What you are about to read is an epic tale of hilarious disaster.
After yet another gorgeous, relaxed day spent in Boulder, we packed our bags and boarded the veggie bus, less than thrilled about driving east into stormy weather and grey skies. On the bright side, our tour karma had been pretty amazing so far, so we tipped our hats to Colorado and yelled a fond “Farewell!” as we warmed-up the bus. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7mfXdvDAhQ
“Wait…uh, I think the brake lights are stuck.”
“Stuck? What do you mean? They look fine to me.”
“Yeah but I mean they’re not working—like, they don’t respond when you press the brakes—they just stay lit constantly.”
The brake lights don’t work. We mess around with fuses and wires for an hour, then decide to hit the road regardless. We’ll drive slowly and make sure to turn cautiously—the most important thing is that we get to Kansas for our gig tomorrow night.
About 20 minutes after our departure, we see flashing lights in the rearview—we’re being pulled over. The brake lights…
“Howdy officer—is there a problem?”
“Well, you failed to signal a couple miles back, and you were swerving onto the shoulder a little bit—is everything OK?”
“Yes , sir, absolutely.”
“No drinking or anything?”
“No, sir. I must have forgotten to signal, and this trailer’s a little difficult getting used to.”
“Yeah, I know how those things are. Well, I’m not gonna give you a ticket or anything—just make sure you signal, and try not to swerve that trailer.”
Christian hands the officer a CD, and we get back to driving. Good thing he didn’t notice the brake lights…
THEN (Part Three):
After an hour of driving into the heart of eastern Colorado, Joey stands up.
“YO—Christian, turn the lights on! Turn the lights on! I think there’s grease back here!”
And he was right. We flip the cabin lights, only to find that THERE IS GREASE EVERYWHERE!! Oozing down the center aisle of the bus, slathering our clothing and sleeping bags. We are literally in the middle of nowhere—and in fact, it’s quite beautiful outside. The stars are the brightest we’ve seen on the tour—the air is clean and crisp. We’re in the desert.
Which means…there’s a lot of dry dirt everywhere. In a quick-thinking moment of genius, Justine grabs our emergency snow shovel and starts padding the floor of the bus with dirt. Several of the band members are skeptical—we’re shoveling dirt into a bus filled with garbage oil—-but it actually works. We get the mess reasonably cleaned up, transfer our personal belongings to the trailer, and FINALLY start heading to Kansas.
Part Four: The final chapter—
When we heard a loud pop and started smelling burning rubber, we knew we were screwed. We’d only been on the highway for 25 SECONDS!! Our tour karma had reversed. This was the last straw. We opened the hood and found the serpentine belt tangled in a knot and half-melted.
As the the tow truck pulled-up, I couldn’t believe this was all happening—WHAT A DAY! Sitting on the hotel bed, it seemed like the only thing we could do was laugh and have a beer.
And the beer was perfect.