Another tour down, 1486 miles by land and about twice that by air: Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and back again. Breathtaking, lonely and of course, bizarre. A diet of cliff bars and my own company for many endless hours, at one point with no radio or cell phone coverage I decided to entertain myself by counting cars on the highway….ten…in an hour. Oh how the time flew. I had learned from previous experience when a you see a sign “next gas station 100 miles” you have to take them at their word. Every now and again I could see a trailer, ranch or beaten up house a mile or so off the road and I’d have to wonder how people survived out in this wilderness.
Then come the towns, Winnemucca, NV, 400 miles from, well nowhere really. When I checked into the casino they proudly told me the show would be sold out as there was a rodeo in town. Oh good, cowboys and a liberal Brit partial to vegan food (though on the road, pescatarian is as good as it gets), a match made in heaven. Oh, how they would love my jokes about the inadequacy of the American healthcare system and my call to arms against guns in the U.S. I think, to be honest, we surprised each other, as we jibed one another and thankfully they let me win the jostle. So much so, that I sold more CD’s than any other night! I love to think of these cowboys driving across the plains in their pick up trucks listening to a recording of a Brit making jokes at the expense of Republicans and Fox News.
I did see snow, but thankfully not on the road, the nearest I got to bad weather was in Idaho where the fog meant I could see just one car in front of me and no further and certainly could not make any sense of the “scenic view” that I was being persistently promised by roadside signs. My stop there was Nampa, which I was to learn was not a Native American, but North American Meat Packing Association…hmm…there goes the vegan diet in that town.
I was made to feel doubly at home in Nampa and Salem as the shows took place in cinema’s, so for once, my twin career of film director and comedian were beautifully fused. I considered a discussion about the merits of Fellini and Godard when I hit the stage, but stuck with my set instead. I think it was a good choice.