Thanksgiving is a time for sharing stories and celebrating family and friendship. Here at Brutal Rust, we have plenty of stories to share. This story is from March of 2017. The Brutal Rust team was hard at work creating a new trade show booth for the HAA show. Long days and longer nights are a common theme during the months of February and March. This year was no exception.
We pushed hard on the build while preparing all of the products and marketing collateral. Our small, but dedicated team took a stack of lumber and turned it into a behemoth of a trade show booth. The booth was covered in rusted iron clad walls and bunker panel walls. The booth was literally dripping in Brutal Rust. We bedazzled the booth with a variety of trinkets that included a giant tank, iron I-beams, Czech hedgehogs, boilers, rusted ladders, bullets, t-shirts and propaganda.
The booth was ready for battle! Now this might sound awesome to you, the reader, but let me assure you, it was truly a kick ass sight to see! Standing next to one another, we (The Brutal Rust team), marveled at our work and then began to disassemble it piece by piece to be packed into two trailers for the long commute to St. Louis, MO. That’s the trick you see. We have to build these monstrosities in Houston, TX and then pack them up for a 14 hr. commute to the HAA show.
The plan was to drive straight through to the convention center, unload the booth, get a few hours of sleep and then spend the next day assembling and preparing for the hoards of professional haunters.
Well, as all great plans go, we ran into a few speed bumps. One of our trusty Dodge trucks had engine problems the entire way to St. Louis. Thankfully, Jason the great, was able to use Red Neck Magic to wield the stick of truth and temporarily fix the engine problems. He seriously used a stick! Next, our travel trailer decided it was the right time to start de laminating its side panels while traveling at 70MPH. This coincided with a massive cold front coming in, while on the side of the highway in the middle of BFE nowhere. Standing in shorts and driving screws into the trailers panels, the wind picked up and dropped the temperature literally by 30 degrees. The misery was palpable.
Once we had reassembled our travel gear, we got back on the road and made it to the convention center around 2:30 am. Thankfully, Shayne, our fearless leader had coordinated with the director of the HAA show to secure the BR team late entry access. This, however, was completely lost on the security personnel. They had zero clue as to who we were and they weren’t about to let a bunch of shady individuals into the convention center during the middle of the night. WTDH!
So, we turned our caravan around to head to our “booked” hotel. Those mother duckers had cancelled our reservations because they considered us a “no-show”. Did the BR team get mad or salty? Heck’n no! We handled up on those kids running the hotel and set things right. When the dust settled, we had a luxurious room with a pull out bed and stained sheets. Things were looking up.
Two shots of Bourbon and three hours of sleep later and the team was scarfing down free pancakes at the complementary breakfast. Everyone looked like they had been on a drug infused bender and from the looks of our fellow breakfast eaters, we probably looked even worse.
We headed to the convention center and continued with the complete fudgery that is the HAA load-in. The place was crawling with moon jellies! They denied us access to the load-in doors closest to the side of the convention center that we needed. This asinine behavior needed to be checked! Shayne to the rescue. He used his handy dandy cellular contraption and power of persuasion to keep the doors open long enough for the rest of us to load in over 2,000 pounds of rusted lumber, metal, paint, liquid, merchandise and the rest of our battle ready trade show booth.
We set up the booth, spot painted, and prepared every little detail for the next day opening. This little prep session kept us at the convention center well past midnight.
Close to 40hrs since we departed Houston, TX, we were ready to kick all mighty ass! We headed back to the hotel, took a shot of courage and got a lofty 5 hours of sleep.
So how did the show go? We kicked ass! What did you expect? We sold out of all of our product. We sold the Tank! We picked up new family members (clients). We picked up new projects for professional haunts and organizations. We decimated!
This is why we do what we do. We make amazing products and we do it on our terms. The journey is almost always painful and full of fudged up situations. Do we care? No we don’t. We are Brutal Rust. Forging the path for what we believe in.
Thanks for reading and Happy Thanksgiving!
— The Brutal Rust Team —
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