stupidity on wheels


I really have to tell this story after the ego has healed itself, many years later.

I was the TD for the season ending opera and TD for the season ending half of House and Garden, I got to do Garden. This was also at the end of the semester and i was very tired and worn out, having no crew for any of the work except for a few friends I could beg and bribe to help me.

As was building the opera in an old military morgue, it was really decrepit and very frightening to accomplish any sort of build schedule around my schedule of classes and meetings. The first floor of the morgue was unable to support any weight on the floor because it was rotten so a previous TD had the forethought to take out the stairs to the second floor and install in its place a ramp out of double 3/4 plywood and 2x4 straight out the front door.

Bringing materials into the space was nice because the ramp went straight into the shop space or next to the paint deck. This was especially nice since i was usually by myself or had one person to help me and we had to take small loads.

On the build i was working till two or three in the morning and load in started at nine that morning. A friend's brother had agreed to help me and we managed to get there on time after getting a truck rented and at the door. We find an old four by eight wagon that someone had left still assembled with six casters on it. We start by putting the painted masonite show floor on the wagon, all forty three sheets of masonite. Since neither one of us had the idea that it would be difficult on the ramp, even though it was hard for us to move it on flat ground.

We manage to get the wagon to the top of the ramp and, as a forethought, i warn the stage manager to move away from the bottom in case it gets away from us. We discuss how we are going to carefully get the floor down the ramp. I decide that i will be in front of the wagon and my friend will be at the back both trying to slowly let it go down. We both get to our positions and start pulling and pushing the wagon.

The first set of wheels goes off the top of the ramp without a problem, just overhanging by a bit. This is when i start geting worried, because as the second set of wheels crests the top of the ramp it takes off. Being in front of it, I manage to jump onto the wagon and masonite careening down the ramp as my friend is dragged on his belly down the ramp still holding onto the wagon. As i watch the door and the truck get much closer, i want to get off before it gets that far. I manage to plant my right foot on the ground in front of the wagon and leap into the back of the truck hearing a large crash behind me.

The wagon and masonite, having deflected off of my leg, hit the door frame sending the two by six door frame (which was anchored into the wall by six eight inch masonary screws) more than a foot out from the brick. As i am jumping around with a massive adrenalin rush, the stage manager asks if im alright while looking at my shin in shock. I had managed to carve a four inch by nine inch gouge from my shin.

I manage to finish my load in without any other problems other than a large bandage on my shin.
I just have to add this little bit of info.
I even started an account with this site just so I could comment on this.
This is his girlfriend speaking here, but the occasion he describes here was one of the very first times that I ever spoke to him. I'm almost positive that other than "Hey" in the hallways, the first thing I really said to this guy was "You REALLY need to go to a doctor now." I said this upon noticing the aforementioned "bandage" which was actually a wad of paper towels and gaff tape around almost his entire calf.
I can't help but continually make fun of him now that we're dating (years later) because, even though he's an incredibly intelligent human, moments like this really stand out and deserve some humiliation.
And you know, I have to make sure his ego doesn't get too big.
DangerJane said:
...I said this upon noticing the aforementioned "bandage" which was actually a wad of paper towels and gaff tape around almost his entire calf...

Now that is dedication and puts those wimpy duct tape bandages (that were featured on the front page) news to shame!!

Glad to hear that there wasn't any permanent damage.

Welcome to the booth DangerJane. Do you have an interest in technical theatre or will we only see you posting social commentary?
Yeah, I'd say I've got an interest in technical theatre. I just graduated with a degree in it. So I'll probably be posting more than just social commentary, but I'm new to this idea of having time to do things online that don't involve school work so it may be scarce at first.
Thanks for the welcome! Take it easy.

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