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creative commons emp photo

Why do I never use an attractive photo of EMP in my stories? Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope, for the answer.

My EMP badge allowed me to go where mere mortals could not even think about going. Yes, with that badge, I could do practically anything. I could gain entrance to the super-cool, velvet-upholstered, secret VIP (gag) lounge on the fourth floor. I could visit the “green room” (I guess every venue which hosts performers has one of those). Or, I could get to EMP’s lower level, where we common employees hung out – think of it as our backstage area. Our offices were there, our break room was there. It wasn’t the most glamorous place on Earth; although unpainted wallboard has a kind of DIY charm; but some amazing things took place in that hallowed space. There are stories I will never tell. I witnessed things going on which you would not believe. And I was usually the perpetrator.


I’m very special.

You get my drift. — I had access to restricted floors. And because of that, I had a couple of very interesting elevator rides.

super heavy duty guitar case

One time, after finishing my meager but nutritious lunch of a peanut butter sandwich and exactly 8 oz. of orange juice, I got on the elevator, using my badge, and I saw four occupants were already there: On board were three armed guards and Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, entombed in a metal case which looked like a Hummer could be driven over it. I asked one of the guards, “What’s that”, and he whispered to me, “It was Jimi’s”. I thought to myself, “Well, this is the coolest elevator ride I’ve ever been on. Just me, Jimi’s guitar, and three grim-faced, heavily armed security personnel”. I thought, now what could ever top this? (Throughout the day, since  word had spread among the other lowly VSR’s (Visitor Services Representatives) that I was in the elevator with Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, everyone kept coming up to me and touching me. They were hoping some of the magic would rub off. — I finally told everyone to just stop it.)

Not long after I had the pleasure of escorting a Guitar of the Gods, on our fine EMP elevator, I had the need to ride it again, after once more enjoying my wholesome peanut butter and OJ lunch (I was like a ballplayer who has a ritual meal before every game. To me, EMP was the Big Leagues. When I went out onto the Floor to do my thing, I brought it.)

elevator button

I swiped my exclusive employee badge and hit the Up button. After a minute or so, the door opened, and I absent-mindedly started to hop on. And that’s when I saw them: I saw four angels in the relatively small elevator. I thought, “Wow, somewhere between when I punched the elevator button, and when the door opened, I must have suffered a fatal heart attack; and now these angels are here to carry me to heaven. Just like in the Rilo Kiley song, “The Angels Hung Around”.


If I attempted a maneuver like that, it would be fatal.

But then, I noticed the angles carried pom-poms. Like cheerleaders. And their angelic apparel was colored blue and white, highlighted by a touch of green, here and there. And very small. — The outfits, not the angels. They towered over me.  Each one was at least six feet tall. I was 5’ 10” tall at the time; I’m 5-9 now. — Due to my age, shrinkage has happened….


Oh yes! They were all wearing 9-inch heels. — Do they really make 9-inch high heels, or did I make that up? Well, all four of them towered over me. It was like being in that movie, “Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader”.


And they were incredibly beautiful. Truly supernatural, in their sparkling makeup, gold jewelry, tiny outfits, full-extension eyelashes (they probably had more money invested in their eyelashes alone, than I had in my best electric guitar). And, I was dazzled by their glittering eye shadow, painted, outlined lips, enormous wigs. — Or at least, huge hair. How do you say it? — Their hair had elevation. — I think that’s how you say it. Their iridescent Seagal uniforms seemed to be made of an incredible space-age material which shimmered beneath the recessed lighting in the elevator.

emp logo

Imagine this on a cheap blue polo shirt which has been laundered 63 times.

They made room for me, so yeah, I got on. Of course I did. Well, they looked down upon me, in my little blue EMP-logo polo shirt and navy blue cargo pants. I’m sure they noticed right way, probably due to my mustache (this was before you had to have a goatee) that I was a male person. And I felt the need to put them at ease, and let them know what a nice guy I was. So I said, “I am going to be the most well-behaved person you have ever been trapped with on an elevator, in your lives”. And they all broke out in laughter! Well, before anything else had a chance to break out; take mayhem, for instance, we reached the main floor of EMP, and my Angels, one by one, departed, leaving behind only the heavenly essence of their personalized designer fragrances. I remember, or I think I remember, how they looked back at me with longing; in slow-motion, they blew soft, loving kisses, before they floated up to the EMP Sky Church stage, where 200 adorable children were waiting to hear the Seattle Seagals tell them how Reading Is Fundamental.

high heels

Available in Seahawks neon green!

I’ve had much time to reflect on the above chance encounter, since it took place in approximately 2001. And I’ve figured it out. Yes, they were exceptionally beautiful. Yes, I really for a moment, thought I had died, and was on my way to Heaven. No, there was almost no connection between their appearance and that of 99.9% of all the women I’ve ever met. But I figured it out:

big wig

Me, on a very, very good day.

If you put me in a pair of 9” high heels, crown me with one of those amazing wigs or hair extensions or whatever they are; slathered (very carefully of course) that many pounds of makeup onto my face, gave me a $500 nail-job and Dolly Parton eyelashes; and then you all but painted one of those figure-clinging, luminous white, blue and green outfits onto me, I could be a Seattle Seagal!

my ultimate hero, Robin Williams

Robin Williams (almost) gets the last word.


I was worried the whole time that I had peanut butter in my mustache. Hope not….

Here is Rilo Kiley, the great no-longer band (once a band breaks up, they are as indie as one can get) doing their original non-hit, The Angels Hung Around.

There’s an implied message in my story; however, for those who want me to just come out with it: If I can be a Seagal, anyone can be a Seagal.