Out With The Old

March 30, 2011 at 10:15 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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I haven’t been writing as much about Pizzarama, where I’ve been working lately.  Maybe I’m jaded?
Twenty-five years, dozens of stores, hundreds of employees, and thousands upon thousands of deliveries is bound to do that to a person.  I remember a time when I was innocent, fresh, and naive…
I don’t think I can relate to that guy anymore.

And I’ll go ahead and say it, because I don’t care anymore:  The place I work at is Pizza Hut.  When I worked at Domino’s, I named it.  When I worked at Scooter’s, I named it.  When I worked at Domino’s again, I named it–
Which caused some problems because I was doing things that weren’t exactly Cricket.  Thusly burned, I called Jimmy John’s “The Three Jakes.”  But Imo’s was Imo’s, and Steak n Shake was Steak n Shake–and they well still be.  I thought I might want an alias to protect me on this internet thing.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so cavalier, but I’m not doing anything wrong.
How about, “I’m not doing anything illegal, and most of what I do that is morally questionable is not a threat to the job”?  Better?
In the meantime, I subconsciously didn’t want to get too attached to anyone here, because Things Always Change.  However, I didn’t have much of a choice–some of them drew me in.
Of course, there’s The Dude, an ever-present fixture in my life and the reason I took the job at this particular location.  Meet our management team:
Tom is a young guy, quiet and stoic.  He seems to be laid back–like a hippie dressed as a businessman.  That’s the vibe I get.
Ryan is the other assistant.  Slightly older than Tom, but still so young.  And yet he has thinning hair.  He cares more about the job than Tom does.  Frequently they are both shocked at the ridiculous things that come out of my mouth.  Then again, that describes most people, I guess.
Rob is the manager.  Whoops.  Rob was the manager.  Rob got fired a couple of weeks ago, a victim of arbitrary grading or his own ineffectiveness, your choice.
I liked Rob–hell, I like all of them–but they way they manage stirs a deep primal desire in me.  A heat, a wrath, a bent to knock everyone over and take charge and show them how it’s supposed to be done.
But then my shift ends and I get over it.
So now we have a new manager, an older woman–older than me, even–named Julie.  I’ve met her exactly once, when I was coming in early (to make a good impression) and she was leaving early (even though it was a Saturday night and snowing in late March.
“Hi.  Who are you?” she says, looking at my chest where my nametag should be.
I put out my hand.  “Hi.  I’m Bryan.  Who are you?” I asked, already knowing the answer.  I looked at her chest, too, to let her know I knew what she was doing.  Not a sexual thing.  Not yet, anyway–but it is a weapon in my arsenal, if need be.
“Do you have a nametag?”  Before I could answer, she said, “And tuck your shirt in.”
I’ve been working there since June of last year, and I’ve never tucked my shirt in.  The cynical among you or those who have met me might think it’s because my belly prohibits it.  But actually, I have a long torso, and the shirts are always too short.  Really.  I could show you–
Never mind.
While I tucked in my shirt, she made me a new nametag with rainbow colored letters.  I guess we are inclusive now.  Then she left.  I untucked my shirt.
It’s what the store needs, and what these people need.  Someone to lead.  Rob–again, a nice guy–would rarely tell or ask someone to do something.  Jesus, you have to take charge.  Don’t be afraid to tell me to do something.
Don’t be afraid to tell the young punks working here to do something, either.  Because if you don’t, they won’t do a damn thing.  Us older folks–the drivers–we know our jobs and we get on it and we are proactive.  The kids need to be directed constantly, at least until they get the idea.
So hopefully Jules will be a good manager for the store and the crew.  It’s what they need.  Because these guys–

Temelko is our token Old Belgian guy.  He works the most hours of any driver.  He speaks the broken English very brokenly.  I’m starting to be able to make out some words.  We had a five minute conversation about a month ago of which I did not understand a single thing he said.  I sure hope I didn’t agree to something I’ll regret later.
John is a mid-twenties guy with a ponytail.  He’s quiet and good-looking.  I mean, good-looking enough to be gay.  He’s also an artist; we’ve had a few conversations about his interests, and that’s when he wouldn’t shut up.  He does computer animation, something I wish I had the patience for.
Nick is this guy–man, I don’t like him.  I mean, he’s okay.  He tries to be a smart-ass, but he’s not clever enough.  He runs shifts on occasion so he’s technically a member of management, which he uses as an excuse to fuck with people.  You know the kind of guy that’s only average in intelligence, but thinks he’s much smarter?  That’s him.
Don is the old guy.  He’s a carpenter by trade, and in this economy, delivering pizza.  He helped me tear the wall out in my kitchen and put a back door in.  Recently, he and his wife split up and he moved back in with his dad.  Yeah, he’s old.  And his dad is quite a bit older, I imagine.
When I say old, I mean he’s in his mid-fifties.  What the hell does that make me?
Don, The Dude and I are the Three Amigos, complete with pelvic thrust.  Because we are so…hip.
There are some other drivers in and out, part timers that I never quite caught the name of.  We also have Sean–Blond Sean from Scooter’s and Angelina’s fame.  He is also Rob’s ex-brother-in-law, but they are still friends.  (That’s why Rob hired him.)  Sean is an odd duck.  I thought he was a geeky, nerdy guy.  And I think he is.  He’s a nerdy guy trying desperately to hide it and be cool.  Or maybe he just turned over a new leave after he got divorced, which I can relate to.
Amber is our star pizza maker, and the hardest working person in the store.  She is about 20, a tall, gangly, clumsy looking girl.  She is just so quiet–until you engage her.  Then she won’t shut up.  I know way too much about her dysfunctional family.  She’s like the Marilyn in The Munsters, if the Munsters were all white-trash co-dependent addicts with poor decision-making skills.
Jarvis is this teenage slick dude.  He is cool, cocky, and confident.  I’m sure he gets laid way more than a teenage boy should.  He comes from money, and it shows–not just in the car he drives.  He has a sense of entitlement, and it shows in the way that he things the minimum effort he puts forth is a tremendous inconvenience to him and we should all be more appreciative.
[We’re busy.  People hustling everywhere, doing things.  The phone is ringing and ringing.  Again, we’re all busy.  He announces sarcastically to everyone, “Don’t worry about the phone.  I’ll get the phone.  I got it.”  Whatever he had been doing before was not time-critical to the rush.  Maybe he was folding a box or something.  “I’ll get the phone.”  I said, “Thanks for letting us know you’re finally going to do your job.”  That jibe cut him a little deep; he didn;t talk to me for about a week after that.]
And we have this other inside boy named Shane.  I–
Ugh.  I swear, some teen boys should be raised in a pasture with a high fence.  Electrified.  He’s a punk, through and through.  Sense of entitlement?  Check.  Doesn’t understand dick about anything?  Check?  Overly preoccupied with trying to look cool?  Check?  Unable to learn anything because he already knows it?  Double-check.
He has this car–I’m sure it’s a parent’s or something like that.  I hope, anyway.  Any adult who would give this retard a car should be locked up.  He’s always bragging about his car and how fast it is and how he can outrace anyone.  I don’t want to be that young and stupid again, if I ever was.
I’m leaving on a run about the time he got off work one night.  He hops in his car, revs it up, and keeps revving it up.  If it’s a stick, he’s using up the clutch.  If it’s an automatic, he’s even stupider.  I pull out, and I head down the line.  He pulls out real fast in front of me, causing me to brake.  Then he revs it some more and squeals the tires as he takes off.
I get to the light, and then he appears again.  Where did he come from?  Where did he go?  Who gives a shit?  He’s sitting at the light revving the engine.  He’s in the left turn lane, and I’m in the lane to go straight.  His light goes green, and he revs it and takes off, squealing the tires some more.
I know this is the old man in me, but he’s a fucking dumb ass.  Tires costs money.  A clutch costs money.  Gas costs money.  If he was paying for it, he wouldn’t be doing that to “his” car.
Honestly, I don’t even want to get to know him, because I don’t want to feel bad when he rolls his car and wraps it around a pole and dies.  He’ll do it all with a dumb expression on his face, the expression people have when they don’t understand the correlation between their actions and the consequences thereof.
We have Kelli, this girl.  This 20 year-old (“I’ll be 21 in two months!”) chick who started as a server during the day and then started to drive.  She’s short, she’s fat, and she loud and in everybody’s business.  She is so concerned that people are talking about her that she inserts herself into every conversation, and eavesdrops on everyone.  Christ, she bugs me.  Part of it, I can tell, is that if she gets a little attention she craves more.  She desperately wants to get laid.  I told Don that he’s going to end up fucking her.
“Christ!  Say it ain’t so!  Do I have to?”
Then, of course, we have my sweetheart, Courtney.  Courtney just had a birthday.  She just turned…17.  Wow.  She says I remind her of her dad.  So I have a year to turn that daddy complex into something viable.
Juuuuust kidding.  She’s a sweet girl, and one of my favorites there.  We talk, I gave her a ride home once (perfectly innocent!), and we have fun at work.

So that’s the people I work with.  And the people make all the difference.  Pizza is pizza.  Hell, pizza is as pizza does.  Pizza is the same, or different, or both, anywhere you go.  But the people are what make it interesting, and determine whether or not you want to go to work each day.
Although something else may be a determining factor as well:  Gas prices.  I swear to God, lately I feel like I’m losing money going to work.  I’m going to need to find another part time job, just because I can’t afford to work at this one.
Maybe the next job will be something not driving.

Jacob’s Ladder

March 20, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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April 2009

It was like some kind of horrible Vietnam flashback—
But I didn’t have to go.  I had immunity.  I had…a day job.
Still, I felt compelled to attend this “mandatory” manager’s meeting, for three reasons.  I’ll start with number two if that’s okay with you.
2.  Curiosity.  It had been a while since I had been to one, and never had I been to one with this company.  I wanted to see if they were everything I remembered.
1.  The bosses knew I had a day job and I was excused—and I was the only assistant with this affliction.  They didn’t like it; they wanted me to have “both feet in or both feet out.”  Logical, from their vantage point:  how can they control me and inflict harm and punishment upon me if I can just bow out, like the second string at a gangbang?  How could they squeeze all of my hopes and dreams and aspirations from me?
Too bad I had none left at this point.  Sucks to be them, doesn’t it?  Still, I didn’t want to throw it in their faces.  Absence may be the better part of valor, but it would actually be easier for me to be invisible if I showed up.  That’s irony right there, I don’t care who you are.
3.  I had loyalty to my team—the management at the specific store I worked at.  It would be a show of solidarity as well as—perversely—a bit of spying on the enemy.  And by enemy I meant upper management.  If you don’t understand that calculating mindset or the skewed reality behind it, you’ve never been in management.
At my day job, I made arrangements to be off for the meeting.  Actually, all I did was take some time out of my day, as for a doctor’s appointment.  The meeting was at 9am, so I went to work at my usual 7, left about 830, and got back around 11 because it was over at 1030—everyone had to get to their stores to open them.
Subdued surprise that I showed up—
Shaved, clean, dressed well, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  For most of them, this was too early in the morning, and on average they had been awake for 43 minutes.  I had been up almost three hours and had had two cups of coffee by this time.
There in the big conference room of the home office, the tables were set at the perimeter and we took seats like it was a UN function.  Coffee and donuts were had, and handouts and booklets were passed out.  In the middle of the room, center stage, Supervisor Tom and Director of Operations John tag-teamed us on the important items.  That is, they read the pamphlet to us.
It wasn’t a meeting in the sense that you might think there is a give-and-take and an even exchange of ideas and balance.  No, this was more of the Moses-hands-down-the-new-commandments-of-pizza-making type of meeting.
I wanted to remain low-key; I am not always the seeker of attention that many of you may believe.  However, once the floor was open, if someone among our ranks spoke and I had something to add, I would.  Overall, I was fairly quiet.
Except for this one time that makes me sound like an arrogant ass.  In other words, I showed my true colors.
Tom was speaking, and talking about product quality and consistency.  I sat with Dina and Stan, my people.  Tom said something about the irregular pie quality he has seen in the stores.  “I should be able to look at a pizza and not be able to tell the difference.  I should not be able to tell who made it.  Everyone should be making pizzas the exact same way.”
I snorted quietly to myself, and whispered something to Stan.  He let out a chuckle.  Tom heard.  “What?  What is it?  Is there something you’d like to share?”  Seriously, what was this, sixth grade?
“Well?”  I guess it was sixth grade.
Stan was still laughing.  “Tell him.”
I said to the whole group, “I’m not going to lower my standards.”
There was a mixed reaction from the crowd.  Some laughed, some oohed and aahed at the perceived challenge.  Who was this guy, anyway?  They didn’t know me.  They had no idea that I had made more pizzas than probably all two dozen of them combined, or that I had been doing this for as long as the average age in the room.
Tom said, “Really?”
I shrugged.  “You’ve seen my pies.  I’m just sayin.”
So much for invisibility.

About A Girl

March 20, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Posted in Riding In Cars With Pizza | Leave a comment
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I don’t remember if I posted this or not.  For continuity’s sake I will.  This happened about May of 2008, right before Scooter’s closed.

Christ in a fucking sidecar.  That’s the only way to start this.  Let me tell you about my weekend.
I worked Friday night at the restaurant for Scott, the owner, and my usual Saturday night.  He had to work his church’s (actually his wife’s church) parish picnic, working the grill for their food.  The same amount of business that 5 people can’t handle without getting bogged down he or I can do easily–if they would just get the fuck out of the way.
So I agreed to work.  Friday night is a bit much for the new young-fuck Matt to handle by himself.  I get there, and Megan, a cute little 20 year old driver, is trying to convince me I should let her off that night, there is a concert she wanted to go to that she had asked Scott off for but he had never given her an answer.
I thought about it a bit.  That would leave me with three drivers–kinda tight, but it should be manageable; the nice weather should make it a little slower.
I said, “Okay, sure…But I need you to wear those shorts the next time you work.”
She bubbled.  “Okay.  I can do that for you.”  She smiled and sashayed off.
I love college-aged chicks.  Firm, tight bodies, perfectly shaped asses.  Perky tits.  Naivete.  And inexperience in realizing what, exactly, constitutes sexual harassment.
“That’s what I like about high school girls.  I keep getting older, and they stay the same age.  Oh yes, they do.”
Meanwhile, before I even get there, Matt is working, and he’s called me twice already wondering when I’ll be there.  Fuck, shithead.  I get off work at 4:00.  The 24 miles in traffic takes close to an hour.  I’m scheduled at five.  I’ll be there at five.  He wants to leave.  He always has some lame kind of excuse, problems with the car, car got impounded, car on the side of the road, or he has to go do something for his mother.
I’m starting to realize, after these events transpired, that I’m probably being take for a ride; I think his actual excuse is the drugs that he needs to go take.
But when I get there, I don’t let him go.  He wants to skate without doing the two most important and time-consuming pieces of prep:  weighing out the tips, and pounding out the burgers.  This may not mean anything to you, but what it means to me is that on a Friday night, the busiest night of the week, I was going to have to do this shit on the fly.
Nuh-uh.
“Matt, you need to finish this shit.”  He stays an extra hour, at the most, and gets it done while bitching.  The place is still completely trashed, dishes piled high, prep tables piled and covered with crap, trash and boxes piled up, grinders and slicers filthy from use and chunks of meat and cheese and other foodstuffs scattered about wildly.  But I can deal; we’ll have three drivers.
But my third driver, Jody, never shows up.  Matt is a friend of hers, so he goes over to her house.  She calls and says she’s on her way, then calls back about half hour later and says she’s not coming in.
Many of the details I’m a little sketchy on, and most of what I’ve heard I tend not to believe, because it comes from primary sources trying to paint themselves in the bestest light.
The long and short of it is this:
Matt goes over, says he tried to get her up, says she was wasted or hung over or both, and says Jody punched him repeatedly.  He left.
My Friday night was one of the worst ever.  Mota’s wife Becca was working and she was a hero, the champion, of keeping it together for me.
Saturday, Everyone comes in who is supposed to.  Matt worked during the day, and left before Jody showed up.  Then, after they are all working, Matt shows up–with Jody’s…girlfriend.
This has become the fucking OC, or some other retarded modern teen night time soap opera.  Jody likes this girl, Janna.  But she cheated on Janna–with Matt.  To get back at her, Janna cheated on Jody.  With Matt.
Now Matt apparently likes Janna (good head goes a long way), but is friends still (supposedly) with Jody.  Matt continues to recount stories of how Jody–a little firecracker–keeps hitting him and inflicting other violence on him, for no reason.  “Why does she keep hitting me, Bubba?”
I had enough of this.  I had been close to boiling over all night, having this story inflicted on me.  I had heard all sides of it, including the stuff that he didn’t think I knew.
“WHY?  WHY IS SHE HITTING YOU?  WHY?  IT’S ABOUT THE FUCKING GIRL, RETARD!  IT’S ABOUT THE GODDAMN GIRL!  ALL OF THIS IS ABOUT THE GIRL!  YOU LIKE HER, SHE LIKES HER!  IT’S FUCKING JEALOUSY!  ARE YOU COMPLETELY FUCKING STUPID?  IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE FUCKING GIRL!  CHRIST!  MORON!”
The kid is completely irrational.  First, he’s in denial about it being about this stupid love trapezoid, or triangle, or octagon.  Pick your favorite polygonal icon.
Then he gets mad, and yells at me about how I don’t understand.  Of course I don’t understand.  I don’t understand how he can be this stupid.  If it’s NOT about this, then what exactly is it about?  Ask yourself that question, shithead.  He had left, by the way, gotten drunk or high or something, and then came back up to the store.  I had to keep the two separated.  Meanwhile, the mousey little Janna acts like an innocent victim in all this.  I’ve actually come to believe that she is a passive-aggressive manipulative cunt:  She knows what is going on.  She wants to have her dick and her pussy too.
I believe Matt may know as well, but if he acts like he doesn’t get it, he can get more sympathy, more ear time.
Lots of ridiculous things happen, and I don’t care to recount all of them.  Matt leaves because I make him, but he takes the girl with him.  He completely misunderstood.  “You told me to get the girls out of here.”
“No, dipshit.  I told YOU to leave.  I will get the rest of them out of here.”  He completely fails to realize that he is part of the problem as well.  But then he comes back–again, like a fucking herpes flair up, and this time he is lamenting his sad life, and talks endlessly of driving his truck very fast into a wall.
At this point I’m willing to point one out for him.  People who talk about suicide like this don’t mean it; it’s a cry for attention.  “Woe is me; I’ve nailed two hot chicks but I can’t seem to get that elusive threesome lined up.  Woe is me!”  Hard for me to muster any sympathy.
Although, his mother kicked him out of the house (again), he gets in trouble with the law repeatedly, having his car impounded once or twice, tickets and so forth, and he needs to pay for a lawyer.  His mother may be an alcoholic, I’m not sure.  He’s 18, his life is in turmoil, he has no one, no place, nothing…
But, he’s fucking moron.  He’s completely stupid.  He’s made bad decisions, and he’s made them poorly, and executed them in the most ridiculous manner possible.  I completely resent the fact that he is trying to cling to me like I am his father figure.  I don’t need this.  I have–

My own shit to deal with.  In addition, I have an 18 year old son of my own that I hardly get to see.  I don’t need this pathetic reject as a surrogate.  My son is smart, drug-free, moral, and a good decision maker.  Artistic and talented.  He has a future.  And he’s not a complete fucking drag to be around.

Plus all of this is happening late at night when I’m trying to get the place cleaned up and get out of there.  Matt’s out of it, drunk and drugged up and binging on self-pity, so he has no recollection of time.  He merely sees a group of people that he can suck the life force out of.
I had to go outside, and get between him and Jody.  The girl in question merely stands by, no expression on her face, not understanding, like Matt, that this is all about her.  Only Jody gets it, and that’s why she has become violent.  I make Matt leave.  I tell Jody to go check out, clock out, and leave.
Finally, it’s over.  Or is it?  After they have all left and we are doing the real closing work, trying to get done and get out, Matt comes back.  He has no place to go, no place to sleep.  He wants to sleep in the store.  No, that will not happen.
Mota makes the mistake of offering him a place to sleep.  Fine, you do that.  Then Mota and his wife ask if we want to come over to their house, party a little–
No.
Are you sure?  We have a pool, and a firepit–
Not a chance.
Is it because Matt is going over?
Bingo.  I’m done with the pity party.  Any conversation is going to be monopolized by his constant woe-is-me desire for attention.  He drains me.  I just want to go home.
Detroit came up to work to see me that night, by the way, and I’m glad she did.  For one, she may not have believed everything if she hadn’t witnessed it herself.  For two, she thanked Megan for wearing the shorts that night–I needed that kind of thing (of course I told her.  She knows me so well.  “You are such a pervert,” she said.  Hey, if they’re over 18, technically, I’m not a pervert.)
For three, she knew and understood exactly the stress that I had had inflicted on me that night, and said, “I will [take care of you] tonight when we get home.”
God, I love this woman.

Been Such a Long Time

March 10, 2011 at 11:39 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
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And several things may have contributed to why I haven’t written in a while.  There, just that one sentence–and now I am off and running.  I think.
So much has happened in the last three months, and yet there is so little to tell.  In December my Aunt passed away, and right before Christmas Detroit fell on the ice and broke her hip.  She has been laid up for the past three months, and is only recently able to start trying to put weight on it.
I…oh, hell–it doesn’t matter.  I’m writing this crap for myself anyway.  It was (and still is) a fucking lot to deal with.  I have to do everything, including shit I’m not good at, like laundry and cleaning.  I appreciate more and more what she has done now that I have to do it.
Of course I had a great line for it, because I needed one to get me through.  People would ask how she’s doing, and I would explain the whole ordeal, and how the doctor told her not to put any weight on her hip.  “And even though he didn’t tell me specifically,” I would add, “I’m sure I’m not supposed to put any weight on it either.”  I pause innocently, waiting for my audience to catch on.
But that’s what I had to endure as well:  No sex.  It’s been very hard to go without.  I have these symptoms:
*Cranky and irritable
*No desire to write or do creative work
*Did I mention cranky and irritable?
And I wasn’t sure if it was because of the lack of sex or because of the increase in dosage for my ADD medication.  I seem to have leveled out on the crankiness–
Either that, or–like my new sexless life–I’ve come to accept it as part of my life now.
But I really didn’t want the medication to affect my creativity, because other than that this new dose is really working for me, I think.  Maybe I was just too focused on all the other tasks at hand to write?  I hope so.  I never gave up the desire, it just always got pushed to the back burner.  Plus, even though I wasn’t getting any, I sure was looking at a large amount of porn.
The specific porn in a guy’s collection sure does say something about his personality–
And let’s leave it at that.
The first weekend of January, our dog picked up a stray dog.  Yeah, our dog had a dog.  I didn’t have time and Detroit wasn’t able to look for the owners, so we kept her for about three days while it was really cold.  Then her son saw a sign in the neighborhood, so we returned her.  They were happy to have her back, but it did make us think that another dog is what our dog needs.
We were having a meeting in the living room, the whole house–the whole family.  Detroit’s family.  I guess they are mine, because they live in my house.  But dammit, I don’t want to admit or have to accept the oldest son, The Troll.
I had planned this meeting after the new year to talk about new responsibilities and what I wanted out of the boys, and also some different ways to shop for groceries and plan meals.  The meeting got interupted, so I didn’t get to finish and go off on them.  Detroit’s mom got a call.  Her sister in Michigan was very ill.
She went up to stay with her for several weeks–or stay with another sister and visit the sick one in the hospital.  Then she came home, and then spent three or four days with Detroit’s sister while she recovered from lap-band surgery.  That’s the thing where they squeeze off part of your stomach when you’re too much of a fat-ass and have no self-control and just keep shoveling food down your throat.  They should have installed the lap band about a cubit higher, at her mouth.  That would solve several problems:  It would keep her from eating, and she wouldn’t be able to talk, either.  Fuck, she is annoying.
Shortly after that–about a week ago–Bonnie’s (Detroit’s mom) sister passed away.  Away we trek up to Michigan.
I had high hopes of using some of my time off that I tried to accumulate to get some things done around the house.  Instead, the three days I built up were used on this, and I have nothing again, until next month.  I accrue 11.25 hours per month, which comes to about 17 days per year, or three weeks.  This doesn’t include all the holidays we are off and paid for.  I have a pretty sweet gig.
We go to Michigan.  They pack some bags, and I have to haul them.  It’s Detroit, recovering from a broken hip, and using a walker.  It’s her sister, recovering from her minor surgery and suffering from a severe personality disorder.  And it’s their mother, a short, waddly old sedentary woman with diabetes and other problems.  And me, driving the gimp-mobile.
It wasn’t a bad visit, as trips-for-funerals go–for me.  Detroit got sick Thursday and couldn’t go to the funeral (she was there for the previous evening for the wake.)  She was able to leverage her illness quite cunningly, I thought.  Her mother had planned–without consulting us–for us to stay there through Sunday, and leave Sunday morning, driving the ten hours back.  Detroit said she would rather be sick at home, and wanted to leave.
And that was fine with me, even though I was meeting more of her family and hopefully endearing myself to them…or at least not creeping them out too much.  To be fair, they are her relatives, not mine, so it’s perfectly okay for me to flirt with her hot cousins.
Right?
But we didn’t leave Friday, we left Saturday morning instead.  Friday I got to taste the star of local cuisine:  a steak sammich at Tony’s.  But it’s not a steak sammich.  It’s a burger, or a hoagie.  It’s a large oblong burger on toasted Italian bread with cheese and pizza sauce on it.  It’s a pizza burger.
It was purty goddamn awesome.
I also got to see the sights of Saginaw, Michigan:  Deteriorating slums, a vacant downtown, and roads that could use some putty, or crack-fill, or rock, or something.  Fuck, fill the holes with spaghetti and meatballs for all I care.  Just fill them.
Saturday morning we prepared to leave.  Meaning, I packed our bags, Detroit’s mom and sister packed theirs, and they sat there and watched me while I loaded up the van in the falling snow.  Then I herded their asses out to the van, got them in it, closed the doors, and we left.  It snowed all through Michigan, and somewhere in northern Indiana it turned to rain.  By Indy it had stopped.
I was glad to have Sunday off and at home; the road was not kind to my body, especially my knees.  I did nada but lay on the couch, then nap, then eat, then lay on the couch some more.  It was a busy day.

I feel a little out of practice at writing here, and I’m wondering how I’m supposed to make this interesting or funny.  Fuck it.  Live isn’t always interesting or funny.  Sometimes it’s just life.

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