Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Week From Hell

First, I have to say everything at Laffs Comedy Cafe' in Albuquerque was great!. Great crowds, great staff and great comics to work with.

The rest of the week sucked ass.....

I should have known I was going to be in for a rough week on Tuesday. That was the day I was actually planning to leave. My plan was to get into Albuquerque early and have a little time to relax. That didn't happen, I didn't actually leave until Wednesday at 2:30 in the afternoon a full 28 hour later than originally planned.

The problem is I have responsibilities when I'm at home. I hate those things!

So I've been looking forward to this trip to Albuquerque for quite some time. My first road gig was in Albuquerque and I've always had a good time there. This was going to be my first week headlining in Albuquerque and I was riding my Harley down.

It was going to be a great week and a great trip. At least that's what I believed.

When I left at 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon my plan was a 6 hour ride to Albuquerque. I figured I would get in a little after dark; get myself settled and get a good nights sleep. That little plan went out the window at about 6:45, when I reached Ojo Calliente, New Mexico. I was about 3 miles south of town when my bike started wobbling badly; my rear tire was going flat.

By the time I pulled off the road my rear tire was indeed flat. Unfortunately there is no place on a motorcycle for a spare tire, I was stuck. About 5 minutes after I stopped a woman that lived in the farm house I was in front of came out to see if I could use help. I asked her if I could park my bike behind one of their out buildings and she said "no problem". The last thing I wanted to do was leave my Harley out overnight in the open on a lonely stretch of New Mexico highway. The first rule of breaking down on a Harley is to NEVER leave it on the side of the road unattended. All it takes is 2 guys and a pickup truck to make sure you will never see your bike again.

I got a ride back into Ojo Calliente (which should translate to "middle of nowhere") to the only motel. You know it's not good when the biggest advertisement on the sign is "Color Television". I paid $50 for the room and it did have a 13" color television that you could watch 4 channels on. Each one filled with a lot of snow. It was a looonnnngggg way from cable.

There was no phone in the room and of course, no cell service. I had to walk about a block away just to get a very weak signal to make calls. The biggest issue; make sure I can get to Albuquerque for a show on Thursday night.

But I had some luck.....

One of the comics I was working was working with was Jeff Wozer and he lives in Denver. I called him and found out he was actually taking a route to Albuquerque that would take him very close to me. We made arrangements for him to pick me up on the way, just in case I wasn't able to get some sort of repair and get there myself.

The biggest surprise was when I got back to my room and went to wash my hands. They were thoughtful enough to set out the soap for me and for added measure, there was a black pubic hair already on it.


So I spent a restless night sleeping. Not only I was worried about my bike being stolen; but I also wanted to get an early start on getting the tire fixed. I thought I could use a can of fix-a-flat on the tire which would get me into Espanola, the next town which is big enough to have a motorcycle shop where I could get my tire repaired.

I was told that the only gas station was a mile away and opened at 7:00am. So at 6:45 on Thursday morning I took off to get some fix-a-flat. After a 20 minute walk I find out the gas station doesn't actually open until 9:00. So I have another 20 minute walk back to the motel to wait.

So at 8:40 I again took off for the gas station. I made it by 9:00 but the station wasn't open. The station did not open until 9:30 when the woman that ran it pulled in. Why worry about the time when you are the only game in town?

Fortunately for me they had some fix-a-flat and I bought 2 cans. I then began the 2 mile walk to where my bike was to see if I could get myself going. The walk took forever. The reason was that I had call after call while I was walking. The service is so bad that it is only in patches about 30 feet at a time. My luck was that the phone seemed to ring right when I went into one of those spots and I couldn't move any further without getting the call disconnected.

I didn't get to my bike until 10:45, but at least it was there.

Unfortunately I didn't have much luck using the fix-a-flat. Even after 2 cans, the tire was just as flat as when I started. So it was a 3 mile walk back to the motel and while I was on my way back I had to make calls to get someone out to pick up my bike.

Fortunately for me I have people in an office that can help me out with this. So while I was making the walk back, they were making calls in an effort to get me some help.

I got back to the motel around noon and by then my office had made contact with the Harley Davidson dealership in Santa Fe. Fortunately for me, they pick up bikes within a 200 miles for free! They were scheduled to come and get me around 2:00. That gave me enough time to have a little lunch. I hadn't eaten since 2:00 on Wednesday and I was tired from the 8 miles I had walked. My feet were killing me.

So around 2:00 I see the truck from Santa Fe Harley Davidson. Inside it is one of the biggest bikers I've ever seen. I thought his name would be either "Tiny" or "Killer". If I would have been broken down on the road and he stopped (on his bike) asking me if I needed help I would have told him I was fine and not to worry about me.

But since he was coming from the Harley dealership I figured he was pretty safe. His name was Rick and he turned out to be a great guy.

After picking me up we he took me and my bike into Santa Fe. We made it by 3:00 and I was now only an hour away from Albuquerque. Jeff was still on his way and was going to pick me up and take me into Albuquerque. My bike would not be ready until Friday.

Jeff picked me up about 6:00 just before the dealership closed and we made it to the club right about 7:00. Since the show was at 8:30 we had just enough time to get back to the condo and get ready for the show. We made it just in time.

Friday was a good day. Jeff took me out to get my bike and after an uneventful ride back; my bike and I were now in Albuquerque.

Saturday would not be so good....

The plan was simple. Go down to the Flying Star for some coffee and Internet access. I just had to stop off at the Wal Mart on the way to pick up a few things I needed.

When I came out of the Wal Mart I found my bike tipped over and the front fender was crushed. Someone had hit it and left it there. No one saw anything and there was no note. So back into the Wal Mart I went, so I could buy a crowbar to pry the fender off my front tire. Once that was done, I was able to get to the Flying Star.

It was there that I received a call from my office. Over 300 of my Internet customers were out of service. The equipment that serviced them is located in a business that was getting the electrical wiring upgraded. They had decided to shut off the power to the building without letting me know or making any allowance for my needs. There would be no power until late in the day.


On Sunday I get a call from The Bulldog. She lets me know that the son of one of our friends committed suicide. His funeral in on Wednesday.

All the sudden my week wasn't so bad.....

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