Sunday, April 18, 2010
I promise I will eventually write a blog about how much fun tour is. It actually is a blast living in a van with three guys. A stinky, flatulent, perpetually hungry and thirsty, stupidity laced blast.

This blog is not about how much fun it is.


We left South Dakota and headed for Northwood, Iowa. A tiny little town on the Minnesota/Iowa border. Boyfriend and I were trying to nap in the back, since we had to leave right after the show and do a good portion of the driving to Missouri. Of course, being in close proximity and generally lacking privacy, we did more High School necking and less sleeping than we should have.

The guys all agreed that it was the tiniest town they'd ever played. It was white picket fences and a downtown that seemed to have been built between 1910 and 1950. And then everything had stayed that way. The police station was on the corner, and the plaque on the side of the building proudly proclaimed that it was an historical building, built in 1909.

The bar they were about to play in had a similar plaque, this one displaying the year 1912. The year before my parents' house was built. Needless to say, it wasn't as well taken care of. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Perhaps I should let the pictures do the talking.

Northtinywood, Iowa. It looked like a model train layout. (That hairy fellow, by the way, is my special friend.)

When we parked behind the club/bar, the boys headed in while I stayed outside in the Ogre and put on my shoes. I was also secretly trimming my toenails while they weren't looking. Every few cities I sneak away or let them go in somewhere without me, and I stay in the van and do something girly, just to remind myself that it's not all about poop jokes and making fun of inferior musicians. Sometimes I'll tweeze my eyebrows, or put on makeup. Just as I was exiting the van from my personal girly time, the guys were coming out the back door.

G was the first to address me, "Ready for the scariest load in ever?"

This flimsy, rickety, visibly crooked beast was how the club wanted the guys to load their equipment in.

This scary ass staircase was metal, but not anchored to the adjacent brick wall, except at the foot and top of it. So as you were walking up, it swayed away from the wall. There were two posts underneath the upper landing, each with places for four bolts. Each support only had two. The entire thing was also slatted.

So not only did you feel the space between the slats under your shoes, you could see exactly how far you were about to fall.

Looking back on these pictures, it seems that the photos didn't quite capture the sheer terror of being on this red monster. Not only did it wobble left and right while you were walking up it, some of the steps were squishy. I don't know what physics regulated the universe that this Scarecase was built in, but in my universe, metal is not fucking squishy.

I know this is just holding the padding, but at first it totally looks like part of the staircase from hell is being held together with duct tape.

I took this video for two reasons 1.)When/If the Scarecase collapsed, the guys would want to laugh at it later on youtube and 2.)I would want proof for the lawsuit so we could win money. Pizza and hotel rooms every night on tour. Definitely worth the broken bones, right?

As you can see, no such unfortunate event transpired. Nevertheless, the night was still full of building quirks that made me and Boyfriend raise our eyebrows. I think it's best to let the pictures do the talking, here.

Did I forget to mention that the Stairway of Doom had electric wires hanging over the landing?

Yes, that is a board nailed to the floor. It's covering the hole that goes down into the first story.

I'm pretty sure the women's upstairs restroom doubled as a storage closet. Also of note; urine on the floor. How does a girl miss the toilet by that much?

Is that the baby changing table?

The greasy, dirty kitchen towels that cover the window in the "ladie's" room. The door knob was also not attached, just kind of sitting in the hole...

The "locking" door on the downstairs bathroom.

The building felt like it was going to collapse around us at any moment, but then there were the people...

I'd like to take a moment and say to my readers (however few your numbers) that I mean no offense if you're from Iowa. Maybe not all of Iowa is like this. In fact, later that night we stopped at a Village Inn and had one of the coolest waitresses ever. But this tiny little town seemed perfectly worthy of my ridicule.

The men varied from redneck to mediocre looking frat-boy wannabe. The women, however, are what made my night. I was easily taller than most everyone, but I towered over the women. I'm 5'11", which is kinda tall, but I was in flats, and I'm pretty sure I was slouching at the beginning of the evening. I stood up straighter, however, when I realized that I was also the prettiest and the thinnest woman in the bar.

Those of you that know me in person know why this is a triumphant, happy moment, and not a pretentious or mean spirited one. I've recently become a size 14 after spending most of the last ten years as an 18 or 20 (thanks, living in a van!), and my skin's relatively cleaned up (even though I live in a van), and my hair's been looking rather awesome since I got it done right before I left Tulsa. In summary, I feel pretty. But looking at the short, round women in Iowa with their non-descript or pug faces made me feel like a supermodel. Granted, there were only four other women in there at the time. There were about twenty guys, though, and when I walked downstairs they all turned and looked at me. It was glorious. Like a scene out of a romantic comedy. Three of the women looked me over, but then decided quickly to ignore me. The one that looked like a middle aged poodle with wire rimmed glasses was the only one that had the nerve to shoot me the stink eye for a while. I think they realized faster than the local men that I was there with one of the long haired musicians, and therefore off the market.

But I was floating for the rest of the evening.

The band, however, was not so lucky. The sound guy had no idea what he was doing, and the crowd stayed mostly downstairs. Not much merch was sold, and some drunken idiot tripped and spilled their rum and coke (at least that's what it smelled like) in the merch box and soaked most of the CDs. The club paid them less than a hundred dollars, which wasn't terrible for a small town, but it didn't help the mood. Needless to say, we split as quickly as possible and started the seven hour trek to Jefferson City, MO, stopping along the way to pick up a 30-pack for the boys and for some pancakes after the beer worked its magic.

It was a waste of a night for the band, but it sure did make me feel better.


Rider said...

Glad you're feeling good after the stop here, Lori. Before the Iowa night, you were way too hard on yourself. Just ask Boyfriend. He'll say you always were beautiful. He'll say you're even more beautiful now.

There's one thing missing from your writing. The music. Tell us about it. Tell us how it changes from city to town. Tell us how it makes you forget the dust in the road. Tell us how it makes you a different person.

Sara said...

That's a lot of beer.

I can't get over those stairs. I love the look of the buildings though. :)

Sara Louise said...

Iowa still sounds better than creepy guy.
And I'm 5'8'', I'm kinda tall, you're 5'11'', you're tall.
Can't wait to hear about the next city/town/ midde of nowhere :-)

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During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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