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Tom Deluca

Did any of you get to meet him or watch one of his shows?  Its mostly formulaic.  There are always the same hilarious characters… and of course, with different folks, you get different shows.  Each year Mr. Deluca comes to UVa and does his thing.  I went every single year.  I missed out on the beginning on my first year, but every year thereafter… there I was with my tarp and my friends, staking out a prime watching spot in the middle of the amphitheater.  It never rained. 

My friend, Elizabeth, wanted to get me on stage my 3rd year.  We kinda halfassed it, and I looked like a care bear or something.  It didnt work.  It was bad.  We vowed that next year, our last chance, we would get me on stage.  M was the one who gave us the theme, an overarching idea to make it happen.  It was simple.  "A thinks you're fake."  It was both a challenege and an invitation.  Elizabeth and I hit up the Walmart and bought the biggest stick we could find.  It was at least 7ft tall and make out of sturdy bamboo.  It barely fit in my car.  We got poster board and Sharpies.  We got paper.  We did not make any silly costumes, or freak out on color.  Black Sharpie and white poster board.  Black Sharpie and white paper. 

We made tons of signs.  "Prove A Wrong!"  "A thinks you're a fake!"  "Pick A" and then on the big stick we attacked a giant sign that said "A" and an arrow that pointed down.  I held up the stick, and it pointed to me.  It rose above the crowds like nothing else.  If we hadnt shown up early and gotten a front row piece of grass, it wouldnt have mattered.  I was very visible at my 5'3".  It also helped that I stood on my friend's wheelchair. 

When it came time to start addressing the crowd, Mr. D hadnt eaten yet.  There was some a-capella music to tide us over, and, since we were in the front, I showed Mr. D my signage.  He laughed, and mouthed the words, "She's right."  I laughed.

Finally the moment had come.  He took the stage and everyone went wild.  People on shoulders, chanting, screaming.  My friends all had signs reading, "A this" or "A that".  We handed out one word sheets of paper saying simply my name.  We had an entire front quarter of the theater with my signage.  Folks will hold anything!  Mr. Deluca had named most of the people he wanted on stage.  There was only one space left, and I had lost hope.  Elizabeth was still screaming.  Finally, he bellowed, "And we have to have A!!!" 

Wow.

All my bravado and self-assuredness left me.  I couldnt stand.  I could barely believe that I was called up!  I scrambled up the stage and took my seat!  I looked around at the other poor saps who had the good fortune to find themselves up here, in front of about 10,000+ people.  It was incredible! 

I wasnt memorable much.  There was a guy sitting next to me who forgot what the Cavalier's mascot was, and ended up screaming, "R-A-T-S!  Rats rats rats!  NEEEEEEEE!!!"  The UVa Rats are down in history.  There was a chick who ended up getting sprayed with water whilst wearing a white skin tight tank top.  There were the usual characters, and I was none of them.  I did play it up though. 

After the whole night was over, my friends and I hung out and talked about each and every second of the show.  Someone, I'm sure, has a video copy of it.  Its out there somewhere… me, having "lost my ass", standing up and declaring that someone took it.  Either that or it's just been misplaced… and its a kinda big ass to lose. 

Somewhere out there is video of me dancing with some random guy in the audience while my future husband stares on.  Somewhere out there is video of me flippin the bird at an invisible cop as my invisible red Porche flies by a checkpoint.  Somewhere out there is me with my head resting on Mr. Rat's shoulders.  And ya know what?  If you have it?  Wouldja mind sharing it?  Because I would love to relive it.

Since then, I managed to see another Deluca show at Piedmont Virginia Community College.  It was interesting to see the folks doing the same stuff I did.  I realize the psychology of it all.  If you're willing to debase and humiliate yourself enough to get on stage, you will be willing to debase and humiliate yourself on stage in front of thousands under the guise of being hypnotised.  And ya know what?  I'd do it again.   

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