Part 5:  The end of the faire and drive home

As everyone else packed up the cars in the intense rain, I went to get our pay so we could all go to a hotel that night and dry off.

Doctor Neo was in his tent with a lot of other folks as the storm raged around us.

“I’m here for my pay,” I said.  “Then we’re going to take off.”

“You should stay, the storm won’t last long.”

“All our stuff is wet.  We’re going to go to a hotel to dry off, then tomorrow morning we’ll head off from there.”

“There will be another campfire tonight.”

I looked out at the pouring rain.  Even if it did stop, everything would be totally soaked.

“Hotel to dry off, then home.  But, first our pay.”

“I don’t have it all in cash,” he said.  “We didn’t get as many folks as I expected.  So, can I give you what I have in cash and the rest as a check?”

“We need some cash for gas to get back home, but we can take up to half as a check.”

He wrote out a check, went over to his cash box to get some, then handed me a combination of bills and a check.

The total between them was $300.

“We agreed to $400,” I said.  “You’re $100 short.”

“No, it was $300.”

“No.  I was very clear that we needed $400 to cover our costs.”

“$300 is what I have.”

“You need to find another $100 as that is what you promised me.  If you make me drag my laptop through the rain to show you the email where you agreed to it, I will.  But, it won’t make this any easier.”

“$300 is all I can give you.”

As he said this A came charging into the tent. 

“What the %#%@ is taking so long!” A shouted.  “Get the money so we can get out of this %#%@ing rain!”

As he stood there, glaring, steam began to rise off him.

“You want to tell him you’re shorting us ¼ of our pay?” I asked Dr. Neo.

Dr Neo looked from A to me then back to A who was starting to look very upset.

He reached into his cash box, picked up a $100 bill and handed it to me.

“Thank you,” I said.

I grabbed A and marched him out into the rain to our cars.

Having collected out pay, we got off the site as quick as we could before something else went wrong.

We then drove the half hour or so to the town by the highway where we checked into a hotel, dried off and had a nice dinner at the restaurant next to the hotel.

The rain did stop while we were having dinner and we all went to our rooms for the night.

About 10:30 at night, my phone rang.

“Hello?” I said, answering it.

“It’s Doctor Neo,” he said over the phone.  “The camp fire is going and I thought you and you folks could come back to join us.”

“No.  We’re at the hotel and resting up for the drive home tomorrow.”

“I’ve ordered pizzas!  It will be a great time!”

“No.  We’re not coming out.”

“You’re missing a lot of fun!”

“I’m OK with that.”

“You really should come out.”

“Goodbye, Doctor Neo,” I said, and hung up the phone.

It rang again, seconds later.

“Did I mention the pizza?” he said.

I hung up again and unplugged the phone.

The next morning we set off for home.  We decided to drive through New York state instead of Pennsylvania given the trouble we had going out.  It was more expensive with tolls, but better with time.

As we got up toward route 90 to go across, we rounded a corner and the entire road was covered in geese.  There must have been thousands of them.  All lanes, covering the road, looking at cars in an angry way.

I kept going towards them, but slow enough that they could get out of the way.

I called A as I knew he was behind me and would be driving fast to catch up.

“Geese!” I told him.

“What about them?”

“They’re blocking the road!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Geese!  Watch out for them!”

I saw his pickup truck crest the hill behind us and he came barreling towards the swarm of birds.

“Geese!”  he shouted at me over the phone.  “Why didn’t you warn me?!?!?!?”

He hit the brakes and skidded towards the highway blocking roads.  The geese panicked at this sight and began to take off.  It took a bit, but they did clear the road.

We managed to get past, but I think the geese held a grudge.

As we drove through New York, I spoke with J about not interrupting out shows as she had done the day before.  It was correct to make sure we were safe, but gloves were not a requirement for doing a sword fight and shouting to the whole audience that we were being unsafe did not give our troupe a good reputation.

I told her that I was going to give her a written warning about this and if she did something like that again, I’d remove her from the group.

She argued with me about this so much that I very, very seriously considered just pulling over to the side of the New York Thruway, firing her then and there, and making her find her own way home.

But, she started to cry and I felt bad for her, so I didn’t.

This turned out to be a mistake when a couple of months later she tried to bring a flintlock on a plane as part of her costume on the way to another one of our shows and caused a lot of trouble by saying “But, I have to bring my gun on this flight, my whole group is depending on me having it.”

That time, she was fired.

But, I did not foresee that, and we all arrived back in Massachusetts, thinking we were done with Roswell Ohio forever.