For those of you who don't know, this is an actual place of business on E. North Avenue, not too far from Belair Road. When I worked for Satan's Minions Touring Children's Theatre Company (they had "666" RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PHONE NUMBER!!! HOW THE HELL DID I NOT NOTICE THAT AT THE TIME!?!?!?!?), we drove past this place on a regular basis. Now I drive past it every morning and afternoon on my way to and from Moleville. And every time I pass it, I can hear Vel (she was on tour with me the first couple of years I was there) and her little aside.
"Well, ho's gotta eat, too"
Vel was utterly unflappable. My first week with the company, we had three shows on the Eastern Shore (the first one at 8:30 in the morning). Usually when we had an early show that far away we would travel the night before and stay in a hotel (99 times out of 100 a Super 8). Well, one of the guys in the show couldn't do an overnight (his wife wouldn't let him. Next time you feel like your spouse is riding you particularly hard - how YOU doin'? - or otherwise is nagging you think about THAT). So we had a call time of 4:45 AM. Yup, you read that correctly.
Well, I had been hired about a week earlier, and was hired as the Production Manager, which meant that I was driving. And anyone who knows me knows that I am not too much of a morning person. Of course, I don't know if you could consider that morning. Either way, I set my alarm, got up in time, drank some coffee, packed some pick-me-ups for the ride (also known as Hershey bars) and led the merry caravan on to glory.
It wasn't until well after traversing the Bay Bridge that exhaustion finally caught up with me. And it was still pretty damn early, so there was realyl little to no traffic (it might have been a little busy on the main roads, but once you are in rural Eastern Shore territory, the farmers are on their property and not on the roads). Luckily there was a rumble strip on the side of the road which woke me up. I can attest that they work, and work well.
Most of the people in the van (including me it seems), were at least on some level, sleeping. Vel wasn't. While everyone else started making that startled out of sleep "who/whu/where" noise, and I quickly cleared my throat, sat up straight, and started making excuses of avoiding debris in the road and I'm sorry I had to wake you all up, Vel (who always sat right behind the driver) just leaned forward and quietly said "you wanna stop for a cup of coffee, big guy?". Now, I hardly knew her, and I almost killed her, but she just calmly suggested a pit stop, even saying loud enough for everyone to hear that she needed to stretch and take a potty break, and could I stop at that gas station up ahead?
Yeah, Vel was pretty awesome. And she was right. Ho's DO gotta eat.