please stop tickling me

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

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dogs of the Road

"I just wants ta' drink some beers and make some love," said Jennie B.
"Understandably," I said.
She wasn't hitting on me. The only woman on the crew of roadies I was working on this morning, I'm assuming by her mode of dress and haircut (Goddess strike me dead) that she was a lesbian. We'd just been out in that hot, hot sun all day long, shimmin' plank and skinnin' deck, and she was saying what was probably on everybody's mind.
I hadn't seen Road Dog in a while, either, but there he was. He and I worked together at The Crystal Bathroom, and before that, I'd met him at a rock festival a bunch of us were setting up down in Champoeg.
The day had been long and basically fruitless. I'd taken Hazel and The Masshole down there to serve as extra hands. The morning had been spent in constructing a beer garden, and upon its completion, we were told that there would be no beer sales that day, as the last weekend's fest had gotten out of hand, and now we had to take the damn thing down.
I was grumbling deeply, but was keepin' it to myself. The Masshole was wise to me though, and stepped up. "Everybody's talkin'," he said. "They say yer doin' GREAT!"
I din't understand him at all, and yelled, "WHAT?" at him, before I saw the 'Now just take it easy' hands up gesture.
So all we really had to do that day was construct a courtesy tent for the late Eliot Smith, and stock it (Budweiser and hummus) with the things he liked. The circumstances of his suicide are still strange: who ever decides to kill themselves by stabbing themselves repeatedly in the chest? His girlfriend at the time was under investigation, last time I checked.
But mind you, Mistah Smith had this awful habit of making an identity out of his suicidal tendencies. A friend of mine was introduced to him once in a bar. About a half hour or so into the conversation, he says, "But don't get too close to me, 'cuz I'm probably going to kill myself one of these days..." Yup. A murder victim with supreme deniability waiting to happen.
So later, backstage, I am in heaven. If'n you're ever going to be at some big, dumb arena rock show, try to see if you can at least volunteer or something so that you don't have to stand in line for a port-a-potty, pay for water, etc. Chef Ra, the legendary rock caterer (for the Grateful Dead, amongst others) was there, kicking down the good free food that freaks like me get fed for doing these things. I was watching Sonic Youth with their kids, playing on the swingset someone had erected there. I was also sitting at a table full of old roadies, drinking beer.
From across the meadow, I see Road Dog approaching. He has somehow commandeered a golf cart, and is heading right for us. I keep thinking, "No, he's not gonna do it, is he? No, he's not. Here he comes though. Yes, he is.", and he rams that thing right into the table, knocking all of our asses to the ground. He laughs like the madman he is, and tears off on his golf cart, looking for other people to terrorize.
Road Dog's brothers are even worse. They don't even work for a living, last I checked, and enjoy getting drunk and blowing up cans of gasoline.
I dunno. I love the tech life. What we all are is basically a bunch of construction workers who aren't assholes. The project I'm working on right now, there's really only one jackhole in the bunch, and he's not even a boss. We're all people who work in theater, rock n' roll, art exhibit design and teevee, and have a sense of humor about it. You have to.
I spent eleven hours yesterday (better than the sixteen hours they'd been estimating) building a stage. Those big towers that hold the roof up on those things? I suspected there'd be a machine or something. Nope. Just a bunch of people in the weirdest game of tug-o-war you've ever seen, and the good ol' pulley. Bronze Age technology.
We get paid well, we eat good food (when it shows up) and we laugh a lot, because we all have stories.
Tomorrow, my day consists of going and setting up a beer garden (hopefully not to be ordered to be taken down shortly thereafter), then leaving for a few hours, coming back and watching the dancers use the trampoline I constructed today, then spending all of tomorrow evening taking the entire shit n' kaboodle down, probably ending around dawn.
After that, who knows? Road Dog was passing around a pad of paper yesterday. He's putting together a crew, and maybe it's time for me to run away and join the circus again.



Blogger Erudite Redneck said...


2:55 AM  
Blogger Couch Potato said...

"Help me if you can I'm feeling down" - I also think I must be lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him on the golf course yesterday. Now this is strange because usually I see him in the supermarket.

Honest really, last time I saw him there he was right in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

Then I'm gonna go home, put ma dancin' suit on, munch me some uppers and freak out to that maaaaaaaaad surfing scene in Apocalypse Now on ma lcd tv .

How cool is that boy?

And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on "

Strange day or what? :-)

10:26 PM  
Blogger unixlinux said...

Nice blog. Check out my cat in the hat blog.

11:03 PM  

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