I think it was the fall of 1980, maybe 1981 and I fresh out of the crotch and baby number one had just been delivered by my beautiful, lovely teen age bride. I remember being scared out of my wits since between the both of us we had little in the way of parenting experience and weren’t quite prepared for what lay in store.
So, what’s a young couple to do? For starters I found myself a somewhat decent job working in the caverns of Wall Street while my wife stayed at home and tended to our bundle of joy and with the help of some relatives managed to eke out a living and actually save some money in order to take a vacation.
Let me backtrack here a little bit. First of all, you have to consider the time frame I’m talking about. It was the early 1980’s man and for some strange reason my young wife had this obsession with Tony Orlando. Maybe it was the whole Hispanic/Chicano thing and his gleaming white teeth, long flowing locks and clingy pant suits that left little to the imagination that got her juices flowing. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.
I can distinctly remember coming home after work and the stereo blaring Tony Orlando & Dawn’s Greatest Hits while she twirled around the living room singing such classics as “Candida”, “Knock Three Times” and “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” with a look of joy on her face that was hard to forget. Don’t get me wrong, that wasn’t exactly my taste in music but whatever made her happy did the same for me.
So with that in mind and since we never really had a honeymoon I decided to surprise her and book a flight to Vegas where we’d spend a week or so at the Aladdin Hotel and wander up and down the strip taking in the scenery. We managed to convince our in-laws to watch the baby and off we went.
What I didn’t tell her was that I also managed to score a couple of front row tickets to Tony Orlando who was playing in a nearby venue and I thought it would make for a nice surprise to culminate our last night in town.
Well, the night came and believe me, it was hard for me to keep it a secret. We got dressed in our finest “threads” (that’s what they were called at the time) and headed off to dinner. From there, we hailed a cab and all the while she thought we going back to our hotel to enjoy each other’s company (if ya know what I mean) and get ready for our flight out the next day. It was then I decided to spring my surprise and told the cab driver to make a detour to the hotel where Tony Orlando was playing.
As we pulled up and she saw the billboard her face lit up and glowed much brighter than any of the neon lights that Vegas had to offer. It was like she had bathed in it and I felt thrilled to be a part of her. We made our way through the crowds and settled down into the front row center seats. The house lights dimmed and a single spotlight shone down on the microphone. A hush fell over the packed crowd and a solitary figure made his way to the stage.
I was expecting someone to announce Orlando’s presence in pure Vegas style, you know, build up the crowd and the anticipation but all of sudden, things grew quiet. Then, a deep baritone voice boomed out of the microphone and all it said was:
” We're sorry to inform you: Tony Orlando has been postponed".
With that the house lights came on and I’ve never seen a look of joy turn to one of disappointment so fast in my life. It wasn’t long before she started crying and as we made it back to our room at the Aladdin the rest of the night was spent behind locked doors and the sounds of deep heaving sobs.
The flight home the next day wasn't much better and our lack of sleep only helped to compound matters. There were cancellations and delays that only seemed to prolong her suffering. She kept shooting me looks as if it was somehow my fault this incident occurred, that I had somehow conspired with Tony Orlando to make her life a little bit more miserable than it already was.
Things were never the same after that. Not long afterwards, I turned to drugs and she turned to a lawyer and that was all she wrote.
So fuck you Tony Orlando, fuck you in the ass. You ruined my life without an explanation or even an excuse. I hope your fuckin’ house burns down with all your worldly possessions inside and you’re left with nothing but rubble and ashes to remind yourself what an asshole you are.
I hope someday you feel my pain.
This is purely a work of fiction, the product of a bored mind and too much time on my hands. The only part of it that has a measure of truth is the title. It’s from a song by Yo La Tengo called “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House”.