Friday, March 6, 2009


Friday, March 6: Needsville, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This morning's drive seemed to go on forever. It didn't help that I was close to dozing off the whole drive. Jan had me stop at an H.E.B so she could pick up a few things; while she did, I took a power nap for a few minutes.
When I woke up I felt like a million bucks and had no problem for the rest of the drive.
The lot today was cracked and broken asphalt, not a lot of fun. I went for a short walk to scope out my surroundings while I waited on my house to show up. I saw about four different show vehicles blow the arrows that led to the lot. I'm thankful I didn't have that problem today.
Ryan went with Josie to get laundry done this morning; I stayed at the lot and lacquered the hell out of the cannon.
When Ryan got back I put away my clean laundry and went for a little walk. I didn't find anything of merit. I also didn't walk very far, sitting out in the sun lacquering drained me a bit.
After a nice shower and a short nap I was good to go again.
Working on asphalt presented some interesting challenges during the first show. Sound was very weird in the tent with all the reverberation. The other thing was I haven't performed on concrete since Ringling, as my joints lovingly reminded me. Thank God for my knee braces.
The sink gag was especially treacherous because the ring mat was extremely slick on top of the asphalt. Ryan and I took extra care not to kill ourselves.
The second show was off to a great start (big audience, and they LOVED us) until we went out for the coloring book pitch.
A large woman in a floral dress called us over and pointed out her very young daughter, who had money for a book. I took the money, and went to hand her a book when I noticed that she was getting ready to cry. I stepped back while still holding the book out to her. Meanwhile the mom was telling me to move closer so she could get a picture. I politely declined pointing out that her daughter was afraid. I continued to hold the book out to the girl, but when she wouldn't take it from me, I put it on the bleachers next to her. The mother was persistent despite how many times I told her that her daughter was afraid of me.
Finally the mom said, "I don't care."
I replied with, "Nice lady, you'd sacrifice your child's comfort for a picture!?" and walked away.
She turned to Ryan and asked him, and Ryan walked over just so the woman would be appeased.
As soon as Ryan got near, the little girl screamed and threw her snow cone on him. Ryan was livid, to say the least.
It must have been a full moon out tonight, because there were all kinds of drunk and/or crazy people at the show tonight.
Next on our downward spiral for the evening, we somehow came up $39 short for the coloring books, which we had to pay out of our pockets. I think it was a result of miscounting of the books and us having extra money a couple of nights in a row. Still, I can't wait for Raul to get here and take over the stupid coloring books!
Sink gag was going great until the blow off. I didn't press the pedal correctly with my shoe and no water came out. Ryan and I went into our "saver" ending, but our timing was a little off, and I turned around just in time to get clocked in the face with the sink basin.
It laid me out, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but the ground was pretty darn hard, and I bashed the heck out of my elbow.
Backstage I was messing with the foot pedal trying to solve the problem and sprayed one of the Fusco girls in the process. I think she likes me...
It just was not our day. When we were done with tear down, we went over to Casey and Nat's for beer, brats, and some chicanery. 

March 7-Sealy, TX, March 8-Navasota, TX, March 9-Shepherd, TX


Anonymous said...

Good morning, my tent show friend!
Your post today brings back a lot of memories that I'm glad are memories- and not present day reality! Although some of the worst memories are today the best and funniest stories. And considering that my stories have had the benefit of multiple years of editing and enhancement, I commend you on your ability to so freshly recreate the daily travails of the Tanbark Trail . . .
But seriously- not that that wasn't, but this is meant to be- hang in there. Nothing can frost your attitude like a bunch of one day stands in a row. Or make you appreciate staying over a second day. Putting it up and taking it down on the same day was always a drag. Putting it up today and taking it down tomorrow at least gave you a chance to sleep whether you used it or not. But a three day gig- a day in the middle where you didn't have to move it, just use it? Those became clown heaven.
Your Faithful Reading Companion,

Anonymous said...

And hey- take it easy on the chicanery- I hear that stuff's habit forming . . .


Dan McCallum said...

Wow...there sure is a HUGE difference between asphalt and a grassy lot.

It was always a nightmare getting the sound adjusted properly.

When it was hot, the stakes would just tear up mounds of blacktop, and risk pulling out of the ground.

In the beginning, I thought I would love the paved lots, but very quickly changed my opinions.

Pray for grassy lots!!