Gig Stories 2: A Near Audio Accident

I’ll keep the engineer involved in this story anonymous, but this one is too good not to tell.

A friend of mine somehow got the gig to provide sound for a national catering convention. In other words, it was a luau of representatives from companies selling mayonnaise, plastic silverware, and pizza boxes pitching their products to local restaurants. To spice things up (no pun intended), the convention was always themed. That year, the theme was “survivor,” to encourage businesses to “survive the economic recession.” Green streamers and jungle decorations were everywhere. Speakers played digereedoos and hunting horns whenever announcements needed to be made. “BWAHH BWAHH! More ketchup to table four…”

As the engineer checked the levels on the soundboard, they spotted out of the corner of his eye a middle-aged, heavy-weight man slowly turning the speaker lock on the main rig. The lock is the only thing holding the 75-pound speaker in place, and the lock is right underneath the stand. Had nobody intervened, the guy would have been brained two seconds later.

The engineer practically leapt over to the stage, only barely stopping the speaker from becoming a lethal trap. “What are you doing?!” they demanded. Trying to create a massive law suit? “The music’s too loud.” The man replied. “I was trying to make it quieter.” The engineer looked in disbelief from the man to the stand. On the lock was clearly printed the words “higher” and “lower.”

The engineer has since put a giant piece of tape over that label. When others ask about why the lock remains covered, they are in for a good story. The moral: someone will always find a way to damage themselves with your stuff. Either be really, really careful, or better yet get some insurance.

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