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.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Have you ever had one of those days? When it just seems like nothing is going right for you?

I had just delivered a car near Broken Arrow, OK. When I say near, I mean it was outside the city limits in a fairly rural area. The customer was not a bit accommodating, and told me I'd have to walk to the city bus stop about five miles away. I had called several cab companies, but none offered service to that area. So I grabbed my duffel bag and started the long hike.

I've always been a sucker for shortcuts, ever since I was a little boy. So when I saw that I could cut through a field which would cut at least a half mile off my trip, I was eager to do so. There was a ditch between the highway and the field which I'd have to get across. I climbed down and prepared to jump over the water that was flowing through the wide ditch.

First I tossed my duffel bag gently across the other side. Then I took a few steps back to get a running start, and I rushed and jumped as far as I could. I came up just a little bit short of the bank on the other side of the water, and my tennis shoes immediately started to sink. The substance felt like a cross between muck and quicksand, and I was sinking steadily down. Soon my shoes had disappeared completely beneath the nasty muck, and I knew I had to take action quickly. I began to sway my body to get up some momentum, just like I did when I was a kid on the swingset. I threw myself forward and came tumbling down near my duffel bag. My feet were covered only by my white socks, as the muck had claimed my tennis shoes. The socks were mostly covered in mud, as were the bottom half of both legs.

I walked in my stocking feet til I found a Payless shoe store, where I went inside and bought a cheap pair of shoes. I had extra clean socks in my bag, but only had the one pair of shoes with me.

Luckily, I got a call from Riff, and there was a car in Tulsa headed to Richmond, VA. So I could ride the city bus from Broken Arrow into Tulsa easily enough. I got to the bus stop just as the bus had pulled away, and had to wait an hour for the next one to come.

Once I got to the car, I started on my journey east. Making a brief detour to a local bank so I could cash a few checks I still had totalling $500. I stopped near the Missouri border and got some gas and food. Before I left, I went to the dirty restroom way out back of the station. I was standing at the urinal when a large man wearing a trenchcoat walked in.

"Good morning," he said to me.

I don't much like talking to others, especially strangers, when I'm using the facilities. But I nodded and said "Hi."

"And how are you on this fine, fine morning?"

"Well actually, its afternoon."

"Thanks for the tip, smart ass. I'm gonna need all your money."


"Give me all your money, now!"

"What? What?" I was feeling somewhat dazed.

The man pushed me against the wall and punched me with his fist. The hand he hit me with had a ring on every finger, and that made the sting of his punches much more painful. He forced the watch off my wrist and demanded, "Now empty your pockets. Don't you fuck with me, I ain't playing with you."

I felt angry and struggled, but he was much bigger and stronger than me and slammed me hard against the wall. Then he pulled out a large hunting knife and put the serated edge of it to my neck. I slowly reached into my pocket.

"Yeah, yeah, that's a good boy. Get it all out." He took the cash I pulled out of my pocket and looked at it. Ten one dollar bills. "What's this? Where's the rest?"

"Payday is tomorrow. That's all I've got left from last week."

"You stupid motherfu--... You're lucky I don't slice you up." He threw me down on the floor, gave me a good solid kick, and ran out of the restroom. I was very sore, and slowly got up and headed for my car.

I called the police, and the man I spoke to told me to consider myself lucky that I got away alive and with no serious injuries. He said he would send an officer out to take a report if I could just wait at the station for an hour or so. I decided that it wouldn't be worthwhile, I'd rather get on down the road. I 0pened the console compartment between the front bucket seats, and thanked God that I always leave my wallet there when I travel, only keeping a small amount of cash in my pockets.

There sure are a lot of mean people out there in the world. That is why I feel it is so important to try to be thoughtful and generous and show kindness to others whenever possible. Maybe it will catch on.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I drove into Madison, Wisconsin yesterday to deliver a car to an elderly couple. They had been calling me every hour on my drive to see where I was. It was a long drive up from Florida, and I had run into some really terrible weather along the way. When I got to the airport, where they asked me to meet them, I had the paperwork signed and then gave them $30 in toll receipts. "What is this for?" asked the haughty woman.

"Toll receipts, my boss Riff told me that you would reimburse me for them."

"I most certainly will not, and how dare you for presuming to ask me."

"I meant no offense, but my boss--"

"Yes, yes, your boss, always pass the buck and blame it on someone else. I don't believe your boss told you to ask me for anything, I think you are a con man and a charlatan, and you are trying to take advantage of me. You are a rude, rude, rude young man. Here, let me see those toll receipts." I handed all 20 pieces of paper to her, and she threw them up into the air. It was a windy day, and they went flying everywhere. "Now, let's just see what you're going to do about that!" She and her husband got into the car and drove away.

I rented a car, which would get me out of Madison the following day. But now I wanted a hotel room and a shower. When I went into the Best Western, there were a whole lot of people outside carrying signs climbing onto a bus. Protesters. I had been hearing a lot about this on the news for the past several weeks. Something about the Unions.

After I was checked in and had a shower, I went back to the desk and asked for something I could do for entertainment in Madison. The nice lady at the Front Desk suggested I go and see the parade downtown. I asked her what the parade was about, and she was interrupted by a phone call. She was delayed for a long time by the call, so I just smiled and waved and left.

I got downtown and found a hard time getting a parking spot, because of the crowds and street closures. Once I found the main drag where the parade was, I saw tractors going down the street. Lots and lots of tractors. And nothing else but tractors. This was the most unusual parade I had ever seen. It was bitter cold outside, and the wind was cutting right through me. So I found a place called the Coffee Shack and went in. There were a few other people in there, including an odd little man sitting in the corner mumbling to himself.

"How do you like the weather?" a friendly woman asked me as I added sugar and milk to my coffee.

"A whole lot colder than Florida, where I just came from. Say, what's this parade about? I've never seen one where they only have tractors."

"Oh, its a protest parade. The farmers are all driving their tractors down the street to show how unhappy they are with the state and federal funding. Or lack of funding. They are very mad at our Governor."

"I saw some protesters over by my hotel, I assumed they were all about the Union situation."

"Union!" shouted the odd man in the corner. "Did you say Union?" He came rushing over to where I was standing. "For God's sake man, do you know what you're saying?"

"I was just saying--"

"No excuses, the Unions are a very serious matter. Not to be taken lightly, not to be made fun of."

I shook my head. "I had no intention of making fun."

"So you say." He eyed me suspiciously. "My name is Pete, and I love the Unions. Do you hear what I'm saying?"

"Loud and clear, Pete."

"Union means the act of uniting or the state of being united."


"It can also mean the state of matrimony. Or sexual intercourse."

"I suppose that's true," I said.

"Oh, there is no supposing. It's a fact. Think about it, the bond of their union led to years of happy marriage. In order to form a more perfect Union, the North beat the South in the Civil War. Were you aware of that?"

"Yes I was, I mean, I am."

"A Union can also be the coupling device for connecting parts, such as rods or pipes. Do you see where I'm headed with this?"

"Um, not exactly."

"When I was a kid I went to Training Union at my church every Sunday night. It was sort of like Sunday School, only at night. Does that mean anything to you at all?"

"Not really."

"Don't you have a heart? You just refuse to see what's right in front of your face. The Union protects the working man, and we must fight for the Unions above all else. It's the most important issue in these United States. Can you see that?"

"I think there are two sides to every issue."

"Then you are an ignorant moron, my friend. Can I make a suggestion to you? Please go rent the DVD of NORMA RAE, perhaps that will enlighten you. I weep for idiots like you." Pete burst into wild laughter and went running out, zig zagging as he ran. I guess I need to go watch NORMA RAE again. After all, Sally Field is a wonderful actress.