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

Dump Truck Dynamics

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Wednesday July 18th, 2012 – Rockford, IL/Libertyville, IL

   I think there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from the hectic schedule I have this week, but it’s still a little fuzzy as to exactly what it might be. I’m actually enjoying the challenge, even though I’m running myself into the ground trying to get to everything I need to do. It’s constant pressure having to be at the next place over and over, but that’s how it worked out. I accepted these gigs.

   The radio situation at WNTA in Rockford, IL is a positive on many levels. It’s great practice to be able to have a chance to play talk show host under ideal circumstances. They’re glad to have a dependable replacement, so I don’t feel like I’m walking on egg shells around the building when I’m there. Everyone is very laid back, and they’re all genuinely nice people. That makes it fun.

   Then there’s the matter of physically getting to the station every day. There are no single direct routes that get me there, so each day is a new adventure. From where I live to the station parking lot can be anywhere from 60 to 70 miles, depending on the highways I take. The Illinois Tollway is the one with the least amount of obstacles, but I have to travel far out of my way to get there.

   There are a couple of options as far as state highways go, but each has some kind of glitch that slows me down ranging from a lot of traffic lights to road construction. Every day I’ve tried to be smart and find the most direct route, but I haven’t done it yet. There’s always been an obstacle to slow me down even more. Today it was the giant dump truck I could not pass for about 40 miles.

   No matter what I did, I could NOT get past that thing. It was frustrating on one hand, but also a funny situation after a while because no matter which way I needed to go the truck turned in that same direction and slowed me down more. It was like the guy driving was trying to piss me off.

   At one point I tried taking a blind short cut detour, but it ended up being more hassle than if I’d stayed on the original road. It wound through a small town with stop signs at every corner, and at the end of that maze I got back on the highway I was originally on and there the truck was again.

   It felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone or something. Here I was, in a hurry and on my way to work but wasn’t really sure where I was going. The truck seemed like it knew exactly where it was going at all times, and went there at a slow but steady pace. Was there a message in all this?

   Maybe I’m too stupid to get it, but it sure seemed like there was lesson to be learned here. I had a lot of time to think about it, but it didn’t click. I tried to enjoy the ride, and I actually did. Some days I get frustrated beyond belief. Today I didn’t. I barely made the station on time, but I did.

   The show was fun as usual, and then I drove a different route back home so I could make it to a comedy class I’m teaching at Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL. I could have used a night off, but I made the commitment and I kept it. I’m glad I did, as it was an especially exhilarating class.

   No matter my problems, I am doing all the things I want to do with my life. Money would be a nice perk, but I am having fun. I wonder how much fun the driver of that dump truck is having?

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