Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Origin of Stalker Tamara

Last night, I screamed, jumped, high-fived, slapped people with a towel, and shook my hips to the rhythm.

I bet you're wondering where a gal could do all of those things. Well, the most wonderful place in Pittsburgh of course, Mellon Arena on a playoff hockey night.

The game was awesome. Admittedly it would have been better if the Washington Capitals didn't play so despicably dirty. And better still had the Pittsburgh Penguins won.

Nevertheless, it was a good time. Coincidentally, it was also the location of my Stalker Tamara origination story.

Let me take you back to my senior year in high school. I went to the arena with a group of guy friends for Monday Night Raw. Yes, we're talking WWF. My idol was The Rock. I loved the eyebrow and the elbow.

The night before, I made a sign that consisted of five poster boards spelling out "Rocky." On the center three boards, I drew the bull with one raised eyebrow. Monday night, it was the first sign on the jumbo-tron, thank you very much.

Some things never change. The show was awesome. There was screaming, jumping, high-fiving and hip-shaking, although towels were not involved.

Afterwards, we stood outside and froze, waiting for the wrestlers to exit the arena. We saw the Hardy Boys, the Undertaker, Cain, and other favorites of the time. Then from a distance, I saw The Rock shaking hands with a few guys and mock fighting with others in the parking garage under the arena. Then he got into the driver's side of a sedan and drove away - right passed us.

As the crazed fan I was, I was first row, against the rope, taking pictures and screaming.

Let me take you on a tangent, creating some suspense and offering background. Pittsburgh is notorious for its roads. The highway engineers of Pennsylvania graduated at the bottom of their classes to be sure (no offense, but it's hard to argue this point). But poor design of city roads forced Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to stop his car in the middle of the road, awaiting the opportunity to merge into traffic.

Teenage-crazed-fan Stalker Tamara didn't give him that chance. Without hesitation, I was sprawled on his windshield like a bug. One hand pounded on the glass. The other snapped photo after photo. My eyes were locked on the People's Eyebrow, raised just for me - and the horde of fans who piled on top of me.

In my memory, the moment goes on forever. Realistically, it ended after a few seconds with a cop wrapping his arms around my waist as I kicked and screamed with elation at the fact that a single pane of glass and only a foot of space separated me from...the only words I can think of here are not appropriate for all audiences, so you fill in the blank.

So, there you have it. The genesis of Stalker Tamara. I like to think I'm reformed. I don't jump on vehicles anymore. That's a step in the right direction.

Yet, I like the idea of a protagonist who is a bit of a stalker. Not in a creepy way, of course. Just in a way that the opening line of her story could be: "I don't do drugs. I rarely drink, but occasionally, it's fun to stalk people."

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