Monday, December 20, 2010

I was also an over the road truck driver

Something made me think of: the gun case story. I'm glad I did, because I can write it and polish it and get it published. It's a great story, and it's another of the little parts of my past that make a good tale. But first, I guess I should perhaps explain how it relates to cab driving.

Cab driving is seasonal, so the money gets poor in the summer around here. That first summer, I'd go and sit at the airport after my formal shift was over to make a few bucks so I could have a profit on the day. You can't do that now. A guy named Hicks used to keep his cab out for hours after the end of his shift, which resulted in the time clock in the office. Now, they make you pay for those extra quarter hour units of time, and they're very expensive. And speaking of that jerk, I well remember the night he brought his kids to work in the back of his station wagon. It was a cold night, fall season, and his kids wrote stuff like, "Save us", in the condensation on the windows. Really bad show, all the way around..................... Where was I?

Oh yeah, summer alternative income. I got into house hold moving. Company's like United, Atlas, and North American. That was pretty good for a while, make great money in the summer, and go back to cab driving in the fall.

So, I'm getting empty in Naples, Florida. North American put a single item on me, which paid real well, considering it was a single item. It was a gun case. It was stunning. Made from the finest walnut, it had a taxidermy scene in a center section of the case that was a group of quail running through the grass and sand. Brought back memories. There were quail where I grew up, and I'd forgotten the little quail family running single file through the grass. Of all the furniture I ever hauled, it was arguably single finest piece of furniture. It really was stunning.

When I got to the twin cities to deliver the gun cabinet, I was told I'd have to wait until after 4:30 pm. to get the paperwork signed. It delivered to a fairly modest older home, with a ratty garage, in an old working class neighborhood. It was a neighborhood full of small homes, and this one fit right in. They had 2 kids, boys, about 10 and 12. Nice looking kids, very blond. The house keeper was a foreign national from someplace like the Dominican Republic who spoke good English. She cleaned the house and watched the boys until mom got home. I brought the cabinet in, unwrapped it, and sat down in the living room to read the paper and wait.

It was almost 5:00 when mom arrived home. I stood up, introduced myself, and offered to hand her the clip board so she could sign the bill of lading. I understood her reaction, but was still really taken aback by it. She immediately snarled, "Get that thing out of my house."

I should have taken it with me, but I didn't think of that until I was driving away.

She told me to put it in the garage, which had a leaky roof. Oh well, it's not my stuff. I took it down and made a spot in the packed with junk garage. It was right next to 2 other fine quality gun cabinets that showed the effects of being abused by the elements in that garage. Then I went back inside and got her to sign for it.

What I saw in my minds eye as I drove away was a well to do grandpa. Probably lived on Marco Island. When he was bringing up his son, they hunted together. They were his finest memories. The finest memories of an entire lifetime.

His son and daughter in law probably owed everything they owned to grandpa. His son had chosen a wife primarily based on looks. She was tall and slender, very blond, and very attractive. The kids looked just like her. She was one of these, we don't have guns, we wouldn't hunt, we're not that kind of people, types. I had to wonder if it was worth it. And I said to myself, she's not worth it. She doesn't give a damn about anybody except herself.

I then wondered how old her sons would be when they discovered the real pecking order. Or if they ever would. Mom loved mom first, then the kids. Did she love dad? Probably not. She was willing to tell the guy she loved him, but what she really wanted was grandpa's money. He just wasn't dying young enough to suit her. Then I wondered which one of those boys would be saddled with her in 30 years. I just wondered........................