Me: A 20-something at the Lucero show last night with his girlfriend and roommate on a blanket.

You: A horde of douchebags with no respect for the Shell or its rules.

Last night was a perfect sort of early fall night in Memphis. A little muggy, but warm enough to make you forget that it is already October. Lucero was set to kick off their biggest tour yet with a free show at the Levitt Shell. The opening bands were two beloved Memphis acts. I had a perfect spot in the middle, a soft quilt and a cooler full of samosas. It was going to be a good night.

Then, you show up. With your twelve packs of Bud Light and Marlboro Light cigarettes. You set up around me and mine, and I eye you warily, but not with any overt malice. Maybe you’re just going to bend the rules a little bit. Sure, the Shell bans all alcohol and smoking because it wants to stay a family-friendly venue, but this is a Lucero bar crowd. (Except for those dozen or so small children running around the stage for the first two acts. Oops.) Turn one of those aluminum cans from your beer into an ashtray, and I’m fine. Put your shitty beer into a bag or trashcan after your done, and I’m fine. Don’t do any of these things, and you’ll piss me the fuck off.

Remember what the Shell used to be like? Before the Mortimer Levitt Foundation spent millions of dollars to rebuild and update the dilapidated structure that was there? Remember all of those broken, jagged, splintering benches that were more often than not occupied by a derelict or drug addict? Remember how all of that lush, green grass was nothing more than caked dirt or mud? Remember how the speakers were blown out and the lighting was non-existent? Well, you may not, but I sure as fuck do. The Levitt Shell is a musical wonder in Memphis. A free musical wonder at that. And assholes like you that come in and destroy something like that don’t deserve to use it.

It isn’t like the Mortimer Levitt Foundation set out to block your fun. There are ashtray/trashcan things all over the outer edge of the Shell space. Get off your lazy ass and walk the twenty yards to one of them. It isn’t hard. I watched my girlfriend do it a few times, she didn’t seem put out at all. And the booze? I don’t really give a damn about it as booze, I’m more concerned about walking past a group of frat boys with their crushed empties spread around them likeĀ  territorial markings. This isn’t your front porch, broheim. You’re taking money out the Shell’s pocket when they have to clean up after your lazy, cheap beer swilling ass. If you want to drink at the Shell, and God knows last night I did, mix up a cocktail and put it in a water bottle or something. There is no need for idiocy like that.

The bottom line is that the Levitt Shell is a public space, and public spaces should be left as good as you found them, if not better. I walked out last night with a bag full of trash that wasn’t my own because of you douchebags. The Shell is one of the best things going in Memphis, and it’ll never cost you a dime for a show. But, if you mistreat it, it will go away. And if that happens and they start thinking about turning it into a parking lot again, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

Check out the real Missed Connection on Craigslist.org

Also, check out the girlfriend’s reaction to Lucero’s addition of horns to their old songs.