage and signing autographs.

The concert was just the latest I've slipped off to see in the last year. I saw John Mayer and the Counting Crows in Charlotte; Willie Nelson in Augusta, Sarah McLaughlin, Jessica Simpson, Maroon5 and Barenaked Ladies in Atlanta and another Barenaked Ladies show in Charlotte.

The two Barenaked Ladies shows bring my total to eight for BNL in the last seven years or so, even making a trip to Raleigh, N.C., and back in about 10 hours -- concert included. I first saw BNL at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta in 1997 and have been a dedicated fan ever since. They put on a great live show -- mixing their hits with impromptu raps and songs and wrapping everything up with a medley of hits by artists from Celine Dion to Public Enemy. I've got bootlegs of many of their shows -- including a few I've been to -- and spend most of my bandwidth and time downloading BNL music (RIAA be darned).

Of course, it's admittedly a little awkward to say, "I'm going to see the Barnaked Ladies this weekend." It's always interesting to see the looks I get. And the comments, including my favorite: "Does your wife know?"

She does. Just don't ask her where we parked the car.

Web posted on Thursday, May 6, 2004

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