A few weeks ago a friend emailed me and was all, “Chip Coffey’s going to be in Austin soon, do you want to go see him? I can get you free passes” and I was all “Sure that sounds awesome! I can’t wait to see Chuck Coffey!” and then “Wait, who the hell is Chuck Coffey?” So I googled Chuck Coffey but it turns out that CHUCK Coffey is actually some agricultural beef consultant or something and I was all “Why the fuck would I want to learn about beef from Chuck Coffey?!?”
(Which is funny because I just recently accepted an invitation to attend a blogging thing next month at the Texas Beef Council, where I will learn all about beef and how to cook beef, even though I really don’t eat much beef and or write about beef and I also don’t cook and also raw meat totally grosses me out. I have no idea if Chuck Coffey will be there but it’s possible that I’ll barf when they bring out the raw beef so stay tuned.)
Anyway it turns out this guy’s name is actually CHIP Coffey and he’s a psychic dude on TV and I’ve never heard of him but lots of other people have and they think he’s legit and the shit. Probably because they have life issues or something but I don’t know! I’m not here to judge!
Okay, I’m TOTALLY here to judge but whatever.
Even if he wasn’t legit, I’d still happily go because hello? PEOPLE WATCHING!!!! And of course there’s no one I’d rather do people watching with than the BFF, so I called her up and was all “Guess what?! We’re going to see Chip Coffey!!” and she was all “Who the hell is Chuck Coffey?” and I was all, “He’s an agricultural expert but that’s not the point here” and she was all, “So the point is…?” and I said “There will be people watching” and she was all “Okay, what time?” and I just love that she didn’t need to know anything more than that.
So Sunday night we went to this thing at the Driskill Hotel, which is clearly haunted because it is old and old places are always haunted, everybody knows that. And we got there late and were trying to figure out how to get in without causing a ruckus but then hey! There was Chip Coffey! Standing outside the room waiting to be introduced! And we looked like big assholes for being so late to his show!! So we just stood there like idiots!!
And then he waved us into the room and told us where to go to get our VIP passes and I wanted to say “Break a leg, dude” but I wasn’t sure if that was appropriate here and I didn’t want to look like even MORE of an asshole so I just didn’t say anything at all (unprecedented). Instead, the BFF and I went ahead and caused that big ruckus by walking in during the introduction and not being able to find seats together. So we still managed to be assholish anyway (NOT unprecedented), but it was ALL CHIP COFFEY’S FAULT. And, you know, whatever. I’ll be GODDAMNED if I’m going to sit through a show like this without the BFF next to me so it was worth it.
Anyway eventually we did find seats together and then Chip Coffey came in!! And everyone freaked out!! Because it was Chip Coffey!! Who talks to dead people!! And is on TV!! And the BFF and I looked around at everyone and their intensity and their fashion choices and then we looked at each other with huge smiles because this was the BEST PEOPLE WATCHING EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER.
The first part of the show was Chip Coffey talking about Chip Coffey and telling everyone how he got to be so awesome and everyone in the audience nodded their heads because obviously Chip Coffey WAS totally awesome. And then there was a Q&A where people asked Chip Coffey questions and one lady was convinced that her 5-year-old daughter was psychic because sometimes she saw sparkly stuff in the air sometimes and another lady cried because she’d been waitingtomeetChipCoffeyherwholelife and another lady wanted advice on how to clear the air of orbs so she could perform proper “blessings” and then it was REID’S turn. And Reid was this super weird-looking guy whose underpants were showing and Reid wanted to know what HE could do to be psychic and the BFF and I were so happy I swear we almost cried.
And Chip Coffey listened patiently to each person and he was nice to even the weirdest ones but also kind of snarky and funny and hey! Who knew? Chip Coffey IS actually kind of awesome!! But there was also something else about him, something I knew I liked, but couldn’t *quite* put my finger on, and that really bugged me until the BFF leaned over to me and said “Otho.” And then it all made sense.
After that there was a “Coffey Break” (harharharhar) during which Chip Coffey called up the spirits or whatever because Part Two was him actually doing readings of people in the audience. First up was some dude with horn-rimmed glasses and a poorly maintained mohawk who wanted to know his financial outlook, at which point the BFF whispered “Maybe his financial outlook would be better if he didn’t drop a bunch of cash on tickets to see Chip Coffey?” And I was all “WORD” but Chip Coffey just told the guy that he’d have better luck in one of the “J” months and said NOTHING about his terrible mohawk OR his poor financial choices so I was disappointed.
But THEN there was a lady who’d already been visited by everyone who’s ever died, apparently, and they had taken her to visit Dead People Land and it was beautiful and the trees were beautiful and the water was beautiful and the children were beautiful and they were sitting on the grass but THERE WERE NO GRASS STAINS on their white heavenwear so obviously they were in god’s world.
And then there was the lady whose dead boyfriend had a foot fetish and another lady whose dead grandmother was telling her to stop putting herself down so much and this was all really starting to sound a lot more like some weird kind of therapy than ghost-psychic stuff.
And then it was over, and everyone rose for a standing O and the BFF and I were all, “Really??” but we stood up anyway and clapped enthusiastically because quite frankly we were a little scared of some of these people. And afterwards there was a whole VIP thing where you could meet Chip Coffey and tour the haunted hotel with him but we had to leave because it was like 10:30 on a Sunday and SOME of us had to go to work early the next morning if we wanted to keep our OWN financial outlooks on the up and up.
Anyway, the point is that I didn’t walk away believing in this stuff any more than I did when I walked in, but I DID find a title for my next novel (“No Grass Stains in Heaven”), and I got to see Chip Coffey tell one lady (who refused to stand in line to ask a question but instead raised her hand insistently until he called on her) that he was worried about her mental health, which was awesome.
And I got to see Reid’s underpants and Bad Mohawk Guy and Foot Fetish Lady and I-Wish-My-Kid-Was-Psychic Mom and Too Many Orbs Lady and all the others, with the BFF at my side.
And that? Was the awesomest part of all.
The end.Stumble it!