I must apologise for the last entry’s oopsie. The journey to Seattle happened on the 4th of March, not the 5th as originally posted.
At 5.15am (on the 5th 😉 ) my alarm sounded and I jumped out of bed. After a brief look in the mirror and a grunt of self-approval, I exited my room, left the hotel, and at 6am the whole gang made its way toward Victoria for a day off. We have decided a name change; normally on UHTC itineraries and day-sheets, our means of conveyance is known rather flatly as ‘Bus #2’. This mundane monicker may please some roadievolk, but as the die-hard reader will have ascertained through months of blog-following, The Winning Team does not ‘do’ generic. After a quick whipround for a title, we dropped the gavel on the name Camelot. From now on, we The Winning Team demand any communications which refer to or involve our intercity transport vehicle be written and spoken in accordance with this ruling. For instance:
“10am: Camelot departs for venue.”
As for Bus #1, we tossed around the title Castle Grayskull, but now I’m having second thoughts. Castle Grayskull was a sacred fortress of knowledge from the cartoon Masters of the Universe; you know — He-Man. But we want a more derisive, scornful epithet-cum-byword suitable to our unnecessary professional disdain for Bus #1. The Black Pyramid might work — it was the home of Mumm-Ra the ever-living, a skull-faced sociopath infused with all the powers of evil known to the universe. He was chief bane to the Thundercats, a very camp troup of flamboyant, half-feline farce-magnets. I think Camelot and The Black Pyramid sounds a bit tighter than 1 and 2.
Along the way to Victoria we heard from a couple of our crew who shared interesting stories of prison gigs — how the subject arose escapes me, but Lighting Crew Chief Steve told of a 1987 gig with Ozzy Osbourne in a Victorian penal institute, Wormwood Scrubs; a show for ‘lifers’. The violent criminals were happy to help with setting up and in fact the support band were themselves inmates. At one point, a huge dude got on stage with Ozzy, ‘giving it large,’ but the guards thought it best not to stir anything up and in the end nothing was a danger.
Drum Tech Benni told a tale of a gig he did with a German artist whose name I didn’t catch; another prison show for violent criminals, there was no physical barrier between the stage and audience save for a white line on the floor. ‘Do not cross the line,’ was the instruction to band and inmates alike. The prisoners kept themselves behind the line, but apparently the artist felt a need to jump down from the stage and run along the line, ‘hi-fiving’ the front row, causing some itchy trigger fingers in the mezzanine where the guards stood watch.
From Washington State we poured across the Canadian border with ease and soon we waited at Tsawwassen ferry terminal, ready to begin our penultimate stage of today’s travel. At 11am the ferry sailed for 90 minutes across the Strait of Georgia and through the Boundary Pass, landing at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island. A further 40 minutes of driving got us to our Victoria hotel and before 2pm I found myself in a room wondering what to do with myself. I think I’ll go hunting.
Zombie tally: Dan 2,618; me 2,858.