Road Wearier

Thursday August 27th, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA/Pittsburgh, PA

My road chops are getting a little rusty. I used to be able to make cross country trips like this with no second thoughts. It was fun and adventurous and exciting to see how long I’d be able to stay out and how many miles I could cover. Now, none of that thrills me at all.

After the taping yesterday I was able to have lunch with Nancy Jo Perdue who I’ve been friends with for many years. I met her at a Gene Perret Round Table convention way back when and she’s a true character. She’s originally from Texas and has the thickest southern drawl I’ve ever heard but it’s really hilarious. I’ve always used her on all my radio shows.

Nancy Jo is a sweetheart and very funny but she’s still struggling to pay her bills too. If I had any clout at all I’d find as many people as I could that were talented and put them all in one place and see what develops. If I‘m good at one thing it‘s nurturing creative souls.

Hopefully that’s what I can do with Uranus Factory Outlet as a concept and we’re trying to do a similar thing with Jerry’s Kidders. Nancy Jo writes jokes for the Kidders when she can and we ate at Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. That’s where we all went after my last taping.

Kristi McHugh was at the last taping too. She’s one of my all time favorites. She’s very smart and funny and a total blonde stunner. She doesn’t fit the bimbo mold at all and that might be why she’s not farther along in the business. I think she’s really great and has lots of potential. She and Kate Brindle both share the title of the sweetest woman in comedy.

Kristi wasn’t available until later so we had dinner at a fantastic seafood place very near her apartment. She is trying to survive in the L.A. jungle where there are all kinds of ugly and underhanded games going on at any one time so it was a treat for her to be able to get real for a little while. I was never good at playing the L.A. game but she’s doing it well.

Kristi and Nancy Jo both said how proud of me they were that I have started to get some TV credits and it feels very good to hear that. They’re both real people with souls and that means a lot in a business that can be so cold and heartless sometimes. They were sincere.

My flight was at 6:30am so I took my rental car back after dinner and hopped a shuttle back to the airport. Getting a hotel would have been a waste of more money I don’t have so I prepared myself for a night at LAX. I’ve slept in airports before and even though it’s a hassle at least I don’t have to worry about missing a cab or bus. It’s better to be there.

I grabbed my computer like a running back grabs a football from the quarterback and it was nestled tightly in my arms as I fell asleep in the uncomfortable airport chair. The last thing I need would be to have it walk away with all my life on it. I need another backup.

I hadn’t had much sleep in the last couple of days so I actually nodded out and woke up about 5am. That’s the most sleep I think I ever got in a row at an airport but my neck felt like a sumo wrestler had stood on it for a week when I woke up. I was sore and felt funky.

I don’t enjoy that feeling of needing a shower and a shave. Some people don’t mind it at all but I can’t stand it. I don’t think I’d have made a good cowboy or shepherd because I’d have felt greasy and sweaty all the time and not been able to focus on what I needed to do.

What’s worse than that is having to take a dump at the airport. That’s never fun because of having to keep luggage within eye sight to avoid theft and the bathrooms are usually an absolute nightmare of filth. I’m not a germophobe but there are better places to handle the more personal business of life. I guess I’m a snob but I like to have a little more privacy.

One place that’s worse than the airport though is the actual airplane. ‘Dropping a deuce’ on an airplane is one of the most hideous tasks I can imagine and I’ve done it all too often to know what I’m talking about. Once is all too often but when ya gotta go, ya gotta GO.

Even worse than having to let loose on the plane is following someone ELSE who did it  immediately before you opened the door. That’s about as brutal as it gets and it’s always a reminder to me how grateful I am I never had to put in any serious time on a submarine.

I walked to my gate and waited for my plane and felt like I needed a shower but that’s a part of being on the road. I had another five and a half hours on the plane to Philadelphia and when I got on I had to sit next to a married couple who were in the middle of a fight.

My ticket said I had the window seat but I didn’t want to butt in because they were both trying to keep it quiet but they were locking horns pretty good. I sat in the aisle seat but it didn’t stop their momentum at all. They kept on sticking fingers in each other’s faces and talking with their teeth clenched together like I’ve seen so many couples do when angry.

The plane was full of people from Philadelphia and I could sense a short tempered vibe all over the place. Nobody was in a mood to take any lumps and when somebody’s baby started to cry I could see the angry glares from all over the plane. I just wanted to take off and get to Pittsburgh on time for the show. This was a long trip that sucked up my energy.

I decided to use the time in the air to really go over my life and decide what I need to do to get things going. I made lists of my top contacts in all the areas of my life I’m involved in and I felt like I was thinking clearly as I wrote down my ideas which kept on flowing as the flight wore on.  I ignored the fighting couple and poured myself into the task at hand.

The truth is that I enjoy challenges. Many of my personal struggles have been a difficult road compared to others but there’s something extra sweet about something that turns out how it’s supposed to, or at least how I think it should. Unfortunately this taping wasn’t an example of it. I wasn’t thrilled with it but I will move on and shake it off. It’s in the past.

I did make it to Pittsburgh and took a shuttle from the airport to the club. I’d guess there were maybe 45 or 50 people but I gave them a solid show. I love the rust belt and I felt an instant kinship with the audience. I wish I’d had the same click with the television crowd in L.A. but it was a whole different animal. Comedy’s tough, but it’s still my main love.


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