On Friday we had a day off. We were supposed to be playing Scarborough, which I was looking forward to, but some weird legal fuckery with the promoter lead to a last minute cancelation, so we suddenly had a fun-sized gap in our touring schedule.
“What would your ideal tour day off involve?” asked Lars when he told me. “Roller coaster,” I said.
I was not alone in my sentiment, and lo, on Friday morning, the Americans’ tour bus swung by our Travelodge to pick us up and take us all to ALTON BLOODY TOWERS. I was so excited. I hadn’t been to Alton Towers since I was at school. I stole one of those snappy dinosaur heads in a stick from the gift shop and got into trouble on the bus home for snapping girls’ asses with it. Ah, memories.
Serendipitously enough, the Burger King next to our Travelodge was offering 2 for 1 Alton Towers tickets, so we loaded up on shit coffee and shit fries and 2 for 1 tickets, and got our asses in the tour bus. MC Chris was reading a book on his iPad, and Science was resting his eyelids under the soothing, noir-light of the shutters. MC Kal was relaxing on bed at the back, and Lars, JTL and Tour Managing Welshman Ryu sat up front, trading gigglesome barbs.
We drove through the skeletons of old rollercoasters into the parking area, my belly bubbling with excitement (that or the dodgy BK coffee). Science, still mulling what went down last night, said he was going to stay in the van and get his shit together. I was like, “dude, really? No rollercoasters? Sitting in the van all day?” But he was sure. So off we went to the gates of glory. We ticketed up, said farewell to MC Chris, who wanted to run around on his own doing his Serious Sightseerer thing, and raced gleefully to the first rollercoaster.
After 7 hours of hardcore rollercoaster action we were knackered. We trudged wearily, yet happily back to the van, powered by the buzz from that last dose of double coaster action. We wondered how Science was after his long day in the van. As we approached the carpark, we could see him in distance, hulking outside the van in his three quarter length shorts. He started striding towards us. “Oh shit,” said Ryu, fearing the worst.
As he got closer we could see he was smiling. “THERE WAS A REASON!” he exclaimed, triumphantly. “THERE WAS A REASON FOR ME TO BE IN THAT VAN ALL DAY! I STOPPED IT GETTING ROBBED!”
We were like, “The fuck?”
By this point we could see all the smashed glass on the floor by the van, and the cop car, with cops buzzing around it. Turns out that not even an hour after we’d left him, Science had been woken by the sound of smashing glass, and through the van’s blacked out glass window spied a “punk rock robber” robbing the white van next to the white van he was cotching in, the one full of all our laptops, instruments, gear, merch and money. Suddenly the punk rck robber was tapping on the tour van window with a Maglight, looking for a good spot to smash.
“At this point I’d like to be able to say I burst out of the van all like, FUCK YOU DUDE, but I was shitting it,” said Science. “I opened the door a little bit, and just said, ur, please go away, I’m in here, so dude grabbed the stuff he’d stolen from the other van, jumped in his getaway car and he was gone.”
The police weren’t surprised. “Oh, that happens all the time,” they said.
So let that be a lesson to you – don’t leave anything in your vehicle if you park it outside Alton Towers. Unless you’ve got a big be-hoodied American to leave inside.
“I’m sorry about last night,” said Science, hugging Lars. “I love you dude. The rest of the tour is gonna be awesome.”
We all knew it to be a factual prediction. We’d just witnessed a beautiful moment of redemption. Full of shame, Science had decided to punish himself by staying in the van while we ran riot on rides, and in doing so he’d saved the tour.
“The universe is amazing,” said Science. “That’s why I had to have a shitty gig last night. I had to be here to protect the van.
A relieved and beaming American touring party, driven by a relieved and beaming Welshman tore off into the distance. Jack and I waited at the bustop, musing on our good fortune, while I tried to get an internet connection from my Dongle. My new video was on AOL.