10 June 2008

Before going to the R.E.M. concert on Friday, I ended up at a bookstore near Wailin's office, where I bought a discounted copy of the tie-in book to Wordplay. (I was running out of crossword puzzles.) Later, during an intermission at the concert, Wailin and I ended up working on one of the crosswords. When the man seated next to me saw what we were doing, the following conversation took place:

Man: "Is that a Will Shortz puzzle?"
Me (holding up the book): "Yeah, from Wordplay. Have you heard of it?"
Man: "Well, actually, it was directed by my brother-in-law."

His wife, who was seated nearby (along with their three children), turned out to be Patrick Creadon's sister. She was amused by the coincidence, and even took a picture of me holding up the book, which she said that she would send to Patrick. (Apparently he's a big R.E.M. fan.) We chatted a bit about crosswords before the concert began. Apparently they held the premiere party for Wordplay at their house, where they got to meet all of the contestants profiled in the movie. According to the husband, Al Sanders, not surprisingly, is a one heck of a nice guy, while one of the other guests was "one of the weirdest people I've ever met in my life." (Guess which one!)

Anyway, that improbable coincidence overshadowed the rest of the concert, which was a lot of fun, although I quickly realized that most of my favorite R.E.M. songs ("Find the River," "Electrolite," etc.) are less than suited for a stadium setting. Stipe looked and sounded great, though, and they even brought Johnny Marr onstage for a quick jam session. At the end of the concert, Stipe pinned an Obama button to his lapel, to thunderous applause and cheers from the Chicago crowd. All in all, it was a pretty good night.


MCM said...

Alec: I'm not sure if this will work but try this for the picture.

Alec said...