I have been licked twice by strangers at shows. Coincidentally, both shows were Guided By Voices concerts.

The first was a GBV show at Columbus heavy metal venue, Alrosa Villa. Opening up for GBV were longtime local favorites Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and New Bomb Turks. The Slave Apartments came on before I was officially licked.

My friends and I were stationed right in front of the stage as was usual for me in my college years. New Bomb Turks' front man Eric Davidson made a b-line for the fresh-faced boy in the indie rock t-shirt: me. Before I knew it, Davidson licked the side of my face (or licked his hand and wiped it on my face - I've never really been sure). The band continued to play with the Iggy-like singer belting away some punk rock poetry.

It was either later in the song or another song all together when Davidson returned to my spot in front of the stage. He leaned over and began pointing frenetically at his cheek. I looked at him and then to my friends. No one knew what he wanted from me. I didn't either, but I reacted anyway by licking the man's sweaty face.

My friends were horrified, especially my girlfriend, but I didn't really care.

The second time I was licked at a rock show was a couple years later at a GBV show in Dayton.

I was down to my last two cigarettes when a woman who had been taking pictures on the stage asked me for one of those cancer sticks. She appeared to be some mid-to-upper-thirties groupie who had probably seen some wild parties in her days. I protested, but she said that she'd make it worth my while. I told her not to bother and that she could just have the cigarette free of charge.

I handed her the cigarette and she asked me for a light. I promptly held up my lighter but had to take it back when I realized the drunkard was holding the cigarette backwards. Against my better judgment, I turned the cigarette around the right way and lit if for her.

The woman was so appreciative that she reached for my head to lay one on me. I quickly turned my head only to receive the painful shock of her tongue half way down my ear canal.

My friends pointed and laughed. There aren't enough Q-tips in the world to clean the slobber of an over-the-hill groupie-photographer-wannabe from one's ear.

Guided By Voices rocked both nights, by the way.

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