Or IHOP and I.  That’s all I got.  This thought came to me one time when I was working with a truly non-motivated, standing around, only in it for the money bunch of guys who pretended to be stage hands.

One of the posers was eventually named ” Pockets” by my peers as this gentleman’s hands never left his…

To wit: ” Knots ? I really don’t know how to tie a clove hitch.”  A friend of mine once taught me the Hope She knot.  Yeah, hope she holds, with a nod of my head and a smile to by old buddy Ted.

Ted was a stagehand from Georgia who spoke in an Andy of Mayberry style of simple country wisdom as he applied it  to show business.  One time he told me ” Now, Philly, you can always smell a skunk long before you see it.  Even at night.”

Meaning that with enough time and experience under my belt I could tell in the first few minutes of a load in judging by the demeanor of the crew, the condition of the gear and the way that it was loaded if it was going to be a good day or not.

There is an expression that is pretty much the kiss of death in terms of unloading and loading a truck.  Those words are ” Wheels to the Sky” and that means that a road box that normally rolls onto a truck has to be picked up, flipped on it’s head and stacked on top of another road box.  You can have ” wheels to the back or wheels to wall”  but the sky is something no one likes to hear.  It usually indicates that there are not enough trucks on the tour so whatever trucks there are have to be loaded wall to wall, floor to ceiling, nose to tail and dooming them to drive around every scale between here and wherever they are going to next.

There was kid once who swore, I mean he was adamant that downstage was down toward the back wall of the theatre.  He also had stage left and stage right confused but at least he was consistent.

I wondered where all these fellows would meet after the show and there could only be one place: The IHOP and I.

It’s nice to see how far we’ve come as stagehands since 1955.  There are more women working, there is no smoking onstage but the majority of workers tend to look just like me and these guys.

I always thought that overly long shots of people applauding was a Monty Python joke.  Apparently it’s not.

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