That’s the one question most asked by strangers visiting How do we maintain our loose grip on reality as we process dates for bands like Speedealer and Chitlin Fooks day after day? How do we keep the metaphorical one oar in the water while we research incongruities in the schedules for Sophie B. Hawkins and Tony Orlando? How do keep our edge when we’re dealing with the agents and managers for Kool Keith, Gilby Clarke and Dennis Quaid & The Sharks?

The answer is simple. It’s sugar.

We start each day exchanging greetings with our co-workers as we line up at the sugar dispenser in the commissary where our comrades-in-arms are already buzzing about the latest schedule changes for The Pilfers and Michael Franti and Spearhead. We fill our cups with nature’s adrenaline, grown fresh out back in the sugar cane fields, then head deep into the processing pits to sort out the fresh data that arrived the previous evening for Al Di Meola, Gordon Lightfoot and Lynyrd Skynyrd. We tingle, we shake, we shiver.

We’re ready.

And one has to be ready when working at It takes a sharp mind and a finely honed nervous system to process the dates for Don McLean and John Mellencamp. We knock back molasses shooters as we plug in changes for Black Beetle, we gulp Milk Duds and Three Musketeers while entering dates for The Living End and Keiko Matsui and we wash it all down with gallons of Jolt Cola. Yeah, we’re definitely cooking with gas now.

Come noon and it’s a hardy lunch of cookies, cake and ice cream before heading back into the pits for the second half of the day. We’re groovin’ now. We’re dancing around the data floor, passing out sugar cubes and dates for Billy Ray Cyrus and Jimmie’s Chicken Shack like there is no tomorrow. We do the shimmy while reading the new routing for the Janis Figure and we do the shake while entering dates for Bliss 66 and The Alarm 2001. We can feel the electricity charging through our veins as we play our afternoon round of Tour Date Twister with the schedule for Aerosmith. Our pulses thunder, our hearts pound. We’re twitching, shaking and shivering and we’re loving it!

But all good things must come to an end. Quitting time hits us like a cold wet slap on the face with a dead fish. No one wants to leave, no one wants to put down their keyboards and turn off their machines. We want to process data for bands like Crossbreed and Endo all night long. The sugar in our body screams, “Stay!” It shouts, “Work longer!” It yells, “Screw the overtime and work for free! This feels good!!”

Then around 6:00 p.m. the janitorial crew comes in to pry us off of the ceiling and send us home to get ready for another day. Another day of sugar, StereoMud, sugar and Rammstein.

Gosh, is this a great job or what?