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Are You Ready For This? Penn & Teller At Foxwoods


Are You Ready For This? Penn & Teller At Foxwoods       

I worked two 10 hour days then a 6 am to 12 pm shift so I could take time Thursday afternoon and Friday off to see Penn & Teller at Foxwoods with my sister Darlo.  This would be my fourth time seeing P&T live and Darlo’s 1st (her “getting into P&T” story is in my “Getting Ready For Penn & Teller at Foxwoods, my gram and my sister” post). 

When I got home from work at about 1 pm Thursday Darlo was set to go but a little unsure.  She was tired and part of her didn’t want to go.  I told her not to go if she really didn’t want to.  She said no, she did want to see them, she wasn’t as excited as she had been though, just “so over them” but still curious (I spent money I could’ve used for TAM7 for this?).  So we grabbed some Burger King and had some Bill Hicks comedy CDs to listen to on the way.

It’s about an hour and forty five minutes to Foxwoods from my house.  The highway is actually a beautiful area to drive; lots of greenery.  Strangely enough, the longest part of the journey seemed to be just off the highway when we got stuck behind fertilizer cargo (“shit truck” as my sister called it) while driving through farm area near Foxwoods.

Darlo was stunned by Foxwoods as it loomed out of the country side.  To me, it kind of looks like the castle at Disney World.  We saw the entry for the MGM Grand but, not being sure if it was actually attached to Foxwoods or not, we went to the Rainmaker self parking garage at Foxwoods.

We decided to try and find Juniors Restaurant, where the Boston Skeptics were to meet at 5 pm (it was about 3 pm).  I saw signs for the Body Exhibit.  I missed this when it was at the Boston Museum of Science.  Darlo was not the least bit interested but didn’t mind if I went as it was only about an hour.  I gave her a few bucks for an ice coffee and went to the exhibit.

Now, a little back story that I’m going to lift from my “Penn & Teller at Foxwoods, my gram and my sister” post:

“My sister's already dreamt about meeting Penn after the show. She said, in her dream, she introduced herself and said, "I'll rub butts with you to say hello, I'd say hello the other way you suggested (at the end of the Abstinence episode) but my sister told me your married." Then she got so embarrassed in the dream she woke herself up!

Jokingly, she said the show wouldn't really be complete unless Penn said, "That's sexy." I told her that if she asked Penn (afterwards, when we get pictures) he would most likely say it for her. She said she would probably be too shy to ask. I said, not to worry because I would ask for her.”

Now back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress.

Darlo was waiting for me with her large ice coffee when I finished the exhibit (which was excellent).  She said she found the MGM, Juniors Restaurant, and Juniors Café, where she found (drum role please) Penn!  He was sitting at a table at the café.  It looked as though he had been texting but was now talking to a few people.  Darlo said she wouldn’t have recognized him if I hadn’t told her that he wears his hair down when not working. 

She waited until the guys he was talking to left then went over and introduced herself, telling him that she was seeing the show for the first time tonight with her sister and that she was really nervous but still wanted to say hi to him.

Now here’s where Darlo got more than a bit confused about what I said I’d tell Penn.  She told Penn that her sister was going to tell him an embarrassing story about her after the show so, when she saw him now, she figured she’d tell him so her sister couldn’t embarrass her later. 

Darlo then proceeded to tell Penn about the dream she had, and just to make it more interesting, she confused hand job, from the Abstinence episode, with blow job. 

Basically she told Penn she had dreamt about offering him a blow job but as he was married could only rub butts with him and that her sister was planning on telling him about it after the show this evening to embarrass her.  To which Penn replied:

“You’ve succeeded, she (your sister) can’t embarrass you now.”

Then Penn said, “Are you ready for this?” and stood up (just so you can get a good visual: Darlo is 5'2") and they rubbed butts, or more precisely, Darlo rubbed Penn’s thigh with her butt and Penn rubbed Darlo’s back with his butt.  Penn sat down which put them back at about eye to eye level.

Darlo told him she felt smarter for watching Bullshit and thanked him for that and the act as it also gave her something in common with her sister, something we could talk about.  She leaned in to give him a hug, but then pulled back suddenly and asked if it was ok if she could give him a hug.

“Honey, you can do whatever you want.”

She then hugged him (as Penn was sitting she cleared his shoulder fine) and he said, “you are shaking like a leaf!” 

Darlo said Penn smelled good; she didn’t recognize what he was wearing but she said he had on just the right amount, nice smell not “marinated.”

I listened to this story as we walked to Juniors Restaurant.  We past Juniors Café and Darlo showed me where Penn had been sitting.  We hung out for a bit in the lobby area just outside Juniors Restaurant (figured we might catch Chip, Bunny or a Boston Skeptic walking by). 

I was shocked when Darlo told me about telling Penn about the dream and I reminded her that I was just going to ask him to say “that’s sexy” for her.  We could not stop laughing!  I recounted that when I met Teller last year I had introduced myself to him while wearing a name tag (that story is in my “The Amazing Meeting 6 & Penn & Teller” post) but I hadn’t offered to blow him!

Darlo said it was too bad Gram hadn’t come:

Darlo: “This is our 90 yr old Gram, she wants to blow you too.”

Me: “She’s even offered to take out her teeth!”

Darlo: “Eeeewww!”

We could not stop giggling! 

Darlo looks much younger than her 26 yrs (she had been carded by security when she cut through the casino area) and I wondered aloud if Penn called his wife to tell her some 12 yr old had dreamt about offering him oral sex if he had been single.

Ah, the perks of being Penn Jillette!

It was about 4:15 by then and we decided to walk around for a bit and then come back to the restaurant.  We bumped into Chip, down from Vermont for the show.  We made it back to the restaurant and found some of the Boston Skeptics (including Scott, whom I hadn’t seen in a while) and learned that the rest were caught in traffic but should make the show. 

We made it to the theatre in more than enough time.  People took forever to trickle in and the show did not start on time.  I kept an eye out for Bunny.  Darlo even went over to ask a woman if she was Bunny (she was just a bit too far away and half hidden by a pole for me to tell).  I said we probably shouldn’t do that again as we are at a casino and asking a blonde if she’s “Bunny” (wink, wink) might sound like we’re looking for a stripper!

Darlo started talking to the couple sitting next to her, telling them that she had met Penn earlier and rubbed butts with him.  The woman pulled away from her, saying “that’s disgusting” and I leaned over and asked if they had seen the Bullshit episode that referred too.  They had never watched the show and Darlo explained it.  I think that woman practically sat in her husband’s lap for the rest of the evening! 

Jonesy’s jazz was playing over the speakers and I explained to Darlo who he was and that she had seen him briefly in a couple of episodes of BS (Holier Than Thou, Exercise vs Genetics).

Darlo was getting a bit antsy, muttering “I am so ready for this!” as well as “I’m Penn, this is my partner Teller, we are Penn & Teller” and singing the opening to P&T’s “Magic & Mystery Tour” under her breath.  (“So over them” my butt.).

 People were still coming in and being served drinks when the lights finally dimmed at 7:15 pm and out walked Penn leading Teller (whose head was in a block), “I’m Penn, this is my partner Teller, we are Penn & Teller.”

The first bit they did was Blockhead (I don’t know if that’s what they call it).  Penn chooses a woman from the audience to come up and help.  He has her check a pool ball to make sure it’s real.  She decides to do this by dropping it on the stage (“Did you just drop that?!”).  He then has her check his magic wand, which she does by breaking it over her knee. ?!  Penn, of course, was all over her (“What possessed you to do that?”).  Zeke brought out another wand (looking good Zeke!) and they continued.  I don’t want to tell too much but part of the trick involved this woman’s glasses appearing on Teller’s face and she, for some reason, after she took them back turned her back to the audience to clean her glasses on her shirt.  At that point Penn was just “Get the hell off the stage!”

I don’t know the titles of the tricks but what they did was (not in order, and most I described in my “The Amazing Meeting 6 & Penn & Teller” post):
blockhead
polyester (I hadn’t seen live before)
knife throw (I hadn’t seen live before)
balancing a woman on a chair edge (I hadn’t seen before)
shadows
needles (I hadn’t seen live before)
flag burning
newspaper tear
attention and deception (based on Richard Wiseman’s work)
hanky to glitter
coins and fish
mentalism
nail gun
and ending with an intimate monologue and fire eating.

Listening to Darlo react to their act was wonderful for me.  “Oh look he’s talking to her” as Teller chooses a woman for coins and fish.  “Are you watching the screen?” during attention and deception.   “There goes his hair” as Penn pulls his pony tail out as he’s taking his bow. 

After the show we hung back in the lobby as the crowd surrounded P&T just outside the doors.  I saw Bunny and pointed her out to Darlo (“oh....wow”).  It was great to see Bunny again.  She introduced me to her friend Dan, magician and operator of monkeytuesday.org.  I mentioned the “Hi Gram” sign I had and Bunny said that I should also have P&T sign my breasts as “they are always looking for breasts to sign.”  I wasn’t so sure about that.  Hmmmm....

Mary and Jonas, friends I met through JREF, found us.  It was wonderful to see them, the now Mr. & Mrs. Green.  We also found Chip again and asked him to get pics of us with P&T.

Darlo enjoyed watching Penn talk with Bunny, “She broke my wand!  Should I just let it go?”

The crowd began thinning and we could see and hear Teller, to which Darlo said, “Teller’s voice is creeping me out!” 

I have no idea why I always introduce myself and shake hands with Teller (and Penn) when I met them.  Like that’s really necessary.  Must be a throw back to my mother always making sure I used my full name to the point where I signed holiday cards to my parents with my full name. 

Anyway, I introduced myself (no worries about a name tag this time) and my sister to Teller, explained the “Hi Gram” sign and asked to get a picture with him.  He wanted to hold the sign and he doubled checked on Gram’s age (“90th correct?”) before signing it “Happy 90th! Teller”.  Very sweet, especially since he looked a bit tired/distracted (touring must be tiring).

Penn and Darlo chatted a bit about butt rubbing before we got our picture for Gram.  We started to leave and I decided to be brave and have them sign my chest.  I didn’t know how long marker would last on skin but it would be fun.  Very out of character for me.  Darlo was all for my doing (“I’ve got to get pictures of that!”). 

Penn was very cool about it, “wish my name was longer.”

Teller.  Teller, Teller, Teller.  I went up to him and said, “if you don’t mind, I have one more thing I would like you to sign,” and lowered the left side of my shirt a bit and said, “because you stole my heart” and then nodding toward his signing “and I am so blaming this on a mid life crisis!”  He said something to the effect of “nothing wrong with that” and Darlo laughingly got our picture.  I thanked Teller and we left.

It wasn’t until I was writing down notes about this later that I realized that Teller might have misinterpreted my “mid life crisis” remark if he didn’t notice me nodding toward his signing as I said it.  I hope he didn’t think I was remarking on my saying “you stole my heart” as meaning “I hate the fact that I like you so much.”  Am I over thinking this?  He’s not even going to remember it.  Duh.  Maybe I should just take a page out of Teller’s book and not speak at all when I meet him after a show. 

A side story: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was involved in community theatre.  I was in the chorus for the Gilbert and Sullivan show “The Mikado.”  During this time Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “The Phantom of the Opera” with Michael Crawford in the lead opened on Broadway.  I was able to get a ticket (my first Broadway show).  I was 21 at the time and I remember talking to a woman in her late 30s in the chorus of “The Mikado” with me about going to NYC to see the show.  She asked me what I would be wearing.  I said, “Clothes.  Doesn’t matter does it, it’s not like I’m going to dinner with Michael Crawford after the show.” She smiled shyly, looked down and said, “yeah,” and I thought, “oh no, we don’t grow out of this do we?”

No, we don’t.                         

(I vaguely remember reading an interview with Teller where he mentions that he hated Webber’s “Phantom.”  Sheesh)

Chip, Darlo and I left to meet up with the Boston Skeptics at an Italian restaurant across the casino.  As we approached the gambling area Darlo said, “Want to see a magic trick?” and just as she crossed into the slot machine area a security guard instantly (magically?) appeared, “May I see an ID please?”  We laughed as Darlo handed him her ID. 

Chip said that he wanted to get a picture of my P&T signatures before he left.  I said he should just take a close up so I could post it and see if any old boyfriends recognize me!

Unfortunately, the restaurant was so crowded they couldn’t fit us in with the Boston Skeptics.  Darlo was getting tired and Chip had a four hour drive home so we decided to call it a night. 

As we walked Chip to his car we talked about the difference between Foxwoods and the other casino about fifteen minutes away, Mohegan Sun.  Foxwoods, to me, just seems like a mall with casinos attached.  I was actually disappointed the first time I went to Foxwoods.  Mohegan Sun was more like what I imagined a casino to be.  Even when one was not in the casinos at Mohegan Sun, due to the decor, lighting, etc, it always seemed like one never left the casino.  Chip described it as being more “old Las Vegas” and I called it the “Ocean’s 11 illusion.” 

It wasn’t until I was driving home that I realized we had forgotten to get a picture of P&T’s signatures.  Oh well.                                   

I am sorry that I forgot to get pictures with Chip, Bunny, Jonas, Mary, Scott.  I am very sorry that I didn’t get to spend more time with Bunny as I hadn’t seen her since TAM6.

Darlo was glad she went.  She said she enjoyed meeting Penn and seeing Teller (yes, that’s how she said it, “I met Penn, I saw Teller” and I understand exactly what she means, technically speaking, I have not met Penn or Teller, I have only seen them).  I am glad that I went to the Body Exhibit and Darlo bumped into Penn by herself.  That’s a moment she’s going to cherish for the rest of her life.                                                                   

Strangely enough, I felt more comfortable meeting them, even with my “what the hell was I thinking saying that to Teller?”, which doesn’t beat what Darlo said to Penn of course (or maybe it does, hmmm).  At least neither one of us broke their magic wands!   

There was a moment in Penn’s fire eating monologue where he mentions that often he or Teller will be able to make eye contact with someone in the audience and for that one moment, it’s just the two of them.  Penn said, “right at that moment...we’re not thinking about you, we’re thinking about getting the trick right.”           

I know I’ve mentioned this before when writing about P&T but they do seem to be very aware of what it’s like to be a fan and, they keep in mind that a moment they won’t remember might be unforgettable for another.

And, at the risk of being even more repetitive, they’re still an inspiration to me.  They’ve opened up a lot of doors, new ways of thinking, for me, and introduced me to other fine thinkers (Randi, Dawkins, Shermer, Harris, Hitchens, etc). 

I hope I don’t sound like I have them on a pedestal; given up my supernatural gods for magical ones (that was sort of redundant wasn’t it).  There are some things they agree with, as I’m learning more about them (such as Libertarian politics and Objectivist Philosophy) that I feel I may ultimately not agree with them on at all. 

That doesn’t negate that their work, both skeptical and magical, has sparked some changes in me, and granted, those changes are starting out small, like having men I don’t know sign their names on my breasts, but they’re changes never the less, and I want to run with those changes and see where they lead me. 

So hold on to your magic wands! 

Are you ready for this?     

May 24, 2009     

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