Monday, August 31, 2009

This Is A Long One...

Friday, August 21: Scottville, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We only had a 21 mile jump this morning to Scottville, home of the Scottville Clown Band. I learned of this from the inscription and clown pictures on the "welcome to town" sign and the water tower.

As soon as everything got to the lot, it started to pour down rain. I did what any sane person would do in such a situation...I slept!

I walked into town later in the day and got some recommendations from Ryan who was returning from his trip.

The highlight of my walk was the little park commemorating the Scottville Clown Band.

Upon closer inspection, the clown band seemed to be nothing more than a flimsy excuse for old men to wear women's clothing in public.

I'm just saying...

I found a used bookstore where I picked up some more novels and a couple of textbooks to replace my Economics book, which is falling apart.

I went next door to the Duck Blind Cafe, which Ryan really liked. Unfortunately they were closing (early I might add), and they were very rude to me.

I fumed all the way back to the lot thinking of ways to undermine their business by writing slanderous phrases in every coloring book I signed, but then realized how stupid of an idea it was and let it go.

I was in a rush to get ready since I got back from town so late (scheming makes you lose track of time!).

We had average sized crowds today. Both shows I was doing goofy stuff as the tiger (rubbing my stomach and patting my head, doing the robot, etc) to make Ryan laugh during the pants chase.

We started blacking out some of our teeth during the shovel gags to add a little comic punch to the first few hits. 

During Intermission I was doing bits with my new Sociology book when a teenage girl walked by and flipped it from underneath. I just stared her down all the way back to her seat, which made her laugh.

After that I had a running gag. Every time I went by her during the show I would stop what was doing and give her the stink eye.

It was misting rain tonight and got downright chilly; isn't it still August???

Saturday, August 22: Grand Haven, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

We had a 74 mile jump this morning; they sure are spreading out these Michigan towns!

The good news is that we were around civilization. Ryan joined me on an expedition into town where we got lunch and visited a bookstore, a music store, and a pet shop.

While in the pet shop we entertained the thought of buying a chinchilla so we could skin it and make a fur coat for Pato. 

We also considered buying a rat just so we could name it "Rat Bastard".

Grand Haven has a very cool downtown; unfortunately when we were miles from the lot it stared raining on us.

I had the foresight to bring along my umbrella, so we both tried to huddle under it for the long walk back.

The only incidence worth noting was when a strange man stopped us to ask if we knew anything about hydrogen power.

We got back to the lot just in time to get into make up. The first show was almost packed.

At Intermission a kid came up and told me to pull his finger. I told him no thanks, but he was insistent.

I finally pulled his extended digit which prompted him to blow a raspberry with his mouth and proudly exclaim, "I farted!"

I wittily replied, "Ah, you must be the governor of Michigan!"

(I will NEVER get tired of that joke or any of its variations!)

We had an average sized crowd for the second show. Ryan had shown me a clip from "The State" about the Inbred Brothers:

We channeled them for the second sink gag; it was tons of inbred fun (and not much of a stretch for me, coming from the wilds of South Carolina).

After the shows we had a brief BBQ and then Ryan, Radar, Casey, and I loaded up and went to see the movie "Inglorious Basterds". 

I felt the movie was a little too long and could have benefitted from some trimming in the middle, but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, August 23: Grand Haven, MI-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

When I wen to lunch today I ended up running into Dan and Ryan and visited with them for awhile.

They had been out to a music store and Ryan bought a tuba...oh joy...

The day started out overcast but the sun eventually came out. We had a good sized crowd at the first show and an average sized one at the second show.

I had the "privilege" to talk to a pretentious photographer during the second Intermission who told me that he really didn't have to be at the circus, but he figured he'd come to cover the event. He runs a local rag...or something stupid like that.

Overall I felt very burned out today; luckily the BBQ cheered me up immensely. We pulled out the Cainans TV and watched old videos of Casey. We got to see him as a teenager doing his juggling act on the Bozo Show, and we watched the National Geographic documentary on Culpepper Merriweather that had Tavana and little Casey on it.

To top the evening off, the America's Own crew loaded up in the truck to get ice cream and go watch the Fountain Show that takes place on the river every night in Grand Haven.

It was ok (just water lit by colored lights that shot in the air timed to music), but they lost me when the fountain started talking and introduced itself.

Monday, August 24: Holland, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

It was only a 20 mile jump to Holland, MI, otherwise known as CIVILIZATION! 

We were right in the middle of a strip mall and there were shops and restaurants as far as the eye could see.

I spent all morning walking around town; I got breakfast, read almost a whole David Sedaris book at Barnes & Noble, and bought a new iPod at Best Buy to replace my old one that fell out the hole in my window and got run over by a truck.

I was going to relax when I got back to the lot, but Ryan had some kind of stomach bug; I went to Wal Mart to get him some medicine, crackers, and water.

While practicing in the tent today, Courtney fell from the Roman Rings and broke her ankle in three places.

She was rushed to the hospital and went into surgery; her leg is now in a cast and she will be out for the rest of the season.

It's so easy for me to get lulled into a false sense of security on the circus, but then an accident happens and reminds me how dangerous it can be.

We had small crowds at the shows today. A family of four came to the first show just to see me and Ryan again. They had caught the show in Grand Haven yesterday and needed another fix of two idiots hitting each other.

After Intermission I was going to listen to my new iPod in the Alley when I thought to myself, "There's already been one accident today. I should get dressed in case something happens during the trapeze act."

I was taught the superstition of "on the circus, bad things happen in threes."

...I hate it when I am right...

At the end of the flying act, when Eric fell into the net, he wound up bashing his knee into his nose and bloodied it up.

Luckily the act was over and he was ok, but it made me wonder about my budding psychic powers: first I was able to predict the motorcycle malfunctioning on two separate occasions, and now this!

There were a bunch of brats in the second Intermission. One grabbed my nose and tried to yank it off; I retuned the favor.

Then a bunch of little heathens started chucking peanuts at me. I calmly took the abuse for a few minutes, collected a handful of shells from the ground, slowly walked past where they were sitting, and then turned and threw the peanuts at the kids with a catlike grace and agility before beating a hasty retreat. 

Don't mess with this clown!

To cheer sick Ryan up, I talked to him during the sink gag like the lead singer of the B-52s.

That, coupled with the medicine I got him, left him feeling much better.

Tuesday, August 25: Holland, MI-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I went for breakfast this morning, and then I went to get a much needed haircut.

Right next to the lot was a little Dutch village, so we went to investigate the clog shops and what not.

The highlight for me was the little pond by all the shops that was full of ducks and geese. I even found a doppleganger (evil of course) of Pato.

There were vending machines around that sold duck food, so I had a grand old time having all the fowl come up and eat out of my hands. It also planted the seed for an idea....(more on that later)

We had average sized crowds for the shows today. To break up the monotony of the show, I did "Crazy Tiger" pants chases.

As soon as the chase started, I would spin counterclockwise backstage until it was my turn to enter the tent.

This added a new level of excitement (and danger) to the chase.

Once again our fan family came back just to see us. Too bad they saw a wonky sink gag...not one of our best.

A storm rolled in out of nowhere towards the end of the last show. It rained the entire tear down; we had our meal inside the Cainan's trailer since the tents were already packed away.

Ryan, Radar, Casey, and I went to grab shakes after dinner and got thoroughly drenched on the way there and back. To top it all off, some hay from the elephant department got washed over to the drain outside of the generator truck, which stopped it up and caused the rain water to flood ankle deep right outside of our house.

Ryan and I went on a mission tonight. Seeing how the ducks came right to me for food gave me an idea. I would "ducknap" a friend for Pato!

We snuck over under the cover of night armed with duck food and a duffel bag.

We found the area where all the birds were congregated, and I started throwing food into the water. Slowly I lured them up onto land and right up to us until we were surrounded by ducks and geese.

After one failed attempt by Ryan, I finally grabbed the duck of my choice, a green billed one that I planned on naming Efram.

We placed him in the duffel bag and nonchalantly walked back to the lot with our quacking sack.

Once we were at the house, I pulled our new pet out and put him in the kennel with Pato. Pato immediately started freaking out and I did my best to console him.

This whole time my conscience was eating away at me: "Why did I pull this poor duck away from all its friends and family?" "Now it will be moving everyday and won't be able to enjoy the freedom it had" "What if it is a female and has children?"

Finally it was more than I could bear and I told Ryan that I was going to return the duck to its home.

I carried the duck back, sans duffel bag, and released it with all the other fowl. I felt much better afterwards and slept the sleep of the just that night.


DanTheBooker said...

Steve, you should be glad you brought the duck back for more reasons than one. From the picture, the wild duck looks to be a mallard. Mallards can get very aggressive and are an incredibly messy species of duck. Pato is a Peking, which makes him damn near perfect for a pet. I was raised on a farm so I know these things. Also, with wild instincts, the duck would have flew the second it was given the chance (probably would have waited until day light) It would have flew until it spotted a group of ducks and landed with them. It would have been killed because wild ducks are known to HATE the smell of grease paint. Just Kidding, but good move anyways.

Anonymous said...

A well known, now deseased producer told me many a story about kidnapping town dogs to stock his sister's dog act in the good 'ol days.


Steve.....HAHAHA Stealing the duck sure brings back memories of my father in law . Back in the late 20's he was an actor with Ollie Hamilton's Stock Company ( a rep show under canvas) in Georgia. They did a comedy routine of a Doctor's office , the stage was set with a bed and a big box with a pump handle and a hose on it. The patient would walk in with a stomach ache,Yelling and carrying on... the Doctor would check him over and he would lay the patient on the bed and put the box over his stomach area, and begin to pump, after a few minutes of the patient yelling and carrying on, the Doctor would open the top of the box, and pull a live cat out of the box and say "YUP , JUST AS I THOUGHT!!! YOU BEEN DRINKIN' TOO MUCH CAT NIP TEA" It was my father in law's job to FIND a new cat each week in each new town HA HA One time when the Doctor opened the box, the new cat they just FOUND didn't want no part of show biz, the minute the Doctor opened the top, the car shot out of there and accross the stage, and completly out of script the Doctor yelled GRAB THAT DAMN CAT ...It brought the house down, and they left that part in the rest of the season ha ha The Good old days!

Crystal said...

OMG...I'm glad you returned the duck. Also, you may have one of my 3 different copies of my Dissection of the Dog book if you want one...they smell a bit, but quite a humorous read of a clown.