Monday, January 23

Covering Up (Doesn't Usually Work)

I have two tales to tell - one that I may have told before (I looked...but didn't see it) and the other was told to me this weekend. So...don't stop me if you've heard this before...

My cousin Elizabeth visited last weekend with her lovely daughter Autumn. With relatives that you don't see very often, the stories just never end! But one of the best stories of the weekend was from her college days working in a radio station. She was pulling one of those lame weekend shifts where the job was just switching out tapes every once in awhile. Of course, at the time...they were probably reel-to-reel, which at least took some skills!

Since she had a little down time and was going out with friends after her shift she was in the lobby of the station ironing her jeans. Now...why anyone would find it necessary to iron JEANS is beyond me...but she is pretty neat. (she is the only person I know who wears pantyhose to work every day that isn't a nurse) As she was kneeling on the carpet putting the finishing touches on her crisp bluejeans she heard the recorded voice say "this has been the rejoicing in Jesus hour, join us again next week" So she ran to make the switch to the next program.When she returned to the smoke-filled lobby, she discovered that she had knocked the iron over in her haste to get to the control room. In addition to the acrid smell - the lobby carpet was now sporting a brand new hole. About the size of an iron.

 She did what most of us would do in the situation...she put a plant over the hole.

The crew from Those Magnificent Movies. I'm in black :)
This reminded me of an event from my days at Kings Dominion. The facility that I worked in, the Mason Dixon Music Hall, was also where KD employees came for a monthly Movie Night. Just as I was walking out the door one evening my friend (and supervisor) Eve asked me if any of the fly boys were still around. They were the technicians responsible for flying the scenery for the show. Both of the guys had left and Eve was in a panic. She had forgotten that it was Movie Night and had not asked them to fly in the screen that the movie would be shown on.

So, being the adventurous twosome that we were, we decided we could handle it. So we went to the fly floor (not to get too technical...but it was a double-purchase fly system which meant that the ropes only travel half the height of the fly loft AND they have 100 pounds on the rack for every 50 pounds of scenery) and located the right set of ropes. I took the lock off and pulled on the front rope. It didn't move. I knew I was pulling on the correct rope so I pulled a little harder. It moved a little so I figured that I just needed to pull hard because I was having to get twice as much weight moving as I was used to.

So I stepped up on the rail and grabbed hold with both hands and jerked with my whole body weight. And it moved a little. So then Eve climbed on with me and within a few minutes both of us were bouncing up and down on this rope like mad women. If anyone had been watching...we would have looked ridiculous. After a few minutes with very little progress I put the lock back on and turned to gaze out at the movie screen we were trying to fly in... finally making a visual connection, I realized what the problem was. A nearby fly-line was tied back and we had been bouncing our movie screen repeatedly on an iron pipe that held the two side curtains (in theatre terminology they are "legs"). Said pipe now had an ugly bend in it.

Our solution was much like Elizabeth's...perhaps if we just moved a plant over the hole...

I moved the pipe and flew in the movie screen...then made a pact with Eve: IF anybody notices the bend then we will deny any knowledge.

Of course that didn't work any better than Elizabeth's plant in the middle of the lobby. It took the first flyman about 2 minutes to discover the damage. It then took him about 3 minutes to find out the likely culprits. But despite the fact that this was a hulking and sometimes menacing man (with a big knife tattooed on one shoulder) - he didn't lose his cool. He did wonder aloud how stupid I was to think that they wouldn't notice. And he did make me come in the next Saturday and help change out the damaged pipe (which was bent an impressive 20 or 30 degrees).

Later that day he handed me a football card (like a baseball card....). I don't recall who the player was but when I turned it over the to side where the stats and stuff were...I noticed that there was a quotation that CW had highlighted. I must paraphrase but it basically said that if you damage something that belongs to someone else you must seek out the owner and make it right. To do otherwise is reprehensible. How he happened to have that card with that quotation there on that particular had to be destined. Because I have never forgotten the message.

A life lesson from CW...I didn't expect it...but I haven't forgotten it either.

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