We’ve all been there. You’re about to rock, and then something happens. A spiked bracelet catches in a buddy’s blow-out. A leg seizes into a no-joke charley horse from having sex in the car. Maybe that quick trip to 7-Eleven for a half rack of Bud Ice becomes an odyssey because of the “guy who needs a money order.” It could be anything.

When one is a hair of the dog away from rock, not doing it feels like a real kick in the gonads. But although malingering on the jagged precipice of rock can be brutal, one would do well to take advantage of this fortuitous pause.

Most people who harbor aspirations to unleash the rock beast make snap decisions about how and where to go about it, sometimes with devastating results. For example, they may not have considered whether they want to rock or to be rocked. This discombobulation can lead to errant behaviors such as being territorial over an assigned seat or yelling song requests for the headliner’s recent stuff. Is this you? Because the next thing you know, you’ve annoyed everyone so much that no one catches you when you stage dive.

Tragedies like this are preventable. Taking the time to make a rock plan — a careful assessment of the rock opportunities and risks that are right for you — can affect your prospects for a successful rock experience. Rocking is a privilege, but it is also a totally awesome responsibility.

Here are a few scenarios to illustrate the many variables involved in the act of rock:

1. You want to be rocked, especially in the face, but how do you know your rock provider can deliver the goods? When deciding on a rock purveyor, always ask how many times this team has rocked before. As a rule of thumb, you want someone who can look you in the eye and say, “I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all.” If they’ve seen a million faces and only rocked about 80% of them, it’s time to move on.

2. Contrary to popular opinion, living in a remote area does not have to limit one’s rock options. It’s amazing how niche the partying opportunities can truly be if one just takes the time to look. For example, upon request, an American band will come into your town and help you party down. All of this is to say that even rural patriots who struggle to rock without assistance can have their needs met.

3. Some softer types prefer not to rock alone, especially in the dark. Is this you? If so, you may wish to enlist someone who will rock with you. All night. And possibly dance you into the sunlight.

4. On the other hand, maybe you don’t require companionship due to the fact that you’re a big man, a poor man, etc. and you want to have rock performed on you or at you. You have mud, or possibly blood, on your face. You’re a big disgrace, who’s waving your banner all over the place. As a result, you’re going to be rocked. A lot. Over and over. By a lot of people. Not everyone can handle being rocked quite this much. On top of all that, the service also involves having your can kicked. That’s why it’s important to be clear, especially with yourself, about what you want.

5. Not everyone has the means to rock. Rocking can be expensive, especially if you seek to rock after hours, and alternate it with partying. As such, some find it useful to enter into a barter arrangement, trading desirable goods and services. At first, it can be confusing to understand all the legalese of such contracts. But basically, if one signatory agrees to drive them wild, the other signatory will agree to make you crazy.

6. Perhaps what matters to you is simple – it’s just the sheer intensity of the experience. When you lie in bed, especially early in the morning when the sun comes out, you fantasize about being rocked. Like, really hard. There’s an intensity to the rock that makes you lick your lips, as if being rocked is a sporting event and you’re ready to win. Or alternately, maybe it’s like you’re a beach town that craves to go mano y mano with a weather event. You want the storm to come at you, like, Here I am, bro! It sounds good, but note that at the very most, you will be rocked like a hurricane. You will metaphorically be impaled and have your doors ripped off. No one could withstand to be rocked with hurricane force, not even a Category 1. Keep your expectations realistic.


The hard truth is that the decision to rock isn’t easy and it isn’t for everyone. If you opt to rock, you may find yourself getting robbed, enduring stonings, or being assaulted. There could be broken bones. You may get had or get “took.” As the old adage goes, it genuinely is harder than it looks. In other words, it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. There’s no shame in deciding to be an accountant or something instead.

However, if you’ve evaluated your rock options, and in spite of the challenges, you are still pretty close to doing it, it seems safe to say that you deserve a salute.