If you're here for the continuing Darth Tater - Terror in Toyland storyline, it will be continued next week . . . (yes, you'll have to wait another week to see if Mark and Susie survive the train crash) . . . sorry . . .
I was digging through some of my photos from University (I was chatting with an old theatre buddy that I was reacquainted with thanks to Facebook about posting some old photos on the Sock N Buskin Alumni group there) and stumbled upon this precious gem.
John Strickland and I worked together at Theatre Operations at Carleton University. It was a division of IMS (Internal Media Services) and Theatre Operations ran the Alumni Theatre on campus (also known as Theatre A in Southam Hall). The theatre was used for first year classrooms, but also used on evenings and weekends by theatre groups (such as Carleton's Sock N Buskin Theatre Company).
John was in many ways the heart and soul of the theatre. When the theatre was rented out, John, a lighting and audio technician, came with it. And because I also worked part time at the theatre while going to University, I sometimes came with it when they required a second technician on duty.
Over the years, John and I worked many 18 and 20 hour days together, and being stuck in a tech booth at the back of a theatre for such unGodly hours during long rehearsals and endless weekends did one of two things to a couple of guys -- it would either make them angry and bitter, or drive them into silly humour.
It was the silly humour that inspired our "Trained Professionals" bit -- which is pictured below. The photo was likely taken sometime near 1990 by another fellow technician Andrea Clasper.
During long shifts of working on lighting or the set or whatever it was we were required to do to keep the theatre running and the show on track, John and I spoofed a couple of goofball handymen and offered idiotic advice on how to get the job done. This was much to the chagrin of our boss who just shook his head whenever we started going on in this fashion.
John and I shared countless laughs in our time working together, we even collaborated on writing projects (one of which was published in my story collection One Hand Screaming -- John, an excellent horror writer, was a great mentor to me) and fortunately, we've maintained our friendship over the years and across the distance between Ottawa and Hamilton. We still get together at least twice a year, and it's always good to see John and his family.
This photo makes me laugh (and it's not the mullet that's making me laugh, because man, I keep thinking how good it would be to have hair again . . . any hair . . . yes, even a mullet)