Here Comes The Snow

Wednesday November 9th, 2011 – St. Ignace, MI

433 more miles added to the odometer today, but the constant barrage of a rainy, snowy, sleety, icy mixture made it way more grueling than the 537 mile journey to Nashville last Wednesday. An already long drive turned into a ten hour mega-bummer filled with stress.

Of course I didn’t leave as early as I’d have liked, as I had some details to get to I didn’t finish on Tuesday because I had a comedy class to teach. It all backs up, and I have to get things done when I can. I’m trying my best, but it’s not always good enough. I’m behind.

It was raining as I walked out the door, and it was right at the temperature where driving becomes a complete hassle. It’s too cold and sloppy wet to open the driver’s window, but I have to so the condensation doesn’t fog up the windows and I can’t see the road in front of me. Then, my left arm gets soaked because the window’s open. It’s funny if it isn’t me.

Rain turned into snow just north of Milwaukee, and continued all the way to St. Ignace, MI – a teeny tiny weeny winy seasonal summer vacation town just north of the Mackinac Bridge. When I arrived at the Kewadin Casino to check into my room, they had a weather radar at the front desk and I saw that I’d been smack dab in a storm squall the entire day.

EVERY other direction was clear as a bell and soaked in sunshine apparently, and they were talking about it behind the desk when I got there. Apparently, they had closed down a few two lane roads in the U.P. because of icy buildup and I’m lucky I was able to make it across U.S. Highway 2 without spinning out. My speed never made it over about 45.

I had to peel my fingers off the steering wheel like crab legs, expecting to hear a snap as I did each one. I had time for a quick shower, and then it was down to the lounge for their free comedy night. Nobody pays to get in, so nobody feels they have anything invested in the show. I’ve never been a fan of that, and I’m not now, but this was an excellent show.

There were maybe 60 people tops, but I’ll bet more than half of them came up after the show to shake my hand and say a sincere “Thanks for entertaining us.” I could tell it was genuine, and that’s about the nicest compliment anyone can hope for. It made me feel like my all day dog sled trek through the elements was appreciated, and that goes a long way.

I’m working with my friend Phil Dunham this week, and he’s an inspiration and a half. He’s got THE most positive attitude of any comic I’ve ever worked, and maybe anybody else either. He could give Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar a serious run for their money. He absolutely loves being on stage, and it shows. He exudes enthusiasm and it’s contagious.

Phil is the greatest. He turned his life around after his wife left him in 1989, and he has never looked back. He’s successfully raised two sons and created a financial business out of absolutely nothing, and now he’s going back and chasing the comedy dream he started in the ‘80s and was cut short when his marital situation went sour. I have total admiration and respect for Phil, and people like him and crowds like this make long drives worth it.

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