Furioso is a new DCI.org column by Joe Smith, a 16-year-old mellophone player for the Colts. Smith is a junior at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa. Smith will report back from each camp, and will continue his reports through the summer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or instant message him at Trumpetsforever4. In continuation with the theme "The non-human friends you have on tour," I decided the gym floor would be a beautiful thing to talk about, since it happens to be the only place you sleep on tour besides the bus. Since I am a rookie I haven't had the chance to sleep on a bus for almost 70 nights in a row, but from the experience I do have I know it isn't always that fun. I can from my little experience of sleeping on a bus relate to the waking up with my calves screaming bloody murder (as Emily Tannert mentioned in her recent Etude column, and that feeling is never very cool. Since way back in November, many people have had the opportunity to have a "sneak peek" at tour. At every camp, corps members (and even some volunteers) get the wonderful chance to sleep on a gym floor. I also started to notice that a few people cheat the wonderful floor by packing an air mattress. I am not saying that I do not condone sleeping on air mattresses -- I just personally prefer the comfort of the solid floor. For those of you that do take full advantage of the floor at camps and on tour, give yourself a pat on the back (your back probably already needs some positive reinforcement). Sleeping on the floor does have many advantages. For those of you still considering the purchase of an air mattress for tour, I suggest that you very carefully weigh out your options and choices, as I myself have given thought to buying one also. The floor happens to be much safer than a regular air mattress. You'll never roll off a gym floor (at least not in this dimension), whereas you have the distinct possibility of rolling off an air mattress sometime during your slumber. Another thing to consider is money. Do you really want to spend the money on an air mattress? Think of all the other financial temptations you'll have on tour. If you already have an air mattress (and for those of you that are curious, mattresses cost anywhere from $20 on up), the other thing to consider when debating about the purchase of an air mattress is time. Do you really want to waste any of it? Yes, I know, it doesn't take that long to inflate or deflate them, but sometimes every minute counts. Do you really want to waste those extra couple minutes of sleep just to pull out and inflate your mattress? It's all up to you, though. So next time you plop down on that gym floor, whether it's for a camp or for tour itself, remember the floor is your friend and will always be there for you. It's solid and will never leak, nor will it ever take your time or money. So don't forget to thank it for being there and never giving in on you! There is to be one large issue, though, that neither air mattress sleepers nor gym floor sleepers are protected from -- bugs. As much as we would all love to not have to deal with the pesky things, they seem to be everywhere, always, and the heavy rains all over the Midwest and elsewhere are not helping the bug problem one bit this year.
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