Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thanks gentlemen

My thanks to Matt, the guy who went to The Willy Street Co-op, and Mr. Jackson. I'd been looking for a way to fictionalize a place that no longer exists, and with your help it came to me.

The entire way to set it up, and roll with it came real fast as soon as I had the beginning of it. As I turned the corner at Bedford and Wash I finally saw it, I'd been looking for that picture in my mind for a few years.

Thus, I am probably going to back burner Night Driver and spend that time on an actual work of fiction. Wow, what a trip.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Camel Jack

I'm stoked!!!! Tomorrow evening, there is a writers group in a joint up on the square. It will be the first time I will ever have received feedback from other writers or writer wanna bees. I can hardly wait!! Now, where was I.... The story, yeah.......

The Elder identified the Q & M people for me. Young princes, whose native language is Arabic, they are students, according to him.

Here's the deal. Phone guy couldn't understand this guy, and the guy gets frustrated and gives a destination he can pronounce, Walmart. So the call is on the board as Q & M going to Watts rd. I'm getting empty on Shiloh, and bid that I'm empty there. The dispatcher I have the most trouble with and complains about me constantly, gives me this call. There were closer calls it made more sense to give me, but he knew this was going to be trouble and he wanted me to have it.

When I get there, these 2 guys take their sweet time coming out, and I'm about ready to take off when they finally get in the cab. Guy on the passenger side is going to do the talking, and he has a thick accent which I don't identify, and he's saying something that at first sounds kind of like, "Cat food."

I ask him to say it again. Now it sort of sounds like, "Cap food."

After he butchered the destination the first time, he'd said, "You go, I show you, you go."

Well, I don't do that for a number of reasons. And I told him he'd have to tell me where he wanted to go or we weren't going anywhere, which is what I'd tell anybody, unless I had a compelling reason to believe they needed to show me. This guys 200 word vocabulary is really good, you figure he can speak English, and he's just unwilling to tell you were you're going. Fact is, 200 words aren't enough to express himself, and he should be upfront about it and say his English is weak, and that he's here to learn English, then I'd say ok, it would make sense. People who lie or are evasive about where they're going will get refused service by almost any cab company anywhere.

That this guy is too stuck up, or shall we say, arrogant, to admit that he can't speak English isn't my problem, isn't going to become my problem, and isn't going to make me want to help him.

Where? Cap Center Foods downtown perhaps? He's trying to say it, says it a few times more, I ask where a few times more, and he gets frustrated and says, "Cap food, you know, by Walmart." Ok, that makes sense now, that was how they had it on the board. NOTE: When he was saying cat food, I was thinking I ought to take him to Copp's on Century. There are a couple of small foriegn groceries near Walmart, I'm guessing that's where he wants to go.

We get to Watts and Gammon and I point to an Indian grocery and he says no, take him to Walmart. It isn't making a lot of sense, but I take him were he says he wants to go.

An hour later they have a return ride, I want to go to the airport which is on past Q & M, so I bid for and get the return ride. We haven't gone 1/4 mile and the guy starts in on me that I refused to take him to the grocery he wanted to go to 2 miles in the direction he's pointing in. Closer to 4 miles actually, but he's talking about Copp's on Century. And now, somebody's coached him on how to pronounce Copp's.

"You refuse to take me where I want to go! You make me take ride I don't want! You don't give me chance! This is the 4th time I've riden with you in a month and I have trouble with you every time. You get angry with me every time. I call your company and complain, I will have you fired!"

What............. Just who the hell does this ass hole think he is? Sure we had trouble, if you wouldn't tell me where you wanted to go the other 2 times, I'm sure I would have said if you continuted to refuse to tell me where we were going, you'd have to get out of the cab, and a, "You go", "Get out of the cab", "You go", ..... "For the last time, you either tell me were you want to go, or get out of the cab.", ensued, and he gave up and said something he could pronounce. I'm thinking these guys are Afgans, because I don't recognise the accent, and the way he's butchering English leads me to believe his native language is poorly defined. Poorly defined? Yeah, some languages are strongly defined like Baltic languages, which is why a Latvian will say, 'Wash it the car.' Weakly defined means they dispense with articles like a, an, the, that, this, get the idea? Arabic, I know to be fairly strongly defined because I took 3 semesters of a real closely related language called Hebrew in college. Trying to cool the guy off, I tell him my accent in French is bad and my accent in Hebrew is worse, and least I can make all the sounds in the French language properly, I can't in Hebrew. And I know just what the guy was thinking at that point, 'I'm going to get this filthy Jew, who's screwing me over.'

30 years ago, in my home town, rich Arab exchange students didn't dress like bums like these 2, and they had manners, kind of like the guys in James Bond movies. My home town? Yeah, another Big 10 town, and we had LOTS of Saudi's, and a whole lot more Japaneese than Wisconsin had. Back then Wisconsin had a lot of Chineese and Iranians. In Ann Arbor, you can buy fresh made stuffed grape leaves. Here, only out of a can, even at a restraunt.