AUSTIN, Texas — Recent transplant Andre Alvarado was reportedly unsure which merch table was socially acceptable to aimlessly stand by late last week while attending his first show in his new town, according to several eyewitness reports.
“This is everyone’s nightmare. Back in my home scene, I was one of the top dogs, but now I have to start all over,” said Alvarado, glancing at members of each table. “I sort of hope someone calls me over to hang out… but I don’t want it to be some shitty nü-metal band or a bunch of Easycore dweebs. I’m probably just gonna keep pretending to look at my phone for a little longer.”
Veterans of the Austin scene immediately noticed Alvarado looking for conversation at the mixed-bill show.
“He was holding a beer, so the straight edge kids at the ClearlyxStraight table definitely wanted nothing to do with him,” said Johan Brady of stoner-metal band Wake Apnea. “I gotta give him credit, though — he did the smart thing by walking right past the She-Bangers/Rusted Wrist table. Everyone in those bands has dated each other every which way, and they don’t really take kindly to strangers.”
“I still remember my first show here, though,” Brady added. “Thankfully, I wore a Mastodon shirt, and some older punks intercepted this shoegaze dork trying to entice me with free stickers. God, who knows where I’d be now if it weren’t for them.”
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Alvarado admitted that, because he isn’t the most outgoing person, his discomfort is only making him more tense and resistant to meeting strangers.
“It’s hard to go up to any table at all. Even those kids handing out pamphlets about veganism — I know they’d love to talk my ear off, but I just can’t bring myself to do it,” said Alvarado. “If this were back in my old scene, I could hang out at any table and people would just let me take some pins or a zine. But, here, I feel weird even looking at anyone without sticking a dollar in the merch table tip jar.”
Rather than face the embarrassment of hanging out at the wrong table, Alvarado allegedly ate a bag of Skittles and drank a beer alone in the bathroom before calling his mother and telling her that he hated Austin.
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