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

Fun vs. Money

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Wednesday December 12th, 2012 – Rockford, IL/Mt. Prospect, IL

   The caravan of fun keeps rolling - even though I have no idea for how much longer. I’m loving what I’m doing more now than at any time in my life, but the money is just not there and I admit it concerns me more than a little. Fun is great and I’m all for it, but stress often overshadows it.

   It wouldn’t take all that much to turn my life completely around, and I wouldn’t have to pester anyone ever again. I’d have my daily needs taken care of, and I could spend even more time with all the enjoyable projects I’m doing now. Nothing would change much except the level of stress.

   Today was another prime example. I did another fill in talk radio shift on WNTA in Rockford, IL and I barely made it to the station because I had some errands to run which included bills that needed paying before service charges would make them even higher. It was hectic from the start.

   Lines weren’t moving quickly today for whatever reason and I had to wait behind every halfwit peanut head Neanderthal who couldn’t grasp the inner workings of a pen. The more I had to wait in line and place after place, the further behind my schedule got. The last half hour of my journey to the radio station became a race against the clock, and shot my stress level higher than Uranus.

   I knew I was going to cut it short, but it became obvious at the end I wasn’t going to make it to the station by 3:05 so I called the producer and told him what the situation was. I put the pedal to the metal on my ‘free’ 1993 Nissan and actually got that little roller skate up to 105 at one point.

   That added to my stress level and I made it to the station and sprinted down the hall to get into the studio and made it by mere seconds. Nobody was upset but me, but having to constantly be in a state of panic over money drains one’s soul – or at least the creative part of it. I’ve had enough.

   But when I got on the air it started getting fun again, and the shift ended up going quite well as it usually does. I’m feeling myself getting much better as a talk show host, and more comfortable going off on unexpected tangents when I feel the situation calls for it. I’m enjoying the chance to learn on the job, and when I’m on the air it’s like being on stage. I’m focusing on that by itself.

   After the radio show I got back in my car and went to Comcast’s Mt. Prospect, IL studio for an appearance on the holiday edition of Mike Preston’s “Psychobabble TV” cable access show. I’ve never not had fun doing that, and tonight was no different. I love working with Mike any chance I get, and I feel like I’m a part of the team. Again, the creative energy there makes it all worth it.

   Too bad there’s no financial remuneration in it for any of us, and all of us felt that pinch as we went out for something to eat after the taping. We were all tapped out, and ordered the cheapest items we could find that would fill our stomachs without cleaning out our wallets or self esteem.

   How long is anyone supposed to go on like this? I thought for sure I’d get at least SOME kind of payoff by now, but I’m still living like I started comedy last week and it feels really wrong to be here this late into the game. The only thing that keeps me going is fun, but there’s a lot of it.

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