Feeding Time at the Zoo

Tired & ‘Ungry

My Dad used to work with a man known to all his workmates as ‘Tired and ‘Ungry’. Apparently he’d start most sentences with ‘I’m shattered – when’s lunch?’ And I often think of him when I’m at work myself. One thing constantly on my mind when I’m on the road with The Ukes, is Food. And that’s because, just like my Dad’s colleague, when I’m tired, I’m also ‘ungry. And lets be honest, a 7 hour commute to the next town , can be a bit of a drag. And boredom begets eating.

When we stay in hotels, breakfast is usually provided, and only a fool would fail to take advantage of that, however late they’d stayed up the night before. But there’s an art to breakfasting, which I had to learn fast. Miss breakfast, and you find yourself on a rickety bus seveal hours later, aching with hunger and wondering if that half a biscuit you scraped from the bottom of your bag is ‘safe’.

Much better, is to sleep in as late as possible, but make it down to breakfast in the nick of time. What can be achieved by members of the Orchestra, in the way of a frantic breakfast-to-go, has to be seen to be believed. I learned it from the best.

The 2 Minute Breakfast

1) Swoop towards the buffet with purpose.

2) Trouser 3 bread rolls (breakfast and lunch sorted).

3) Grap 4 paper napkins in one hand into which go slices of ham or cheese, and if there’s time, a boiled egg (not a popular choice on the bus later, but needs must).

4) Ram all of those things into your coat pocket (your trouser pockets are already full of bread, remember).

5) Break into a mad sprint towards the coffee machine, dispersing any queues which might be thinking of forming there, and fill up your own personal flask.

Hey presto! Breakfast in 2 minutes flat, (if that).

For the authentic feel, all this must be completed with your hair unbrushed, your eyes stuck together like a new born puppy’s and full sentences not yet formed in your mouth. Its also an excellent disguise, should any punters who saw you on stage the night before, happen to be staying in the same hotel. Equally, devastating if they chime ‘Great gig, Leisa’ and recognise you in this state.

If you fail to execute a 2 minute breakfast, its only because either, a) the hotel has deliberately laid out their breakfast items in the wrong order to mess with your head, or b), the hotel has deliberately laid out their breakfast items in the wrong order, and you cannot see any of your bandmates to ask where the rolls are.

Finding bandmates in a breakfast room can be tricky, but here are some tips:

Look for a lone ukulele case of top of a mountain of luggage – there might be a band member underneath. Otherwise, simply scan the room for signs of ‘Early Man’, by which I mean tired stooping figures, bewildered as though emerging from the wrong cave, hair as unruly as your own, eyes sealed shut, the odd pre-historic grunt emerging from within. Find those things and find your tribe. We’re all a little neanderthal in the mornings.