I’m going to warn you that this story is going to sound too weird to be true, but it’s not even the weirdest story I have. However, it is the most fabulous one, featuring a glitter beard, a crocheted ball cap with an attached unibrow, and veggie burgers.
Before this pregnancy sapped the life out of me, I had a little side gig. It was basically gimpy mystery shopping, but instead of just reporting on the service, I also had to evaluate wheelchair accessibility and any other accommodations offered. This job was at a little club that specialized in drag shows and comedy sets. It was like a knockoff Hamburger Mary’s.
I did my first walk through right before they opened so that I could see what kind of arrangements would be made for my service dog. I didn’t take her to the actual show because I felt like she would be in the way since she’s a bigger dog. This turned out to be very fortunate because she probably would have misunderstood the situation and thought I was being attacked.
Once the show started, we were seated at one of the few tables since a booth would be too difficult to transfer into. This put us right in front of the stage and I was having a ball. We already had a couple of customers come up to admire my super weird Sasha Velour tribute bald hat with an attached unibrow that I crocheted and my burly husband’s pink glittered beard. (He’s just as weird as I am). Keep in mind that I squeeze myself into a 16 inch child sized wheelchair because it’s easier to maneuver in small spaces. The people who came up to us noticed the chair, but I doubt anyone else did.
Since our tickets, food and travel expenses were paid for by the owner, I decided to use the $100 I would have spent to tip the performer and the waitress. I’m not sure if it is like this everywhere, but here, you don’t throw money on the stage. You hold it up and they come by to take it during the performance.
I’m not sure if she thought I was a VIP because we were seated so close or if she was just excited about the $50, but she grabbed my hand and tried to pull me onstage. I shook my head, but she kept pulling. My husband and I both started yelling “I can’t!” and point to my wheelchair. At first I was afraid that she couldn’t hear me over the music. Apparently she did because she tried to pick me up. Now this wasn’t some delicate flower. This 6 foot tall drag queen was determined to pick me up. Unfortunately, seatbelts are designed to keep me in place through falls, car accidents and, apparently, attempted drag queen abduction.
An audience member next to us figured out what was going on fairly quickly and had the DJ turn off the music so the DQ could hear me. She was horrified, but the rest of us were laughing like big donkeys. It was so crazy that everyone assumed that it was part of the act. To make matters worse, my condition causes my joints to be hypermobile and my shoulder dislocated. It literally happens 3 or 4 times a week, but it did look really scary when my husband popped it back.
I thought the manager and the DQ were going to have heart attacks. Once I assured them that I was fine and having a great time, they went back to the show. The lovely queen refused my tip, but she did take my crocheted “wig”.