Stage Craft:
The Art of Creating an Effective Stage Presence
It's the skeleton of a dog -- a pretty big dog, skull and everything, completely clean like it had been through a hundred rain storms. So we take the skull and slide the antenna up through the eye socket and let the damn thing ride shotgun through the mountains. But that's not the best part: We take the two-foot spine with the ribs still attached and lodge it in the back door so that it's dragging behind us. "Poor little fella probably kept up for a mile or two." (Chevy Chase fans will get the reference). Our second van was a red Dodge with red interior that was put on this earth to be crashed on the Ohio turnpike. The van was totaled, but our first trailer came out of it without so much as a scratch. The trailer hitch pushed the rear bumper in and came within a pick's width of puncturing the gas tank. Not to get all heavy or anything, but traveling on America's highways is dangerous, and it's the part of this whole experience that I like the least. Don't get me wrong -- the destinations are usually worth it, but I still bolt upright anytime someone hits the brakes hard. Our current ride is a '97 Ford mega-passenger V-10. You heard right, diesel boy, V-10. You wanna drag? It's got A/C, EFI, a VCR, and ICU but you don't see me windows. We've put about ninety thousand miles on it in three years. The transmission has been over-hauled once. I seem to recall a lube job outside Green Bay as well. The van is nice and all, but what really gets the babes behind the counter at the travel plaza is our trailer. They tell us the wheel wells are the prettiest shade of rust they've ever seen on a double-axle. They wink knowingly when we access one of our bags via the convenient side door.They wax mechanical over our trailer's independent braking unit. They nod appreciatively when we leave behind a few cents in the "Got a Penny, Leave a Penny- Need a Penny, Take a Penny" tray. These women of strong constitution and durable outerwear know that single-axle trailers fly all over the place at seventy miles an hour. Double-axles stay the course, inspiring confidence when you're passing a semi in a crosswind with a hot coffee between your legs. Here's a travel tip: ALWAYS have a spare tire for the trailer tire, because you'll need it. A spare van tire should go without saying. We have a milk crate in the van filled with essentials like WD-40, transmission fluid, jumper cables, fuses, paper towels, a Bob Evans location guide, and an atlas.
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