Thursday February 28th, 2013 – Chicago, IL/Fox Lake, IL
Ah, the good old “cost of doing business”. That’s the money that never really gets replaced, but always ends up finding a way to drain the wallet of the self employed entrepreneur. It’s always a chunk of change that comes due out of the blue, and no matter what anyone tries to do to weasel out there are only four words that are ever able to solve said problem – “Pay at the window.”
I’m talking about a legion of unfun expenses like licenses, taxes, insurances and other non sexy necessities that end up eating the majority of anyone’s profits. If I didn’t have to physically get to my gigs and could still get people to pay me I’d be sitting pretty right about now. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. If I don’t show up, I don’t get paid – and it’s expensive to get there.
I remember reading a proverb years ago that said “An empty stable stays clean – but there is no income from an empty stable.” I don’t know why I’ve been able to remember that for years while important information flies through my brain like mosquitoes through a key hole, but I totally do.
These were the kinds of thoughts that were bouncing around in my head early this morning as I sat in my car waiting for the tow truck to pick me up after my show at Zanies in Chicago. I didn’t have anything to do but sit there with my education, wondering how in all of life I ended up here.
Times like this are ideal for reflecting, even if the reflections aren’t always flattering. I’ve been struggling my entire life to catch a break in show business, and I might have caught one had I not been distracted by so many flaming darts that flew out of nowhere. Those tend to redirect focus.
I did what I did, and I am where I am, and tonight I wanted to be anywhere else. The tow truck finally showed up about 12:30am, and of course my AAA account expires at the end of February each year so that was $85 I’d love to be able to use for something else out the door immediately.
The tow truck driver was very pleasant actually, and he was fascinated by the fact that I was a comedian. I wouldn’t have told him my occupation, but he immediately noticed my ‘URANUS 2’ license plate and started asking questions. It always gets attention – even when I don’t want it.
He said he’d been driving a tow truck fifteen years and never encountered anyone even close to having celebrity status, so to him I was a big star. We talked about a lot of things on the way and that made the drive go faster, but it was still after 2am when he dropped me off at the fix it place.
I gave the guy a copy of my CD and DVD and his eyes popped out of his head like he’d won a new Cadillac. I don’t think he was faking, but even if he was it made me feel good after the long night I’d been through. At least SOMEONE treated me like I was important, and I was grateful.
I made the right call and it ended up being the alternator. With parts and labor, installed it cost $267 out the door and it’s running great again – for now. It was running great all the other times a major repair was needed, and I’m about tapped out of cash. Too bad for me, there’s no guarantee the transmission won’t seize up tomorrow. Welcome to the world of the cost of doing business.