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Damien Cowger




My claim to fame has to be the night I was in a mosh pit with Fred Savage.  Yeah, that’s right, Kevin Arnold himself.


So one evening, my buddy calls me up and invites me to a concert for some band I’ve never heard of.  I agreed to come along, for some reason, even though I just wanted to stay home.  Peer pressure is lame.


Three hours later, this band comes on and it turns out to be some sort of deadly Viking metal.  As you may have guessed, these folks became rowdy quickly.  The crowd began to ebb and flow like a sea of elbows, knees and frizzy hair.  I’m a small guy so I was getting shoved around rather ferociously.  I took a knee to my thigh, an elbow to my sternum and then, some dude who was body surfing landed directly on my head.  I stumbled more than a tad and tried to compose myself.  Everything was blurrier than usual.  I was sure I’d been concussed.  Screw this I thought, as I tried to escape the danger. 


This proved to be difficult however as the entire room I was in was part of the unruliness.  I bounced around some and tried to go with it.  I found that if I periodically threw an elbow to my right or kicked to the left, I could hold off a person or two without hurting myself.  Occasionally though, there was the guy who was somehow flailing all of his limbs in unison, and making fists at the end of each one.  I’m not sure he was even touching the ground.  Every time he came around, I’d get decked. 




Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw Fred Savage.


Holy shit!  Fred Savage!  At a death metal concert!  I had no idea he was into this stuff.  Man could that cat mosh!  He wasn’t as wild as crazy limbs Mcgee over here, but he could really hold his own.  He was terrific at keeping folks at bay and he was enjoying himself. 




The thought suddenly occurred to me that I should go over and tell him what a fan I was and still am of The Wonder Years. Then, we’d reminisce about our favorite moments in his life like when he was in The Princess Bride. Then he’d say he hated Ben. I’d disagree.


I started to move towards him, forgetting that I was in the middle of an angst ridden concert when I was knocked to the ground.  I got up and things were still blurry.


Then, I spotted him again.  This time his shirt was off.  I suddenly wished I had snuck my camera into the show so that I could get that photo.  Nah, I’m not a weirdo, but imagine the tabloid pictures of Fred Savage dancing around wildly with other shirtless individuals.  Would they accuse him of being gay?  Or call him, “Hollywood’s newest bad boy!”?  Then again, was Fred Savage still that popular?  For that matter, was he ever popular enough to be in the tabloids?  Yes, if he was gay!


I was starting to feel pretty sore by this time and to be honest, angry.  I started to go crazy with my elbows and knees just like Fred and I was determined to meet him.  I was really clocking some people with my bony parts when I got right behind Fred.  I thought to myself, should I elbow him in the head?  I mean, did he deserve preferential treatment because he was a child actor?  Nah, he was likely humble.


At any rate, I decided to go ahead and just punch him right in the back of the neck.  Then he’d turn around, be impressed by my raging death metal dance of the wicked and punch me right back.  Yeah, it would hurt but boy would my friends be impressed when I got home and told them who hit me!  Never having punched anyone in my life, I didn’t really know what to do so it was awkward.  I made a fist and reeled back.  Just as I was about to let the back of Fred’s neck have it, I was effortlessly lifted off the ground and was made into another body surfing victim. 


As I said before, I’m quite the waif so they were really tossing me about like a hot potato.  I couldn’t focus my eyes on anything.  I was going to have a hell of a morning, that was for sure.  When I was finally no fun to the mob of furious freaks I fell onto the cement floor hard and just laid there, sure that something in me was broken or punctured.  It was the kind of pain that made you just remain still and squint your eyes tightly, trying not to cry in front of strangers. 


I sat there for what seemed like hours and waited while searching around for another sign of Fred.  Now I really wanted to meet him to show him what he had caused me.  I know he hadn’t worked in a while, but he seemed like he would have been smart enough to save some of those childhood profits. 


Finally I heard the lead singer of the band yell out “Good night!” and people started to file out of the small venue.  I’d never seen so many platform boots in my life.  I finally got myself up to my feet and then up on my toes to try and find that bastard Fred Savage.  I waded upstream like a salmon trying to find him.  I waited and searched but I never saw him again.  Maybe it was him, maybe it wasn’t.


I looked down and saw a mangled set of eyeglasses. I bent down to pick them up.  I held up the flattened glasses and looked through the one lens that wasn’t cracked.  My vision was back. They were mine. Oh, did I mention I wear glasses?



DAMIEN COWGER has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree from Northern Arizona University. He has been previously published at  He and his wife, who is also a published writer, live in Fairbanks, Alaska.


DAMIEN says his motivation for this story stemmed from mis-hearing something his wife said. "I cannot recall what she actually said, which I'm sure she appreciates, but to me it sounded like Stuck in a Mosh Pit with Fred Savage...

We have laughed about the misunderstanding a lot since then and I decided that it deserved a story instead of just a phrase.  Plus, having this story out in the world changes what we always considered an inside joke into something everyone can smile at."