please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

My Photo
Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Dogs of the Road, pt. 2

The German guy is on his seven thousandth beer, and is trying to make a cultural connection with me and Short, through his limited English.
"Dooors, Lynahd Shkynahd, und Neil Young, der greatest. Mu-sic. Mak-ah."
We had to nod our heads and agree. The guy also described the incredible amounts of money he made, and the fact that he also was never home long enough (in Germany, or in his castle in Spain) to enjoy it, or his (I believe) four Harleys.
We were at the Horsey Ass, drinking and eating on the German's tabs. They were part of an international art moving consortium called Hasenkamp ("Rabbit struggle?", I asked) that was travelling with the Egyptian artifacts that our museum was about to display. They also had been asking us, that eve, if we wanted to join their company.
I sort of considered it, but I also considered the fact that they were almost never at home, and I love my home. They also had been struggling with the fact that only one of them spoke English even somewhat well, and thought that our customs were strange:
"That Belgian shit you drink, it make you crazy. We want to drink All Night." Then we had to break it to them that in the States, bars close at a certain hour. One of the first things they requested upon arrival was the rental of Harleys. The second was prostitutes.
When they arrived with the mummies, I experienced the first (and only) time in my life I've been freaked out by an art piece. We cracked open the tomb, and there was the outer sarcophagi, staring at me from 4000 years distance. I felt a distinct chill, and so did The Kid, who was standing next to me.
I didn't run away and join the circus that time, but wonder sometimes what would have happened if I did. Would I be moaning about how I hadn't seen my castle in Skamania county in forever?
Road Dog (that's the only name I know him by: I have no idea what the real one is) was once proposing that he would start a school of roady-ing. Road Dog University. I'm guessing nothing ever came of it, but I wondered what the curriculum would be.
"How to drink the free beer 101"? "How to stand around and look like you know what you're doing, a seminar"? "Coinage of new terms for already extant tools and fittings"?
For instance, when we were making the trampoline yesterday, it had four clamps on each side of it. I would describe these as 'clamps'. The guys who drove the damn thing up here from L.A. described them as "cheese-broughs". Anyone out there help me with that one?
When we would be building or demolishing an exhibit at the museum, that would entail a lot of 12, 14 or 18 hour days. Usually it would be a crew of five or so, and we would get to a point where we had seen way too much of each other. We'd get too far gone in our own running gags, and had started speaking our own language.
Requesting a certain drill bit, for instance, often meant pointing in the general direction of the thing and going, "OOK! OOK!", or "SQUAREBIT! SQUAREBIT!" When anyone from the outside world would try to talk to us, they'd get this insane jabbering thrown back at them, and would often back away slowly.
My rock production work has largely been low key enough that no one's ever gonna view me as a supervisor, which is good. I just like to do the job, and not have to spend too much time listening to the insane demands of the artists. On the teevee show though, I had a small army of interns under me, and actually had to delegate responsibilty. It was hard: I wanted to do all of it, since I was the only one I trusted to get it right.
There's the other side of it though, where a decision I made made everything run more smoothly, or my problem solving skills averted a looming disaster. In those cases, I wanted credit, but knew that asking would make me look like a jackass. I did it anyway: hell, I'd spent the first show acting as a human counterbalance, after the backdrop fell down and no one was able to figure out anything else. I deserved something.
I'm on a several hour break right now. Earlier today, I was under the stage, while trampoliners kept bowing the plywood above me, every time they made contact. My boss and I were under there to shore up the plywood, as we had noticed that it was dipping in a manner that was deeply sinister. Before long, there was six of us under there. We all were trying to make the trampoliners' lives less hazardous, while just above, they made ours more so. Eventually, one of the stage managers said, "Would the dancers please leave the stage?"
Why didn't I think of that, I wondered. After I did my duty, I was talking to this guy about why we do what we do, and he just said, "If I was working in an office? Forget it."
Fair enough. I gotta go back tonight at 8:30, and spend however long it takes beyond that tearing it all down, as I said. Jennie B. was wondering out loud when it is that alcohol sales begin in Oregon. She thought it was 7:30.
"Naw; it's Six, in'it?" I asked.
She looked at me with that look again. "You were jus' pretendin' you didn't know."
I dunno. We'll see. Somethin' to do, in any case.



Blogger rich bachelor said...

"Hassen Kampf" would have been 'rabbit struggle', mind you.
And we got that job done two hours before anyone suspected we would. We were just too damn good.

1:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home