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Let’s Talk About Safety

Yesterday was the last day of work for most of our carpenters.  Naturally, at the end of the day, Kyle and I joined them, as well as a couple other members of the production staff, for a Safety Meeting.

Safety Meetings are a Music Theatre of Wichita shop tradition.  Unsurprisingly, they in no way involve any kind of discussion about safety.  What they do involve, however, is beer.  Always beer.  Usually we meet in the shop, close the door, and sit in a circle, drink a couple and shoot the shit.  Though it’s strictly a carp shop tradition, it’s always open to other member of crew, and it’s a nice way to relax, have a few laughs after work, and hang out with my co-workers and bosses outside the work atmosphere.  On a few occasions, they’ve lasted past the usual two or three PBRs and well into the night, but usually they’re fairly short, and very laid back.  Like when the boys at the office go out for a drink after work.

This Safety Meeting, however, was not of the usual variety.  This one was…epic.  There was the blasting of 90’s summer rock.  There was air guitar.  There was a 12-pack of Shiner Bock.  There was a frisbee, which was hurled around the shop and hit everything while magically breaking nothing.  There was a 12-pack of Fat Tire.  There was the unanimous singing of Journey.  There was beer-bottle bowling, played first with a bocce ball (which broke half the bottles on contact) and then a Tonka truck (which is surprisingly hard to aim.)  Later a broom was added to imitate curling, but mostly just broke all the bottles.  There was another 12-pack of Fat Tire.  There was something drunk out of a bottle in a brown paper bag that tasted of shoe polish.  There was a red helmet with the words, “Safety first!” written in Sharpie on the forehead, which was worn by our Sound Engineer, Assistant Lighting Designer, and finally by our production manager.  There was surfing on a rolling cart.  There was Smirnoff Ice stolen from a co-worker’s private stash.  There was a frisbee that my boss threw and I took to the head.  There was a hard hat, which I couldn’t figure out how to wear, and not because I was drunk.  There was laughter.

It was a Safety Meeting for the ages, and though my contract doesn’t end for another 15 days, it felt like the perfect close to the season.

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