My Night as a Groupie

I think enough time has elapsed that law enforcement will no longer come chasing after me if I share this story, so I'm going to tell it to you all. However, if the police drag me off to jail for evading parking garage payment, I will have to delete this post. Enjoy reading while I'm breathing the fresh air of freedom.

Remember when I told you about how I am incapable of functioning in the presence of a celebrity? Apparently that is only in reference to people who I think are actually talented or legit A-list celebs. Weird and non-talented D-list celebs do not apply. The night I met Tyler Hilton and made a fool of myself, I also met Josiah Leming and made a fool of him. Mwahahahahaha.

Upon arriving at the Palladium in Dallas that night, I decide that I am going to meet Tyler Hilton. No, I'm not just going to meet him. I am going to meet him and we are going to become best friends. Then somewhere down the road Ty (we'll be on a nickname basis, obviously) is going to fall madly in love with me and write dozens of love songs about our perfect relationship. To make this happen I realize I can't just be another girl in the line of meet-and-greets he has to endure. My plan: get in with the band. Genius, right?

Shortly thereafter, I rework my plan to be: get in with the band and/or the opening acts. Perfect. This is a definite slam dunk.

Initially, I choose the first opening act, Dion Roy, as the key working component of my plan. We chat, I buy him a drink because one of his songs is called "Whiskey," and he promises to show us the tour bus later. Doesn't get more groupie than that! Unfortunately, our rendezvous never happens. Now to plan B.

Plan B is opening act #2: Josiah Leming. I can't really figure this kid out. He was apparently on American Idol but didn't make it far enough to be memorable. He appeared on Ellen immediately after he was kicked off and somehow got a record deal. He's very sweet and loves his music, but he's a little...odd. He's from somewhere in Tennessee but the accent he speaks with is quasi-British. Very perplexing. I thought he was British until he told my friend and I that he was born in some podunk town. As can be seen below, Simon, Paula, and Randy were equally perplexed by the fake Brit.

All I remember from Josiah's performance is that he sang about a fly. The song was called "Silly Fly." He also wore acid-washed jeans with suspenders and jumped around a lot. I didn't get it. No matter, I'll overlook the oddness if this kid is my in to becoming BFFs with Tyler Hilton.

Due to the fact that no one was apparently interested in Josiah's meet and greet after his set, he takes it upon himself to force people to meet and greet him as they wait in line to rub elbows with Tyler Hilton. Josiah basically meanders through the line and asks people if they want his autograph. A little desperate, but hey, who am I to judge? Clearly in this situation, I'm the queen of desperation.

So anyway, as I'm waiting in line to embarrass myself in front of Tyler Hilton, Josiah strikes up some small talk with my friend and I. Along with his autograph, he provides us with his phone number and tells us to meet him after the show to hang out. Eeeeeeeek! I am inching closer and closer to succeeding in my plan!

To kill time while we wait for Josiah to finish mingling, my friend and I drive to a nearby McDonald's to pick up some grub. We decide to be desperate gracious and text Josiah to offer him some nutritious grease-coated food. This is also our test to see if we actually have his working cell phone number or if this was all a big ploy. Josiah responds, and the freaking out commences.

He declines the food offer but invites us to join him back at the Palladium so we can make plans to go out on the town. (Sidenote: it's a Monday night in Dallas. There's not much of a town to go out on.) 

We try to drive around and kill time in hopes to not appear too incredibly anxious. By the time we arrive back at the Palladium, the parking lot is almost completely empty. We find shirtless Josiah with some of his friends shotgunning 40 ounce beers in the parking lot. My initial thought is that Josiah is probably about 5'2" and 100 lbs and can't handle 40 ounces of anything, especially beer. My second thought is that the tour bus we're standing 50 feet away from most likely has Tyler Hilton inside. This is getting sketchy, but I'll hold on for a little longer. At least I have my friend with me.

Then Josiah's friends start leaving so only the three of us remain. Next our new-found rockstar friend puts his arm around my friend and starts calling her "mama." Excuse me? The awkwardness is increasing exponentially. All I want to know is: WHERE IS TYLER??

Apparently he's on the tour bus. Josiah goes on the bus to gather people and reappears, not with Tyler, but with a stoned hairy hippie (hereafter referred to as SHH) who is apparently his tour manager. SHH looks pretty perturbed. Something tells me he is being forced to join his young protege for a night of mixing with the locals. We're so close I can actually hear Tyler's voice on the bus. Killing me. But the door closes and I'm left with Josiah and SHH. This is becoming less and less intriguing with each passing moment.

Next SHH gets in Tyler Hilton's car (this appears to be as close to Tyler as I'm going to get for the remainder of the night) and drives away. Apparently we're supposed to follow with Josiah in tow. Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Josiah offers for "mama" to sit on his lap (she politely declines) and then hops into Betsy, my blue VW beetle. We jam to some Backstreet Boys while following SHH in Tyler's white Mazda. After a short drive, we find ourselves in a parking garage. SHH pops out and says he needs to unload stuff and insists that Josiah help him. This is our out! Hallelujah! After about three seconds of deliberating, my friend and I agree that it's time to ditch. So we leave. Or we try to.

There is just one thing standing in the way of our escape route: an electronic arm barring the exit. It's 2 a.m. There is no one in the little toll booth. We have no money. And we are most definitely NOT sticking around long enough for our rockstar to discover that he's been ditched.

So we improvise.

My friend lifts the electronic arm with her brute strength and Betsy the bug slides right underneath. As we drive away, we take note of the surveillance cameras that are surrounding us and the sign that says "This area under surveillance 24/7." I say a quick prayer that my Oklahoma license plate will bamboozle whatever law enforcement body might potentially come after me, and I drive on.

FREEDOM!!! Right as we're pulling out of the garage, my phone rings. It's the fake Brit. My friend and I argue over answering it then just let it go to my voicemail. He then calls my friend. And we continue to ignore. The angry voicemail he left sounded something like this:

(to be read in a fake British accent) "Wow. Surely you guys didn't just ditch. I gotta be losing my mind. Because that would be nuts. That would be really ridiculously just kind of .... mumble mumble mumble $%#!@% I don't know maybe you guys are on the wrong level. I don't know but ... alright."

Alright so I feel a little bad, but not really. I mean, let's be honest, my plan was never a strong one to begin with. My mom DID teach me never to talk to strangers.

Ironically, I have pictures with all the musical acts involved in this concert, except for the one who I drove around with in my car while blasting the Backstreet Boys. I still love Tyler Hilton, but I now have my sights set on Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons. SWOON.

A special note to my parentals who are undoubtedly reading this: This all happened within an hour. We stayed safe, I'm not behind bars, and it made an excellent story that I will always laugh about.

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