Sunday, March 16, 2008
My Travels Part 4
I have been doing lots of Fundraisers as of late and I always truly enjoy doing them for many reasons. First off, everyone is in a great mood to begin with because they are there for a great cause, so the audience is always ready to laugh, which is terrific for a comedian to work with. If you can't make a fundraiser audience laugh you might as well look for another vocation. I have been in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York recently for these shows.
I almost died in a severe car accident coming home from a club called Smokey's in Stan Hope, NJ on February 9. Here is my story, but don't worry it has a kind of funny ending. I was driving from Route 206 on the ramp to 80 East, I wasn't even on the main road yet and I hit some black ice. I started to lose control and started sliding right into a massive tree head-on. I knew I couldn't let that happen because I wouldn't have survived that. So, I spun the wheel to try and hit the tree from either the side or the back, which I did. Good job Paul, I thought to myself, but when I banged into the tree with the back of my van it spun me around and sent me down a 40 foot ditch off of the ramp. On the way down so many thoughts went through my head like 1. Oh this is it. I'm gonna die now. 2. I'm gonna die the day after my twin girls birthday...how nice! 3. I just did a kick ass show and now I'm going out like this. It's amazing how much you think of in such a short amount of time. Relativity I guess, right Mr. Einstein? I finally come to a stop at the bottom of the ditch and I realize that the van is destroyed but I am perfectly sound. There is a God. I walk around the area to see what the damage is and everything is all over the place inside the van and outside I realize that most of my windows are gone and that the back of my van is completely totalled. My tires are alright and I think the truck is drivable if I can just get out of the ditch. So I call 911, my motor club and my wife. About 15 minutes later, after gathering my things and putting everything back together somewhat, I walk back up the hill to the ramp and see a trooper and I say, "That was quick" He says, "I didn't come here for you. I didn't even know you were down there. There have been 40 accidents in the last 10 minutes on I-80 due to black ice and they have closed down the road from here (Exit 25) all the way to The Delaware Water Gap." WOW! I have never seen anything like it. It wasn't even cold out but the fog made contact with the road and caused all this mess. It actually looked like a war zone. As I was talking to the trooper cars were sliding into each other and bouncing off the road and turning over all over the place. It was really scary. The trooper said that he had never seen anyone so happy after being in such a terrible accident and I told him that if he saw what I just went through he would know that I was happy just to be alive and be able to see my family and friends again. He then stated that if I was waiting for tow truck it would be about 4 hours with all the accidents going on and that I should just leave my truck down there and go home for now since I was not hurt. There was no way I was going to do that with all of my equipment in the van and no windows anymore. That was my livelihood. So I went back down and started to walk around through all of the brush and small trees and soon realized as I walked along the ditch, parallel to the road, that the slope got less and less about a 1/4 mile down. So I walked back, got in my van and drove along the bottom until I was able to get out and back on the road. I drove home somehow without any windows and with the heat on full blast. I was alive and well with no bruises or soreness whatsoever. Amazing! Anyway, here's the kicker: the next day I wake up and realize that I got poison ivy from walking through the brush that night. Only I could get poison ivy in the winter. So now I was alive and well but itchy! A good trade in my estimation. I'm a lucky man. I guess it wasn't my time to go yet. Here is another funny thing about this story too. I was talking about the incident at one of my shows one night and at the end a black gentleman yells out, "What do you mean that you hit some black guys?" I replied, "BLACK ICE, NOT BLACK GUYS, SIR!" You gotta love it.
Be careful out there my friends and remember to live each day as if it was your last because someday it will be. Love your family and friends to the max. It can all be taken away from you and them in a flash. Live Fully, Love Deeply and Laugh Often and thanks for reading from, The Comedy Tornado!!