Nothing Like a Long Drive

Originally posted January 7

I started out from Pittsburgh.  My end goal?  To arrive at the Pechin Firehouse Restaurant prepared for a 20 minute set with fellow comedians.  A packed house and a nice pay day was assured to me.  However, the drive to Connellsville, where the venue resided, was a long one.  About an hour and a half according to MapQuest.  I even requested to leave work a few minutes early.  I realized shortly before I left that I would be going through the city at rush hour, slowing my progress both into and out of the city.

The Squirrel Hill tunnel was at a stand still.  I wondered out loud to myself, “What could be the cause of this dead stopped log jam of automobiles?”  After 20 minutes of creeping along the cold and wet asphalt, the traffic subsided and I found the cause.

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Nary a car crash, nor a police speed trap, not even a Women’s Volleyball team offering a free car wash was at the root of the problem.

I got on the PA turnpike, driving faster than my better judgement advised, trying to make up for the time lost.  My GPS indicated an arrival of 7:20.  Still there was a nice cushion before showtime at 8 o’clock.  I sang while I drove, oblivious to the road signs.  Unfortunately, when my GPS says bear left, it apparently mean “GET OFF AT THIS EXIT!!!”  As I failed to make the appropriate turn, my GPS recalculated.  8:00.  I was headed to Ligonear, whether I wanted to go or not.  Seven Spring ski resort was a stone’s throw away.

My car made the lingering turn as I let every curse word imagined by Satan pass through my teeth.  I found myself boxed in like an undersized NBA forward, by a Mac truck and the biggest salt truck I had ever seen in my existence here on this Earth.  My attempts to pass were in vain and the salt truck rained down golf balls of sodium chloride upon my vehicle.  I saw the re-sale value of my Mazda plummet inversely to my Odometer.

I made the next exit and started my back track to the venue in Connellsville.  I had prided myself upon my punctuality, a small virtue, but an important one.  I would arrive on time as if my life depended on it.  The back roads deposited me into the heart of bustling downtown Connellsville.  I searched for the venue, still hopeful that I might make it on time.  However, the roads were a dark labyrinth of confusing lefts and rights.  In direct contradiction with my male chromosomes, I stopped to ask for directions at a local gas station.

“Go left, then straight, then go through a light, then there will be a Wal-Mart on the right, NO the left.  Keep going straight and you’ll bear right but won’t turn right.  Go 15 more minutes down a hill and you’ll see a BP station.  Go straight from there and on your right will be the venue,” said the clerk.

I was adrift in a sea of doubt with not a lighthouse to guide me.   I looked to the North Star who only shone with a coy wink, indicating it’s lack of willingness to help yet another lost traveler.  I called one of the other comedians, Tom Musial, who I knew was at the venue already, probably worried that I would be late.

“Tom.  Where the HELL is this place?  I’m in Connellsville right now, I’ve been driving for 2 hours.  I’m probably going to be late.”

“Dude, the show is tomorrow…”

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