John Moss and family were in Tennessee seeing his mother, so Aaron was ringmastering again. Before the first show started I was standing in the bandwagon talking to my friends. The music for opening started, so I jumped out of the bandwagon to go to the curtain.
The metal stairs for the bandwagon were not attached and were leaning in the doorway; as I came down from my jump, my baggy pants leg went over one of the metal stair rails, sending it up my leg and smashing me in a very sensitive place as my feet hit the ground.
I will spare you all the intimate details, but I will say that if I had been hit an inch higher or lower, I would not have gotten up for quite awhile.
I screamed in pain while writhing on the ground (an old Copeland remedy for healing), and jumped up just in time to run out to do opening.
As I ran by Ryan, with my lower half in horrible pain, I remarked to him, "Make it quick."
We did what must have been the fastest opening ever recorded; I could feel blood running down the backs of my legs as I talked.
After the number I went back to my trailer to examine myself. I had a cut on the back of my left leg, and a scrape on the back of my right leg; both were right under my butt. The cut had a hellacious bruise surrounding it.
I cleaned the wounds with some hydrogen peroxide and then had to go do the tiger chase.
The plan was to just walk everything off, but when I noticed blood somewhere you should NEVER see it, I knew that I needed medical attention.
I took off my make up and Casey gave me a ride to the hospital; luckily it was just down the street.
Ryan covered for me as far as the show was concerned. He did his chair gag in place of the table act; nothing was put in the place of the exterminator gag. He was teaching Tatiana and Aaron the old European sleepwalker entree just in case I didn't make it back for the second show though.
The doctor at the hospital examined me and administered a couple of simple tests before surmising that I had a bruised urethra.
He said that if I was lucky, everything would heal just fine. If I wasn't lucky, I was in a very serious predicament.
Just what I needed to hear with my jangled nerves!
The doctor told me things to look out for; if I noticed any of the warning signs, he told me to rush to the emergency room as soon as I could.
Casey drove me back to the lot, and after a shower and a re application of my make up, I was ready to do the second show.
We had a full crowd for the performance; luckily none of the warning signs reared their ugly heads, and I wasn't in too much pain from my wounds.
What hurt most of all was that I missed a show for the first time in seven years. Damned metal stairs! Damned urethra!
My friend Kyle and his girlfriend, Amanda, were going to bring Amanda's niece to the show tonight, and I had gotten them tickets.
Since I had my little medical adventure, I wasn't able to get the tickets to them and they had to pay. Only Amanda, her sister, and her niece showed up; I went to say hello to them during Intermission.
I had a double dose of BBQs after the shows to ease my pain; I graced the Fuscos and the Cainans with my presence.
One BBQ had more jokes about my accident than the other; well, jokes said in a language I could understand at least!
On Tuesday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 60 mile jump to Redkey. It stormed almost the whole drive.
We were on a grassy lot, and there was a tractor in case we needed to be pulled on; it was an overcast day.
We had an average sized crowd for the first show. The squibs we used in the exterminator gag were extra loud, and therefor extra funny!
I always marvel at the irony of how scared I was of explosions in clown gags when I was a kid, and now I am using one of the very props that frightened me (the Spike Jones gag shotgun) and startling a new generation of children.
Tabayara, the tiger presenter on the Red Unit of Ringling, was visiting today to talk with Casey. He watched the second show, which had average attendance, and stayed for our post show BBQ.
On Wednesday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 58 mile jump to Roanoke. I blew the arrows at one point (as did a few people behind me), but my phone's GPS steered me back on the right path.
We were on a soft, grass lot and it was an overcast day. There were a lot of people around to watch the tent be set up. The majority of them were schoolchildren, who had a lot of fun screaming at my ducks outside my trailer while I tried to take a nap.
It was a cold, dreary day outside, so I didn't leave the comforts of my trailer until I absolutely had to.
Both shows were almost full, not the sell outs that I had heard about, but considering that extra bleachers were in the tent, we did pretty darned well.
After the shows we had to move off the lot; I went for a walk once my rig was on solid ground. The weather this evening was perfect; much better than it was this afternoon.
May 17-Mechanicsburg, OH
May 18 and 19-Columbus, OH