Tour buses are equipped with satellite dishes.
And for whatever reason, we’ve been jinxed with a long succession of buses that don’t get great reception. This is understandable, considering the fact that we’re speeding down the highway, oftentimes amongst trees and mountains and other obstacles.
So when the satellite conks out, one of my favorite things happens.
The band, myself, and our tour manager sit in the front lounge of the bus and talk.
Over the years we’ve covered a wide range of topics, and we’ve had a lot of laughs.
Sometimes things get serious, and sometimes they get a bit juvenile, and occasionally things just get weird.
Last night after the gig in Paso Robles was one of those nights.
I’m not even sure how we got on the topic, but it sparked an argument that went on for miles and miles and miles.
And I was at the center of it.
Basically it was a long drawn out argument over what category I would fit into if I were gay.
Years ago, back when I had a fairly substantial beard, I was told by a gay friend of a friend that I was a Bear.
Somehow that old conversation came up on the bus, and I proudly conveyed to the band that I was a Bear (if I were gay).
And then we were off to the races, as the other guys insisted that there was no way that I was a Bear, and the argument was on.
Generally when we lose the satellite on the bus, that means we also lose the wifi, so I wasn’t able to use the power of the internet to back up my argument.
And I was losing.
Sean in particular was adamant that I was a Cub, and the other guys were backing him up.
I don’t even know what a Cub means in gay parlance, but I don’t wanna be one; I want to be a Bear.
It just sounds more powerful and respectable.
I had to concede the fact that without a beard, I really don’t qualify, but they kept insisting that even if I grew my beard back, I wasn’t big enough to be a Bear.
Apparently being overweight helps qualify someone as a Bear.
It was a bit strange to spend so much time arguing back and forth over something that’s a moot point anyway, but dammit, no self-respecting man my age wants to be a Cub.
I don’t even know what a Cub is, but it doesn’t convey the power of a Bear.
None of us could believe we spent this long on a topic that didn’t even matter, but it was fun going back and forth over it.
The conversation had long faded in the distance by the time we arrived at the hotel in Los Angeles, but nothing is ever over when you disagree with a member of Alice In Chains.
I was walking across the courtyard of the hotel to go to my room, when I heard a faint voice from a balcony above.
It was Mike, whispering “Cub”, over and over.
I can’t win.