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February 2, 2010
Do I travel much? Yeah, I do. I got a call from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week, telling me to slow down. I’ve been to more states than Greyhound. More countries than Continental Airlines. More planets than Whoopi Goldberg!
Here is a 72-hour take on my escapades:
Friday Morning: up at 5:45am. I walk the dogs, feed ‘em, kiss the wife goodbye (the last teenager in the house grunts a “seeya” as he comes down the stairs). Off to the airport. Fees for my baggage, including all the puppets I travel with, are killing me. It’s cheaper for me to pay every kid on the plane ten bucks to hold the puppets and say they’re “toys.
I’m flying to Memphis this day, through Charlotte, on USAirways. I am the king of tight connections. I’m like Jack Bauer with a ticking clock. Jack is the king of frequent flyers, by the way. He’s truly our hero. Never buys a ticket, never checks in, never wears his seat belt. He’ll kill the guy next to him for the extra peanuts.
I get to Charlotte, and see a TV monitor talking about snow in Tennessee. Snow in the south means panic. “OH NO! IT’S SNOWING! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! CLOSE EVERYTHING! GO HOME! IT’S ARMAGEDDON!” Sure enough the show I’m supposed to do this night is canceled. I book myself on a flight back to Jersey. A wasted day.
Saturday Morning: same as yesterday – up and walk the dogs and drive to the airport but fly this time to Chicago/O’Hare (second-worst airport in the country), then connect to Steamboat Springs. I land, get a rental car, drive to a gym and work out (my routine) and perform this night in Oak Creek, Colorado, at a high school auditorium. Some 250 folks come out to see the show, which doubles as a fundraiser for a young man named Tanner Tritz. The goal: raise enough money to pay for a “Dynavox,” an amazing machine that gives voice to someone who cannot speak. The show goes great, and everyone is happy afterward.
I drive back to the hotel, sleep for 5 hours, and get up…
Sunday Morning: I fly from Steamboat to Denver (third worst airport in the country), and connect to Las Vegas. Yep, I’m playing “Sin City.” But it’s not what you think…
I hit the gym (I told you: routine) and head over to Canyon Ridge Church. I’m performing as part of a benefit for the people of Haiti, an event sponsored by the church and the amazing folks at “Compassion.” It’s an incredible organization that helps children the world over. My wife sponsors a girl in western Haiti, and we still don’t have confirmation as to whether or not she is safe. (www.compassion.com)
Some 3000 folks come out to the show, they give lots of food and goods, plus an additional $45,000 in cash.
EVERY PENNY will go directly to the children in Haiti, by the way, as will all the collected foods and goods. This is not some MTV “fundraiser” where people donate $60 Million, and all but $7 goes to “administrative costs.” I was given transportation and money for food. Nothing else. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.
No sleep tonight. I walk off stage, the tech crew (a man and his son!) help me load up, and I’m back to the airport for the red-eye back east.
The airlines charge for EVERYTHING now. $5 when they run over my foot with a luggage cart. $5 when I complain about the long lines at the TSA. $15 when a piece of wing doesn’t fall off during the flight.
Monday Morning: it’s 5:48am. We touch down in Philadelphia. I get my bags, jump into my car and I’m home at 7, wishing my youngest son a good day in school. The wife heads off to work her job at the local library, and I take a nap.
Let’s face it: my travel agent doesn’t even look at my schedule. She put my itinerary in mapquest once and the world wide web crashed for three hours.
See you on the road!