|At least he's not on the top step...|
"Hey, A.J.," my Gaffer turns to me as we finish tweaking the lights on our next set. "Tilt that Kino up a little bit and I think we're set here." He gives me a nod and walks out of the room.
I look at the Kino several feet above me and turn to the Key Grip. "Hey, Key Grip. Can I get a ten step in here please?"
The Key Grip turns to the Grip behind him. "You heard the lady." The Grip nodded and they both leave the set: the Key Grip headed to crafty for his umpteenth cup of coffee and the Grip headed in the opposite direction where the ladders were staged.
A couple minutes later, the Grip shows up with an eight step; two feet shorter than I had asked for.
I look at the ladder. I look at the light.
"Thanks, but I don't think I'll be able to reach that with anything shorter than a ten step."
The Grip looks at me. Looks at the light.
"Yeah, you'll be able to reach it with this."
Uh... Okay. The guy's about as tall as I am, so his judgement call on the matter should be as good as mine. So I set up the ladder, climb up it and find that indeed, I am just shy of being tall enough to reach the Kino.
"Nope," I say, waving my arms above my head to demonstrate that while I'm close, my hands are still grasping at nothing but air.
"Oh, come on," sighed the Grip. "There's another rung left."
I glance down just to make sure I'm not in the embarrassing situation of actually having missed a rung and realize that the "rung" he's talking about is the top step.
I look back at the Grip standing below. "No. I don't top-step ladders."*
"Yes. Seriously." I climb back down.
He rolls his eyes as he shimmies up the ladder all the way to the top step and fiddles with the Kino.
"You know," he said with a smirk, "They wouldn't put a step up here if they didn't want you to use it."
"Huh. Interesting," I thought to myself, "I didn't know that was a step. I always thought that's what held the ladder together."
* That's a lie. I will sometimes top step a ladder, but the highest I'll do is a double sided six step (and even that's a rare occasion). This was a single sided ladder, which I hate no matter what the height.