The Dead Letters and Peter Griffin

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Fairly certain my hand was covering the mike for some of this...or the volume was simply annihilating the tiny camera. But the 'Letters have better videos coming, and this at least captured the vibe.

It had been a couple decades since I'd been to the Woodlands Inn, but I definitely picked the right night. March 29, 2014, I was at the Dead Letters Reunion Concert, and I'm still trying to figure out how I was able to dance that much and not drop dead. Has to have something to do with tapping into the energy of the event, but I haven't figured out the mechanism yet.

Everything really came together; saw a lot of old friends and the music was perfect. It really was like time traveling back to the late nineties. I'm still not sure there wasn't some violation of the space-time continuum in making this concert happen. Even the girl who always danced right in front of the speakers back in the day came down from New England to attend, and everyone was thrilled to see her. We really did party like it was 1999.

Fans of the Dead Letters Unite!!!

Time to party like it's 1999.

And of course, at some point things got weird, which somehow made the night that much better.

This story requires a bit of set up: in the next ballroom over from where the 'Letters were playing some sorority was having a dance. I think it may have been the “Daddy Issues” ball, or the “No one is going to tell me how to dress” cotillion. Hey, I appreciate scantly clad women as much as the next guy. But in my humble opinion if you have to pull your dress down over your buns with every step just to keep from being arrested for indecent exposure then you're trying too hard.

Case in point, our waitress was technically almost naked in a bikini and short-shorts, but didn't have to keep readjusting. She had this down, while the other girls clearly had not thought everything out.

So about three quarters of the way through the second set my wife Donna proceeded to the ladies room, and as a dutiful husband I hung around outside to make sure she wasn't abducted by ruffians. This is a superfluous gesture as she studies an integrated martial arts system that's heavy on the Jujitsu, but I didn't not get this far in life by abandoning chivalry.

On the couch between the restroom entrances was a friend of ours named Steve, who was taking a break from the festivities, and we struck up a conversation destined to be rudely interrupted.

A group of five or six kids from the Sorority Ball walked by, and one of guys, resplendent in a disheveled tuxedo that was proof he'd never seen a James Bond film, suddenly turned to my buddy and yelled “Dude!!!” and held out his hand for a high five. Steve looked at the hand as if it were holding a three day old fish that had recently been pulled from a walrus rectum.

Sensing that this was a moment that required some deescalation—Steve is a big guy and this kid was well over six-four himself if I estimated right—I gave him a high five from the side. He turned to me, staggered backwards and pointed at me, speaking the following words:

“Peter Griffin!!!!”

I'm not a regular viewer of “The Family Guy.” I've seen more clips of the show online than on the tube. But I've seen it enough to know where he was going with this. For the record, I don't think I look like Peter Griffin, though after a dozen shots of Jaegermeister I probably would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Prior to this I've had sober people tell me I look like Jack Black, Michael Moore, and Bruce Vilanch. I wasn't too shaken by having Peter Griffin added to the list.

Not Vince Shuta

Vince Shuta: accept no substitutes.

So again, trying to make sure this didn't turn into something that involve badges and paperwork, I snapped into my best Peter Griffin impression and said something to the effect of: “Hey, how you kids doin'? Stayin' out of trouble I hope?” The dude lost it laughing, and called out to his friends to introduce them to someone that he may have truly believed was Peter Griffin. I gave them another line (“Hey you kids have a good time tonight but be careful” or something) and they all waved and walked away happy.

Turning back to Steve, I made a mental note to grant him the award for “most perplexed look not involving government paperwork.” He proceeded to ask why I didn't beat the crap out of the guy. “You could have taken all of them!” This was as much a complement as it was an estimation that the best way to dodge their punches would have been to not move. Alcohol is not generally speaking a performance enhancing drug.

“For what?” I asked. “He's just trying to get laid. If that impressed his girl, so be it.” I am well passed the point in my life where I care if a random stranger soaked in more booze than grandma's fruitcake thinks I'm Peter Griffin. I know who I am. I'm cool with who I am. Best of all I can laugh at me from time to time.

It makes for much better stories, and a lot less stress.

For some more photos from the event, click here:

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Last Updated (Saturday, 24 May 2014 12:21)