Just One Pawn


Friday September 14th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL 

This here show business thing sure isn’t the glamorous carefree cakewalk people might think it is. I guess it might be for somebody somewhere, but not in my contact circle. Everyone I’ve been talking to lately is taking it in the shorts, with no signs of a turnaround any time soon. It’s ugly.

My haphazardly pieced together comedy booking schedule continues to blow up in my face by the day, and it’s a common thread throughout my peers. Today I received yet another happy note telling me a new one nighter in Lexington, KY closed after one show where only 4 people came.

This is disturbing news on several levels, but at the end of the day it’s one more night’s pay I’ll have t to find a way to live without. What makes it even worse is that I’m booked to work a show at the University of Kentucky in Lexington the very next night. It would have been a perfect fit.

I don’t think that’s ever happened even once in all my years of road dogging, and it would have been a nice little kiss from the cosmos. My reputation on the road – and well deserved – has been one of having the worst routing of anyone working. I wish it weren’t true, but it has been forever. I have notoriously driven hundreds of miles out of my way to pick up shows, and done it often.

I did it for years, thinking it would get me somewhere. I showed up wherever and whenever I’d get hired, and too many times to count I got there worn out from too long of a trip. But I did what I thought I had to do, and I don’t regret it. I busted my ass, and earned my chops like few others.

What good all those years of doing the hustle does me now, I can’t say. Nobody with power or clout who could help advance my career was ever at any of those shows, and all these years later I’m still struggling to survive by the month. Gas has doubled in that time and so has my age. I’ve spun my wheels literally and figuratively, and I don’t have a whole lot to show for it. I feel used.

That one nighter in Lexington would have paid for the hotel room I’m going to need on a night off that week, and also a chunk of the gas to get back and forth. I was thinking of renting a car to save the wear and tear on my own. It’s got high miles and could puke at any time. Why risk it?

Now I may have to since I lost this booking I thought I had. I’ve worked for that booker quite a few times over several years, and this is the first time anything like this has happened. It’s brutal, but I don’t blame the booker. It’s just how the times are right now. Difficult is how it is for us all.

Of higher concern is the other news I received today that the immediate contact person I dealt with at Carnival Cruise Lines is no longer employed in that position. I always got along with her very well, and we had been in touch of late to discuss going back out again this winter. I’m very sad to hear she’s not there anymore, as I thought well of her both personally and professionally.

I feel bad for her, but I feel bad for me too. I’m going to have to start all over again and there’s no guarantee the new person in charge will ever return an email much less book me. This is how the game works, and that’s what it is – a game. Life is a big chess match, and I’m just one pawn.

I don’t know why it has to be like this, but it obviously is. Something’s wrong somewhere, and it’s probably some form of trickledown effect from the top where’s it’s probably screwed up way beyond our feeble comprehension. We’re just the worker ants. The orders come from the queen.

But who really is ‘the queen’ anyway? Does anyone really know? No, I don’t mean Elton John and I don’t mean the President of the United States either. I don’t think that position is more than a high profile broadcast news anchor. The real source of power tells the President what to say to us worker ants, and he has no choice but to read what is put in front of him. That’s what he does.

I know I sound like I’m in the tin foil hat wacko patrol, but I really feel there’s a deeper reason for why things are the way they are. I thought that before I started hosting a paranormally themed radio talk show and the more I dig into topics like these the more disgusted with humanity I get.

It certainly does appear at least on the surface that humankind as a whole is absolutely rotten to the core, doesn’t it? It does to me anyway. Yes there are a number of good eggs, and I try as hard as I can on a daily basis to be one of them. But it seems like I’m in a painfully outnumbered band of gypsy renegades who are no match for the Death Star. Evil is everywhere, and it is in charge.

I’m not claiming to be perfect, but damn. They’re really making it rough out here. At least I try to think of and respect my fellow human being whenever I can. I make an honest attempt daily to follow the rules I was told we’re all supposed to use to play this game called life, but too few do.

I have a lot of valued friends and business peers that do, but they’re getting boned in the stinker dot as hard as or even harder than I am. What gives? Why does it keep occurring? I think it’s just plain wrong, but I have no recourse but to peck away on a keyboard and let my aggravation ooze.

I sure wish I could do much more, but I don’t see how. I can barely keep my own life operating week to week. What would I do with power? I’d like to think I’d do a lot of good, but who could guarantee that? I’ve always heard that absolute power corrupts absolutely. If that’s true, that’s an unbelievably disillusioning thought. It’s almost like we’re hard wired inside to screw the pooch.

So where does that come from? God? Here we go with that whole question again. Who or what is ultimately responsible for placing the human species as a whole on this planet has a deep inner flaw, and it has trickled down and pissed into the gene pool all of us share. Our DNA is polluted.

Maybe I’m taking this way too deep, and I hope I am. Maybe we’re just in a tough slump and it will all turn around as the pendulum of yin and yang swings back and forth as it has always done. Or has it? Has it always been this way and I’m just now tuning in, or are we all sliding down that giant cosmic commode faster than we’re able to save it as it appears? Is there hope for us idiots?

I don’t know if we’ll ever know, but I do sense a deep seeded feeling of something being really wrong and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. My grandfather was a cynic to the bone. As a kid I couldn’t see his point of view, but now I think I see it clearer than he did.

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2 Responses to “Just One Pawn”

  1. righttobitch Says:

    I don’t think this could have been written any better. Certainly not by me. I like your idea of our dna being “polluted” — interesting to think about…

  2. dobiemaxwell Says:

    Many thanks. Just writing from the heart. Glad you have one too and can get the message. Better days for us all. 😉

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