You know when the state tells everybody to stay off the roads because there is a state of emergency? Sane people do just that. This enables the state workers and police and EMTS to keep the roads clear and keep everybody safe. Heck, sometimes even the cops aren’t on the road. Yet somewhere in the middle of Mother Nature’s fury, I promise you there is road comic traversing these dangerous conditions. You can tell who they are if you look closely through the blinding haze of the storm. They are the one with the car with about 200,000 miles on the odometer. Their tires have tread that served them well in the past but now is more like a bowling ball than a device used to keep people on the road. There is a fast food wrapper on the dash board from a hastily eaten meal because the weather was worse than was anticipated and time was lost due to ice or ponding on the road. They are hunched over their steering wheels trying to see through the garbage spewing from the clouds. A bead of sweat has formed on their brow due to the fact that they do not know if they can keep the car or possibly tomb on the road. They are running very late and nobody wants to hear an excuse even if nobody should be out in the night. The refrain will be why didn’t you leave earlier when earlier is never early enough.
We are not out in this apocalyptic weather for the money. The money will not come close to covering any injuries we incur or the deductible for the damage on the car. Comedians who are making real money cancel the gig because another big pay day is around the corner. If you are making real money bridges don’t burn over calling out due to Mother Nature’s hissy fit. They smolder, maybe, but all is forgiven. Cancelling is not an option for most of us. We need this money. Without this money we would have to go another month on brakes that are at this point 3 months past safe.
We will hit that stage. Our nerves will be shot. We will be disheveled and will look like we shoveled our way to the gig instead of drove to it. We will not have time to warm up or chill out. The show is already running 20 minutes late because we got stuck behind a snow plow or detoured around a downed tree. We will launch into our first bit. It will not be delivered with the precision we would like but it is a good solid bit and they will laugh. Slowly we ease into our comfort zone as we deliver joke after joke. The audience is good. Maybe they can sense what we went through to get there tonight. Most could not fathom it. Most do the sane thing and call out of work when the weather is bad. Most would not leave the house for this pay. We are a different breed. The storm rages on outside. The audience lives within a few miles of the venue. They will be ok. They will go slowly. We say good night to the audience as they leave. We did amazingly well considering how shot our nerves are. We try and sell some CDs because at this point every dollar counts. We wait around longer than should be necessary to get our pay. We know we should have left already but we are in no hurry to go back into the shrill embrace of the night.
The weather is a bit worse. Home is still far away. The show went well. We sold some CDs. We are happy on the inside even as Mother Nature rages on outside.
Be safe my comedian friends. I will be out there with you one more time as we defy logic and dance with the mistress that is comedy.