Project Hotel Key – Ruston, Louisiana

Sleep Inn

Where is my key in this picture? I’ll give you one guess. Give up? Already? Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s on the FLAT SCREEN TELEVISION in my room! Sleep Inn is giving Holiday Inn a run for its money. These are the only hotels we’ve been in with flat screen TVs. I’m really impressed.

So, Louisiana. I’d only been to Louisiana once before. I drove through New Orleans a few years back, before Katrina hit, so NOLA was still the major party destination.  I had a great time. However, I can’t really say I had a true NOLA experience, because this drive was with my grandparents on the way back from a marine biology themed intergenerational elder hostel in Texas when I was about twelve.

I still can’t say I’ve had a NOLA experience because we’re in Ruston, a smaller town about five hours away from New Orleans. However, I can definitely say I’ve had some amazing cajun food. The venue brought in Crawfish Etoufee for us. Delicious! However, I have to apologize to the guys who had to stand too close to me during the show. My breath wasn’t exactly the best after all that spicy seafood.

The most interesting thing about this show, aside from being in the bayou, was the last-minute technical miracle pulled off by the venue’s light board operator, Jennifer. See, what had happened was this: a few days ago, our main technical director, Heatherlyn, had a family emergency come up. She left Thursday night to fly home. The theatre sent their main technician to fill her job for a few days. Problem solved. Well, problem solved until the new technical director’s car breaks down in Little Rock, Arkansas, leaving him with no way of getting to Louisiana. Crap. Frazzled, we arrive at the venue and in steps lovely Jennifer to save the day. She focused all of the lights according to our plot before we even arrived and, after a few minutes of instruction from our road manager, felt ready to run the show. She was a bit nervous and there were a few cues missed, but she pulled through and made the show happen! Jennifer, you rock!

Jennifer and I became buddies of sorts. She actually invited me out to drinks after the show. I politely declined, as allergy season is starting and I’d rather not battle sniffles AND a hangover. I’m pretty sure that my low energy level coupled with alcohol would have made for a rather messy evening. To make me feel better, Jennifer told me a funny story about an even messier evening spent on a group trip to Italy. One of the members of her group was a rather hefty man with a taste for liquor. One night, he got so intoxicated that something rather crazy happened. Let me see if I can illustrate it for you.



So, how does one 300 lb. man total a car? According to Jennifer, he thought it was a trampoline and started jumping up and down on top of the car! I guess it just goes to show – no matter how bad you’ve had it, someone else had it worse before you.

Tomorrow, it’s back to Columbus, GA for a few days of recuperation and socialization before we head back out on the road. I have so many people to see in such a short time and I cannot wait!

QUESTION: What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard?

Leave your answer in the comments. Cannot wait to read your stories!

Thanks for reading, readers! Keep checking in for more tales of the road.

  1. okay…. I heard this from my friend on the rowing team….

    Once, she had a pet boa constrictor (snake). One day, something went wrong with it… it quit eating the rats she gave it. For weeks, it wouldn’t eat any food… so she began to worry. And another peculiar thing happened…. usually, she slept with the snake at the foot of her bed where it coiled up , but now, it no longer did. Instead, it would uncoil itself, laying lengthwise in the bed, parallel to her body.

    She told this to the doctor, and the doctor panicked. The doctor said, “Bring the snake in, we have to put it down.”

    “Why?” she asked…

    The doctor said, “It’s going to try to eat you. It’s starving itself to create room in its stomach for you, and its laying next to you in bed like that because it’s sizing you up.”

    effed up….

    • Oh wow. It’s things like this that confirm my theory that reptiles should not be pets, especially snakes. Who cuddles a snake?

    • Jennifer Bridges
    • August 18th, 2010


    It’s the lovely Jennifer that ran the lights for you in Ruston. I just wanted to say hi and that I hope things are going well. Are you still in Columbus? By the way, great illustration of the story I told you in Italy. I couldn’t have done a better job!!

    Much love xoxoxoxoxo

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