Damn
you, Web M.D.

I
recently read on their website that “Working at night or working irregular
hours raises your risk of a heart attack.”

The
article also said, “When you routinely get less than 6 hours of sleep a night,
you raise your risk of higher blood pressure and cholesterol. It also increases
the odds you’ll become obese and get diabetes, too.”

Basically
the article should have just said that if you work on the road for Alice In
Chains you’re gonna get sick and die a horrible death.

But
you know what?

It’s
worth it.

It’s
also more likely that working for this band will result in my being teased to
death than anything else.

But
it’s not just the guys in the band that are shredding me.

It
happens every tour.

There’s
a little grace period of about a week or so when new bus drivers are settling
in and getting to know everyone.

Most
tour buses have a curtain that gets pulled shut to separate the driver from the
front lounge. It helps keep the glare of the lounge lights from reflecting off
the windshield. It also helps muffle the sound of a TV being watched at volume
78 by half deaf musicians.

But
it doesn’t muffle the sound entirely, which also means that if the driver isn’t
listening to his stereo in the front, he can hear our conversations.

And
an inevitable part of almost all of our conversations is the point when Sean
and Mike start hurling insults at me.

This
brings me back to the grace period.

7
to 10 days is about the average time it takes for our bus drivers to get
comfortable enough to join the band and make fun of me.

It
happened a few days ago, and the second our driver made a joke at my expense,
the guys roared in approval, and just like that, he was initiated into the
gang.

And
it’s happened on virtually every tour I can remember.

Morale
is an important thing on a rock tour.

The
travel is taxing, the hours are long, and people just get worn down.

So
it’s important to try and maintain a positive and happy work environment not
only for the crew, but the band as well.

And
I know that insulting me is good for band morale, so by being a human punching
bag, I’m providing emotional support, which in turn is good for overall health.

Along
with the Web M.D. article, I recently read one on the most dangerous jobs
in the United States.

Fishermen,
roofers, electricians, just to name a few.

All
fields of work that you know can be dangerous and unfortunately sometimes
fatal.

But
don’t be too surprised if in a few years, nestled between loggers and
telecommunications line installers on the list of most dangerous professions,
is Alice In Chains assistant Tour Manager.

Whether
it’s a heart attack, diabetes, or just death by chronic persistent insult,
these guys are going to kill me…

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