That One Time I got Kidnapped

This might come as a shock to you but despite being South American, I’ve only been kidnapped once in my life, and instead of said happening taking place in my home country, it actually occurred in Australia. True story, bro!

Along with a friend, I flew from London to Brisbane where the Hanson Australia tour would take place. Yes, that Hanson, the MMMBop one; yes, they are still alive; yes, they are still releasing new albums; no, sorry, they already have wives and children. Er… better than your band since 1992.

We allowed ourselves a few days to see the city before the first show. After visiting downtown, getting up close and personal with some cute koalas and taking our chances in Dreamworld, my friend Gemma announced that we were meeting up with one of her acquaintances who also happened to be a Hanson fan, a Queenslander who, according to Gemma, would know best what to see and do around town. **Dramatic irony**

The aforementioned local girl, Des, kindly picked us up from the hostel, introduced herself quickly to me and appeared to be in a rush to get going. After quickly exchanging a few words with Gemma, she went back to talk on the phone. I barely paid attention to my surroundings as the sudden push on the pedal caused my stomach to overturn and, in a matter of seconds, motion sickness was getting the best of me. I looked right ahead, did my best to block my senses to the exterior world and barely heard “we are meeting her there.” I thought of asking who, but the fear of losing my concentration on not getting sick stopped me.

If we were only going downtown, I kept wondering why it was taking us so long to get there, yet I couldn’t gather the strength to say it out loud. My focus was on the road in an attempt to discern where it would be best to pull over in the unfortunate event of my breakfast trying to make its way back. Right before it was too late, it seemed as though my prayers had been heard once we entered a parking lot in the basement of a building.

It made no sense to me. This place couldn’t be in the city centre, I thought as I took a look at the vast parking lot. As soon as Des pulled up, the front doors flung open and both Gemma and Des sprung out of the car in a split of a second. I had to rush behind them as they darted forward to reach the lift on time. With a wave of her hand, Gemma motioned me to hurry up.

Once I stepped into the lift, my head turned towards Des’ finger which kept pushing a button repeatedly and desperately. What’s the rush? I wondered. 

“Where are we going?” I finally asked but neither of them seemed to hear me and instead focused on two people who entered the lift, which started to go back down, causing Des to emit an impatient snorting noise.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

Ignoring my question, they started speaking amongst themselves.

“Is she there already?” Gemma asked.

“Who?” I asked.

“Yes, she got there 10 minutes ago,” Des replied. A look of anguish crossed her face.

“Has she seen any of them? ” Gemma asked.

Des nodded and before I could ask who is where and who has seen who, the doors of the lift opened to the hallway that led to the massive lobby of a luxurious hotel, and both Gemma and Des sprang forward rushing through the corridor. I stayed behind trying to process what the hell was going on here. Luckily the open space of the lobby was increasingly alleviating my queasiness. Gemma glanced over her shoulder, then turned her head to look at me and mouthed “come on.”

Once we reached the middle of the lobby by the end of the hallway, we found a very pretty German girl sitting there. After we sat down next to her, I took a look around the lobby to assess my surroundings when the reason for this whole madness materialised itself on the other end of the lobby, through the large doors of a private room. Isaac Hanson was standing there, pacing around the hall, speaking on the phone. Realisation, bewilderment, excitement, alarm, happiness, annoyance, elation and embarrassment took shape in my head in one very complex thought: Oh shit! 

It’s not that I have anything against stalking. I’m the shameless Queen of Stalking, but rather than performing an in-your-face kind of falconry, I’m more of a creepy stealthy stalker, unless you are my ex-boyfriend and then all hell breaks loose. No, just kidding. No, I’m serious. No, just kidding. Wink. Wink.

Although I have no issue admitting to my stalkerish behaviour (jokes), when I suggested to my new friends that that’s exactly what we were doing, all three faces turned to look at me in astonishment. “We are NOT stalking!” they all said in unison, horror-struck.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked sarcastically. “Are we going to stay here just to watch them?”

They all nodded and one of them answered “yes, of course” matter-of-factly, as if it was the most logical response in the world.

“What if they see us?” I asked, panic-stricken.

“That’s the whole point,” one of them answered as if she was explaining a very difficult math problem to a child.

“They might recognise us,” I protested, given that we were all hardcore Hanson fans, some more intense than others.

“That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?” one of them stated.

I kept wondering if I was missing something. We all had a bunch of concerts ahead of us, starting the day after, and I didn’t think the Hanson brothers would appreciate seeing some of their most devoted fans waiting for them at the lobby of their hotel, where they are staying at with their respective wives and children. They’d probably remember us as the creepy stalkers every time they saw us on their shows from this day forward, not to mention that this is a new country for me; it might be illegal. The idea of an outlaw might be somewhat romantic when I think of Jamie Fraser and other characters in literature, but not in real life; I wouldn’t make it out alive. Oh great! Now I have a Hanson song in my head. Mental hospital…

“They might find it weird to see us out here waiting for them,” I tried to explain without using the “s” word.

“Not at all! We could be guests at the hotel.”

Aren’t Anglo-Saxons supposed to be rational? I wonder what South American Hanson fans are like. Ooohhh SHIVERS!  

Yeah, it’s likely they’ll believe us to be guests… sitting… outside… at the lobby of their hotel… waiting… for them. What worried me most, though, was how in the world did they find out where the band was staying at on such a short notice. The logistics of Hanson fans puts Russian hackers to shame.

I kept my eyes on my phone lest someone should recognise me, when something stirred up anticipation amongst my friends. I looked up to see what the fuss was all about and I saw Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson heading our way towards the door. They walked right in front of us, and it was Zac who recognised us, or some of us at least. Instead of running for the hills, he smiled widely and waved at us, in a good-naturedly manner.

Caught up in the rapture of the moment, I thought perhaps it was worth it to appear as creepy and risk prosecution in exchange for that thrilling instant when your idol notices you. Perhaps we could follow them outside, write down the number of their vehicle registration, wait till nightfall, sleep under the car and surprise them the next day when they leave the hotel again… Just kidding! I wouldn’t do that, but I’m sure some fans have. Perhaps I shouldn’t giving anyone this kind of ideas. It’s a crazy world out there, but who am I to judge? I’m known for pulling some whacky stunts as well. But there’s crazy and then there’s waiting-behind-your-idol’s-shower-curtain-with-a-camera kind of crazy.

All’s well that ends well. The next day we made it to the front row of the show, and although the band might have seen me, they didn’t call security on me. Thus, I guess it’s all good… for now.

While I live in constant fear of getting sued because of this website, and every time I post a new story, I make a quick calculation of how many friends I’m in danger of losing, I do hope that the readers of Indie Road are smart enough to see that although everything described here is true, these posts are primarily satirical notwithstanding. No, I didn’t think I was actually getting kidnapped; yes, it felt pretty close. Ha!

Claudia @indieroad

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