Too Nice Twice

Tuesday June 23rd, 2009 – Chicago, IL

Nice guys really do finish last. I know it all too well, because unfortunately that‘s been my result way too many times. I have always had a giving heart and even as a kid sharing whatever I had was never a problem. Deep down I’m a giver and I’d rather do without for  myself than have someone else in need or even want. I really do try to try to sacrifice self.

That doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone else but I do think there are people for whatever reason that don’t think the way I do. I’ve been bitten in the ass many times and I am really starting to get sick of it. My patience is thin and I have to toughen my attitude.

Maybe this is a lesson I needed to learn long ago but I’m getting the message really loud and clear lately and it’s not very pleasant. I’m sick of being a human urinal cake to certain people and I have to send out a different vibe, especially when it comes to money issues.

There are two current instances I can think of that are really festering in my ass. Both of them involve comedians and both involve cars. Both also involve unpaid money that I am owed and have been for way too long in my opinion. It’s my fault and I take full blame.

Most people who know me know I like to wheel and deal cars I buy at the auction. I like cars and I like auctions and I’ve had harmless fun with it for years. No big deal but I made the huge mistake of ‘selling’ two of my tin cans on credit to each one of these comedians.

Both wanted a car for their kid and both SWORE they’d pay me ‘as soon as possible’. If I said that to someone I know in my heart I’d either DO it or make arrangements of how it could get done at a reasonable time. That’s me. It sure hasn’t been either one of these two.

Granted, it was I who was stupid enough to give them the cars and clear titles without so much as an I.O.U. but I trusted each of them and I technically didn’t really need either the cars or the money at the time but it’s been way too long and I can really use the cash now.

One of the louts was one of the Chicago Style Standups of which I was a member. I was trying to help him out and ‘be nice’ but he knew all along he wouldn’t pay me. He’s had a checkered past with some bookers he hasn’t paid commissions to for years and it’s lost an enormous amount of work for him too. I didn’t find that out until after he stuck it to me.

Again, that’s my fault and I admit it but it doesn’t take any of the hurt away. It ended up being the main reason I dropped out of Chicago Style Standups and he’s never tried to get it taken care of. He seems to have plenty of cash to buy bags of marijuana to smoke at age 62 or whatever he is and that’s what really infuriates me. I‘m being totally disrespected.

If someone wants to live like a vagrant in his 60s and wake and bake every morning that isn’t the kind of guy I want to associate with professionally or personally. I used to have a high opinion of him as a comic but then I got to know him and see how he handles all his business and it lost me for good. I made a huge mistake by trusting him with the car deal.

The other one was very similar. It was a guy I met on the road and he said he was also a dented can and had a rough childhood and he wanted to get a car for his son in Texas who just turned sixteen. I know what it’s like to be a sixteen year old kid who craves to have a relationship with his father and I figured since I didn’t I could help that kid catch a break.

The comic flew to Chicago and picked up the car which was a super clean ‘88 Mercury Cougar. It was a one owner title with 50,000 miles on it and was SWEET. I liked that car a lot but I was willing to give it up for the kid and I’d scored it for a relatively cheap price so I said he could pay me what I had into it and we’d call it even. I cut him a killer deal.

He did tell me he couldn’t pay me back for a while and I was cool with it but the kid did have a birthday coming up so I wanted it to be a gift and get there on time. If I was the kid that’s what I’d want so I tried to live by the golden rule like we’re supposed to and did it.

Weeks became months and I think it’s been a couple of years now and he did send me a $100 payment but that was IT. No ‘Hey, I’m trying to pay you…’ Nothing. He had money to move to California and supposedly he’s been in some movies but do you think I’d get a call or an email or an I.O.U.? Nope. Then I found out the kid totaled the car in a month.

The whole situation pisses me off to no end, but mainly that I was stupid enough to give two working cars to people I thought I could trust. I have nobody to blame but myself and I’m sad it came down to this on both accounts. I lost two people I thought were friends.

I guess I was wrong and that hurts too. I was just trying to help out and cut somebody a break. I know what it’s like to be broke and have nobody cut me one so I wanted to buck a trend and create some hope. Instead, all I created was a double heartache for myself. It’s surely not the results I expected in either case and I really doubt I’ll see another payment.

The total amount owed to me would amount to three months rent. That would really be a nice little shot in the arm right now and help me get through a slow summer. It will sure make me think twice, thrice and roll some dice before I ever do a deal like this again. If it were the opposite and I owed them I have to believe they’d be up my ass like a wet thong.

The hardest part of this for me is keeping my personal feelings out of it. I am infuriated and insulted and I feel disrespected by both of these guys. I don’t ever want to associate in any way with either of them ever again, on stage or off. They’re out of my life and I don’t miss either one of them personally but I could use that money right about now. It’s mine.

The same goes for that slimy fat bastard up in Milwaukee who still owes me $400 from the shows I did in 1994 that he laughed off and said he’d never pay me. Well, he hasn’t. It also infuriates me and if the tables were turned he’d have surely sued me a long time ago.

This is why people can be ‘difficult’ when they make it. It’s stupid little things like this over and over and over again. For years. Then when someone breaks through it they want a chance to stick it back in return. I understand it now but still, much of this was my fault.


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