Mean Streets

I just argued with a black crack head broad over some fifty cent used boxer shorts. She felt they were way overpriced. Since I was still coming down from throwing a phony crippled broad out of the store in her wheelchair, my adrenalin was up a few notches and my “Hey, how are you” persona hadn’t came back yet. I pull two bucks out of my pocket and give it to the gal and tell her to go crazy. Ok, so another satisfied customer.

These phony pukes and there shove it up their ass ‘Handicapped’ license plates. When society goes Road Warrior these fuckers are the first ones I’m smoking for gas for my truck. Next in my sights, 500 hundred pound blimps with cankles the size of fire hydrants driving around on little electric carts. Hey, fatso, try walking and you wouldn’t need the cart. Or, the “I’m so god damned clever” ones that are driving OFF ROAD TRUCKS with the handicapped plates. Blow me you lying pricks. I haven’t seen a real handicapped person get out of one stinking vehicle since doing fifty hours of community service. If Road Warrior scenario happens? I’ll make these plate holders install land mines around my compound for room and board.

My only good times are going for donated pick up items in my truck. My top five pickups? Hmm. Lets see. OK, starting with five and working to number one. I already know number one so it’s hit and miss with the others.

NUMBER 5: After instructions written in Klingon from a retard, I head into the unknown. Since the Thomas Guide I bought at Home Depot only has the rich areas in it, if not in Stallion fucking Springs or the good parts of Old Town, you’re on your own. My own road isn’t on it. It just shows a wiggle into a dead end canyon that’s a faded squiggle. No lie. Glad I spent 18 bucks on it.

So, back to the pickup. With no Thomas Guide, I figure a gas station map will have to do. Same bullshit. No dirt roads if PRIVATE. Swell. I fight the urge to slice my wrists the long way up and try and use the written instructions. Naturally no phone number anywhere on the scrap of paper. I end up asking some kids riding double on a bike near the Circle K. They want me to buy them a pack of Marlboros and they’ll tell me right where the street is. I tell them no way. I end up going to the hardware store and asking the delivery guy at Henry’s. He gives me the low down. An hour later I’m no closer to my pick up and down a quarter tank of diesel. I spot the kids on the bike in a small park as I’m heading back to the 2nd hand store. I slow and yell, “Stay right there, I’ll be right back!” I know they can see me pulling into the Circle K.

I get a bottled water and a Snickers and some Marlboros. Holy shit, smokes are expensive! I shoot back across the street, let these teens see the smokes in the plastic bag as I take out my water and Snickers then toss the bag onto the top of the trash can next to me. They tell me right where the street is and off I go. Holy shit what a dump. I back down a long weed-choked driveway with a guy from Deliverance guiding me back to my prize. I must have broken off thirty Chinese Elm branches with my tall dump bed. At least they smell cool when you snap them. You can put a stick in a bucket of water and they’ll grow roots out in a couple of weeks. The Chinese that built some of our rail roads brought them over to remind them of home. They also shoot out new growths from their extensive root systems.

I get past the trees and I’m in a big yard full of junk. I find a spot to turn around and get this old man at my window pointing out what I’m to pick up. Looks like a big stack of plastic yard bags full of clothing. I shut off the engine and step out to check them out. I pick one up and the bottom falls out. Holding the ripped top straight out I say to the old man, “Hey dude, I’m not the trash man. This is house hold trash!” The old man is indignant at my attitude. He starts waving these scab covered arms around about two feet from my face while starting to curse me. Screw this. As I head back to my truck I spot three old lawn mowers with weeds growing out of their handle controls. I stop him in mid-curse asking him how much does he want for these lawn mowers. He says fifty bucks. I pull out two twentys and say take it or leave it. He snatches em right out of my paw. I load them up and the guy tosses in a rototiller with no wheels.

I fight my way back out his drive and take the stuff right to Murry’s Lawn Mower Repair. I had just gotten a field man lecture on weed eaters from the guy before buying a Dr. Weed mower from him. Well, Pat, my wife, bought it for me on her credit card. My whining about my small hand held one doing five acres finally drove her insane. Anyhow, while getting the low down, Murry had taken me into his back area where he keeps all of his ready to be picked up equipment he has already repaired. He asks me with a wink. “Which brand is there the most of?” Easy to see. Out of ten in a row with the red ‘Repaired’ tags hanging off their controls, eight say Sears on them. I was learning already. Don’t buy Sears.

I ask Murry to give me the lowdown on other brands he has stacked up all over the place. I mean stacked up, too. Some places there’s literally piles of them. I ask him why he keeps them. “Parts, my friend. Just like an auto junk yard, I can part them out and make a lot of dough!” Oh really sez I. I wonder, “Which ones are you always looking for?” He says instantly, “Anything Husquvarna. They’re Swedish, and some models are impossible to find. I can get fifty bucks for some good wheels and rims alone. If a particular model some old farmer is in love with, what ever I want for rebuilt carbs, trannys, stuff like that. If it’s Italian or German, same deal. Keep your eyes open for me and I’ll take them off your hands, no problem!”.

One of the mowers was a Husquvarna, another was an Italian BHP or something. The third was a Sears model. All beat to shit. Solid tires on them so no flats at least. I back up to Murry’s side gate and ask his yard guy to see if his boss will want the stuff in the back of my dump. The kid steps onto my duallys and looks over my side board. “Oh, shit yeah dude. I’ll go get him!” I drop the tailgate.

Murry goes wild. And not over the lawn movers. He’s crazy about the roto tiller. He gives me a hundred bucks for everything and asks me to find more. Hey, a small profit, but that’s how I roll. The D.A. and Judge think I’m some high roller with all the hundreds of tons of material they took three weeks to remove from my old place. Over three weeks. Hey, it took me thirty years mother fuckers, doing little deals like I had just done with the mower guy. Try doing it yourselves. I’d love to see you pull it off. That goes for anyone. Try putting a ten thousand pound, ninety foot long, ten inch wide and fifty inch tall glue lam up into the air and setting it on something that won’t fall over or collapse. It’s not easy. It takes a moron with a dream to even attempt even one. Forget 128 ninety foot utility poles and fifty two such beams. Oh, don’t forget 60 thousand pounds of inch flange steel ‘I’ beams at forty foot long. I am that moron.

Back at the store, I give the sad news about the waste of time household trash. My manager is actually pretty cool. He offers me some fuel money from the store kitty. I decline. I got to have some fun and made some cash. No harm no foul. The store doesn’t handle junked motor anythings. Maybe the odd fridge or stove. I haven’t seen one big appliance since going to the store and I’ve been hitting its books shelves off and on for months. Maybe because THEIR TRUCK IS BROKE DOWN. Telling people such in a small town can kill a lot of donations.

Oh, on making more dough. I get another lecture by my boss about poaching in others’ work areas. The paid employees little turfs and fiefdoms. I cut to the chase and tell him to put me where ever he wants me and enough said. I clear off the outside tables that have boxes full of stuff with five generations of dead black widow males swinging on the last webs they would ever spin. Since it was now summer Momma had moved to shade. I get a little desert. Some people backed into the rear alley area and unloaded a bunch of boxes. I blow through the two tables to get to my desert.

I move all kinds of stuff into separate grocery carts from stores long out of business so don’t think anyone steals. Some might be lazy, worthless scum bags but everyone seems honest and above board. If anyone in the store buys something, it’s rung up and then the receipt is signed by a manager. I haven’t even tried pricing something my self and taking it up front. I let someone else price anything I’m interested in. I haven’t bought anything over three dollars, so don’t call the President.

Into carts go boxes of used snow chains. Not the good ones. The plastic shitty ones that attach to your rims. On the box is a drawn picture of a smiling woman attaching them as she kneels down wearing a DRESS! Yeah, right. Into another cart go glass ware and such. Coffee mugs with whale handles that say Monterey Bay Aquarium, kitchen ware of every sort and make. I put metal in one plastic Kool-aid dispenser and junk into a small cardboard box. Anything wood flies out of the store. Wooden stir spoons with the holes in the spoon end can cause a riot it spotted by shoppers at the same time. Ditto for wood rolling pins and wooden salad bowls. Glass coffee beakers for some 1930 automatic drip coffee maker that runs on DC? Knife fights. No lie. They can get vicious. Metal blender dealies mom’s let kids lick frosting off of are like mini holy grails. Ancient pop out metal temp gauges? “I’ll cut your throat bitch!”, from the mouth of a kindly looking grandma if another gal even tries to look at it in her basket.

Oh man, don’t get me started. Every day I see the same broads perusing the store. Gee, think they own their own stores and are reselling. Nah. One old battleaxe offers me a little tip if I’ll keep my eye out for etched glasses, or, German knives. I tell her first come first serve. Any German knives I’ll tell my wife Pat about. She’s the one who’s the real pro in garage sales and second hand stores. Hell, if we ever have another ice age I can trade the bag after bag of down everything Pat has stashed in our barn for some hot teen age babes that are scantily clad and freezing. Only to help Pat dress deer and bear and hoeing in the garden. I’m only thinking of her welfare.

Inside the store go the carts. Electronics on one cart goes right to Mr. Navy. He’s one of the coolest guys in the joint. He actually works. He shows me how to test like a pro. I pull out a portable CD player I liked. It’s old, but, really heavy- so I figure it’s a quality item. Nope. Mr. Navy straightens me out. “Its heavy because of these!” He flips it over and removes 12 ‘D’ batteries with green corrosion coming out of them. He hands me the unit minus batteries. It almost floats away. It’s also missing the AC cord. My guy has his own personal collection of cords. In goes an old Pink Floyd disc and he tests it. It only works if you hold the power cord in a certain position while you stand on one foot while turning your head to cough. Adios to that idea. Mr. Navy tests three TVs that all work. Two are missing their remotes- a big minus in the second hand world. It will cancel out any sale to the 500 pound crowd. Get up and change a channel? Are you serious? No dice on the VHS players, either. Rick the Great has been looking for one for a year now. The two we tested were bad. Mr. Navy could tell by the way they sounded that the little plastic wheels had busted cogs. He shows me the date on the newer looking one. 1982. No wonder.

A gal that does the womens clothing catches my eye as I go past with a cart filled to the top with plastic crap too pathetic to mention. Envision plastic coffee cups shaped like cowboy boots faded and stained. Enough on that. She wonders how I could be so cruel to toss out wheel chair bitch. I tell her in a whisper, “First off, she’s a fake. Second, she made the cashier cry talking to her so mean and vicious!” I start to leave and am called back by the clothing women. She whispers, “How did you know she wasn’t crippled?” Oh man, some people have such dull protected lives. A wheel chair is one of the oldest scams in Hollywood. I whisper back to her, “Always check out the shoes of anyone in a wheel chair. Most in wheel chairs that are actually messed up just wear slippers. If they have shoes on look to see if they’re scuffed or worn!” Duh.

Enough for now. I’m bushed from redoing the picture frame section. It’s right next to the old ladies used dresses and we don’t need to go down that road. I was snorting Windex straight the last half hour.

Heading for my daughter Tegan’s in Boulder, Colorado in a couple of days so I’ll be have to catch up when I get back. Hope they have the fires out. At the least should have some interesting road tales. Later…

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