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ASL Interpreter at Pearl Jam Show Just Kinda Winging It

SEATTLE — Local American Sign Language interpreter Catelyn Mitchell admitted that she was just kind of winging the signs on stage during a recent Pearl Jam show, confused audience members confirmed.

“I’ve been doing this for a decade so usually I’m pretty quick, but these guys’ lyrics are above me and I can’t make out a single thing coming out of that man’s mouth,” explained Mitchell. “It’s like a Lovecraft story, you can’t describe what you’re hearing in any language known by man. By the halfway point, I felt like all my soul had been drained from my body as if I hadn’t slept in days, so when he started climbing the scaffolding for 10 minutes I was just happy to get a break. Thank God Pearl Jam shows pay time-and-a-half for exactly this reason.”

Patrick Reynolds, a deaf attendee, was quick to come to the defense of Mitchell’s performance.

“I can’t blame her for trying, I don’t usually go to Pearl Jam shows for the lyrics anyways. But she was definitely just signing ‘Plush’ by Stone Temple Pilots at one point,” said Reynolds. “She must be a Neil Young fan, though, because she started to hit a stride when they covered ‘Rockin in the Free World.’ It was a brief confidence boost that was quickly shattered when she had to start signing ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ immediately after.”

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder was surprised that the issue of intelligibility continues to arise at their performances after decades of popularity.

“I can’t even order my McRibs from the drive-thru, they always get my name wrong at Starbucks, and my Alexa keeps ordering the wrong type of laundry detergent,” said an exasperated Vedder. “I mean c’mon, guys, it’s been 30 years, I don’t know what’s so hard about translating the words ‘even flow, tohsorowah-lie butta fry syea!’ Not even the auto-generated captions on our music videos on YouTube are accurate. Like, the lyrics are clearly not ‘Jeremy spoke in class today’ like YouTube would have you believe.”

At press time, Mitchell was found attempting to handcuff herself and swallow the key after being scheduled to sign for Scott Stapp at an upcoming Creed show.