Sleet Happens

Wednesday April 20th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL/St. Ignace, MI

Snow, sleet, rain. Snow, sleet, rain. Keys, wallet, phone. Snow, sleet, rain. 443 miles in a 1983 Cadillac, much of it on two lane desolate highway can be a long enough marathon without having to deal with the elements on top of it. In typical Mr. Lucky fashion, I dealt with the three magic words that have come to personify who I am – ‘worst case scenario’.

If anyone has a tougher commute to work than today, I’d sure like to see it. I picked up the feature act Kristi McHugh who was staying in the Milwaukee area with some friends of hers, and managed to hit stalled traffic pockets in both Lake County and Milwaukee.

That was frustrating enough, but I hadn’t even gotten on the real road to head north yet. The temperature was right near freezing and at that annoying temperature where it’s hard to keep the windows from fogging up and it’s a constant battle to keep the defroster at the right setting in order to see outside. Usually it involves opening windows and getting wet.

The whole trip was one hassle after another trying to find ways to adjust to whatever the kind of precipitation it was that was making life difficult at any particular moment. By the time we reached St. Ignace, MI I was ready for a long nap. This is not what I wanted to be doing at this time in my life, and it made me want to develop my other projects but quick.

There’s nobody to blame here. I chose to take this gig on this particular week, and I also chose to buy the Cadillac. I could have chosen to work this run just about any other week on the calendar, and I could have bought a gas sipping Honda or Toyota like I’ve done on numerous occasions in the past. It just worked out that on this day life was out of sync.

I played the odds and I lost. Nothing new there. By all accounts, this should be a springy type weather week and I could have rented a brand new car to save on gas. That would’ve probably come out to close to the same as if I’d just driven the Cadillac anyway, so that’s what I chose to do. It was a little inconvenient driving in the weather, but we still made it.

The bigger picture is what I’m looking at here. I don’t want to be driving all this way to do gigs for people who aren’t coming out specifically to see me. Period. That’s not ego, it just makes business sense. The audience tonight was maybe 40 people tops. I can get that at a library within walking distance of my house. Why should I drive through a blizzard?

That’s just it. I shouldn’t. I don’t want to anymore, and gas prices aren’t making things any easier either. Surprisingly, I was wrong about the price of it up here. I thought it’d be $4.50 a gallon or higher, but it’s only $3.99. They’re practically GIVING it away. By the end of this trip I’ll have spent $200 in gas all total. I need a paper route to pay for it all.

I tried to enjoy the ride and have fun, but it wasn‘t easy because I was so focused on my driving. The last thing I‘d need would be to put my giant rig in a ditch somewhere. That’d really make life miserable. Unpleasant enough, we stopped for a bathroom break and had to use an actual outhouse because that’s all they had. I felt like diving in and ending it all.


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