I have found a solution for a nagging problem I’ve been having with on-the-road shows. I’ve been having trouble eating healthy when I don’t have access to my own kitchen. I was already good at packing breakfasts and coffee for a hotel room. But lunches and dinners were problematic. During show hours, I need more energy than I need on a regular work day at home. At the same time, I don’t want to take a break from selling. I snacked on small wrap sandwiches, KIND bars, and cookies. At the end of the day, I found myself so hungry and tired, my good intentions would fly out the window. I snarfed down too-big dinners filled with carbs and grease.
The solution is a weird new product called Soylent. It is a complete meal in a bottle. Its makers’ goal is to make eating as efficient as possible. In general, that idea is too futuristic for me. But for this particular situation, it's awesome. I have been using this as “show lunch” for the past two shows. It takes minutes to drink one, and it can be put down anytime if a customer walks in. I never get caught chewing, or with food stuck in my teeth, or greasy fingers. It is shelf stable, so it’s easy to travel with or pack on a hot day, without refrigeration. One bottle makes me comfortably full for about four hours, without any energy spikes or crashes. I have one at noon and one at 4pm. At the end of each show day, I was not starving or tired, and I made dinner choices that were both frugal and reasonably healthy. I gave myself only $60 to buy four dinners. I had $10 left! I admit I was getting tired of the taste of Soylent on Sunday. I have no interest in eating it everyday. But for show days, it’s solves a lot of issues.
Now for the brain failure. On Thursday night after setting up, I parked my van in a garage. The lower levels were full. I passed some open spots on the upper levels, but wanted to find one closer to the elevator. The spaces near the elevator were marked “compact cars only.” That didn’t stop me from trying, but the van’s rear end was hanging out of the space, so I kept going. I ended up on the top level, where I could fit into the spaces near the elevator. I thought about it and decided I’d rather have the van under a roof than near the elevator. So I drove down one level and parked.
For some reason, my brain registered that I had parked on the third level. I don’t know why. On Sunday morning, I went to put my suitcase into the van before heading for the show. I got off the elevator on the third level, and found myself in a disaster. My van was gone. I stood there for a long time. Words like “police” and “stranded” and “insurance” and “FUCK!!!” were flying around in my head. What should I do first? AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! My unreliable brain did manage to sputter out the phrase one level down from the top amidst my panic. Just go back to the elevator and see how many levels there are, before you call the police. It turned out the garage had five levels, and I found my van on the fourth.
Afterwards, as I got off the elevator at street level, I saw a guard in a windowed office with a bank of security camera moniters. I’m pretty sure she was smiling and avoiding eye contact with me.