Even though I’ve been doing this for more than 2 decades, it’s still sometimes a little mind-blowing how much time we spend in the car. I mean… for the 2 minutes of television magic each reporter delivers at the end of every day, you’d think we might spent an hour, maybe an hour and a half a day in the car, tops! The truth is… it’s more like 2½ to 4 hours a day!
Some parts of it aren’t so bad! For example, I can tell you where every meat and 3 is within a 12 county radius. I know where all the cheap gas is! But there ARE some days when the drive really starts to wear thin. Think back to the movie “Castaway”, starring Tom Hanks. I always wondered how he became delirious enough to name and befriend a soccer ball, but I think I’m starting to get the picture!
I don’t like to name names, but for the purpose of this blog… I will! Earlier this week, me and a photographer, who we’ll call “Jason Clouse”, had to drive all the way to LaFayette, TN to knock on 2 doors. We killed the first hour taking jabs at the callers on sports talk radio. To be clear… I know almost NOTHING about sports, but I do have opinions about a lot of things, so listening to these shows is sort of a guilty pleasure for me.
Hour 2, we ate a sack full of Krystal burgers out of our lap, and lamented about the scenery. It was hour 3 when things became gravely silent, and suddenly took a bizarre turn.
We had basically run out of things to talk about when Tim McGraw’s song, “Live Like You were Dying” started playing on the radio. Here’s a little snippet of the conversation that went down.
Me: “I love this song, but it always makes me sad.”
Me: “What?! You don’t think it’s kind of sad?
Jason: “Yeah… I guess.”
Me: “I mean, he’s obviously talking about his dad, who died of cancer.”
(I love how I say this like I’m a close personal friend of late baseball great, Tug McGraw!)
Jason: “Yeah, I get it! I mean I think we all agree with the general principle, we’re just too busy LIVING!”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Jason: “I mean, it’s just a little impractical, isn’t it? Most of the things I would do if I were dying, I can’t do because I’m not!”
Me: “You’re not what?”
Me: “Wow. I guess you’re right! Most of the things I’d do would probably either get me fired or killed.”
Me: “I mean, Tim makes it sound so adventurous to ride a bull named ‘Fu Man Chu’, but realistically… I’d probably wind up on some kind of disability, unable to take care of my 14 year-old daughter.”
Jason: “That’s what I’m talking about! Plus, I thought you were afraid of heights?”
Me: “Yeah, so what?”
Jason: “So… you’re saying that “IF” you were dying, you would somehow muster up the courage to jump out of a plane?”
Me: “No! I wouldn’t do that if someone put a gun to my head!”
Jason: “Ok, so now the bull riding and the skydiving are out! What about fishing? Are you into that?”
Me: “Well, I like to EAT fish… preferably fried catfish!”
Jason: “Tim says nothing about EATING fish! He references GOING fishing!”
Me: “Gosh, I’m batting a thousand here, so far.”
Jason: “So let’s cut to the chase. What WOULD you do if you were dying?”
Me: “I don’t know! Geez! Now I feel pressured. I guess I’d travel, spend more time with my daughter, volunteer.”
Jason: “So why don’t you do those things now?”
Me: “Ummm… because I have a JOB, bills to pay. What am I supposed to do, just go play around all day long and be altruistic?”
Jason: “That’s my point! The only way to ‘live like you’re dying’ is to receive some death sentence from a doctor. No thanks!”
Me: “I guess I never thought about it like that. Good talk!”
Hour 4… silence.
News people– we’re a jaded bunch!