Taking one's convictions to the streets requires a constitution not associated with indoorsy writer-types like me.
The first day, my picket sign gave me splinters, which led to an infection. Worse, before half my shift was over, I was dying for a massage. Turns out that four hours of shuffling in front of CBS Television City is hard on the back.
Then I picketed in my own neighborhood, Burbank, which I thought would be fun. Our purpose was to screw up a shoot by making noise, so we had to keep chanting. All four hours. We could take breaks, but the Burbank police were there to make sure we took them on the hoof. A moving writer is a pedestrian, but a writer cooling his heels is a loitering menace.
Remember "We write the stor-ia for Eva Longoria"? I was there for that. In fact, after Longoria weepingly donated a stack of pizzas to our cause, I got a little chant going myself: "This is not the slice of the pie we meant." My clever commentary was largely lost: By that time the cops had taken away our bullhorn, and I was already losing my voice.
I ended up with laryngitis, then conjunctivitis (something flew in my eye at Warner Bros.), cystitis (no bathroom near Universal) and sinusitis (medical mystery).
Which is how I'll remember the Strike of '07-08 -- solidarity and antibiotics.