Math Quiz

February 18, 2010 at 2:58 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
  The Soulard area is pretty good for tips, for the most part.  However, we have some projects on the north side of the area, and they discovered us.  Fuck.  You just know, when you go there, that it’s for free. 
  Some drivers that we have–a couple of them are brothers–are actually a little leery about going in there, like they’re going to get violated.  I’m supposed to be the scared white guy from the suburbs–what’s their deal?
  Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in places that are actually dangerous. but this phaseth me not.  Of course I’m still careful.  I watch where I’m going, I look around before I get in the car, I don’t go down dark, secluded walkways.  I’m cautious.  Being robbed will do that to you.
  Except the other night, I did go down a dark, secluded walkway.  This is not the story, this is the pre-story.  I had this run, the last run of the night.  I took the order, and the address was already in the system.  2213 A 9th Street, or something like that.  Apartment A–remember that.  Directions on it said, "through the gate, to the back, upstairs."  I know the routine.
  I get there, and 2213 is in the front.  Next to the classic brick structure is an alley, little more than two feet wide.  It’s dark.  What the hell.  I enter, and after a few feet, a motion light comes on and lights my way.  Nice.  I get to the back, and start up the rickety steps.  Another light comes on.  Cool.  But now I can see the steps, and these are not…they just seem flimsy, okay?  They give a little more than I’m comfortable with.  But I make my way up.  Knock, no answer, wait.  Repeat.  Repeat *again.*  Fuck.  It seemed like a simple run, so I didn’t bring my phone with me.  I have to go down the steps–which isn’t easy for an old fat guy–get my phone, call them, and very possibly go back up the steps again.
  I get back down and get my phone, and I’m about to walk back through the alley when the guy answers.  "Oh, my bad, dude.  I’m downstairs with my buddies playing–" and he mumbled something I didn’t understand and didn’t give a shit about.
  "Okay.  I’m at your front door then."  He gave me three bucks, which was my average for the night.  Not bad, I guess.  But a little something extra for the huffing and puffing and pain in my knees going up and down the steps in the cold–that would have been nice.

  Earlier in the evening, I was on the phone to Detroit while on a delivery.  I had my bluetoof in cause dat’s how I roll, y’all.  I had a double, and I went to the one that I knew would tip better first, because the second one was in the projects.  I kept talking to her, except when I was at the door.  This way, she could hear that all the stories I tell I am not making up.  They are real.  All…too…real…
  I get to the projects, and I’m driving low–I had unplugged the cartop light from the cigarette lighter before I got there because the last thing I want to do is encourage them.  I find the door to their apartment, talking to Detroit the whole time, and then hears me knock on the door.  She hears *everything.*
  Knock-knock.
  Noise in the house gets quiet, then there is an odd shuffling and a bang, like something closing.
  "Whoisit!" I just barely hear it, so I ignore it.
  Footsteps pad to the door.  The blinds on the window rustle, and then I can feel I’m being stared at through the peephole.  "Whoisit!" the voice demands again.  Besides the fact that you called just recently and ordered some food–I’m wearing a Three Jakes official logo hat and a Three Jakes official logo shirt, and carrying a bag with the Three Jakes official logo on it.  Whom the fuck do you think it is?
  I sigh.  Quietly, I respond.  "Did you order some food?"  Quietly, because I want to make them work for it.  In case you forgot, I’m a dick.
  I heard a voice inside ask the other voice, "Whoisit?" and they responded, "It looks like a Chinese man."  I guess we do all look alike to them.
  The woman opens the door.  She weighs a good deuce, deuce-and-a-half, and the bottom is squeezed into purple spandez, so there is more squirting out the top.  Her top is process blue with some black flake in it, and when she reaches for the bag I notice that her nails match her top.  She is snapping gum as she speaks to me.
  It’s a credit card, and I explain what to do as I hand her the pen.  She says, "Oh, if I wanna put a tip on er, I just fillet out right her?" 
  Yup.
  The total was 7.04, and it only took her three tries to get the math right and add a dollar as a tip.  No, I’m not shitting.  She scribbled and crossed out on the thing a couple of times.  She said, "Can I just scratch this out and redo it?"
  Yup.
  The things I do for a buck.  Christ.

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