Welcome back for Parrrrrrrt TWO of my humiliating tale of the night I met (say it with me now…) “my baby”, Chante’ Moore. Chante’ possesses the greatest voice I’ve ever heard, but you should know that by now. Warning: If you’re just joining the party, you really need to go back and read “Meeting Chante Moore (Pt. 1): Things Idiots (Meaning Me) Do” before going any further. Otherwise, carry on…
When we last left off, I had rented a carefully-selected tux for the Chante’ Moore concert, washed my car in freezing cold January temperatures, sat at a dinner table and almost ruined the concert by raising a candle during her show, nearly blacked out when she sang my name (well, Kenny Lattimore’s name), crashed through security to get to the stage and take her picture, then announced my plans to go backstage to meet Chante, much to the dismay of my wife and friends. I know that’s the ultimate run-on sentence, but hey, I don’t have a video montage to accompany an audio narration, ok? Hush!
Alright, enough of that. Y’all ready? Good. Oh, waitaminute. I forgot to mention our sponsor!
This episode is brought to you by Kosciuski and Mayburn, Attorneys At Law.
“Got a stalker who doesn’t know, to just go home right after the show?
Don’t run for the border, file a restraining order!”
And now, for our feature presentation…
So I walked to the same spot where I almost lost my camera when I charged the stage (Part 1) and began to thank the remaining musicians for an awesome performance. Chante’ and Kenny (that other dude that used my name to get her to marry him). I asked if I could meet the rest of the band and they said to come on up. When I hopped onto the stage, someone yelled, “Hey!” It was security. Dayum, they remembered me. I looked back and told them that the band said I could come onstage which a bandmember confirmed. Keep in mind, this was 15 years and 75 pounds ago, before you start asking how I actually “hopped” on somebody’s stage. You know what? To hell with y’all! Hush!
I shook the hands of the musicians, methodically working my way to the backstage entrance to the dressing rooms. I asked if I could meet Chante’ and Kenny (I had to say his name – meh) and was told that they were probably changing clothes and resting for the After Concert VIP Affair (which cost $1,800 to attend, so I was told). I asked again with a desperate, “Pleeeeease, my brotha!”, to which they offered that I could go and try. I knew it was a longshot because she was well into her pregnancy (damn you, Kenny Lattimore!!) and most likely in need of rest. So, with respect to their needing rest, I did the mature and noble thing… (cue ominous music)
…I ran to the front of the stage and jumped up and down gesticulating wildly, motioning for my group and yelling in ghetto fashion, “Connaaayyy!!! They said I can go talk to Chantaaay!! Come HEEEEEEERE!!!”
If you saw their expressions, you’d presumably say that Connie dropped her head in her hands while the rest of the group looked in different directions, as if they didn’t hear or know me. Well, I’d say you’re wrong. She probably had a headache and they were looking for someone with aspirin. Yeah, we’ll go with that. So HUSH!
As they cautiously and reluctantly approached the stage, I returned to the back door, only to be met by, yes, two more oafish goons in tuxedos blocking the doorway. One of them stood as tall as the doggone DOOR! How in the hell do you find a tuxedo for someone that size?? Did I mention that this affair was so high-profile that even security wore tuxedos?
“Hey fellas”, I began in my most non-threatening, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood voice.
“Good evening,” the behemoth answered.
“I’d like to meet Chante’ Moore, please.”
“I’m her biggest fan.”
“Heard that before.”
“I’m really her biggest fan. Been following her since she sang backup on El Debarge’s CD in ’92.”
“I’m sure others have too, sir.”
“C’MON, man. I’d really like to meet her, just for a moment.”
“I’m sure you would, just like everyone else who bought a ticket, but is going home now..”
“But I’m sticking around.”
“You have a ticket for the VIP?”
Ok, I’m done with this. If I answer “no”, I won’t get to see my baby.
“Dude, if you don’t tell her I’m here, I swear I’m gonna drop to the floor, fake a seizure, fart and flood this area with rancid, acidic pee!”
I swear this dude’s lungs must have been the same size as my entire torso because I’d never heard such a loud and terrifyingly boisterous laugh in all my life. He sounded like that black man that played the oversized genie in this old black and white movie I saw as a kid.
“Man,” he motioned to his partner, “Please tell Ms. Moore that an attendee would like to meet her. I ain’t NEVAH heard nothing like that before.”
By this point, Connie and two of my friends had joined me.
I looked at her and bent over like Gollum in “Lord Of The Rings” and said (in the same voice), “Sheeee’s coming to meeeet meeeeee…”.
No, I didn’t mention my “Precious”, even though that was the name of Chante’s debut CD. So HUSH.
She warned, “Kenny, I know you’re excited to meet her, but she may not be the woman you think she is. I don’t want you to get your hopes up.”
“No, she’s not like the rest of them. She’s a nice lady. I just want her to open the door, peek her head out and say hello.”
“Is your speech ready?”
I had been rehearsing a speech in preparation for the day I met her for years. That shows you how determined I was to meet her, long before the day.
“Yeah, I’m ready. I’m cool. I’m smooth. I’m-”
Without warning, the door suddenly opened and out came (say it with me) MY BABY! Oh yeah, that dude she married was with her too (curse you, Kenny Lattimore!!!). But she didn’t just peek around the door, either. She walked right up to us and stopped, mere feet before me.
For the record, I’m not “starstruck”. Never have been. I mean, why? These are just people, like you and me. I’ve met several actors, musicians and professional athletes, but I was always calm and cool. Nobody phases me. So before you assume anything, HUSH.
“HI!” she greeted energetically with that golden smile and delightful voice of hers.
The goddess has spoken!!! Here we go. Time to work my magic. I’m gonna make you love me, Chante’. Connie can have the other Kenny. Cue the speech…
“KENNY!” Connie yelled, shocked at my unexpected mumbling.
“Mm-uh-nummm-uh-nummmm-uh-nummmm-” The incessant gibberish continued.
Chante looked at me quizzically, but smiling, nonetheless. Somebody please save me!
“Mm-uh-nummm-uh-nummmm-uh-nummmm-” What the hell is WRONG with me?!?
“Kenny is truly your biggest fan!” Connie quickly interjected and translated.
He first heard you in the two songs you performed on El Debarge’s CD, “In The Storm”.
“Mm-uh-nummm-uh-nummmm-uh-nummmm-” I can’t believe what’s happening to me!!
“He knows every word to every one of your songs. He can even identify which part is you, singing backup on every one of your songs.”
“He’s a songwriter and has written songs specifically and only for you to sing.”
“Oh, that’s so sweet,” Chante kindly replied. Chante is such an angel. (Doggone Kenny Lattimore!)
Connie stopped translating and said, I can’t believe you’re really standing here! I just wanna cry!”
“Oh don’t cry!” Chante replied, “Come here!”
She pulled Connie in close as that dude next to her smiled (I hate you, Kenny Lattimore!).
I watched in shock as she hugged the other members of my crew. Me? I just stood there, frozen in posture, stuck to the floor.
“Come here, baby” Chante said as she pulled me in, “We’re so glad you came to see the show!”
In shock, I arched backwards as she pulled me closer, my arms in the air like the side-to-side “creep step” in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
Next inhuman sound already in queue. Hit it, Kenny D.
As she pulled me in, I let out a low, yet high-pitched orangutan-like scream: “Ooh-Ooh-Wuuuuuuuhhhhh!!!”
I finally bent forward (pelvic area pushed back, AWAY from hers. I think you all know why).
My arms fell around her and for the life of me, I couldn’t let her go. She felt soooo goooooood. Heavenly Father, if You love me, PLEASE don’t let those be my first words.
Her hair was like silk (I’m not exaggerating) and she smelled like the stars. I couldn’t even close my lower lip as she held me close. It was clear to her that I was struggling and, being the angel she was, she rescued me. Chante (excuse me, MY BABY!) held me, slowly swaying from side to side as I made sounds straight out of an episode of “Wild Kingdom” while Connie looked at me like I had lost my dayum mind.
Probably because I had.
This episode is brought to you by Kosciuski and Mayburn, Attorneys At Law.
“Husband wrapped around Chante? File for your divorce today!”
You guys know when parents take a grown, mentally-challenged person, dress him up, then take him to meet an athlete? I don’t say that to sound insensitive, offensive or disrespectful at all, just painting a picture. That’s how I looked! And try as I might, I couldn’t pull my lower lip in to close my mouth. All I needed was for someone to say I’d just come out of electric shock therapy so I’d have a sympathetic excuse.
Oh well, at least the worst was already happening.
TELL me you don’t believe the worst was over, people…
That’s when the unimaginable happened. And despite my upcoming description, in real time it only happened in about 1-2 seconds.
A single drop of drool quickly rolled off of my bottom lip and descended like a spider on a web towards the exposed skin of her open-back dress. NOOOOO. I tried to catch it or shake my head to cast it aside, but too late. It detached itself and (why do life’s most mortifying moments happen in slow motion?) hit her in her naked back. She twitched briefly as she slowly pulled away. Dear Lord. Heavenly Father. Tell me she didn’t feel that! Please God, You are a MERCIFUL GOD. Now would be an ideal time to bail me out. Sound the fire alarm. Let a fight break out in the dressing room. Give me a stroke! Bring on the apocalypse and commence with Judgment Day! SOMEthing. ANYTHING!!
Kenny (that damn, Kenny Lattimore) looked as if he was trying his best not to laugh. Don’t laugh at me, dude. I can take you. If only I could remember the English language. ANY language.
At this point, I felt the incredible urge to go to the bathroom and a urinal was not what I needed. That’s when I found sounds that could be understood.
“Doo-dooooooo”, I whispered. OMG, TELL me my thoughts did not just become reality and worse, that Chante’ heard and understood. I swear Connie and my crew were gonna run away from me. The security guards were off to the side, cracking up.
C’mon lips. Tongue. Get it together. Don’t let Chante’ think you’re Connie’s ‘special little brother’.
I looked at her stomach and finally found my first adult words. “You’re blessed with chiiiiild.”
Then like an idiot, I placed my hands on her belly. She was kind enough to not visibly take offense (people, don’t touch a pregnant woman’s stomach without an invitation or asking permission – that’s beyond intrusive. And Kenny Lattimore Jr., please forgive me for palming you in your mother’s stomach).
Believe it or not, she smiled and said, “Yes, I am, thank youuuuu!”
Bless you Chante’ and thank you for not nodding to the behemoth to clock me over the head and drag me off to the land of shame.
Then… I reverted to Cro-magnon Man.
“I-I-IIIII wanna have your baby tooooo.”
Any time now, Jesus, my Lord and Savior. You are Alpha and Omega…
“Ok, we really need to get her ready for the party,” a security guard interrupted.
“Can we please take a picture before you go?” Connie quickly asked. Best question of the night!
“Sure!” Chante’ eagerly replied as we all got together for the group pose.
After the photo, I found my words and my real voice…
“May I take one more picture with Chante?” I asked using all the sexy bass I could muster.
“No problem,” her husband (I ain’t even sayin’ his name anymore) replied as he stepped in. MUTHA-
“Not YOUUUU!” I rudely blurted as I shoved him away with one hand. Insanity makes you incredibly strong. Hey, I don’t care. I’ve lost my mind, remember? I was with (say it with me now) “MY BABY”!
“Ha-Haaaa!! See?” Chante’ mocked towards dude-who-stole-my-name, “That’s how I feel when the girls wanna take a picture with YOU!”
And yes, I GOT MY PICTURE!
Mission complete. All “cool points” officially lost and irreplaceable.
We hugged one last time as I tried to say, “Thank you very much for your kindness and giving us a few moments of your precious time. I know you have thousands of fans who want just a second with you, but you were gracious enough to give me MOMENTS. Moments which I will cherish for all time. Moments, that will sustain me, until the day I meet my Father in Heaven. Thank you, Chante, you are an angel and I pray God bless you today, tomorrow and forevermore.”
Well, that’s what my brain said, but it eventually rolled off my tongue as, “I love you, Chante.”
Go figure. Oh HUSH!
As we left the stage, Connie warned in her ‘wait until we get outta this department store’ voice, “I’m gonna let you have tonight, because it’s Chante’ Moore. But tomorrow, we gon’ have a really long talk. And I PROMISE YOU, you ain’t gonna like it…”
“You say something?” I replied jokingly. Probably not the right time to say that but hey, if you know you’re gonna get a whoopin’ for putting your hand in the cookie jar, eat ALL the cookies, baby.
If you ask Connie, she’ll tell you that we didn’t have to make my side of the bed the next morning. Probably because I spent the night in a quasi-conscious state of euphoria, floating 3 feet above it, Exorcist-style.
My friends clown me to this day. My kids have lost almost all respect for me. I’m probably banned from any and all future venues in the Midwest, but hey, it was allllll worth it.
I finally got to meet (HIT IT, y’all) MY BABY!
But remember, unlike my friend Greg put it after hearing this story…
…I am not a stalker!
We had a Level 1 snowstorm right around the time that my photos got developed and were ready for pickup (remember, this was 2003, not quite the digital photo era). The technicians at the camera shop somehow screwed up the negatives on half of the photos, so we could only salvage 4 or 5 of them.
When I drove down the street to get my pics, my car broke down halfway to the Meijer grocery store, where they were held. HELL no. Not TODAY! I got out of the car and WALKED the last 2 miles, in the snow, to get my pictures, because nobody was going to keep me from (one last time, y’all) MY BABAAAAAAAY!!
And like I said before, I GOT MY PICTURES.
…and for the last time, I am NOT a stalker. SO HUSH!
I love you, Chante Moore!!!
UPDATE: WAIT! There’s one more story as of June 27! Meeting Chante’ Moore (Pt. 3): “Kenny, No… NOT AGAIN”!!!
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