October 22, 2009

Judge Judy tell us if we’re wrong:

We finished our set at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, and returned to our dressing room, where we were greeted by this fan mail from some flounder:

front side
(click to see a larger version)

As none of the band members smoke, we didn’t think too hard about the communiqué, until we took note of the Vonnegut-like cross-out and turned over the note to discover:

back side
(click to see a larger version)

Apparently the first official act of former fandom is forgetting how to spell the band’s name. As our team of semioticians attempted to unravel the many mysteries within, we boarded our bus for the three-hour drive to Vancouver, a three-hour drive.

Yo La Tengo’s own cub reporter, front of house engineer Mark Luecke, was on the scene . . .

Traveling north on Canada’s delightful highway 99 towards Vancouver this morning we had an incident:

Minding our own business in the middle lane (of three), obeying the 100 kph speed limit (that’s 62 mph, for those of you without a slide rule), we were overtaken on the left by a semi truck traveling at an incredible rate of speed. It was weaving in and out of the breakdown lane, in the process kicking up a baseball-sized rock that broke our windshield. The glass flecks sprayed up in such a way that I thought I saw feathers, causing me to momentarily imagine that a bird had hit us. Glass hit Frank, our driver, and luckily did not get in his eyes, as he was wearing sunglasses, or in his hair, as he was wearing his flame-adorned skull cap (stickler for detail with a Blackberry, Gil Divine, points out that Frank in fact sports a “head wrap”).

A chase ensued, our bus blowing its horn, flashing its lights and increasing its speed. I looked at our speedometer, which stops at 80 mph, and it was pegged. 90 mph in a tour bus, who knew? In front of us, the semi swerved across three lanes of traffic towards an exit and we followed, slowing down slightly.  “Hold on, y’all,” said Frank.  We held on; I thought we might tip over.

We blew through two fully red lights before our prey was forced to stop at the third one. Sports-car-like, we cut in front of him in an effort to block him and commence with the ceremonial exchanging of insurance info. Frank jumped out of our bus and onto the side of the semi, nearly burning his hands on the exhaust stack. The tête-à-tête went well enough that the driver of the semi exited his cab and came over to look at the damage done to our bus. However, when asked to retrieve his paperwork, he decided to make a clean break instead.

The chase continued for about another half mile before cooler heads prevailed and the RCMP were called in to make a report.

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