Sunday morning 7am is no time to receive a phone call from theatre security. When I saw the number flash up I was more than a little perturbed but I was nowhere near as perturbed as the security guard at the other end. For some inexplicable reason, the head of a water pipe had erupted and was firing a geyser of water into the underneath of the seating stand's front deck. When I arrived fifteen minutes later the noise was deafening. It was clear what needed to be done and I wasn't the one who was going to do it; a tap, in a hole in the ground from whence the torrent was blasting needed to be turned off. Austin, the perturbed security guard, was about to get even more alarmed because he was charged with crawling through the raging waters, under the seating stand and to thrust his arm deep into the hole to find the tap and turn it off. Commendably, he took his trousers off and began his journey. Over the din of the water I could hear him cursing; "I can't f...g find the tap!" I can't deny I had some admiration for him and urged him to persevere. Through the din and burbling I heard him proclaim, "I'm f...g soaked! Wait! I think I got it!" And true enough the sound subsided. Austin crawled out from the space like a soldier on an assault course, clearly pleased with his achievement but wet through. I am sorry to say that I found him an amusing sight but I shall instruct his employer to give him a bonus for going above and beyond the call of duty. That is a quality we always need at OHP.
The only other time I know of when somebody has had to de-trouser was when a waiter at a restaurant spilled gravy down my suit - all of it. An hour or so later we had a royal visitor at the theatre which required a better appearance than I was now able to present. I managed to find a dry cleaner prepared to clean the suit immediately whilst I waited in shirt and socks at the counter. It was surreal and I was getting some funny looks from the Hoffman press operator but I arrived on time in a crisp, clean suit.
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