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, September 30, 2012


I was driving down the highway in the Hill Country of Texas, and it seemed more than appropriate to be listening to George Strait singing SOMEWHERE DOWN IN TEXAS.  I was on my way to see Tom and Jenny at their ranch full of dogs, and I knew that the welcome mat would be out.  The last time I was there had been at Christmas, when they had just adopted the three little girls.

When I drove up to their house, I saw the girls playing out in the yard with the dogs.  Normally Jenny would rush out to greet me, but for the first time this didn't happen.  I felt concerned, but figured she must be busy inside.  I got out and said hello to the girls, and then went inside to find Jenny in the middle of a heated conversation on the phone.

"I'm doing the best I can out here!" she shouted.  "I have 40 dogs here right now, and I feed them and provide for them and do my very best to find homes for them.  I really don't appreciate you saying crap like that about me, and if you're going to, how about saying it to my face instead of posting it on Facebook.  And one more thing--"  Jenny stopped mid-sentence, and just stared at the phone in disbelief.  "I can't believe it.  She hung up on me!"

"Who did?"

"This dumb bitch named Heidi.  I had someone go back on a contract I had for an adopted dog, and she posted on Facebook that I wasn't doing a good enough job and that I should go and physically check out a home before I give a dog away."


She let out a sigh.  "I'm sorry, Bill, where are my manners.  Welcome home."  She threw her arms around me and squeezed tight.  "You're a sight for sore eyes.  I needed a good friend right about now."

"And you've got one.  Jenny, don't listen to that stupid woman, she obviously doesn't know what she's talking about.  You do so much for these dogs, you go way above and beyond.  Talk about pay it forward.  I seriously doubt there is anyone in the world that takes care of dogs or loves dogs as much as you."

"I don't know about all that.  Come here, I want to show you something."  She led me over to her computer, and turned the screen for me to see.  I was horrified by the sight of a dog with a huge fish hook in its snout.  "There are insane people using dogs as live bait to catch big fish."


"It's true!  This is absolutely unacceptable behavior and should be considered heinous cruelty to animals. I can't believe we should have to tell someone this is wrong."

"Holy crap."

"Can you even imagine the fear these poor animals must be in the last minutes of their lives."  Tears welled up in her eyes.  "No living being deserves to be treated and used this way!  Dammit!"  She plopped down in her chair, looking defeated.  "Sometimes I feel like with all I do, I am barely making a dent."

I gently rubbed her shoulders.  "Nonsense, you are wonderful.  You do so much good, I can't even begin to tell you.  The love you show, the sacrifices you make.  Listen, I brought beer and cigarettes and some thick steaks.  And a big bag of dog biscuits for the pooches.  I'm going to make you dinner and cheer you up.  Where's Tom?"

"He's over at the neighbor's again, that bastard is causing us trouble every single day.  Running customers off, building over our property line.  I think Tom may shoot him before long."

"Let's hope not," I said.  She got up and led me outside so we could check on the dogs and the kids.  I had to get the stuff I brought out of the car anyway.

Jenny stopped and did a head count.  "We have some new dogs.  That one is John Wayne, and that one over there is Mr. Tom Hanks.  The little one next to him is his brother Jim Hanks."

"You like naming them after movie actors, don't you?"

"Yep."  She smiled, then looked a bit worried.  "Where's Charlie?"


"Charlie McCarthy, he's a newcomer, a beagle.  You'll like him."

Right about then, Tom came sauntering up.  "Bill-doggie!" he yelled when he saw me.  "Come here, bro."  He grabbed me and hugged me tight.  "How's my brother from another mother?"

"Great Tom, how are you?"

"Ready for a beer."

"I brought a 12 pack."

He grinned.  "One of the things I love about you the most.  Hey, I was just talking to our asshole neighbor.  I think he makes his goal in life to harrass us."

Jenny interrupted.  "Tom, where is Charlie?"

"I think I saw him in the woods when I was headed over to talk to Mr. Asshole Watson."

"He didn't go over there, did he?"  Just as Jenny completed her sentence, we heard a dog yelp and cry from distance.  "That's Charlie!" she cried, and ran into the house.

"Where's she going?" I asked.

Tom shook his head, and in a flash Jenny came back out of the house carrying Tom's shotgun.  She ran past us at almost superhuman speed, and we ran after her.  About one minute later, we were at their property line, and Charlie was laying on the ground bleeding.  Their neighbor Watson was standing over the dog with a weed wacker, and Jenny took all her momentum from running and used the shotgun like a battering ram to knock Watson on his butt.  "What'd you do to my dog?"

Watson was on the ground, stunned but stubborn.  "He came onto my property."

Jenny was incredulous.  "He came onto your property?  Oh my God!"

"I had to teach him a lesson!"

"Did you?  Well I guess now I'll have to teach you one, too."  She pumped the shotgun and took aim.  In the blink of an eye, Tom disarmed her.  He swooped in and pulled the gun out of her hands, as Watson pulled himself to his feet.  Jenny was in such a fierce state of protective aggressiveness that she was caught off guard by Tom's actions.  She was a force to be reckoned with.  Talk about irrepressible and irascible!  When Watson was on his feet again, she shook her head no and hit him like a linebacker, knocking him onto the ground once more.  "You are so lucky that I have to tend to Charlie's wounds, but trust me you son of a bitch, this isn't over."  She picked up Charlie gently then began to run back for the house.

Watson got to his feet again.  "You need to put those dogs and that wife of yours on a leash, and--"

Tom interrupted, leaning menacingly into Watson so that their faces were just about touching.  "Shut your mouth!  You don't get to talk right now.  I can promise you that if this happens again, my wife won't be coming over here.  Because I'll be over here first and kill you myself.  Keep that in mind, you dirty son of a bitch!"

I followed Tom back home, and he dealt with the little girls to distract them so they wouldn't be frightened.  I went inside and did my best to assist Jenny in patching up Charlie.  Seems like Watson had cut the dog with his weed wacker.  When she got done, we all sat outside and had a beer.

"He's gonna be OK," Jenny told us.

"Yes, but are you OK?" I asked.

Tom chuckled.  "Damn, girlfriend, you were on fire."

"There's no excuse for what he did, no one should hurt a dog," she said

I nodded.  "You said earlier that someone accused you of not doing a good enough job.  What a load of crap.  Dogs are man's best friend, but no dog in the world could have a better friend or protector than Jenny."

"Amen," said Tom, and he took a long swig of beer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I had been working with Andy, the crazed paranoid driver, for a few weeks now shuttling cars from Florida to Texas and back.  Basically, I was serving as "chase" driver to Andy, following him one way then picking him up and driving him back for another pick up.  I did not enjoy his company one little bit, but the money was good so I couldn't say no.

He had just delivered a cargo van to Waco, Texas.  I was waiting for him in a minivan, which Riff had assigned to follow him.  He pulled into the parking lot where I waited driving a large truck, with a trailer attached to the back of it.  Andy got out of the car and swaggered over to me.  "Good morning, puss face."

"What's this?  Aren't you supposed to ride back with me to Ft. Lauderdale?"

"Change of plans, man.  I got this truck and trailer to take, so you just follow me back."

"Wait a second, did Riff assign this?"

"No idiot, I got the order from another company.  We don't tell Riff about it, right?  Right?!"

"What do you think you're up to, Andy?"

"Shut up and do as your told.  And don't you dare bring my Aunt Bessie into it."  He poked his finger into my ribs.  "You know it was funny, and you know just what I'm talking about."

"It wasn't funny at all."

He poked me again.  "You have to admit, it was a little funny."

I stared at him with disgust.  "Andy, you mixed extra strength laxative in my drink.  I crapped my pants, then couldn't get far from a toilet all day."

He bent over and brayed with laughter.  "Hilarious!"

"No, it's a rotten thing to do to someone.  Especially someone like me who has digestive issues."

"Come on, don't be a prick, it was pretty funny."  He began to poke me in the ribs once again, but this time I grabbed his wrist and twisted it.  Then I spun him around, pinned his arm to his back, and slammed him face first into the side of the trailer.  "Hey man, be cool!"

I was trying to control my temper and spoke softly.  "I am very cool right now."

"No you're not, you're acting like a maniac."

I let him go and then pointed my finger in his face.  "Do not touch me again.  Got it?"  I turned on my heel and headed for the minivan.

"OK Sally, see if you are man enough to keep up with me.  I was up all night drinking, and I've had five cups of coffee and four of those 5 hour alert shots.  I am wired for sound, and don't you forget it."

I began to follow Andy as he took the back roads from Waco to Houston.  Once there, he got on I-10 east and we were headed for Florida.  I was listening to music and trying to relax, but was still tense over what he had done.  I tried to stay clear of this guy, but circumstances brought us together more often than I cared for.  He is so volatile and unpredictable.  And he brought out a side of me that I didn't like, a perfect example being me throwing him against the trailer.  That's not me, that is not the way I behave.  But he pushes me so far that I feel something akin to hatred for the guy.  He makes me nuts.

Suddenly, I saw the trailer fishtail.  Then the truck Andy was driving began to swerve.  Both the truck and the trailer were swerving, and each fishtail move made a wider arc.  I stared in amazement, wondering what this lunatic driver had done to cause the wild swinging to begin.  And then, the truck flipped, followed closely by the trailer.  It rolled several times before coming to a stop on its side, and I pulled off to the shoulder and quickly ran for the truck.

As I neared it, I could clearly see that Andy was unconscious inside the cab of the truck.  He had what appeared to be a burning joint hanging from his lips.  I could smell gasoline, and knew that disaster was just a whisper away.  I tried very hard to open the door, but it was jammed shut.  So I kicked the window until it broke, and then cleared away the glass so I could reach in.  By this time, a fire had started, and I was feeling frantic about getting him out and moving as far away as possible.

It was a difficult task, but I was able to pull him free of the burning truck.  That's when I first noticed that his head was bleeding profusely.  A woman who had pulled over behind me ran up with her cell phone to her ear.  "I'm calling 911," she said.

"Thanks, but I have to get him right to a hospital or I think he might not make it."

"There's one fairly near here.  Go down three exits, get off, turn right, and go about five miles."

"Thanks, thanks a lot," I told her.  I yelled out my name and my cell phone number as I carried Andy to the minivan.  The woman entered my cell phone into her own, so she could contact me or give it to the authorities who would be there soon.

I know that conventional wisdom would be to let the ambulance come and get Andy and rush him to the hospital.  But as a driving fool, I can promise you that I went faster and more skillfully than any ambulance ever could.  I was determined to save his life if at all possible.  Though there was absolutely nothing about this guy that I liked.  Not even remotely.

Just over ten minutes later, I pulled up to the Emergency Room entrance and carried Andy inside.  I had to wait five hours, during which time the police called me and then showed up at the hospital.  Soon after I finished my report with the police officers, the Dr. came out to tell me that Andy would survive, but he was going to need a lot of rest and rehab.  "Toxicology told us that he was as high as a kite," explained the Doc.  "That may be what saved him."


"He was extremely relaxed, so he didn't tense up on impact.  One thing is for sure, though:  if you hadn't brought him right over, he never would have survived.  He owes you his life."

Those were words I had never heard before.  Someone owes me their life.  But why did it have to be Andy?  I am quite certain that he won't be the least bit grateful, and that as soon as he fully recovers he'll be trying to slip me some more laxative, or worse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I was sitting in the Diner watching a young waitress move about.  I don’t know how young she was, but I found myself hoping she wasn’t too young for me.  She had been flirting with me, no doubt about it, and I thought she was very attractive.  I kept on finding new things to order just so I could stay at my table and appreciate her.  She walked back over to me carrying a coffee pot.  “More coffee?” she asked.

“I don’t want to get too wired.”

“Right, all that energy and nothing to do with it.  Or is there?”

“You get right to the point,” I said.

“Life is too short.  You’re cute, I’m hot, why not?”

“How old are you, anyway?”

“Does it really matter?” she wanted to know.`

“My guess would be late 20’s, and even that might be too young for me.”

“Why?  Come on, live a little.”

I sighed.  “How old?”

“I turned 21 last Tuesday, so I’m legal.”

“Check please.  I’m not a cradle robber.”

“Even if I promised to make all of your most erotic fantasies come true?”

I paused, then said,  “I’m flattered that you’d even consider me, but… no.”

This beautiful girl shrugged and walked away.  I felt a hand swipe across the back of my head, and heard a familiar voice say,  “Just what in the hell do you think you’re doing, Mister Bill?”

I smiled warmly and turned to see Karen standing behind me.  The love of my life.  My soulmate.  My gay ex-girlfriend.  “Hi, Karen.”

She seemed stern.  “Answer the question.  Why did you come to my Café to hit on an innocent young waitress, way too young for you old man?”

“I thought I was in a Diner.”

“It’s a Café, and don’t try to change the subject.”  She had sneaked up on me, and now she came around to sit across the table from me.  “What’s up with you?”

“I came to see you, and you weren’t here.”

“So you decided to hit on my staff?”

“Don’t be mad.  I came to make peace.  I didn’t like how we left things last time I was here.”

Her face softened, and the smile that separated her lips was pure sunshine.  “I felt bad, too.  I didn’t mean to hurt you, and I sure didn’t mean to send you away without a meal.”

“It was my fault.”

“It was both of our fault, and you know it.  I can take some of the blame, too.”

“I was a jerk.”

“That’s enough, that’s in the past and the subject is closed.  Agreed?”

“Yes ma’am.  I will learn to be more understanding and tolerant of Cheryl.”

“There is no more Cheryl.”

“What?  Since when?”

“She’s gone, let’s just leave it at that for now.  We might discuss it more later.  Like over dinner tonight.”

“Just you and me?”

“Ask me out on a date, silly man.”

I felt a tingling sensation.  “Karen, will you go out with me tonight?”

She looked up at the ceiling as if she were thinking it over, then laughed and said,  “Yes, but you have to get me home by midnight.”

I felt so warm and good all over.  “I am really glad you’re not mad at me anymore.”

She reached across the table and took my hands.  “Listen here, you.  I love you, and I always will.  You are very special to me.”

“Can I be your boyfriend?”

She shook her head.  “One step at a time.  Dinner tonight, OK?  But one thing I know for sure is that I want you to be a bigger part of my life.  I need you, Bill.”  She squeezed my hands in hers.

I swallowed hard.  “I need you too, Karen.”