Saturday, April 30, 2011

Born Anew

Friday, April 29: Charlestown, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

I slept in late this morning; it felt fantastic!

The show was hosting an early Cinco de Mayo celebration for the show just up the street from the lot at Tavana's sister's pizza parlor.

A good time was had by all and the food was delicious. One of the delicacies was a mashed potato pizza (yum) and there was a beautiful circus cake for desert.

Ryan, Mr. Fusco, and I walked into town to pick up some copies of the local paper which had a picture of me and Ryan as well as Delena.

Mr. North is back on the show for awhile; he tipped us off about the picture in the paper.

Our first show was almost full, and the second show was full. I was feeling very refreshed and rejuvenated after the day off. Also we were on grass with no mud, and I was feeling much better than I have in a couple of days.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Thursday, April 28: Charlestown, IN-Shows Canceled

Miles: 104

Lot: school grounds

Like I reported yesterday, the shows in Tell City, IN scheduled for today were canceled due to flooding and evacuations in the town.

I had heard yesterday that we would be leaving for Friday's town no earlier than 9 a.m., so I enjoyed sleeping in this morning.

We waited, and waited, and waited some more until finally at 1:30 p.m. we were given the go ahead to leave.

We weren't allowed to get to the lot in Charlestown until after 3:30 p.m. because it was by a school.

I saw a lot of evidence of flooding on the drive: a truck up to its windshield in water, an overturned mobile home, and some narrow roads with water coming right up to the pavement.

The drive was also quite harrowing; we were going along a lot of steep, winding, mountain roads.

I finally got to the lot around 4:30 p.m. Ryan and I got a visit from our friend, Jeff Schott, who is a former Ringling clown and lives in Louisville, just across the river.

I didn't recognize him at first because he has grown a beard and has a ponytail since the last time I saw him.

The three of us had a good time hanging out and catching up, and Jeff brought some clown prop goodies for us to put to use.

All of my friends were going out tonight, but I figured I should take it easy and rest at home, considering I am still sick.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Better Start Building An Ark

Wednesday, April 27: Elnora, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 32

Lot: N. Davies High School

On this morning's jump I pulled into a gas station to fill up my tank (at $4.01 a gallon, ugh); when I left the station my truck started sputtering and had no power.

I was already out in the middle of the road, blocking both lanes as I turned, so I headed for the shoulder. My plan was to pull off as much as possible so drivers could get around me.

Unfortunately the shoulder was almost nonexistent, and I put my truck right into a ditch.

When I got out and looked, the truck was at a precarious angle, and the right side of the rear bumper was to the ground.

Daryl was filling up at the same station as I had, and he came over to see if I was alright. He helped direct traffic around me (my trailer was still sticking out in the right hand lane) until the shop truck showed up.

The shop truck was unhooked from the seat wagon it was hauling and Fridman and Castro hooked me up to it so I could be towed out of the ditch.

Once that was accomplished I made what amounted to the world's slowest U turn, and I returned to the gas station where I had fueled up.

Castro quickly diagnosed the problem: my fuel filter. He took it off, cleaned it out, and reattached it.

He rode with me the rest of the way to town just in case I had any more problems.

Not too far out of town there was water flooding the road. We had been warned about it on the route slip, and luckily it wasn't too deep.

Even though I was the last one to arrive at the lot, vehicles were just getting parked. The ground in front of the school was soft and people were stuck, so the show was fit onto the gravel lot behind the school.

Casey, Nikki, and I had breakfast at an "Amish" restaurant, and then we did laundry. I was able to walk to an auto parts store and get a new fuel filter while my clothes were drying.

Back at the lot Castro attached my new fuel filter to my truck, and Fridman was able to get the new valve on my sewage tank.

There was an average sized crowd at the first show, and we did good business for the second show.

I am still hacking and coughing like crazy, which makes every performance an adventure!

We found out that tomorrow's town, Tell City, is being evacuated due to flooding, so we are not performing there. (The lot was right by the river and dam)

Instead we will be driving to Friday's town a day early.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Follow The Broken Brick Road

Tuesday, April 26: Jasonville, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 46

Lot: Hell!

I had a heck of a time trying to get to sleep last night; I am ready to not be sick anymore.

The lot we were going to play today was full of standing water, so we were all parked wherever we could fit while a new lot was found.

We ended up moving several blocks away to the site of an abandoned grain silo. It was full of broken bricks, mud, and rotting corn that smelled just lovely.

(You can see pictures of the lot here:

We started arriving at the new lot around 10:30 a.m., and I could hear the tent stakes being pounded around noon.

Ryan and I were parked as far as could be from the tent; I was afraid we wouldn't have power, but everyone received electricity.

Water was a different story however; there was no source of water, so a tanker was brought in with fresh water for the animals.

I wish I would have known that fact before I took such a long shower this afternoon.

Ryan and Tatiana had a doctor's appointment for Nicolas this afternoon, by the time they had returned and we had hauled the props all the way over to the tent, we only had a short amount of time to get ready for the shows.

There weren't a lot of people at the shows, but the first audience was quite responsive.

The tigers weren't working today because of the lot, so Ryan and I had the whole ring to ourselves for the opening. It was great! (Probably the only positive of the day)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Enough With The Mud

Monday, April 25: Clinton, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

My phone died during the night due to the lack of service, but I woke up around 6:30 a.m. by habit, and I woke up again at 8:30 a.m. when I heard the tent stakes being pounded. Who needs an alarm clock?

I rode with Casey and Nikki to Terre Haute this morning. I wouldn't have gone since I was still feeling lousy, but I needed a valve for my sewage tank, and there was an RV place in town that had valves in stock.

As an added bonus, I got to go to the mall and upgrade my aircard. My last one had been flaky since it fell off the couch while connected to my laptop.

Since it had rained a lot yesterday, the ground on the lot was soft. By the end of the two shows, there was some substantial mud.

We did good business for both shows, but there were a few more folks at the second performance.

I already felt pretty lousy from all the coughing I had been doing all day, and Ryan didn't make things any better in the second water gag. He tried to drown me twice. Once by spitting up my nose, and then again by aiming the contents of the bucket of water right at my nasal cavity.


Everything had to be pulled off the lot tonight; I ended up waiting for awhile because I was blocked by the bandwagon.

I drove to a Wal Mart parking lot on the way out of town where a few other trailers had parked for the night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Double Post

Saturday, April 23: Marshall, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 77

Lot: Mill Creek Park

As we approached today's lot (7 miles out of town), I remembered it from two years ago.

We had packed them in for both shows, and parking was so far away that people were carted to the lot like at Disney World.

Both shows were almost full (with more people at the first show); I remember bigger crowds last time, but I could be wrong.

Since there was a dump station near the lot, Fridman decided we should try and solve my donniker problem that we discovered last week.

After the tent was taken down, he helped me get off the lot and we went over to the campground.

We didn't really solve my problem (in the traditional sense), but we discovered a mystery far scarier and beguiling than the DaVinci Code.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 24: Clinton, IN-Day Off

Miles: 35

Lot: Sportland Park

Casey, Nikki, and I drove the hour into Indianapolis today to enjoy our first day off since the show opened on February 10.

We missed out on the show's Easter Bonnet contest, which was a bummer, but we still had a lot of fun.

We went to the Indianapolis Zoo where we got to watch a dolphin show AND see a baboon play with himself. I learned so much!

We watched "Water For Elephants".


I enjoyed seeing some friends in the movie, and it wasn't as bad as everyone has made it out to be.

My cold decided to come back full force this morning, and I was feeling lousy on and off throughout the day.

After the long drive home, I was ready to crash.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day Off

In honor of Easter, and the fact that I feel awful (despite a great day off), I am taking the day off from blogging.
Check back tomorrow (Monday) for a double post.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rainy Days And Fridays...

Friday, April 22: Mt. Carmel, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 98

Lot: Southgate Industrial Park

It was raining this morning when I got up, and it continued throughout the drive to Mt. Carmel.

It was a dreary, overcast day; perfect for napping. And brother, nap I did!

We lucked out because it was supposed to rain on and off all day, but we didn't get any substantial precipitation until tear down started.

Both shows had good attendance. Backstage during the second show, the camels knocked over the rock prop form the artist gag.

Everything seemed to be ok, but before loading the prop in the truck we noticed that the squib pot on the back had broken off. Hooray!

Everyone was in a hurry to pull off the lot after the second show because a lot of rain was expected during the night.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Are You A Good Winch Or A Bad Winch?

Thursday, April 21: Centralia, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 32

Lot: Rotary Park

On the jump this morning I heard on the radio about our show changing lots in Centralia. I wondered if this was a recent development that would affect us when we arrived in town, but it turns out that the change was made awhile ago.

The lot was set up where the tent, front yard, and big trucks were on gravel, and the trailers in the back yard were on grass. Very soft grass. The tiger truck got stuck and had to have the winch on the cookhouse pull it into place.

On our trip into town this morning, we saw a lot of destruction. A tornado hit a couple of days ago and sent lots of tree limbs into cars, roofs, fences; one tree was even uprooted and leaning on a house.

We also saw the lot we were originally supposed to play. It was right across the street from a movie theatre, grocery store, farm store, restaurants, etc.

Damn you rain!!!!

Both shows today were almost full. When we were done with work, everyone pulled onto the gravel so we wouldn't be stuck if it rained.

I ended up getting stuck anyway, a foot from the gravel, because all the water from the cookhouse flooded where the trailers were parked.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So Lame

Wednesday, April 20: Vandalia, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 31
Lot: Past Days Inn

(So I typed this blog Wednesday night and failed to save it. Please forgive me, but I am going strictly off memory here)

Our lot was right by a restaurant today, so having breakfast was extremely convenient. That was about the only convenience though. The lot was basically a big, rocky, mud pit.
The trailers in the back yard were parked in the grass, but at least our trucks were on the gravel for leverage.

Today was the first miserable day of the season in my opinion. My morale was pretty low by the end of the shows from a combination of the mud, rocks, cold, and my sickness, but at least both performances were almost full.
My spirits were lifted when I discovered that the generator was going to be left on all night. Hooray for heat!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Storm Of The Century

Tuesday, April 19: Pana, IL-4:30 p.m. and....8:30 p.m.

Miles: 39

Lot: Kitchell Park

It was raining this morning when we all got up to make the jump, and it continued all the way through the drive.

When I arrived at the lot I saw that vehicles were lined up waiting to be spotted. Luckily there was a road running through the park, so a lot of people were placed along it. A few people were already on the grass, and a couple of vehicles were stuck in place.

The rain came down hard shortly after I arrived, but by the time I was parked, it had stopped.

I couldn't get a definite answer on whether we were staying on the road or getting pulled on the lot, so I missed out on a laundry trip with Casey while I waited to see. Most of us ended up staying on the solid road, which was fine with me.

The concessions truck got stuck in the back door, and the tractor that was on hand was way too small to be of any help.

There was a wait while a big one was brought in; I wasn't holding out much hope of being hooked up to power today (a few of us were pretty far from the back door), but extra cables were run to the gypsy boxes and we all were hooked up.

There was a big pool of standing water outside my trailer, so Ryan had an idea for me to put the ducks there. I borrowed one of the Fusco's dog cages to add to my cage, and I made a huge pen for my ducks.

They had a blast swimming and bathing in the water; frankly, Ralph needed it.

Ryan and I walked into town so I could visit the grocery store and post office. The sun came out in the late morning and it was incredibly muggy.

It stayed that way through the first show, which was full.

We got a heads up that at 7 p.m. there was a 100% chance of rain and storms, and as it got closer to that time, the outlook was grimmer and grimmer.

Hail was mentioned, so I loaded the ducks up in the truck and hunkered down in my trailer.

Sure enough, the storm hit right around 7 p.m. The Fuscos had heard that folks were going to a nearby hospital for shelter; Ryan asked if I had heard anything about that, and I said, "I'm sure if something needs to be done, management will let us know."

I stayed vigilant at my window, looking for any sign of trouble. I heard sirens going off, but I wasn't really sure what they were for.

A little later I noticed a bright orange glow reflecting off the trucks in the back yard. When I looked towards town, it looked like there was a huge fire. Suddenly, a fire truck went screaming by.

It turns out that lightning hit a transformer (near the lot too), and it had caught on fire, shooting sparks and everything!

As it got closer to show time, I noticed that there were absolutely no people on the midway, but Ryan and I decided that we would head to the back door anyway, because the last we had heard from John Moss was that we would be proceeding with the show as planned.

About 10 minutes before 7:30 p.m., I got a call from Radar asking where I was. When I told him in my trailer, he yelled at me to get to shelter. He said everyone was in a pavilion behind the concessions truck.

I called Ryan and told him to get to shelter, I threw on some jeans and my jacket, I ran over to see if Ryan needed any help, and then we booked it to the pavilion.

Lo and behold, there was most of the show, waiting out the storm. I yelled at everyone, "Thanks for letting us know something! If I had died, my blood would have been on all of your hands!!!!" (I moved my pointing finger over the crowd for dramatic emphasis).

Everyone laughed at me, which shows what their feelings are. (I guess it IS pretty funny to hear a clown issue a cryptic threat)

Show time came and went, but we were still waiting for things to calm down. There were a handful of people waiting to see the second show in the pavilion with us.

One lady came up to me after my tirade and shoved a camera in my face, demanding me to do something funny. She then said, "You aren't very damned happy for a clown."

I motioned to the storm and said, "Can you blame me?"

Finally, Oscar deemed it time to put on a show. Starting around 8:30 p.m. we put on an abridged performance for the small crowd that had braved a tornado watch and thunderstorms to see a circus.

The lot, which really hadn't been that bad around the tent (apart from a few ruts), was now full of standing water. It was a real treat to haul the props ALLLLLLLLL the way back to my trailer.

What, and give up show business?!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty"

Monday, April 18: Litchfield, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 38

Lot: Lou Yaeger Marina

Ryan felt creative this morning and carved a large pair of dentures out of foam; I wish I had such a creative outlet. I did attempt to add more content to our website, but I soon found myself in way over my head.

I met up with circus fan, William Prickett, for a brief visit this afternoon. He stayed to watch the first show, but I didn't get a chance to speak with him after the show. When I went back into the tent, he was already gone.

We did good business for both shows, but the second audience was definitely superior response wise.

The power went out right before the start of the second show, while John Moss was introducing the guest ringmaster.

Without missing a beat, Ryan played a "wah wah wah wah" on his trumpet from behind the curtain, which got a great laugh from the crowd.

There was a teenage beauty queen, sporting tiara and sash, sitting in the seats during the second show. I spotted her during the water gag, and in finale I traded her my wig so I could wear her tiara for a bit.

It made me feel pretty....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jerseyville Shore

Sunday, April 17: Jerseyville, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 73

Lot: American Legion Park

There was a Flying J's on the jump this morning, and I, along with most of the show, stopped there; however, I was unable to dump my sewage tank. Fridman thinks he diagnosed the problem, but it is not a simple fix. Oh joy of laughter!

We had an average sized crowd for the first show; there were two people with funny laughs that helped us get through the gags.

We weren't so lucky in the second show, which had a small dead audience. Ryan and I were extra zany in the water gag; at least we had fun.

I did see something amazing during the first show. Brian and Jeremiah were performing the last part of their fire act and we were all getting ready to enter for finale. Fridman ran by the back door on the way to his trailer so he could change.

I never thought he would make it, but in record time he was back out of his trailer, buttoning his shirt as he ran, and he made it into the back door just in time to enter the tent. Talk about exciting!

Since the ground was already soft, and there was a 30% chance of rain, everyone moved off the lot onto the gravel.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy World Circus Day!

Saturday, April 16: New Athens, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 69

Lot: Okwa Park parking lot

I am happy that we will have a respite from mountain roads for the next few weeks now that we have left Missouri.

We were on a tight gravel lot today, and it was dreary and cold. Happy World Circus Day!

I made cookies in celebration of the "holiday", and I watched the movies "Jumbo" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" during the shows.

I also celebrated by bugging Casey as much as possible about how important today was, such as how businesses across the country all closed in observance of World Circus Day.

There was good business for both shows, but there were more people at the first performance.

The power to the trailers kept shutting off throughout the day, which was very annoying. Happy World Circus Day!

Ryan and I were carrying the box from the water gag back to my truck during the second show, and since the lot was set up weird, we had to step over the tent's stake line on the way.

The leg of my agent suit pants caught on one of the stakes and I got a nice rip in the fabric. Happy World Circus Day!

After the shows I went out to eat again with Radar and his family; we found a great pizza parlor just up the street from the lot.

Before going to bed I stopped by the birthday party for one of the circus children, Doracella. I missed out on my invitation, so I didn't know it was going on until the last minute.

I started feeling sick today, so I started drinking tea and taking medicine; a lot of people on the show have the flu, and it seems like I am next in line. Happy World C.....

You know what? World Circus Day can go to Hell!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"The Wade-est Show On Earth"

Friday, April 15: DeSoto, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 36
Lot: School parking lot

During the night it started storming, and it was still going when we woke up to make the jump.
We were told on the route slip that once in DeSoto, all the semis were to go to the lot, and all the other vehicles were to sit in a Wal Mart parking lot until given further instruction.
Apparently yesterday the sponsor wanted to move the show to the school because of all the rain. The problem is that once trucks started to arrive, the school said they didn't want any more parked on their grounds.

The rest of us sat at Wal Mart for about three hours while a new lot was found and set up. Ryan and I got a lot of fabric shopping done while we waited for the go ahead to leave.

The lot we ended up on was the same one we showed last year. People were parked on the cement, and those that didn't fit were parked half a mile down the road without power or water.

About half an hour before show time it started pouring rain. When I went to the tent to start the show, I noticed that there was a couple of inches of standing water in the back door. Luis, the prop boss, told me that it was the same in the ring.
Plans were quickly made for how to adapt some of the acts to the situation, and then we waded on.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was packed, with extra bleachers brought in and filled.

The water situation in the ring was much better for the second show, but the ring mat was soaking wet by the end of the evening.

After the shows I joined Radar at dinner with his family and some friends. It was fun, and the food was good, but when we got back to the lot I was ready to crash.

Friday, April 15, 2011

ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 14: Farmington, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 26

Lot: Fairgrounds

Today was our first short jump in what seems like forever. Huzzah!

We were playing on a different lot from the one we showed on two years ago; that one was a lot nicer.

Radar's mom and sister met up with us while we were out at breakfast; despite the fact that downtown had so many shops and restaurants, it took us three drives through to find a decent place for breakfast (not that we really found one; we ended up settling for Huddle House).

Today Ryan made an anvil prop for one of our new gags; he carved it out of foam in no time.

While I was viewing his handiwork, I heard an ice cream truck approaching. Sure enough, it drove through the lot, so I flagged the driver down before running to get my wallet.

A lot of people from the show came out from their trailers to indulge in ice cream on a nice warm day.

Armando did his best Eddie Murphy impression while running for the truck, and Radar and I engaged in a white knuckle race to be the first in line.

The first show was full, and the second show was packed. We held for five minutes while extra bleachers were brought in.

After the shows the semis and a few trailers that were parked on the grass moved to the gravel roads running throughout the lot because storms were expected after midnight.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Kingdom For A Gas Station

Wednesday, April 13: Potosi, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 100

Lot: Fairgrounds

The jump this morning was supposed to be in the 60 mile range, but apparently that route took us on roads that should not be traveled by truck and trailer.

Alex had to go back and re route us on a 100 mile trip.

The drive was a pain, with lots of winding mountain roads, steep hills, and narrow bridges, but the biggest hassle for me was the lack of gas stations.

I left Redford with over half a tank of gas, and after miles and miles of no gas stations (or any civilization) in sight, I was down to a quarter of a tank, and I was starting to sweat.

Luckily I finally found a gas station about 35 miles away from Potosi, one of 4 or 5 gas stations I saw on the whole jump.

(As a side note, I was reviewing my blog from two years ago, and on the jump to Potosi [from a different route], I almost ran out of gas!)

My high school teachers were right, those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it!

Radar and I borrowed Nikki's truck after breakfast, and we both got much needed hair cuts. Mine hadn't been cut since January!

We did good business for both shows, but there were more people at the first show.

Ryan and I were musing before the water gag about how it would be funny to write deep, complex backstories for the characters we play, only to have them (in the case of the water gag) go out and spit water on each other for 5 minutes.

During a part in the gag where neither of us have water in our mouths, I mournfully said to Ryan, "God, I miss my wife", which cracked him up.

It was simply revenge for him making me laugh in the walkaround when he started screaming to me in Klingon.

Ever try to run backwards in a circle while bent over AND laughing? It ain't easy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Horse Down! Horse Down!

Tuesday, April 12: Redford, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 59

Lot: Fairgrounds

Our route card said we would be playing Ellington today, but we were actually in Redford, 10 miles away.

Redford is a tiny town, and Ellington wasn't too much bigger, so I didn't hold out much hope for show attendance.

After breakfast Casey and I were able to get new trailer tires in Ellington for a good price; I have been needing a trailer spare for awhile since mine had a couple of holes.

The 4:30 p.m. show was almost full, and the 7:30 p.m. show was full. I would have lost that bet!

The second audience was fantastic; what a great crowd!

In the first show, when Ryan and I were doing our horse walkaround, I was bent over as the horse, running around the ring backwards. When I came to a stop, I tipped over and fell on my back.

From the audience it looked like the horse did a face plant; surprisingly it didn't get much of a laugh.

I laid on my back, kicking my legs like an overturned turtle, and it took me two tries to roll back up to my feet.

Luckily I got up and Ryan transformed me from a horse into myself in time with the end of the music.

There was a stray dog running around the lot all day, and during the second show he ran into the tent in front of one of the seat wagons and started barking and going crazy over Nikki's shadow swinging back and forth over the top of the tent.

I saw John Moss in the back door looking for the dog with a make shift leash; I half hoped that there would be a chase through the ring while we were doing the water gag.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ain't No Rolla Back Girl

Monday, April 11: Salem, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 81

Lot: The Commons

I woke up a couple of times last night to hear it storming. When I woke up to leave it was still raining, and it continued all through this morning's drive.

When I got to the lot I was excited to see that it was pavement, but unfortunately I, along with a handful of other trailers, was parked on the grass.

My trailer tires started to slip on the soft ground, but I still made it into my parking spot successfully.

When I looked back, I saw that my trailer tires were caked with mud, and I had dug deep furrows in the ground behind my house.

BUT, like I said, the tent was on solid cement. Huzzah!

It stopped raining shortly after we arrived; I caught a ride to Rolla, a college town about 30 miles away, where I got laundry done. I also found a book store where I picked up the first Dexter novel. Sweet!

It was beautiful and sunny in Rolla, but as we headed back to Salem, it became cloudy and dreary.

Talk about symbolism!

Both shows today were almost full, and the audiences were fantastic! Not bad for a lot and license town.

There was a small chance of rain during the night, so the few of us parked on the grass pulled onto the cement to park.

I was afraid I might be stuck in place since my trailer tires were bogged down a bit, but my truck was on more solid ground, and my front tires were only a few feet from the cement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Little Miss Sunshine

Sunday, April 10: Mountain View, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 80

Lot: Angelica building grounds

We did good business for the first show today, and there was an average sized crowd for the second show.

We were told before the second show that everyone needed to move off the lot after the performance because a storm was expected.

Everyone was moving to a parking lot right next to where we were showing, but Casey told me that he was planning to go to the parking lot of the Wal Mart in town.

During the second half I was prepping my rig for travel, and as soon as finale was over I got out of make up and was ready to go in record time.

I timed it just right where I was able to follow Casey and Nikki to the Wal Mart; a few other people from the show came along too. It was a small Wal Mart, but we all found places to park.

Radar, Nikki, Casey, and I got some dinner at a pizza place right by our parking spot. The girl working behind the counter was "a little ray of sunshine" (heavy sarcasm there), and was just hating life....and us.

The other person working was a guy that brought us our food and was as nice as could be. Radar told him that the owner needed to put him out in front and keep the girl in the back away from people. Radar then went on to describe how miserable she was.

After we ate we walked into Wal Mart to go shopping, and who did we see but our "cheery friend" from the pizza joint.

THEN we went over to the Red Box at McDonald's, and she was there again!

I started joking that her coworker had ratted us out and she was stalking us, waiting for her chance to exact revenge for what Radar said.

If I wake up in the morning and my tires are slashed, I am gonna kill Radar!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cabbage Patch Clowns

Saturday, April 9: Mountain Home, AR-11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.

It was a nice warm day today, perhaps a bit too warm, because all the audiences were pretty docile, despite the fact that we did great business.

The first two shows were almost full, and the third show was full.

Ryan and I didn't expect to get any laughs in the first show, because as everyone knows, "nothing is funny before 1 p.m."

However, we figured we would have gotten better reactions for the other two shows. We didn't let this stop our fun though, I was feeling particularly crazy in a couple of the artist gags, and some members of the audience gave us a chuckle in a couple of the water gags.

Carolyn had a funny story for us from an encounter at the camel ride last night. A teenager told her that his favorite part of the show was the clowns.

She told him that our gag in the second half was great, and she used the words "funny" and "gross" to describe it.

The teenager then replied, "Funny and gross....just like the Cabbage Patch Kids."


After the shows there was a joint birthday party for Adrian and Cathy Poema; it was a lot of fun. In addition to delicious food, there were also games for the kids and adults.

We adults stood around in a circle and tried to flip one traffic cone onto another one.

I was the third one to win, and my prize was a pair of men's underwear, which I slipped over my jeans, much to the amusement of....myself.

Beware The Chupacabra!

Friday, April 8: Mountain Home, AR-5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Miles: 90

Lot: Rodeo Grounds

We ended up going 20 or so miles further than necessary this morning to avoid some really bad roads, but there were still a lot of hills and curves.

My engine seemed to be putting out a lot of heat since my side mirrors kept fogging up; I turned my heater on full blast to take some of the heat off the engine.

Needless to say, I was ready for the drive to be over.

Ryan and I watched the first two Puppet Master movies this morning; it was very hot this afternoon, perfect weather for the water gag.

I visited the Kelly Miller side show this afternoon. Danny has been doing a lot of work on it since we got it awhile back, and today was its debut for the public. My personal favorite exhibits were the Chupacabra and the "what is it?" mystery animal in a jar.

Both shows were almost full. This town is sponsored by the Shriners every year, and they put out a program with a listing of the acts written by Jim Royal. I always pick up a copy from the Shriners since our programs don't come out until later in the tour.

Both shows were almost full.

After the shows we went out for a belated birthday celebration for Radar. We found a bar and grill that also had ping pong.

Friday, April 8, 2011

7% More Frightening

Thursday, April 7: Batesville, AR-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 76

Lot: Riverside Park

There was a scary 7% downgrade on this morning's jump; it was right in town too, with lots of traffic.

I was behind the cookhouse and a small pick up truck; even though I was going very slow in second gear, I was about to rear end the truck in front of me.

There was a curve in the middle of the downgrade, so I took it wide to allow myself a little space. Once I did that it was clear sailing the rest of the way down.

Nikki blew out two of her trailer tires on the jump; Casey asked if he could borrow my trailer spare.

It turns out the spare I have on a rim is flat. I'm glad I found that out now as opposed to when I have a blown tire!

Ryan went to Wal Mart today and found the first three Puppet Master movies on DVD for $5. When I was a kid the Puppet Master flicks were my favorite horror series; I can't wait to watch them again.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was full. Ryan and I tightened up the artist gag in the second show. Jimmy Hall's only note about our gags was that the artist gag seemed to drag in the middle.

I came up with a way of trimming down one of the slowest parts of the gag; I think the change went well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hey, Cabot!!!!

Wednesday, April 6: Cabot, AR-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 72

Lot: Southside Elementary

Danny and Oscar were on hand this morning as we were leaving Malvern to make sure that no one got stuck on the lot; there was a rough patch that everyone was directed around.

Cabot must have gotten a lot of rain on Monday, because all over town there was standing water. The lot wasn't bad, but the ground was very soft; if it had rained, we would have been out of luck.

Both shows today were almost full, and the second crowd was fantastic for the water gag.

We had a lot of visitors from a Plunkett date in Little Rock. At the post show BBQ we got to visit with Becky Ostroff, who Ryan and I worked with in the Philippines (as well as on KM for a short time the past two years), and Jimmy and Teppa Hall.

I jumped between the BBQ at Casey's and John Moss' birthday party.

Courtney, who was on KM with us two years ago, was also visiting from the Plunkett date.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday Boy

Tuesday, April 5: Malvern, AR-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 88

Lot: Moose Lodge

Today was Radar's 23rd birthday, so we took him to the mall in Hot Springs, AR.

My gift to Radar was a shopping spree at this store:

We were on another rocky lot today; I sense a trend here in Arkansas...

The first show had an average sized crowd, and we did good business for the second show; the second audience was a good one too.

I had to borrow John Moss' air compressor between shows to fill up one of my trailer tires; Castro noticed that it was extremely low.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tea Gives Me A Headache

Monday, April 4: Nashville, AR-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 71

Lot: Fairgrounds

When I woke up this morning it was raining hard. Luckily we had all pulled close to the gravel road on the lot and we were all on our way without incident.

It rained during our entire drive, and when we got to the lot, it rained some more. Luckily we were on gravel, so we didn't have to worry about pulling off after the shows tonight.

There were severe thunderstorm warnings for the area all morning, but it never got too bad.

By the afternoon the sun had come out, the ground was dry, and it was a beautiful day; there was a cold wind blowing though.

The first show was almost full, and the second show had good attendance.

Ryan and I were watching lots of Looney Tunes during our down time, and we kept cracking each other up in the water gag by acting like Pete Puma (particularly his laugh and the way he runs in a dress).