Well, maybe not hates me, but He's certainly in a mood.
Let's pick up the story Thursday morning. I woke up at 3 AM because I went to bed the night before at 5 PM (due to my skinned-knee cornea and all).
I had a gig at 9 PM that night in upstate Vermont (like, really upstate, near where Superman keeps his Fortress of Solitude), but I couldn't leave extra early because I had 10 AM follow-up to make sure that I wouldn't be going blind any time soon. No biggie; even if I left at 10:30, I'd be in VT by 5:30 and be able to squeeze in two or three hours worth of nap time.
At 11:30, I was at exit 11 of the New Jersey Turnpike, making good time. Then, every single "you're car is about to die" light came on at once. My Jetta did everything except shout angrily in German at me. On top of that, the car wouldn't go faster than 40 MPH without making all sorts of scary noises.
I briefly considered pulling into oncoming traffic, but figured I wasn't going fast enough to ensure instant death.
I pulled over and consulted my GPS. There was a Volkswagen dealership in Linden, at exit 12, four miles away. I limped up there and explained to them my situation.
See, I needed to know right away whether I ought to get the car fixed right then or if I should get a rental car and pick the car up later. Comedians only get paid when they show up at a place at the agreed upon time (actually being funny is less important than being punctual). I had a three hour window.
The dude -- Billy, one of the nicer humans on the planet -- jumped me to the front of the line and had one of his guys look at the problem. The guy told me that my issue was one where 99.9% of the time, it was just a dirty valve. .1% of the time, there was a need to replace the entire valve, but let's not think about that until we have to.
He cleaned my valve (and yes, I realize how gay that sounds), and we test drove the car. After about 15 miles this is the exact conversation we had:
Me: "What do you think?"
Him: "It's looking pretty good. I want to do one more spin around the block."
Me (checking my watch): "Okay."
Him: "It was nice being able to help you. I was worried that we were gonna have to replace the valve. I think you're gonna be oka ---"
It was at this point that all the lights came back on again.
(To understand that "Okay", imagine that the first syllable, the Ohhhhhhhh, came out in slow mo over the course of like twenty minutes. That really adds to the drama).
So, I needed a rental car and had already blew an hour and a half watching another man clean my valves. By the time the rental car got there, I had seven hours to drive the six hours to Vermont, made worse, of course, by the now heavy New York City traffic.
By the time I got above the traffic, I had exactly 5 hours to drive... 5 hours. That's right, no stops allowed if I was going to get there on time. Five straight hours later, I arrived at the college -- 8:57 for a 9:00 show -- and did my time. Luckily, the kids at Lyndon State College were awesome and made my job easier, but still, one day removed from a missing cornea, it was a less-than-fun experience.
Okay, enough of my rambling. I'll get back to trenchant observations about the universe tomorrow. I just had to vent today.