She’s too stupid and ridiculous to pay her bills, much less have any money to pay for a repairman. She’s too lazy to get a second job, and she really needs one. I dunno–maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on her about the job thing. Not because she doesn’t deserve it, but because what goes around comes around. I just heard from my ex, and she got laid off at her day job. She still has a second job, but her hours have been cut back there as well. Times is tough, Times is tough.
I let it go for a long time, and when I talked to my cousin Joe, I found out that instead of bugging me, she’s been bugging him. She thinks he has all kinds of free time. Just because he’s not working a steady job–but he still has alot on his plate. He has his five kids to take care of, and he is always trying to line up some side work either for himself or his friends. He’s a busy guy.
I finally called the AC guys that I know, a local company here in town. In fact, they were the ones who installed the new furnace/AC unit in the first place, in either 05 or 06. Matt is a nice guy. He’s older than me, in his early fifties, but he’s in much better shape. Thin and wiry, with good teeth and a sunny disposition. I could really learn to hate him.
As it turns out, it was a good idea. He will cover the parts as under warranty, so we just have to pay labor. And by "we", of course, I mean me. But I told my sister I would take care of this. Of course, he has to order a part, so it won’t be in until about Tues or Wed. Saturday is (was) the hottest day of the year so far.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, our washing machine was having a spot of trouble. I guess it’s a matter of perspective–it’s not like it wouldn’t fill up with water or anything like that. It’s just that it wouldn’t STOP filling up with water. Every load became an oversize load. So, in a larger sense, the washing machine became a socialist. Fucking hippie. I was going to get to it, I had promised to get to it–
Saturday morning I got up about 6 am. I’m starting to get used to it, and starting to like this. I wake up and go get some coffee from quick trip, and maybe a breakfast sammich also. I like the…quiet. Everyone is still sleeping. Not just in the house, but out in the world. Traffic is light, and right now it’s pleasantly cool out on this summer day that promises to get over 100 degrees.
Thusly satisfying my need for routine, I return. I hang out in the garage. My garage. The big…my club house. I open the big door, announcing to the world that court is in session, and I am holding court. I turn on the radio, and get to making myself busy. I was expecting visitors today, and the garage was still a mess. I was making progress, but until then it didn’t appear obvious.
The truck was in front, on the left. That part was clean and done. The rest was a disaster. I worked on the right front, which was mostly trash anyway. I swept and gathered trash, and also all the trash cans, and filled them and lined them up in a neat row. Additionally, I moved some boxes and so forth to the storage I built over the door. I moved a metal shelf over by my tools, and used it to store all of the power tools, corded and cordless. I also put other stuff on it, like tools that are in cases. When I dig up more, I’ll have a place to put them. That part is close to done now.
Detroit was on to me, however, about the washing machine. I said I was going to get to it, and I will–but I wanted to do this stuff out in the garage and the yard first, before it got hot. Now here it was close to eleven, and its hot, and it’s time. For guests.
Mike from Domino’s and his dad Tom come by. They have the van that we are considering buying, and Tom is going to take a look at Fred for me. The van is not bad for an older vehicle. Detroit checks it out, she likes it. Plus Mike is making us a deal on it from his dealership.
Tom listened to Fred, then hooked up the computer tester. Verdict? Whether it’s good news or bad news, the engine is not trashed. Fred just needs a serious tune up. Plugs, wires, and lots of sensors. EGR, O2, things like that. Of course, I also need to spray some primer on the roof before the rust makes a hole in it. There’s a crack in the windshield, too. Of course, I’ve been driving on the spare for almost two years. And the front suspension is a bit off. I mean, it’s fine considering it’s missing some pieces.
Other than that–
After they leave, I resume the washing machine project. Detroit and her mom have threatened to buy one if I can’t fix it. Threaten *me*, will ya? It was the water fill switch (I think). I removed the whole board, which has the switch attached. We went for a ride to a local appliance store that has, in addition to new appliances, used ones, and also provides parts and service.
They have parts. But not the one I need. Might take a week or two to get it. With that, I turn to look at Detroit and Bonnie, who are already looking at used machines. Great, but what am I going to do with the old one? They bought one. It was a little over two hundred, which is not bad considering all of the new ones we looked at started at 400 and went up from there.
At home, I have Mike and Alex help take it off the truck and down the steps, and haul the old one out to the garage where I guess I will fix it and then sell it. I hooked the new one up, and it works fine.
I didna realize when I selected the title for this that it would be that relevant, ie: talking about my sister and my ex and calling it Fat Bottom Girls. Really I just meant it because of the song that follows it–Bicycle Race ("I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like–")
While we were test-driving the van, we drove past a yard sale. I saw a bike. When we left to go buy the washing machine, we drove past it again. The bike was still there. I bought it. Twenty bucks. I’ve been wanting a bike to tool around the neighborhood on.
The seat needs work and the rubber doesn’t look that great and for no reason whatsoever a tire blew on it. The story of my life.
**God will give you everything that you want.**
I don’t think of God as a Genie granting wishes. If it said "need," I could kinda buy that. But everything I want? No one in their right mind would give ME everything I WANT. That’s just ridiculous, and not a good way to run the universe.
Besides, I’ve been wishing for stuff for the last have hour, and so I’ve gotten nothing. Is it being sent to the wrong address, maybe?
I may have to fill out a form.
Little pussies and punks get on the internet in their mommies’ homes, and, cowering behind the anonymity of the internet, pose as hard asses and are just rude to everyone. They think they are tough. Everyone else thinks they are assholes.
And by the way–no, I don’t lump myself in with those turds. First of all, I’m an adult, more or less. Second and most important is that I am the same asshole in person as I am on the web. Big difference.
At Domino’s Pizza, you can place your order online. I haven’t decided if I like this yet or not, but so far the weighting has not been in its favor. Maybe it is better to not have to go through all the trouble to actually talk to the customer in person, but then I lose out on the opportunity to humiliate and degrade them. It’s kind of a trade-off.
There are lots of neat and annoying little things you get as a benefit of ordering online. If you have no life, you can track the progress of your order, from makeline to oven, to delivery. And then you can rate the food, the delivery, the service, and comment on all of it. Isn’t that swell?
You see where the problem is, right?
Whatever they comment shows up on our screens. It will announce the first time with an audio of "Ta-dah!" more or less, and then scroll across the bottom. Periodically it will repeat, and eventually we have to get on the computer and respond/verify that yes, in fact, we did see the annoying scrolling message on our computers. "You have customer feedback! Respond Immediately!"
And I have gone to the computer and followed up on the feedback. Of course, whatever I type in does not go back to the customer–it’s not some IM chat thing going on. So if that is the case, why, then, do I have to "Respond Immediately"? Whatever I type in there goes to the office, wherein I explain how I handled whatever it is I had to handle. Why must I do this right away? I don’t really know. If they have a serious problem, they need to get in touch with that piece of 19th century technology called the goddamn telephone and give me a fucking ring. During the two hours of night I actually work called Dinner Rush, I don’t have the time and definitely don’t have the fucking inclination to drop everything I’m fucking doing and walk my ass back to the office and get online and CHAT with some dickcheese who thinks the most important thing in my life is that he specifically asked for 8 napkins and only received 7.
If that’s your goddamn problem, you better call me up in person so you can get some personalized, individual service, like me personally slamming the phone down in your ear when I hang up on you. you retarded shithead.
Having said that, I do enjoy to look up at the screen when a new comment comes up. It’s just natural curiousity.
A couple of young Einsteins order a pizza and a sammich online for pickup. That’s their first mistake, because they don’t realize they are going to have to come in and deal with me face to face, which is a scary prospect even under normal circumstances. The next mistake they make–a big one–is to rate the order, the service and the pizza, and comment on it. Before they even get it. In fact, I’m making it when I get the comment flash across the screen, but I don’t connect it to the order right away because it’s not noted at that point. But the comment went something like this: "It was horrible! I want a refund! You should walk the plank!" or some other equally absurd pirate reference.
And then they rated the food 1 (which is the lowest). Well, see, kids, that’s not cool. For reasons I can only suspect (such as, even though it’s not scientific, it is easy), the home office uses this as a metric of our performance, so that "1" carries some weight with it no matter how illegitimate it may be.
I had a few moments because we weren’t that busy, so I went back to the office to check. That’s when I discovered it was a pickup order that by that time had just come out of the oven. They were going to come in. Muwah-haha. Excellent.
Presently, the perps enter. Two young punks, probably about fifteen years old. I suspected, but asked politely, "Hi, have you already ordered?"
"And what’s the name on that?"
As soon as they told me my demeanor immediately changed. I said to them, "So YOU’RE the punks who gave the order a bad rating before you even got it."
They were a bit shocked, so I poured it on. I brought the food over to the counter and slammed it down. I said, "Those ratings count as points against us! That affects my job!" The two started apologizing right away. They didn’t mean, it, they’re sorry. They were just having fun, they didn’t know–the usual crap. Over-privileged spoiled punks who have yet to be called on the carpet–
I continued to act pissed. I told him the total and snatched the money quickly from his hand, then slammed the change on the counter. For once, I get to do it! Finally I had enough of their nervous, embarrassed fumbling and apologies, and I said, "All right, fine, It’ll be okay. It’s fine–" Just get the fuck out already, wouldja?
They left, and I laughed my ass off.
Now, it is true that the scores count against me, or at least against the store. But I included documentation about this incident. Will I get in trouble? Don’t know, and I care even less. It was fucking funny.
Saturday night at 1:58 AM, I get a call.
Domino’s Pizza, like any corporate entity, has a lot of procedures in place to protect it from its most valuable asset, ie, employees. Many systems are in place in the computer to watch people, to make sure no one is cheating the system. One of those is caller ID, and the caller ID log.
If someone calls, the time and name and number are recorded. This should match up with orders. If there is no order, there better be a reason, like calling about specials, or wrong delivery area. So if someone calls really close to closing time, if there is no order, the company is going to want to know why. They can check up with the caller later to verify what happened.
So I can’t just lie to a customer–as much as I’d like to–and tell them we are closed, because the company can call them later and find out what "the truth." This is why, when all else fails, I go with honesty, because it’s going to be funnier that way. Back to the phone call.
It’s 1:58 AM, and I get a phone call. After cursing briefly, I answer it.
"Hi. Listen, I’m really sorry to be calling so late but I wondering if I could still order a pizza."
"We are still open. We close in two minutes."
"Oh, really? I’m so sorry. Can I still order? You’re not going to be mad, are you? Are you going to spit in my pizza?"
Of course I would never do that, but I pause just long enough to cast doubt before I answer. "…I would *never* do that."
"Oh, you’re a liar! I can tell, you’re going to spit in my pizza." She pauses, then tries another tack. "Please! What If I give you a big tip?" Oh, *that* lie again.
"I don’t get the tip, the driver does."
"Well, what if I tell him to make sure he gives it to you?"
I wasn’t answering her question, exactly, I was just speaking to the nature of this moment in my life, when I said, "It…just…doesn’t matter."
"What do you mean ‘it doesn’t matter’? What if I make him? Come on, it’s not a big hassle, is it?"
I said, "I have everything cleaned up and put away, and we are ready to walk out the door. If you order, I have to stay at least another half hour." I let that sink in, then I continue. "But–it’s entirely up to you."
She answers, "That’s rotten, dude. I can’t believe your going to make me feel guilty about ordering."
"I’m just telling it like it is."
"…Just never mind then."
"Have a good–" Click. She hung up. Another satisfied customer, I mused.
About four minutes later, she calls back, and we are legitimately closed. That’s not the lie I told, this is: "Domino’s-Pizza-I’m-sorry-we’re-closed."
She called me on it. "Oh, yeah, I’m sure you are so sorry." I could tell more now than before that she was drunk. "Well, motherfucker, I don’t have anything to eat and I don’t have any way of getting anywhere, bastard-d. So, I jus hope you’re fuckin happy, asshole." Click.
As a matter of fact, I am happy. How did she know? It is funny though, the fact that she tried to play the guilt card on *me*. Guilt only works on people with a conscious. In this business, I have none.
Afterwards I thought that maybe I should have made her a pizza and taken it to her myself. She’s drunk, she’s alone, she’s vulnerable. People can be made to do certain things for a price, and pizza is an excellent tool for barter…
…But I have to be careful about how I use this power I possess. With great pizza comes great responsibility.
I was waiting on my bed, naked, and either Lisa the VP from HR or Robin the Nurse came in (they are very similar to me in build, demeanor, and voice) and was going to do a prostate exam on me. We never did get to that, and then it’s Lisa next to me under the covers. Kim comes in while Lisa is showing me a scar from a surgery she had on her arm. Then she turns over, and I can see that she is naked, I can see her butt. She shows me this odd surgery scar and explains what it is.
At her lower back is a tiny hole, and up by her shoulder is another hole. They are connected by a tube under her skin, and it serves some purpose that is completely logical. Lisa said it does give her some unique abilities, and Kim said, "You can hear traffic better, even with the windows rolled up."
When I left I was in a building that was in a building at a community college. There had just been an attack, and there was alot of confusion and people scrambling everywhere. We needed to rebuild civilization, and fast. I tried to get a few other section leaders together, to lead groups of people to safety. We agreed to meet in the auditorium, the smaller one with the stadium seating. We didn’t need the big one because not that many people were left. Besides, it had been destroyed. Then I had to leave, I had a meeting helping a friend of mine with a business venture.
Obama was standing out in the open, in a grassy knoll. We came up to him, and he greeted us. I asked him, "Do you have your security people here?"
He balked at answering me, it seemed like. "Yeah–uh, yeah, they’re around here somewhere. Covert surveillance."
"Bullshit," I said. You can’t protect the president that way. Obama, my friend, and this other guy were on the outdoor truck dock, and I went inside the warehouse to scout the back. When I came back, my friend was showing Obama his invention.
His invention was amazing. It was a suit–looked like a nice, regular, nicely-tailored dress suit–with Kevlar CF-7 in it. I didn’t know what the "CF-7" meant, but it was added protection and it was thinner. The real kicker, though, was that the Kevlar went all the way around. It was in the back of the suit as well as the front. Obama was impressed. No one had ever thought to put Kevlar on someone’s back before.
I thought of adding to the presentation with a statistic–that in 7 of the last 53 presidential assassination attempts, the victim was shot in the back–but it seemed a bit crass at that the time. Besides, he was already interested, and we would get a juicy government contract. That’s when we were attacked. We were out in the open, in a park, and the things just started flying in at us. Aliens. One of the little green balls that we were trying to dodge hit me in the neck, and I grabbed my neck, thinking, *I’m shot, I’m bleeding!* but there was no blood.
I looked on the ground, and it turns out this vast array of little round pale green things flying at us was tennis balls. After they were shot at us, they were inert, so I picked some up and started to return fire. I also picked up what appeared to be an open-ended hoola-hoop with a scoop on the end. I used this to bat the balls out of the way and also scoop them up and return fire. I shot a round of several tennis balls towards the president, and he ducked, but I got the small alien spacecraft that were floating behind him. I saved him from the alien spaceships. They looked like the road-side construction cones, except they were lime-green in color like the balls and the hoola-hoops.
It must be their color, I thought. I wondered if it would lead to a way to defeat them. I thought I was doing pretty good against them–I was a fury of spinning and throwing. I was scooping up the balls with the spinning hoops and catching them in the air, and throwing them with my hands or whipping them with the hoops, and occasionally while I would spin I would kick one out of the air that was coming straight for my head.
Then the marines showed up with actual weapons, and it was pretty much over at that point. I remember wondering what would happen to the brownie points I thought I had earned for saving Obama–did they just expire when the marines showed up?
FOOTNOTE: All other things being equal, the Vice President of Human Resources is probably the one person you shouldn’t email and lay out the details of the semi-erotic dream you had with them in the starring role.
I have this thing on my back, this *knot*. It’s been there for years and years. My ex-wife used to derive great pleasure from fiddling with it. Squeezing it, pushing it, popping it open and draining it. It was a hobby of hers.
Fast forward to a few years later, and Detroit has chosen not to take up gardening on my back.
Lately, a few people have begun to notice this bump in the middle of my back. "What’s that?" Bunny would say, poking it. Honestly, if I was pregnant, or had a hand growing on my face (each of which would be similarly odd) would you do the same thing?
Then it got a little tender, like the night. I remember that the doctor just kind of glanced at it a few years ago and declared it to be a fatty tumor. Either that, or he was calling me fat and telling me I had cancer. But since it started feeling tender–and before this, I couldna feel it–I decided to do something about it, so I made an appointment. For Tuesday.
Tuesday I goes and I sees the doctor. But first, I had to pass through the outer-office gauntlet. First I sign in, then give them my new insurance card, and my Benny card to pay the co-pay. But wait, there’s more. I have to fill out this new patient information.
"I’ve been here before. Many times."
"We don’t have your file."
I actually did tell her, "This is a tremendous pain in the ass."
I fill it out in the loosest sense of the word, leaving much undone and several questions unanswered. It asked what form of birth control I was using. Well, I figure age has lowered my sperm count, plus Detroit has been spayed. I wrote down "Wishful thinking."
We do keep trying.
I returned it to the receptionist, and as I did there was a woman who had the air of "office manager" about her. She gave my forms a perfunctory glance, and pointed to an empty box near the top, and tells her, "We need that."
So then she tells me, "We need your social security number."
First of all, why didn’t she ask me herself? Is she–The only thing I can think of, based on her next comment, is that she may think she’s invisible and that no one can hear her. Like she has some type of mental disorder where she thinks she is a ghost or something like that, and no one except certain people can communicate with her. I think there is a foundation and a telethon for that.
But my point is, with identity theft rampant in our society, I am ultra-aware of the information I give out. I said immediately, "Yeah, I’m not giving that out."
The invisible office manager said to the receptionist, "That’s okay, we can get it off the–" something or other, I didn’t hear. But why would you say that right in front of me? Honestly? And if she thought she was going to get it from any thing in the past I may have filled out, I have news for her. I’ve been doing this for years.
Soon, I get into a room, and after the assistants weigh me and take my blood pressure, the doctor comes in. Actually the nurse, or nurse-practitioner. The head nurse, as you could plainly tell by the dirt on her knees. Her name is Robin. Tall, blond, and pretty. I like her. She came in and said, "You’ve been here; I remember you. I know Bryan. I wonder why they had you fill out new information?"
I showed her the thing, and then the knot on my back. Let me tell you, she was impressed. "Pull your pants back up," she said. She looked at it, and said, "Yeah, we need to drain that." I was thinking several things, like *too bad I still didn’t have my pants down*.
She had me lay face down on the table, and they numbed my back up while we talked. She said fatty tumor was a pretty generic term; in actuality it looked like a cyst. After she opened it up, she said it was cyst, a cyst on a sweat gland. They drained it.
It was liking popping a giant zit on my back. Her assistant really applied the pressure. I kept expecting to feel an elbow in my back. Finally, they were done. They removed all the pus, and then the actual sac so that it wouldn’t fill up again. They filled the hole in my back with gauze and put a dressing on it, and gave me a script for a mild antibiotic, just in case.
I asked her some questions afterward, and we decided to set up for a physical, which I will have in July. In the meantime, I come back tomorrow to have them redress the wound. Basically, I just had surgery.
I goes and sees the doctor again, because the wound was deep and because the nurse wanted to show the doctor so he could laugh at me too. Nurse Robin is cute, but I think 20 bucks for the copay is a little steep for seeing her when I’m not getting a lap dance or anything. Hell, she even keeps her pasties on.
After Robin pulls all the tape and some of the hair off my back, the Good Doctor comes in and has a look. He pokes and prods, and pulls the gauze strip out of my back. Although I can’t see it, in my mind’s eye I visualize something similar to pulling a tapeworm or an alien out of my body. Then HE proceeds to lean on my back and put the pressure on, trying to squeeze more out. I felt like yelling, in a Scottish accent: "I’m giv’ner all she’s got, Capn! She’ll nah take n’more o’ this!"
While he’s working on it, Robin is assisting. To take my mind off the pain, I crack wise with some jokes. Robin thinks I’m funny–obviously, she wants me.
They cleans me out, cleans me up, and repacks me, and puts some new gauze on the opening. "Come back again tomorrow." I am dubious, but it would be my third date with Robin, so technically she is obligated to put out.
Wednesday night I work at Domino’s, and I’m still a little–you know, it doesn’t hurt, not really. But I am immensely uncomfortable. On the scale it would look something like this:
Pain: 1.5 (on a scale of 1-10)
Discomfort: 21 (on a scale of 4-23)
Irritability: telemarketer call (on a scale of splinter to denied sex)
The pain scale is self-explanatory. For discomfort, it starts at 4 because 1-3 are a given that everyone experiences all the time anyway. For irritability, telemarketer call is above explaining something obvious to an idiot, but below not being able to find the remote.
I went in again Thursday afternoon. I told Robin "We have to stop meeting like this–" as she throws me down on the exam table and mounts me, and proceeds to extract the gauze from the hole in my back. I don’t think she understands "reverse cowgirl." The wound is getting better, but it feels more and more tender every day. Perhaps it’s from them taking turns digging their knees into my back for leverage while the squeeze the shit out of it. She says it is taking less gauze–meaning it’s not the gaping hole it was before. That’s good news, although I have always wanted a pouch like a marsupial. However, this was on my back where I couldn’t reach very well–not so handy for car keys.
With all the surgeries and alterations people get–tattoos, piercings, teeth filed, cosmetic surgery, et cetera–you’d think someone would have thought of this. I mean a pouch, like on your belly, or on your side, that would totally close up with Velcro or something. Inside could be lined with something organic, like leather–or maybe your own skin. This way you could go to the nude beach and still have your room key on you.
Robin and I made arrangements for a clandestine meeting early the next morning. I’m getting charged 20 bucks each time–I’d say I’ve earned some cuddling, at least. What a tease.
Bright and early at 7 am I arrive at the doctor’s office. For once, my bandages managed to stay on. Wednesday it was loose, and Thursday it was completely off. But just overnight, I managed to keep it on. Robin took care of it, and the Doctor came and looked at it after they squeezed the living piss out of me, decided not to pack gauze in it this time. They keep telling me it’s healing up nicely, but I never know if that’s the truth or smoke blown up my skirt. However, not packing it with gauze is a big step.
Remind me, I need some antibiotic ointment, like neosporin or something. I don’t even know if we have any. Oh, and I need to pick up my script still, for the antibiotics. Do I honestly need them? I really don’t know. In about 12 minutes, I was in there and outta there, so that qualifies as a quickie.
And since she didn’t have me make another appointment–I guess this was goodbye, too. Our love affair was brief and painful, and altogether hard to comprehend. I’ll never forget her, And she may or may not remember me. That’s the way I want it.
I’m a big fan of Billy Joel, and I say go for it. If he can get a hot young chick to fondle his wrinkly sac, I say more power to him.
While other people jump on the self-righteous bandwagon of disgust at this pseudo-pedophilia, I can’t be a hypocrite, I totally support it. When I was 21, I lived with a 40 year old woman. We were both peaking–It was an interesting year. Of course nothing lasts forever–
Now that I’m 44, I’ve told my (similarly-aged) fiance that if I could get a hot younger chick, I totally would. It’s my turn, after all. Not forever, you understand, and not to replace her (because I love her), but just a fling. She understands. She even encourages me, like she has some perverse knowledge that it’ll never happen. Never, never, ever. Because I’m not famous like Billy Joel?
The shit is just not fair.
It sounds like I’m kidding, but I’m not. Just wait and see.
Anyway-how, we got a ticket on my truck the other day. Fred. That’s the second ticket for him. There he was, sitting in the driveway, minding his own business, and the city put a ticket on him. Fred has expired license plates.
This is the second ticket about that. A few weeks ago, he was parked in the street–a big mistake–and that’s when the cops noticed the plates was expired.
But Bryan, you ask, why don’t you just get them renewed?
For a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m tired of being held down by The Man.
But also, in the blessed State of Missoura vehicles are required to pass a safety inspection. They just changed the rules on those–it used to be a single crack in a windshield was NBD. Now, suddenly, I could die. And of course I have a crack in my windshield. If you recall, I had a crack in it before, and then I hit a deer. The body shop replaced the windshield and called it part of the accident as a favor to me, but the God of window replacement knew better: within a month, my windshield was cracked again. There was a period of time when I had three cars in my driveway, and each one had a cracked windshield. So don’t tell me there isn’t a God and that he’s not vindictive.
Windshields be not cheap, therefore I reside in the land of SOL. I can get an black market inspection–I know that knows a guy–but there are other problems as well.
We also live in a metropolitan county, which requires a vehicle emissions test to save us all from global warming because we’re all gonna die. While the check engine light isn’t on *anymore*, I have a feeling that it’s not because it miraculously healed itself. The light was on for three years; most likely it burned out. Plus ol’ Fred was running pretty bad. He was getting about 10 miles per gallon and had no power. I know I had fairly recently tuned up the mother-fucker, so it could only be a couple of different things:
Either something wrong with the fuel injection system, or changing the oil every 25,000 miles finally caught up to me, and the engine is shot. Either way, it’s going to cost me.
What to do, what to do?
That’s not the end of my vehicular paranoia. The Mercedes, the "new" car–which is actually two years older than the truck but has about half the miles–is not legally licensed in the strictest sense of the word. Once again, in the blessed State of Missoura, after you purchase a car you have to license it within…oh, let’s throw a completely arbitrary number out there, like 20 days. Why not 19? Why not 21, which is an even 3 weeks? Why not 2 hours and 17 minutes? Why not a year?
Because it’s been a year since I bought it, and I still haven’t licensed it. How do I get away with that? By circumventing the law, that’s how. You say flouting, I say circumventing. I put the old license plates from Nigel (RIP) onto Der Kaiser. As long as I don’t get pulled over like I have twice in the last three months, I’m golden.
Each time, I got a ticket. The second time, I got two tickets, and the cop acts like he’s doing me a favor for not arresting me. Oh, yeah, I have an outstanding warrant in the city in which I live, for a ticket for excessive rubbish, a hold over from my blessed rentor that I had. Two years ago, and I cleaned it up for her. But what exactly is "excessive"? Why, enough to get you a ticket, that’s how much.
In addition, of course, I haven’t paid my personal property taxes. For the last two years. Need to do that, also, to get my vehicle licensed. And of course, proof of insurance. Luckily, I *DO* have insurance. I’m not stupid, just reckless.
Combine this with the stuff I just went through for the city housing inspections. It says "Minimum housing inspection." I say bullshit. At minimum, they should look at it and say, "Yeah, at minimum, there is a house there." But they actually inspect them, look for extra shit for me to fix and more money for me to spend. If I don’t get them re-inspected in time, they send me notices threatening legal action. They might even put me under house arrest. Hahaha. "House" arrest. I kill me.
With all of this, no wonder–
I swear, the next young punk I see that claims to be an anarchist, I’m going to beat the living fuck out of him, and then dare him to call the cops. Fucking hypocrite. Some 20 year old college age fuckhead who has had to live under the coddling "oppression" of his parents gets thrust into the government-run higher education system and sees, for the first time in his life, the uselessness of administration and wants to rebel like he discovered it. Fuck…you…
Until you’ve lived as an adult for over 20 years paying taxes on your goddamn taxes and dealing with random enforcement of the law and being subject to people who want to do things "for your own good"–
You have no IDEA what it is like to desire anarchy. Rational people are actually libertarian, and I guess I’ve become one. Live and let live, mind your own beeswax, get off my lawn.
But we need a bit of anarchy now and then to get rid of the oppression.
Instead of anarchy, I opted to clean out the garage so I could get the truck in there to hide for a few weeks while I figure out what to do. Now that my sister is all legal in her house, we moved her stack of shit that was in my garage to her shed last night. Three truck loads, plus a car load, not too bad. We filled up her shed, and I took most of my shit out that I still had there, and brought it back.
The garage is coming along, or it will. I have one side of the overhead storage done, and I intend to work on the other side this weekend. All part of the plan:
1) building the overhead storage will get that lumber out of the way
2) putting the stuff up in it will clear much more room, that’s the purpose
3) getting rid of my sister’s stuff, check
4) a big stack of cardboard goes to the city’s recycling center, and no I’m not a hypocrite, I just want to get rid of it as easily as I can
5) I still have a few wheelbarrows and other construction tools of my cousin’s that I want to get back to him this weekend
6) and that will clear up most of the room in the garage, like I’ve been wanting for two years.
Now I have room for the truck.
We were with DirecTV for about a year or so, and then we switched to Dish. No particular reason, just the guy came around who did both, and offered us a deal. We’re in.
So, for the last week or so–maybe two weeks–the TV has been doing this weird thing. Watching a recorded show, or watching regular TV, the picture would pause a split second and and the sound would drop out. Just enough to miss some dialogue, just enough to be annoying. At first I thought it was stuff that we had recorded during one of the many torrential storms we have had, but further research disproved that.
Then Detroit emails me from home one day to say that the DVR told her the only way to fix what it was doing was to erase everything. Format the drive. The Hard Drive was asking for the Kevorkian solution. She went ahead and did it, but I didn’t even get to say goodbye–
Everything I had recorded, gone. Several movies that Detroit said I was never going to watch but I knew that I would. About 50 episodes of a Canadian sitcom, Corner Gas. The last ten episodes of Terminator that I hadn’t watched yet. Gone. All Gone.
But it wasn’t over yet. This sacrifice the DVR made did not save us at all. It died in vain. I clutched the DVR to my chest, the DVR gasping its last breath. I turned to the sky, curling an angry fist. I yelled, "You shall be AVENGED!"
I called customer service, and hoped that whoever I got was not like me. I didn’t need irony, I needed help. Well, she was helpful. Even though ticking the hard drive had been doing it would not duplicate for me to play over the phone for her, and even though the diagnostics did not currently indicate a problem, she agreed to send out a new replacement DVR to us, as well as topless pictures of herself. In exchange, we would send back the old DVR and I would NOT send her pictures of me. A deal is a deal.
So now we wait. We can watch TV in live mode only. Any attempt to pause live TV or record is either ignored or met with an error message. So, when we send it back, they will truly know the horror of what we have been through.
First of all, it was an extra day, so I have that going for me, which is nice. But those hours combined with the 40 on my day job gave me about 75 hours last week.
A WEEK AGO
Early in the evening, John was cutting a pizza, like he has many times, of course. I stopped him, because I’ve been trying to fix this for a while. I grabbed the cutter off the table where he had dropped it. I said, "Dude. Put the cutter in the holder; that’s what it’s for. If you throw it on the table, shit from the cutter gets on the bottom of the box, then the customer gets it and lays in their nice car or on their furniture, and gets pissed off."
I continued, demonstrating. "Also–push hard with the cutter. You are not cutting through the pie." I showed how, simply applying pressure. "Man up and put some muscle to it. I will buy you a six pack if you ever cut through the box enough to make it leak. You can’t. You won’t."
He said, in a semi-condescending tone, "I’m sorry Bryan; someday I’ll be as good as you."
Before I could respond, Dina came around the corner. Apparently she had heard everything, because she said, "No, you won’t." I thought that was sweet. She was right, of course.
Not a bad night. I worked with Dina, and she was happy about that. I hadn’t worked with Steve in a while either, They were both happy to see me. Not because I’m so wonderful and a joy to be with (although, to be honest, I am), but because anyone is an improvement over working with Stan. But I told that last story to tell this one:
We were having a problem with the pizzas sticking to the screens. Let me explain why this is bad: You can’t get the pizza off of the screen. It sticks, the dough tears, the pizza comes apart. Sometimes, if it’s not too bad, you can salvage it. Often it is FUBR, and you have to remake it.
Usually this happens when one of two things is occurring:
Either a) the screens are completely new and have yet to be seasoned; or
b) the pies have been made well in advance and the dough has slowly sunk into the mesh of the screens.
Well, the screens were all seasoned and had been for some time. Since Stan wasn’t working, we had no pizzas sitting on screens for half an hour before we made cooked them. (Stan is a condescending, elitist fuck. I like the guy, but he is. He’s never wrong, and will never EVER say, "I’m sorry." Ever. But also, since he feels he is better than everyone else, he tries to "over-help" people to the point of annoyance. "Over-help," I like that. New word.
Meaning, since he doesn’t think you can make pizzas fast enough or good enough, he will make a bunch of skins (doughs) up in advance and let them sit on the screen so they sink into the screen, and then when you use them for pizzas, they are completely stuck, the dough rips, it ruins the fucking pie, and you can’t save it, so you have to make another, effectively doing twice the work. Quite a time-saver. After the first time doing this, I pitch them. He saw me and confronted me. "What are you doing? You’re wasting dough!"
I said, "No, YOU are wasting dough."
"I was trying to help you by getting some skins up for you."
"Don’t. Don’t help me like that. Stan, I am fast enough. Over half of these I end up throwing away because they stick to the screen. I’d rather save myself the aggravation and throw them away now."
But Friday, Stan wasn’t there. I was doing the dough, and it was perfect. Why were they sticking? One was an anomaly, two was odd. Three was a trend. Four and I pissed. After five, I was beginning to take it personally.
I didn’t know what was causing it, but I knew how to fix it, I hoped. I started treating each screen like it needed to be seasoned. I grabbed our generic spray can of Pam, and before I laid down the the dough, I sprayed each screen and tossed a small handful of cornmeal over it.
It worked; no more sticking. I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I did that for every pizza the rest of the night. I did have a chance to examine the dough later. Although the date didn’t show it as being expired, it acted like it was expired. Too soft and too pliable, even straight from the walk-in, where I expect it to behave a little more stiffly. I noticed some moisture in the tray…
Too much water? Seasonally, the commissary (where the dough is made fresh daily, then frozen) would change up the mix in the dough to allow for seasonal temperature changes. While I didn’t know if this was intentional, it did seem like a change in the mix. Dough is only these ingredients: flour, water, sugar, yeast…And maybe something else. Hey, that class was 20 years ago. Anyway, it was off.
Later in the evening it was just me and one driver, Katie. She’s our cute little blond college girl working for the summer. At first I didn’t like her because I thought she was stuck up. Turns out she really is shy and quiet. And a little nerdy, too, which is hot. She likes sci-fi and fantasy, and plays computer games and reads and stuff like that. We actually have alot in common. She has a cute ass, and I wanted to wear it as a hat…In a purely non-sexual way.
I take a call before 10 pm. It’s a woman, and she’s drunk. She tried to deny it, but she said she had a bottle of Scotch. She was also upstairs in her big, big house, in the bathroom. In the bathtub. Her jacuzzi-style bathtub. We had chatted for a while, so when she told me this, I felt comfortable in asking her, "Are you naked?"
She said, "I can’t believe you would ask me that! Of course I am."
Sadly, I couldn’t take the delivery. She was rich (I could tell from the address), she was drunk, and she was naked. I asked Katie, "Well, at least let me know if she’s hot." Katie reported back: she was. Dammit. Sometimes it’s just better not knowing.
I just wanted to mention in passing the order for 30 large pizzas that I had for midnight. I knew about it Wednesday; it was for a midnight run fundraiser or something like that. They said they would call by 9 or 10 when they knew for sure how many pizzas. About 10pm they called. Thirty large pies by myself is not a big deal, but Christ, I had already been up all day. It drained me, and not in a good way.
I was late Saturday because I worked Friday night. How about this: I CHOSE to be late Saturday because I worked Friday night. I woke up Saturday about 1030 am, went to the bathroom and then got a drink. And then, I went right back to bed.
I woke up again at 1pm. I laid around, watched TV, went and got lunch, and then right before I needed to leave for work, I laid down for half an hour. This shit, and these hours, take alot out of me. So fifteen minutes after I was supposed to be there, I left for work.
Nothing special that night, but I was in a bit of a pissy mood. Late in the evening, perhaps around midnight, someone called and wanted pizza. But he wanted to know if we go to him. Let’s start with the basics: "Okay, where are you?"
He reads off an address, the street is Long Road. I know where that is, more or less, because we have another Domino’s on Long Road. I said, "Okay, that’s not us. Maybe you–"
He said, "Okay, how about this–" and he rattled off another address, this one on Baxter Road.
I said, "Okay, where are you? What is your address?"
He read off still another one, this time on Manchester Road. A pattern was emerging. I said, "SIR! Sir! Hello! Stop. Stop, stop, stop. Do not read another Domino’s address to me. I need to know where YOU are. You, yourself. Your physical body. What address is YOUR BODY at RIGHT NOW?"
"Oh, okay. I see what you’re getting at. I see now. Okay."
"What is your address?"
He told me some bullshit address, to which I replied, "You see, THAT is the information I need so that I can tell you which Domino’s to call. We don’t go there. You need to call this number–" And I gave him the phone number to the store that, in introspect, was probably the wrong one. I may have done it on purpose.