Damn These Lighters Are Handy
Another Fiery Tale From the Road, Courtesy of Ballyhoo Betty:
We left a troupe member at a tuck stop. At 5 am. With no shoes or wallet. Only a dead cell phone. Did I mention this was a female? I swear we’re not terrible people; it was an innocent mistake…
When we set out with the Electric Eye Roadshow, 18 of us piled onto a converted bus, which had been divided into three rooms. The first can affectionately be called the front lounge, with bench seats lining one side and bucket seats on the other, complete with a small kitchenette in the back corner. The middle room has a small bed built into one side of the room, and the remaining space is occupied by a closet, shower and toilet room (all of which are being used for storage). The final room at the back of the bus is the official bedroom, and it literally is consumed by a mattress, laid on top of raised platform to allow ample storage underneath. With everyone’s belongings crammed into this already confusing space, needless to say, head counts can be difficult.
We imposed a rather half-ass buddy system, but at 5 am, when nearly everyone is passed out, the buddy system fails. So, when the driver stopped for a quick bathroom break at said truck stop, a few stragglers groggily crawled out from the caverns of the bus, but no one was really accounted for. This is how we left our gal behind.
Once she realized she had been ditched, she pleaded with the truck stop attendant for a phone charger; wallet-less, she didn’t have the money to buy one. Believing her to be as crazy as the other lone truck stop loiterer, who attempted to solicit my friend “for a good time,” the attendant repeatedly turned her away. She tried to collect call us other troupe members, but barely knew anyone’s number by heart, and those she did were fast asleep on a loud noisy bus driving far away from her location. She considered hitchhiking to our next town, but the prospects were pretty threatening and the word “knifed” was brought up more than once, so she decided against it.
Approximately two hours later, realizing my friend wasn’t going anywhere until she could call her fellow troupe mates, the attendant finally took pity and gave her a new cell phone charger, free of charge. As soon as she got a little juice in the phone and rang, we flipped the bus around and got her.
To keep this mess from happening again. We’ve now instituted an official roll call sheet which, like our tour schedule, clings to the roof of the bus by our LighterMates:
PS. The penmanship is not on account of inebriation. Our seven-year-old passenger was the brilliant mastermind behind the roll call list idea… Sometimes it takes a child to keep the group together, literally.