Tour Journal – 2005 – Vol. 1 – Issue. 6

…hanging at a high school

I hope you're sitting down.

We've decided to do some more gigs for another week.

Yeah yeah, i know, we're stupid. Oh wait, let me rephrase that in heart-of-now NVC speak. I feel in my heart that i have the idea that we're really stupid… and i feel sad because my need for intelligence isn't being met.

Speaking of intelligence;

We are, and this will come as a shock to you, in another unusual place. Today we're doing a show in a high school, the Illinois Math and Science Academy. The school is a weird mix of… well, pretty normal students, and really freaky staff.

The staff at IMSA are, and i mean this in the strictest Non-Violent Communication sense… fucking crazy.

And paranoid, man are they paranoid.

This morning we walked into the school through a gymnasium entrance. I didn't notice that the doors were locked until a student who happened
to walk up to the door at the same time as us waved his name tag at a sensor. The door unlocked with a loud click. J and i looked at each
other, shrugged, and walked in glibly behind him. [J's note: There's nothing odd about walking into a high school, right? Wrong.] We wandered for a while until we found the front desk. I didn't recognize it at first because it was enclosed in a movable iron cage.

J went up to the woman behind the counter and said, through the bars, can you tell us where to find [our contact for the show]?”

“Are you new students?”
“No, we're doing a show today.”
“But wait, how did you get in the building?”
“We walked into the building through the gym, with a student.”
“Oh my God! A student let you in?”

(as you might imagine, we were a little put off by this point)

“He should have escorted you here.”
“Perhaps he thought we were students.”
“He should have known better!”

(and here J said something that made my heart sing), “You didn't.”

At this point she called in another assistant who explained that we must wear name tags at all times, “and keep them visible at all times.” We must not leave the area of the show without permission, and that we would be escorted to the loading dock. There were signs everywhere, and every one of them used the word 'must'.

The woman behind the iron cage finally started to seem embarrassed by their behavior and started to apologize, over and over. I mean like
every other word was 'sorry', she eventually told me that they were just trying to be “safety conscious”, and here her voice came down to a
whisper, “you know, since 911.”

You would have been proud of me, i didn't shout, “WHAT THE FUCK?”…

…well, in my head i did. I didn't ask her why they thought freedom-hating terrorists would want to blow up a high school in rural Illinois. I didn't even point out that with all of their crazy overblown security, we were able to waltz into their school without even trying very hard. OK, fine, i didn't practice radical honesty or give her reflection either, i just forced a smile and backed away slowly.

The students are pretty chill, basic high school students, maybe a little smarter, maybe a little nerdier. J used to compete against
this school in math tournaments when she was a nerdy brainy high school student. We spent most of the show chatting up the students about Dance Dance Revolution, Anime, and asking subversive questions about why their school needed to be more secure than the pentagon.

Anyway, like i said, we agreed to do another week of this madness. We have another college show in St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday, and one last one on Thursday down in Arkansas. Then we drive BACK to St. Louis and start the long drive back to Oregon.

Why'd we decide to do another week? Hell, i don't know. Mainly it was so we could fill the truck with some of J's parents junk and drive it to Oregon for them. Also we'll make a little more money.

Stupid stupid stupid…

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