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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Control Freaking

Wednesday October 12th, 2011 - St. Charles, IL

   I’m a control freak, and I make no bones about it. I try not to be a foaming at the mouth maniacal tyrant, but I do gravitate toward being in charge of most situations. I find it very difficult to trust anyone else to look after my business as well I can, and I’m sure it comes from being scorched so many times in so many ways over the years. I tend to do it myself.

   Sometimes it’s just not possible to be in control, and the results of that situation are out of my hands - good or bad. Today I had an example from both ends of the spectrum. First, I’m headlining at Zanies at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL this week. Tonight was the first show and about 50 were there in three groups - but they were tremendous.

   Some nights are just magical, and this was one of them. Wow, what an audience. They loved the entire show, and the host John DaCosse told me before I went up that they were red hot and laughing at anything. Why it happened on a Wednesday night nobody knows.

   I’ve been doing comedy my whole life, and I still can’t figure it out. I’ve seen Saturday nights with a packed house turn into nightmare audiences, and out of the blue week night small crowds like this be fantastic beyond belief. Tonight I could have recorded an HBO special and I totally wish I had. They were long loud laughers and loved every bit I did.

   It almost got to be distracting that I had to wait for them to stop laughing so I could get to the next line. I was bringing out jokes I haven’t done in years, and they were crushing. It got to the point I was making stuff up on the spot, but it didn’t matter. They loved it all.

   A night like this is what everyone dreams being a comedian is like. It was unbelievably fun, and I was in the zone the entire show. It was out of my control, but I didn’t mind this time. They made up their mind they were going to enjoy themselves, and they surely did.

   It’s very frustrating that every night can’t be like this. Every comedian tries, but it rarely goes this well - especially from beginning to end. There were no dead spots, just constant laughs. All I could do was enjoy it, and I did, but I wish I could make it happen at will.

   I was glowing with satisfaction on the way home, and turned on the radio just in time to hear the Milwaukee Brewers lose to the St. Louis Cardinals and my mood flipped like an omelet. What a bitter pill that was to swallow, especially after such a smoking hot show.

   Again, it’s frustrating because I’m not in control. If I was out there playing in the game, I know I’d be trying my hardest to win. I’m assuming the Brewers were, but losing to the Cardinals of all teams twice in a row drives me up the wall. I’ve suffered through almost 30 years of mediocrity to get this chance to enjoy a World Series, and they’re blowing it.

   Too bad that doesn’t mean I’m going to get to enjoy it. There’s no law that says I’ll get my World Series win just because I waited this long. Look at the Cubs. Case closed. I try to be reasonable, but I’m losing faith in the Brewers. And on a wonderful night like this.

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