8:15pm – The venue is a state junior college. Each of us silently take note of the paucity of cars in the parking lot as one of the tech guys meet us at the back door. We scurry in like people late for a performance.
The guys at the venue are, thankfully, ON IT and have all of the required cables, stands and screens set up and ready to go. I plug the show iPod in to their video cable and it works the first time. That’s never happened. I check and make sure that I have the right set of slides (there are three versions of slides) and I do.
I head up to the light booth and set up Paul’s computer and iPod for the audio as Victor and he set up the computers and props for the show. Victor irons his shirt. The computers are all set up, I pass Paul, give him a quick primer on how to make sure levels are good for the phone calls. I change shirts stage right as they let people in.
Total pre-show set up time: 2 minutes.
8: 17pm – they let the audience in. All 11 of them. Eleven people are there to see the show. We’ve done a couple of state schools and both times the taxpayers have paid our salary and it looks like this is no different. Good thing Michigan is doing so well.
8:25pm – “Dear sir, may the blessings of allah be upon you and grant you the wisdom and sympathy…”
We perform the show. This is the beauty of having performed a show over 150 times for the past 5 years. It goes great. The 11 people love it. Laugh in all the right places. Scream at the reveals, etc. Were you there? Killed.
9:40pm – instead of going out to the lobby for the crap collection, we just jump off the front of the stage and chat with people. Ellen Sawyer, a person I worked with at iWin.com when this whole thing began has brought her boyfriend and four other people. They have no idea where to go in Jackson and neither do we. We don’t even know the name or location of our hotel. After some conversation with our superstar tech guys, we figure out where we’re staying and where to go for foodstuffs. We are verrrrrry hungry.
9:55pm – We say our goodbyes to the staff and head off to the hotel. Usually, after a show, there is a nice glow… a nice feeling. It’s such a fun show to perform and we LOVE doing it, but we realize that we don’t really remember doing the show tonight. The show was secondary, at least, to everything else that has been going on. It’s not a great feeling. We do realize that the benefit of having spent so little time there was that we didn’t have any opportunity to feel badly that there were going to be 11 people in the audience. That’s the silver lining, apparently.
10:30pm – We find the ho-tel. It’s fine. Basic business traveller chain. Great. The restaurant is next door, we eat, have a nice time with Ellen and her friends. I have a nice hot fudge ice cream treat and we’re back at the ho-tel by midnight.
Our return flight on Spirit doesn’t leave until 7:30pm the next day. We get late checkouts and agree that we can sleep in and then maybe go exploring beautiful Detroit – Rock City.
12:30am – My room. Sleep of the dead.
11:30am – It seems that the housekeeper didn’t get the memo that I had a late check-out and she wakes me up. Ah well. I get up, pack what little i unpacked, check out and walk across the street to have a nice, leisurely breakfast at the Cracker Barrel.
1pm – As I sit down, Victor calls. He decided to double check our flight and learned that if one misses their initial flight on Spirit Airlines, you forfeit your second leg, ass well. We have no return flight home. We are, once again, fuckity fuck fuck fucked.
We get a hold of Paul, and get in the car and begin driving back to Detroit before we have a plan. We know that we probably don’t have time to have breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Victor checks the web on his iPhone (technology saved us, by the way) and there’s a 2:15 flight on American for $175 each. Knowing the speed of Budget, we’ll never make it. He checks Southwest. Nope.
We’re laughing. Every time something’s happened, we just laugh. It got horrible so quickly that we didn’t have time to get bummed, it was just funny the entire time. I mean… yeah… so.
I’m driving really fast. Really. Fucking. Fast. Maybe we’ll try for the 2:15 flight, but Victor finds ANOTHER American flight at 5:30 for the same price. He calls, books the tickets and we are golden.
That’s basically it. We stop at a truck stop for breakfast, which is good, as the coffee at the Cracker Barrel was asstastic.
Once we get to the airport (Returning the fucking car took less than a minute. No fucking lie.) and are all checked in with boarding passes in hand, I see the Spirit counter and I get the idea to go over and fuck with them. Just because I can. The reason I booked the tickets on Spirit was that they were the only ones with a non-stop flight and the tickets were about $150 cheaper than the real airlines. But, they charge for each bag each way and also they charge for picking seats in advance. So, it ended up being about the same as I would’ve paid on a real airline.
We’re out just over a grand for the tickets on Spirit, and we’ve spent about 1200 for the emergency flights. It’s all covered by our booking fee and we’ll still make *some* money, but… one must subtract the cost of the extra flights now…
I head over to Spirit and I figure, instead of harassing them, maybe I’ll just try to get my money back. Once again, I use Aye Jaye’s excellent line. “Hi there… I have a bit of a problem and if you can help me, you can have the rest of the day off…” I explain (or ‘splain, as ricky rickardo would say) what has happened and the woman takes my ID, punches up stuff on her screen. “It says here, you have three seats booked on the 7:30 flight.”
“You’re booked on the flight at 7:30 tonight.”
To make a very lonnng story shorter, I’ve kept my cool and haven’t been an asshole traveler to her so she is able to refund five hundred bucks. It’s not the whole shebang, which I’m going to try to get (that’ll happen) but it’s five hundred bucks that we didn’t have a few minutes ago. I’m stunned. I aks her who I need to talk to so I can really try to get her the rest of the day off. She laughs and says “If I can’t go to L.A. where it’s warm, I might as well just stay here…”
The other silver lining is that we didn’t have to find a way to get from LAX to where I was parked at BUR.
Plus, at least the show killed. I think.