Today’s topic is band morale.

It can be a grind out here, particularly when we’re overseas.

The travel can be brutal, sleep is hard to come by, and things are generally just taxing on everyone.

So keeping morale high is a top priority.

This where I really earn my paycheck, because insulting me and hurling invectives my way seems to keep the band happy.

I’ve mentioned this plenty of times over the years, and it still holds true today.

So I’m sitting in the dressing room with the band the other day, and as usual, I’m attempting to discuss some business with them.

And as usual, I’m getting no answers that don’t involve suggestions of things I can do with and to myself, so eventually I stop asking.

A little while later, I notice that Jerry’s goatee is really itchy, because he’s been digging into it for a bout 60 seconds.

I also notice that he seems to be watching me as I walk around the room.

He has his eyes trained on me, and he’s moving his head so that he’s always facing me, no matter where I go.

And then I quickly realize that he’s scratching his face with a single finger.

Of course it’s the finger you’re thinking of.

Even though I had quit talking, Jerry still wasn’t finished insulting me.

The silent insult. My favorite kind.

And with that I left the room and moved on to other business.

This is a valuable aspect of our friendship.

The part of friendship that takes the form of insults and abuse and rudeness and attacks.

This part of our friendship receives a lot of daylight out here.

Hopefully some of you out there can relate, or else I’ve been woefully mistaken all of these years and we need to call in a therapist like Metallica did all those years ago.

But in my eyes at least, the beauty of a long lasting and strong friendship is that you’re comfortable enough in your relationship with the other person that you can tell them to go eat a large bowl of hot death from time to time, and it doesn’t affect the friendship.

And I tell the band to eat much worse than that.

And believe me, it comes back at me way, way worse.

This plays a small part in keeping everyone happy, because I forgot to mention that the crew is taking part in this as well.

Basically I like to think of myself and my role in the organization as a human anti-depressent.

Either that or an insult sponge.

Whatever you want to call me, as long as it keeps the band happy, I have no problem doing what it takes to maintain morale in the camp.