Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Period At The End Of The Sentance

Here's a little thing for you to remember.

Things look the darkest, before they go completely black.

If you've been reading you'll remember that I have had a coast to coast week from hell. It started Sunday when I went to Jacksonville Florida for a cruise ship audition that didn't go well and continued through Saturday in Spokane Washington. I even experienced a night of Combat Comedy on Thursday in Spokane. I made the mistake of thinking my week of hell was over once I left Spokane. Boy was I wrong!

I'll have to admit my time in Spokane was not nearly as fun as the last time I was there. It seemed to me every crowd was drunk and hard to work. That's all right but usually you get at least one show a week when everything goes well. It didn't feel like I got one of those but I still had a good week. Any time I spend on stage is good time.

So I was ready to put Spokane behind me as I left at 4:30AM Sunday morning. I had to be in Winter Park Colorado to do a workshop for some professionals on Monday. My plan was to get back to Denver by 10:00pm Sunday night and drive up to Winter Park on Monday. Sounds simple doesn't it?

It was until I hit the Montana border and my alternator light came on. And so begins another wonderful day on the road.

You need to know that I have no idea of how a car works. Sure I can change a tire or my oil, but beyond that I am helpless. Even so I did know that I would be able to drive for a while. I knew this because at one time I was a 16-year-old boy that drove a $100 car. It was always breaking down and from what I remembered I could drive as far as my battery would last. So I turned off all the electronics in the car and got on the phone.

I called my partner Mr. Stress and he was able to get me the number of a parts store in Bozeman Montana. I called them and they gave me the name and phone number of an auto repair shop that could work on Sunday. After a call to them everything was set up for me to pull in and get a repair.

I got to Bozeman and have to say I was treated real well. After testing they thought that the problem was a bad battery so they replaced it and I was only off the road for 2 hours. I figured I still had a chance to get to Denver even though I thought I would get in really late.

So I was back on the road for 5 minutes and the alternator light came back on. Holy shit!

I knew I couldn't go back but I called the shop and they said then for sure it was the alternator. They also told me no way they could get one on Sunday. I would have to wait until Monday morning. Well there was no way I could do that, I never would have made it to Winter Park for the workshop I had to do. They had already paid me in advance and I didn't want to have to give them a refund.

So I was back on the phone with Mr. Stress and we came up with a plan. I would drive as far as I could during daylight. I was hoping to get to Sheridan Wyoming by 5:00pm. From there it was 6 hours to Denver where I could pick up his car and get to Winter Park. So off I went, 365 miles to Sheridan Wyoming. I had to do it without a radio and I almost made it.

I actually got to Ranchester Wyoming which is just over the Montana border 12 miles north of Sheridan Wyoming. I knew I was in trouble a couple of miles before that when my speedometer and tachometer quit working. I was a quarter mile away from the exit when my engine died. I coasted down the exit and fortunately for me it was only 1 mile down hill into Ranchester. I actually coasted right into the only motel in town. I got a room and called "Mr. Stress" and went to plan B.

"Mr. Stress" got in his car and drove straight up from Denver. He got to Ranchester at midnight. After a 4 hour nap I was in his car and on my way to Winter Park.

I made it to Winter Park with plenty of time to spare. I did my workshop that evening for 75 people that all had a PHD in Biology and did public speaking every week. My workshop was on putting humor into your presentations and about half way through I couldn't help thinking "What them hell is a guy like me with half a college education doing up here trying to teach these intelligent people something."

Even so they were a great group and gave me good feedback after I was finished.

While I was doing all that Mr. Stress was nice enough to get my car fixed and drive it back to Denver. I picked it up on the way home and made it back in time to have dinner with my kids.

So ends another week in the world of comedy. You never know how it's going to work out.

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