Okay, here goes! This is got to be one of the funniest fan stories you’ve probably ever heard and it happened to me! This happened when the great Canadian songwriter, Tom Cochrane, was touring with his former band mates as the newly assembled Red Rider in 2000. I had just moved to Winnipeg. Of course being a big fan, I very much wanted to go. Problem was, having just moved to the city for a new job, I had bills that I had incurred by the relocation and really needed to watch my cash situation. However, as distractions go, it just so happened the rock radio station, Power 97, was doing a promotion for listeners to attend the concert. As it is with most contests, all you needed to do was listen for some prompt,call in, answer a question and Presto! Free tickets. So listen I did, but was never successful in getting through to the Deejay.. Well this went on for a week. It was pretty straight forward. You just answered some trivia about Tom and Red Rider correctly and you got yourself a pair of tickets to attend the concert at the Burton Cummings Theatre, Being the Tom Cochrane fan that I am, I do believe I knew every answers that week. At times I even found myself yelling at the radio at some of those supposed “fans” who called in and didn’t know the answers. Sheesh! So needless to say, I continued to listen intently all week with no luck in getting through. As the week progressed, my hope waned and I fell into a slight depression. No not really, but I thought that sounded dramatic.
Anyways, soon it was the evening of the concert and only a couple of chances to win free tickets remained before the show began. On the evening of the concert, Power 97 had parked their mobile truck in front on the Burton Cummings Theatre and they were doing an exclusive live broadcast from there. Well at this time I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to be attending the show. I was a little distraught and thought a drive might help. But, being a glutton for punishment, I thought I might just take a drive by the theater and look at all the lucky folks there attending this fantastic reunion show with Tom Cochrane and the original Red Rider. Of course, while driving on the way over to the theatre, I thought I would horn in on the happenings at the theatre via the car radio. I was driving in somewhat of a daze listening to the banter of the deejay and soon found myself just moments away from the Burton Cummings theatre. For those familiar with Winnipeg, I was rounding Hargrave at Ellice by the MLCC liquor store. It was at that point, the deejay announced the last chance to win 4 tickets..not one..not a pair, but 4 tickets to the show! Great, I thought! Look at poor little ole me, I’ve got no cell phone on hand to call through. Sigh…”Now how in the hell am I supposed to call in?” I taunted to myself. But, at that moment, much to my delight the deejay announced the 4 tickets would be given to…get this…to the first person to show up at the mobile in front of the Burton Cummings Theatre with a cock ring. Hallelujuh! Cochrane. Cock Ring. They sound sort of alike don’t they? Then the deejay went on to intro Red Rider’s “What Do You Got To Do Get Off Tonight?” as a segue of sorts. My those deejays are clever!
Now my conundrum was, first, what the hell is a cock ring? Second, where do you get one? Well…wouldn’t you know it…that deejay musta been reading my mind, because right then he instructed listeners to get themselves to a sex shop, if they didn’t already have a cock ring on hand… and get one. Told you those deejays are clever! They have all the answers. And wouldn’t you know it! Right there… at the corner before the theatre was a sex shop called Discreet Boutique. ” Western Canada’s Largest Showroom Since 1991″ a large sign by the door read.
With no thought at all, and little regard for others on the road, I immediately did an illegal U-turn and swung my car into the Liquor Store parking lot. Slammed that sucker into park! Jumped out of the car and ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the sex shop. I’d say it was probably a 50 yard dash. I did in a time that coulda easily got me qualified for the Olympics I swear. Having arrived at the sex shop, winded and breathing heavy, I burst into the sex shop and lurched towards the lady at the counter and blurted out disparately! “I NEED A cock ring! Taken aback by my desperate plea, the clerk answered, “Pardon me sir?” Slower now, I repeated with equal enthusiasm and marking each word, “I…NEED…A…COCK…RING!” “OH, yeah, we have those.” She replied nonchalantly. With that, the nice sex shop lady directed me to the cock rings. In an passive and accommodating manner, that would make a Walmart greeter blush, she obliged me in wonderfully accommodating way by pointing me to the back of the store. You know? She sorta reminded me of Flo, the waitress, you know from that TV show Alice back in the day.
Seemingly, I was home free when suddenly at that moment a young gal walked in. Yes, you guessed it. She too was asking for a cock ring. “Yikes!” I whispered to myself, and hurriedly picked up my pace to a near run. As I made my way to the back of the store, I peered over my shoulder frequently. I could see now that the clerk was also directing this young lady to the cock rings. The pursuit was on. Now, I thought to myself, “Self! This is a good time to run!” and run I did. Of course, upon arriving at the “toy” section, I suddenly realized my dilemma. As I surveyed the countless gadgets displayed there, many of which I never new existed. In my awe, I think I lost a few valuable moments as the girl in pursuit was getting closer. Anxiety kicked in, The adrenalin was coursing through my veins. Heart palpitations ensued. With little idea of what I was precisely looking for, my eyes darted up and down, to the left to the right. Suddenly, much to my delight, there it was! The cock ring! “This must be my lucky day!” I thought. There it was jumping right out at me big bold gold lettering. – IMPACT 48 pt font – I think? “cock ring” it read on the package. At that moment, it seemed time stood still. A cone of silence enveloped me. I was in my own little world. Moreover, I do believe I heard angles softly singing. Like the Golden Feece, The Holy Grail, if you will, there it was! A golden cock ring! I don’t know if it was the way the florescent light hit the cock ring, but it seemed to emanate a mystic glow. In my heightened state of being, I was tuned into the moment. It seemed all receptors were open. This was further acknowledged, because at that moment I heard a majestic voice echo in my head “I’ve been waiting for you Clarence. Where have you been?” Whoa, I know now today, if that was not the voice of GOD, then it certainly sounded a lot like James Earl Jones. Relieved of my find, I let out a big sigh and bowed my head as to pay my respects to the cock ring that had presented itself. Enthralled in my amazement of that cock ring that jumped out at me, I notice now, there was a plethora of other cock rings. Every size and every color imaginable. All of them, just hanging there in that ethereal glow. In my wonderment, caught up in the moment, I thought to myself. “I don’t think I’ll ever behold a site so wonderful ever again!” Rows and rows of cock rings assembled there for my eyes to behold. Suddenly, I snapped out of it. I took a glance , only to see that young lady was now right there to my left. I tried to ignore her and not make eye contact. it seemed she knew exactly what she was after. Hmm, I thought, “ She’s done this before. Not fair!” So, I clumsily reached out toward the wall to grab the first cock ring within my grasp. But, then it seems my hand was hardwired to my brain and seemingly my brain was instructing my hand to pick size over price. “Shit, that cost me a few more seconds. I didn’t have that sorta time.” I reminded myself. So, I literally ripped that golden ring from its fastenings off the wall in one fell swoop, took an abrupt turn. I walked briskly towards the cashier. I was a man on a mission. A lunatic fringe if you will?
I could now hear the ominous beginning of that song as I walked the aisle. At that moment, I also recall shooting a piercing glance at the young lady as I passed on by her in the opposite direction toward the front of the store. At that moment, everything seemed to happen in slow motion as our eyes meet for the first time. I do believe I detected a slight sneer on her part. Huh! I thought to myself, “Those tickets are mine! Mine all mine I tell you!” As thing resumed in real time, I hastily walked to the counter. Upon arrival, I dug deep into my pocket a produced all the loonies and change I had on hand and threw it down on the counter. The sex shop lady, who was chewing her gum enthusiastically, sauntered her way to till and rang in the cock ring. You could imagine my nervousness as I glance back, only to see the young girl was making her way up the aisle behind me with her very own cock ring. “That’ll be 10.19 sir.” the sex shop lady said “10.19? Shit!” I blurted out, as I continued to sort out my change on the counter.
Wouldn’t you know it, my concentration was broken suddenly by an audible “tsk” sound coming from behind me. I turned, only to see the young gal rolling her eyes towards the ceiling. Turning my attention back to the task at hand, I counted out the change on the counter. 9.78 in change. Thinking quickly I explained to the nice sex shop lady that I would run out to my car and get some more change out of the ashtray to make up the difference. She obliged and let me exit with my newly acquired cock ring – I’m thinking – much to the dismay of the lady in pursuit. I must have a trust worthy face or something I thought to myself. Then I also thought, maybe cock rings are marked up so much she really didn’t care if I returned. Probably the latter. Anyways, with cock ring in hand, I Cosmo Krammered out the door and onto the sidewalk! So now, with cock ring handily secured, I thought for a moment I could go to the car, but that thought quickly dissolved because then the lady in pursuit would beat me to the Power 97 mobile at the theatre. So, it was straight to the Burton Cummings Theatre for this sex shop cowboy! With that, I was off like a bat out of hell! I quickly dashed about fifty yards and soon found myself rounding the corner in front of the theatre. There before me awaited an anxious crowd. They were lined up 10 deep on the sidewalk right up to Ellice anticipating the doors to open. So, trying to act all casual and such, I shuffled through the crowd towards the mobile where Power 97 was doing their live broadcast. All the while, I was glancing over my shoulder every other moment on the lookout for you know who. Upon reaching the mobile, I could see through the door the deejays were sitting at the mixing console doing the things deejays do. I could see their lips moving and knew precisely what they were saying because they had mega watt speakers bellowing their address from the top of the van. Then the magic words I wanted to hear were announced “We’re still waiting for that cock ring folks! First person to show up with a cock ring wins these much coveted tickets” That was my prompt. I made my way to the door and started banging on the door disparately trying to get their attention. I guess they couldn’t hear me on account of the speakers being so loud. Luckily though, a young couple had noticed me hammering on the door. It seem they were at a much better vantage point to get the attention of the deejays via visual signals. With that, they started waving their arms in a frantic motion at the deejays. I guess the deejays seen them and they then started pointing towards me. At the realization of what was transpiring, I guess the rest of the crowd suddenly thought it was incumbent upon them to assist me. By now everyone had pretty well noted me frantically waving my cock ring. That all it took to get the deejay’s attention. One of the deejays peered out the window and looked at me. “Alas!” I thought, “ I have arrived.” I seemed to recall hearing bugles blaring triumphantly. Or perhaps, it may have been feedback from the speakers? In any event, I continued to wave my cock ring high above the crowd, People were cheering loudly now. I could now see the deejay approaching the door. The door flung open. Suddenly, the cheering got louder to decibel levels equaling jet engines. The deejay, with tickets in hand looked at me quizzically. I hesitated a beat and muttered like Oliver in Dicken’s Oliver Twist ” I..I…I’ve got your cock ring…Sir?’ I announced. The deejay, towering over me from the steps, looked at me and glanced around at the now silence crowd. With that, he took the cock ring from my hand, inspected it a moment, and nodded approvingly at me and the crowd. The crowd erupted once again.
I thought my heart might burst as the deejay handed me the tickets. I took the ticket and quickly inspected them. With that, I held them up like a royal flush in my hand, and I turned to the crowd and fisted the air with my other hand as the crowd prolonged their cheer. Yes! This is what Tom Cochrane must have been thinking about when he wrote “Victory Day”. Well not really, but I thought that sounded emphatic.
She says life isn’t big, not it’s kind of small
Made of small moments, they’re all strung together
If you don’t look out, you might miss them all
Then it’s just passed you on by like the weather
Having accomplished my mission, I took my cache of tickets and I walked to the young couple that assisted me in my time of need. I wanted to thank them. It turns out, the couple only had one ticket between them. So being the nice guy that I am, I told them I was new in town and my lady was out of town, so all I really needed, or even wanted, was one. So I gave them two of mine in exchange for their sole ticket. That left me with three. By this time, I had become quite popular and a bidding war ensued amongst the crowd for my remaining tickets. For a moment I was enticed to wield my new found power over these now seemingly mere mortals. But, my conscience soon gave way to my ethics and I could not bring myself to take advantage of the situation. I’m sure I could have easily gotten 100 bucks. Oh well. My first thought, thereafter, when I came to my senses, was to look for that young lady from the sex shop to be sure she would get in the concert. Despite her demeanor at the sex shop, I thought it only fair that she get some sorta consolation prize. So, I scanned the crowd, but unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found. However, I did catch a glance out of the corner of my eye, of two young ladies, who looked a bit timid, but were obviously big fans. One was nervously chewing her nails knowing she and her friend were about to be left out in the cold. The crowd now began to shuffle in. Detecting the despair on their faces, my heart went out to them, cause I thought to myself, only ten minutes ago, I was feeling that same despair. I walked over and handed them my two remaining tickets “Have fun, enjoy the show” I said, and walked away. No words were ever exchanged after that, but I think I got a message telepathically acknowledging their gratitude. I think all Tom Cochrane fans share that gift. Somehow that moment reminded me of Tom’s song the Untouchable One. One of my favorites.
Then it occurred to me, that I had to get back to the car and move it out of the Liquor Store parking lot before it got towed. Moreover, I needed to complete that transaction with the sex story lady. So, I walked on over to the sex shop with a pile of change I grabbed out of the ashtray from the car. So, after parking my car safely, I walked back the sex shop. As I entered, I was still beaming with pride from my my big coup and boldly announced “See, I told ya I’d be back.” . “Oh the guy with the cock ring.’ she acknowledged. A couple standing near the counter looked toward us, obviously not knowing what to think. “ Yeah, that musta been the shortest possession of a cock ring ever.” I quipped. “ Oh really?” she asked. “ Yeah really.” I replied “ Got what I wanted out of it. “ With that I turned to the door to leave, however before I did, I glanced at the inquisitive couple and winked and walked out the door. Can’t imagine what they thought? Furthermore, I can’t imagine what the sex store lady thought I had just accomplished, because I had only been missing in action for fifteen minutes with that cock ring. Now it was back to the concert for me. Upon arrival I proceeded into the lobby and straight to the concession stand for a much needed cola. Who do I meet there? Yes, none other than the guy and his lady I had traded the tickets with. He graciously, bought me my drink as we chatted. It seems he was new to town too and his girlfriend, I was to learn, found that night she would be able to attend because of cancellation in her previous plans. Thereafter, we all took our drinks and went to go to our seats. I don’t know why I assumed I would be sitting in their proximity, but I followed them anyways as we yapped about our love for Red Ryder and Tom Cochrane music. However, our conversation interrupted abruptly as the usher stopped us. The usher had let couple through, but pointed me to another entrance after inspecting my ticket. With that, the couple graciously waved as we parted ways. The young man gave me a thumbs up. Now you would think that would be enough. However, as many of my stories go there is always a “kicker”. The kicker? It turns out that that lone ticket the young fellow had given me was for a seat 6 rows back from front row center. Go figure?. If the young guy knew, he didn’t say.
All I can ponder was that more than a little magic was happening that evening. In the end, five people got to see Tom Cochrane and Red Rider that evening for the price of one ticket. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. There they were. Tom, Kenny Greer and Jeff Jones pumping out that unique aural stamp that only Red Rider can deliver. Sorry, I can’t recall who was on drums, but what at beat! So what is the morale of the story? I really don’t know? Howzabout. “ A cock ring in hand is worth five tickets in the thicket?” Vive la liberte! Lets hear it for cock rings! They’ll set you free! Well no, not really, but certainly music has that affect. Thanks Red Rider for the music! And thank you Tom!
And with that, I’ll conclude this story with a little ditty that first turned me on to Red Rider and the brilliant songwriting by Tom Cochrane himself. Thanks for the visit. Hope you enjoyed it!
P.S. If you want to learn more about Tom Cochrane and Red Rider’s music, be sure to visit his site here!
P.S.S. If you’re interested in what the Discreet Boutique has to offer – oh and you must be 18 or older – you can visit here!