BUFFALO — Local stagehand Verne Smalls “took things a little too far” last night with the flashlight he held in his mouth while assisting with musical equipment, horrified sources confirmed.
“This was a clinic in mouth dexterity,” said showgoer and witness Terry Hamilton. “I’ve seen roadies hold a flashlight in their mouth before, but I’ve never seen one grip it so tightly with his lips… and certainly never with such an active tongue.”
Venue manager Brent Duncan was allegedly unaware of Smalls’ method of illuminating dark stages.
“He was just adamant in the job interview that he had excellent attention to detail and lots of experience,” Duncan said. “Of course, he didn’t mention that it totally looks like he’s going down on the flashlight while he’s working. We’re an all-ages venue, and I’ve had a lot of parents complaining all day today. There’s even a rumor a Christian group is boycotting us.”
Bartender Cara Prescott confirmed accounts of Smalls’ workmanship.
“It was still sort of light out when he first set up, so he only had a modest pen light for assisting with the opening band’s equipment,” said Prescott. “But after sundown, he upgraded to a much girthier D-cell flashlight after the second band, and then an impressive 12-inch Maglite unit after the third.”
During setup for the encore, Smalls reportedly held multiple telescopic flashlights in his mouth at once in what one attendee called an “H.R. Giger-type nightmare”.
“I was puzzled. I was scared. But I was definitely impressed… I couldn’t turn away,” said Marc Foster, guitarist for headlining act The Pinecones. “I was so transfixed, I knocked over the keyboard when walked back out on stage.”
“Watching him work brought up a lot of feelings,” Foster later admitted. “I think, later tonight, I might need to have a serious talk with my girlfriend.”
For his part, Smalls — who thinks that head strap lights look “silly” — claimed there is nothing sexual about his flashlight holding technique.
“Look, if I could unhinge my jaw and hold one of those battery-powered lantern flashlights, I would,” said Smalls. “And right now I can’t… but with enough practice, I’ll be able to do it someday.”
At press time, Smalls was seen coiling cables in a fashion described as “pornographic.”