About Me

I feel the wanderlust and the call of the open highway. Which is good, because I drive cars for a living. But I'm a writer, and someday hope to once again make my living using my writing skills.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stopping at the Movies

I really do love going to the movies every chance I get. I'm on the road so much, sometimes I just have to pull off at a Cinema in a strange town and fulfill my "celluloid
jones." But wouldn't you know it, just my luck, whatever theater I go to always has to have some kooks in it.

Case in point, this past weekend I went to see SHUTTER ISLAND starring Leonardo DiCaprio. A very intense and suspenseful movie, and one I want to imerse myself into so I totally enjoy it. Once the movie began, a couple behind me started talking loudly in conversational tones. At first they just discussed where they would go for dinner after the movie. Then their chat turned to the movie we were watching.

"What's he doing now?" asked the man.

"I don't know," replied his girlfriend.

"What the heck is Leonardo doing?"

"I told you I don't know."

"He was so good in TITANIC. Didn't you love
him in TITANIC?"

"Yes, but I liked him better in THE DEPARTED."

Several people around me were making SHHH noises, but the folks behind me seemed blissfully ignorant.

"I bet I know what's gonna happen now. Wanna bet me?"

"No," said the girl, "You always bet me and I always lose."

About this time, the man's phone rang. People all over the theater auditorium groaned. He picked up and raised his voice.
"Hello! Hello. Yeah its me, I have to speak loud cuz I'm in a movie theater. Yeah, yeah right, Dolby THX sound is loud. Hey, did you get my proposal?"

At this point another man down the aisle from me turned and said, "Excuse me, but--"

The man on the phone put his fingers to his lips and said to the other man, "Shhh, please be quiet, I'm on the phone."

So I turned and asked him to take his phone call outside. The man on the phone looked like I had just called him a terrible name and said, "You wanna step outside? You wanna step outside and let me kick your ass?"

I turned around and endured the rest of his phone call. Once he was done, he started talking to the girl again. "Watch this, baby, watch this part, this is gonna be good. Ooooo!"

"I don't like this much so far," she said.

"But I heard its got a surprise ending. Want me to tell you?"

I jumped to my feet, spun around, pointed to the movie screen, and yelled, "This is not your living room and that is not your TV, so please shut up!"

Then I hurried out of the theater and found another auditorium at the same multiplex that was playing SHUTTER ISLAND. I don't usually stand up for myself so bravely, and thought I should disappear in case he was one of "Bill's (crazy) people" and might be waiting for me afterwards with a knife.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another City, Another Bus Ride

Last week I was over in Dayton, Ohio. I got called to fly down to Miami and pick up a car to take to Columbus, Ohio. The people I delivered that particular car to were a couple of prickly pears. They acted very odd, as if I was trying to pull something over their eyes. When all I was doing was trying to bring them a beautiful brand new company car. In fact, when I said "Good news, this car comes with Sirius Satellite radio," the man spun around and pointed his finger in my face, shouting "I'll be the judge of that!"

The day before I came, the wife offered me a ride to the nearest city bus stop, which was one and a half miles away. I was very grateful, because it was 17 degrees and snowing that morning. But when I arrived, they had changed their mind about helping me, and told me I had a long walk ahead of me.

I trudged through the nasty weather til I got to the bus stop. I arrived just as the bus I wanted was pulling away, so I had to wait another hour for the next bus. Then it was an hour long ride into downtown Columbus, where I'd catch the Greyhound bus.

While riding the city bus, an odd looking elderly gent sat behind me and was counting outloud. First he'd count up to 20, then he'd count backwards down to 1. He started trying to engage me in a strange conversation, so I tried to pretend I didn't know he was talking to me. Then he said that my collar was sticking up in the back.

"It doesn't look good, young man, it doesn't look acceptable. This won't do, no this won't do at all. You'll never get hired for that job looking like this." And with that, he reached up behind me and began to straighten the back of my collar. I sort of jumped, not expecting someone to touch me from behind. But I am kind of jumpy about strangers touching me sometimes. "There now, that's much better."

I sat silently.

"Don't I even get a little thank you?" he asked.

"Sir, its one thing to tell me that my collar is askew, but its another to reach up and fix it."

"But I was trying to help. You needed help. It was the right thing for me to do. You're on your way to a job interview, correct?"

"No sir."

"Well you never would have gotten that job you were interviewing for when the interviewer saw that collar all sticking up. What kind of job is it?"

"No job, no interview."

"Ah yes, that reminds me of my first job. But I don't have to tell an industrious fellow like you, do I? You seem to me to be a man of the world. I bet you've been around the block twice or more. Am I correct?"

"Just headed for Greyhound."

"Oh no, son, don't be a fool! Don't squander all your savings on dog races, you will live to regret it."

"What? No, I mean the bus."

"We are on the bus."

"I mean the Greyhound bus."

"If you want to take a bus to the dog tracks, I'm not going to help you out. I refuse to tell you which bus to take."

"OK, no problem."

The elder gent was quiet for a few minutes, then he got up and walked around in front of me. He stared at my face, then very quickly licked his fingers and used them to rub my cheek. "You've got a little bit of schmutz on your face. That would not look good in the interview."

I jumped away from him, for I do not like a stranger touching my face, especially not with fingers soaked with saliva. So I rang the bell and got off at the very next stop. The elder gent was waving at me, almost looked like he was going to cry. "Goodbye, young man, Godspeed and God bless. I just know you're gonna get that job!"

Job? What job? I have a job. But God bless the old guy anyhow for wanting me to look presentable.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I came to Dayton, Ohio for a week and saw a friend do a great performance in a new band called Dark Backward.
After a late night performing hard, my friend slept in all day.
But I wanted to go see a movie, so I checked the local bus schedule.

I found a bus headed near the movie theater, so I walked to the bus stop and soon boarded a bus.
At the very next stop, a strange looking woman climbed onboard. She was wearing huge red sunglasses, had resewn quilts as legwarmers, a baggy football jersy, houseslippers on her feet, and what looked like a cloth diaper tied around her head.
"Step on it driver, I'm in a hurry."
She sat down in the front of the bus, directly across from me.
"Ride much?" she asked me.

"Beg pardon?"

"The bus. Do you ride the bus very much."

"This is my first time. I mean, in Dayton that is."

"Oh, you're a Godless out of towner, eh?"


"I know your type. You creep in by the dark of night and then spread your filth. This is Ohio, we believe in God here."

"I believe in God."

"Do you go to church."

"Not as often as I should."

"Aha! I knew it. So, do you like our little city so

"Um, yeah, real nice."

"That's exactly what I'd expect you to say!"

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, just mind your own business!"

I sat quietly, and looked in the other direction. But I could feel her eyes staring at me hatefully, and when I glanced over it confirmed my instinct.

"Don't look at me!"


"Don't you dare look at me. I will step across the bus
and slap you across the face."

"Really ma'am, I don't want any trouble."

"But trouble is what you'll get. Trouble for you and all your Godless hellraising friends." She looked out the window and took in a deep breath, then sighed. She seemed almost peaceful. "Dayton is a truly lovely city. You should really get a good look around while you're here. I have no doubt that you'll love what you see. Maybe you'll just want to stay and settle down here."


She leaned towards me suddenly and spoke firmly. "Tell me, do you appreciate the drivers of these city buses."

"Well, yes."

"Do you? Do you really?"

"Of course, they get me where I'm going safely and on time."

"And do you give them a gift for Christmas?"

"A gift?"

"Yes. You know Christmas, with Santa and reindeers and snowballs and stockings? Its the season of giving, and I would like to know if you give a gift to every bus driver you see."

"I'll consider it."

She rang the bell for the bus to stop. "You'll do it! If you are a God fearing man, then you will do the right thing. Without hesitation."

The bus stopped, and she started to climb off. Then she popped her head back up near me. "Do the right thing, or you will burn in hell!" She leaped off the bus laughing wildly.

In spite of that, I do love Dayton, Ohio. Its a nice city with really nice people. It reminds me of something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I could never blame a city for the crazy people I run into. They are everywhere, and they seem to be looking for me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I was asked to move two cars this week out here in LA for the most disorganized office in our company. The gal in the office called me and was very rush-rush-rush. The first day, it got cancelled just as I was heading out the door. The very next day, I rode 3 hours on buses to get to the pickup point, only to be told that car move was postponed for a while. And the office refused to pay me for my time!

Well, I admit I was frustrated, so I went into a bar for a drink. A drunken man at the bar yelled at me. "Hey you, come here!" I tried to walk by him, but he reached out and grabbed me. "Don't pretend you don't know me, you bastard. How the hell are you?"


"Where you been hiding, you crazy sumbitch? I haven't seen you in forever."

"I think you've got the wrong guy."

"Don't try that shit on me, you dirty bastard. You and me been in the trenches together."


"No buts about it, I have missed you. Let me buy you a drink, you still drinking the same thing?"

"OK, I'll have a Coke."

"Oh, yeah, right. Just a Coke. 'Course you and I did our fair share of coke back in the day. Know what I mean?" He wheezed with laughter, then said "I'm talking about cocaine."

"Yeah, I got that."

The drunk man yelled at the bartender. "Jimmy, get Billy Joe here his usual."

Jimmy the bartender shrugged. "What is Billy Joe's usual?"

"Jack and Coke, same as me. Hurry it up, cuz he is thirsty. Now, catch me up on what's been going down, Billy Joe?"

"Just driving cars around the country."

"Yep, still a travelin' man, some things never change. With a whore in every port, am I right? Know what I mean?" The drunk winked and nudged me hard in the ribs with his elbow. Jimmy brought us two drinks, and while I sipped my new acquaintance downed his in one gulp. "Jimmy, another one please. Wow, Billy Joe and Charlie together again. We sure did have us some times, didn't we?"

I figured it best to just go with the flow. "You can say that again."

"Alright, I will say that again. We sure did have some times." Charlie wheezed laughter again. "Remember that one time... with that girl... and the policeman...and you tried to --" Charlie wheezed again, but this time his laughter turned into a hacking cough.

I patted him on the back, and took another sip of my very strong drink. "Good drink."

"Best damn drink in town, and you are welcome by the way."

"Thanks for the drink, Charlie."

"Bout time you got around to thanking me, and --" Charlie nearly fell backward off of his barstool, and I grabbed him.

"Easy there, Charlie."

"Don't you tell me what to do. Don't try to boss me. I will not stand for it, I will whip your butt. I've done it before, you know I can."

"Everything's OK, it's all good."

"Did you happen to know that I love you, man? Always have and always will, because you are the kind of man who is a brother to some guy like me."

"Good to know."

"Let me tell you one more thing. You remember my grandpappy, well he only used to ever drink wine. And he made his own wine, I bet you did not know that."

"I believe it."

"You damn well better believe it. His was a special secret wine. He had a secret way of making it, his own secret recipe. It was a secret." Charlie looked back and forth to make sure no one was listening, then he leaned in close to me and whispered very loudly "His secret was that he used grapes! Shhhh!" Charlie had put his fingers to his lips."

"No kidding," I said as Jimmy brought Charlie another drink, and Charlie promptly gulped it down.

"Don't you ever tell anyone that secret, its between you and me. Cuz if you ever tell anyone, then I'm gonna--" Charlie fell off the barstool onto the floor, and I could hear a slight snoring sound.

"Charlie is down!" yelled Jimmy the bartender, as if it was a daily ritual.

I finished my drink and left. Knowing full well that there are thousands of other nutty folks out in the world just waiting to find me.