BY Davey H

01/01 Direct Link

As to Davey's so-called flat
he bellowed, “at least it's MINE.”
And prattled on 'oer the fact that
it wasn't at 1st & Pine.

No, 'twas not an exquisite setting,
this stark view of building's backs;
lest the reader be forgetting
this site was just north of the tracks.

Just one block a-heading south,
a hop, skip and proverbial jump
then lo and behold, well shush my mouth:
that place looked like a dump!

And that elderly train station came into view when looking from Davey's front window, down past the main drag and its seedy storefronts front and center.

01/02 Direct Link

A shared bath was down the hall
for a while used only by two;
idyllic, yes, was privacy's call
when need arose for the loo.

Oh, that bathroom wasn't much, its cheesy linoleum floor and space heater providing scant comfort on cold evenings, but hells bells, at least it worked.
In fact, for the price – which, if Davey recalls correctly, was $60.00 per month – the bathing accommodation was mighty fine.

So for most of Davey's tenure at the flat, he shared that floor with a somewhat reclusive chap named Curtis, who occasionally imparted wisdom parsed from his chosen ascetic lifestyle.

01/03 Direct Link

Ironically, Curtis worked at the train station's little newsstand, no doubt delighted at his hop, skip, & a jump-to-work situation. Yes, he had told Davey so on more than one occasion.
Moreover, Curtis loved the idea of simplicity in general and did not hanker after wealth or seek entertainment beyond simply reading books quietly in his room. These characteristics set him apart from the vast majority of his peers; indeed, Curtis was, in so many ways, a RARITY.

Davey couldn’t squelch his curiosity regarding Curtis. After all, Davey worked in a venue where men craved little else but MORE MONEY.

01/04 Direct Link

Curtis indicated at one point during passing casual conversation that he was offered a substantial raise, but forthrightly turned it down, because in his words, “I didn’t want to just end up paying more in taxes.”
Hell, he could have gotten $9.00 per hour – a princely sum in those days, but opted instead to stay at around $6. and change.

Ahh, the simple life;
such a topic to broach!
Davey single, no wife,
but with many a roach.
He stayed at the flat,
though at times impaired,
and Curtis the frat
with which it was shared.

Now, about those roaches:

01/05 Direct Link

The reader of Davey's silly memoirs and logic-challenged meanderings may by now have realized the insouciant make-do proposition Davey's life situation had evolved into.
And it could be rightly surmised by selfsame readers that Davey's nutritive intake was no exception.

Oh, he had a hot plate and little motivation to do anything with it, so mostly it was takeout at Freedo's Pizza joint about five blocks north.
Theirs was a properly made pie with minimal shoe leather 'grips' – that ridge around the perimeter of other vendors' half-assed pizzas that edged out cheese and sauce in favor of an inedible husk.

01/06 Direct Link

Yes, indeed, Freedo's took the time and TLC to spread toppings evenly and prevent offending 'bake-bubbles' from breaching that smooth, greasy sheen during cooking.
Their slices were superb. In fact, two of them made a meal

Davey also frequented a decent sub shop around the corner, toting his catch home in the requisite brown paper bag. Add this to similar wrappings obtained from one of several nearby liquor stores, and it wasn't long before Davey began to amass a collection of such paper products, which he absentmindedly shoved into a small gap between the legs of his meager room furnishings.

01/07 Direct Link

One day, again, absentmindedly, Davey pulled one of the bags from the growing sheaf. In an instant, he was bathed in a shower of cockroaches.

Of course he FREAKED and nearly shat his pants as some of the gross 6-legged scavengers scrambled up his arm in their dashing getaway.

'Damn', he thought – that whole building was no doubt infested.

It wasn't like roaches had anything much to eat in Davey's room. No matter; Davey later learned that roaches can live without food or water for over three weeks and could, if need be, subsist on a diet of cardboard indefinitely.

01/08 Direct Link

Curtis rarely mentioned Vontertsa, and Davey didn't bitch about him, either, figuring it was futile  mentioning the roach incident. Nothing would be done anyway. But Vontertsa COULD do something: he owned a friggin' chemical company.

So weeks and months dragged on, with Davey  at this hovel. And when the blizzard of '79 came, he didn't need a shovel.

Hell no, it was just two steps once outside the building envelope, and he was off and walking, not running; on the day of the most voluminous snow the town had seen in years, he was able to get to the shop.

01/09 Direct Link

Only ONE other worker showed up that day, and he was the janitor/maintenance man. So Davey luxuriated in what was possibly the best 'skate' opportunity of his entire career, bar none. So, had he been possessed of more presence of mind, he may have quipped the following peripatetic prosodic postulations:

Davey, the skate-bored,
a few rods he fizzed,
so wavy, not late toward
the bathroom he whizzed.
No bosses or losses,
it was fun galore;
no need for coin tosses
or waiting 'til four!
He went home at noon
not a minute too soon
without any fat ox to gore.

01/10 Direct Link

That wintry interlude was a boon to Davey’s otherwise mundane and ethanol-tinged existence, short-live though it was.
It was good for a few laughs.

Most days he walked to work when on day shift, then upon completion of the day’s duties, he hitched a ride in Bill Bauman’s Mach 1 Mustang. Or so at least it MIGHT have been a Mach 1; maybe Mach 2 or some absurd sh**.
Anyway, it was one hell of a muscle car – the best and brightest of American manufacturing from a venue that included such duds as the Pinto, the Maverick and the Granada.

01/11 Direct Link

Bill’s Mach had white paint with offset racing stripes front to back on each side and one over the top.
And by what privilege did Bill acquire this muscular gem?
Savings, pure and simple.

Bauman prided himself on industry and thrift, quipping to Davey during one of their brief jaunts, “I managed to save up a thousand bucks so far. So I’ll take out ten bucks for tonight (Friday). What’s ten bucks out of a thousand?”

‘Good question’, Davey thought. The point was not lost on Davey; though Bauman may have been aware he was talking to a spendthrift.

01/12 Direct Link

It was at the juncture of this Mach 1 & Bill Bauman tightwad thing that Davey realized he was sinking further into the depths of ne’er do well land, should such a place exist. And along with that revelation – which wasn’t the first installment; only the most recent and dramatic – he figured he’d best get his sh** in one sock. Or at least try. Make some kind of lame attempt at joining the ranks of the self-sufficient working class members that bought their own tools, drove themselves to work, and fit into their respective niches with dignity.

Slowly, he’d motivate.

01/13 Direct Link

First order of business would be to find some wheels. ANY wheels. Even a poor excuse for a pimpmobile would do at this point.
Davey was growing dependent on rides home in bad weather, not to mention his regular and frequent jaunts with Dodd in pursuit of recreational intoxication.

So one thing led to another, perhaps not entirely dependent upon what came through the grapevine in terms of vehicular availability, and along came Mitch. Not a bitch, Mitch.

Mitch was a big dude – maybe 220 pounds on a 6’ 3” frame. He wore a white boy ‘fro, don’t ya know?

01/14 Direct Link

Anyway, Mitch non-bitch had an old Buick Electra 225 , or maybe it was just an oversized F-85– a HUGE boat, 2 B sure.

It ran fine,sucking gas in a manner commensurate with its bloated girth,
but Davey greeted it with petrol-loaded mirth.
So that pimpmobile analogy wasn’t just for fun,
once the deal was set and done.

The only potentially serious problem the 225 had was a leaky power steering pump, which meant adding fluid every few days was a must.
At least this was disclosed up front.

Hey, it was looking like Mitch was an honest guy.

01/15 Direct Link

The deal was set,
and cash exchanged;
thus Davey would get
some wheels arranged!
He drove away,
and cried, “aw shucks.”
Good deal that day:
for fifty bucks!

At least that's the figure memory serves.
And that bigass boat still in memory swerves.
So very little time it did take
with Davey and Mitch on a mere handshake.

Funny, Mitch still lived with his parents, who didn't oversee the sale.

One glaring detail worth noting in this impromptu, highly informal transaction was the error of not signing over the title. Neither Davey nor Mitch had given it a second thought.

01/16 Direct Link

Of course this would turn out scurrilously advantageous in the ensuing weeks after the sale, as Davey received a parking ticket – which he summarily ignored – for parking in front of his own damn flat.
He tended to get pissed at sh** like that.
So rather than gripe or moan or bitch,
he just didn't worry
was not in a hurry:
The overdue notice went to Mitch.

Mitch ended up paying the ticket, letting Davey know, and with an “oh, by the way” moment encapsulated in that communication to the effect that perhaps they should sign over the title to Davey.

01/17 Direct Link

Now, with the passage of so many gaffe-laden decades, Davey doesn't justly recall if he compensated Mitch for the parking ticket.
Alas, this is a foggy, unpleasantness-tinged gray area in Davey's gray matter, hampering retrieval.

It seems Mitch's parents DID get involved at this point, perhaps realizing that their semi-enterprising son, despite his size and heft, was a softy when time came to kick ass.
Truth be told, he just wasn't wearing the right type of boots, aside from the fact that his vocalized nostrums carried a soft timbre; not exactly the proper recipe for potentially emphatic interactions with frenemies.

01/18 Direct Link

So Davey’s newfound pimp-mobile became a close ally for a short time, and he rolled it to the shop as well as for partying excursions.

That title thing never did get fully resolved, if memory serves, and the plate sticker would expire at some point.
At that point in time,
Davey would spout the following rhyme:

May as well keep the pimp-mobile
though it can’t go far;
because it has that weighty feel
yeah, it’s a heavy-ass car.
No insurance or title on her
while the boat is here;
all too soon she’ll be a goner
away, away she’ll veer.

01/19 Direct Link

Before relinquishing “ownership” of his $50.00 prized pimp-mobile, Davey had decided, however inadvertently, to go on a tear.
One such nasty incident follows:

It was a typical Sunday afternoon at Dodd’s, and the usual football-watching klatch of suds slurping munchkins were going bananas as per tradition.

Somebody decided to head over to Cartaparra’s Sub Shop for a passel of those famed pontoons they made. This greasy gorge, combined with many bottles of expensive imported beer, would make for a killer afternoon.

So the subs were BAD
And the suds were had;
Watchin’ football so glad;
‘twas all that they had.

01/20 Direct Link

Cartaparra’s subs had to be seen to be believed: so much meat, cheese and fixins were heaped upon a giant roll that the whole thing laid flat no matter how hard you tried to roll it up.
It’s a wonder that place made any money.
And U bet you’d stuff your face, honey.

Somewhere midway through this overstuffed obnoxiousness, Davey grew disgruntled at the slow pace of intoxication the suds were providing, and decided to take a cruise in search of adjuvants for bolstering such altered states.

Bad news, for sure; now he had wheels. THAT was recipe for dysfunction.

01/21 Direct Link

It was off to the Byway Head Shop to see what interesting brain cell destroyers were available.

None of the usual stuff, thank you; nothing in the powder, pill, pipe, or bong department was of the least interest for Davey.
But he had somehow found out that he could obtain ‘whippets’, or nitrous oxide canisters, here at the head shop, so he got to huffing a bit then and there on the spot, liked what he felt, and, in a grand, inglorious faux pas of inordinately unsafe proportions, he got back behind the wheel of the by now famed pimp-mobile.

01/22 Direct Link

Davey continued, against what should have been his better judgment, to huff nitrous while driving up through town, west on 12th, a brief hop on I-95, then onto Flack. It was approaching Flack and Woolson that things began to go awry.

After a long nearly traffic-less stretch, the dizzied Davey came upon a gaggle of cars stopped at the Flack & Woolson light, where he hesitated before finally stomping on the brakes.

His reflexes decidedly piss-poor, Davey bashed into an equally sturdy station wagon, bending its rear bumper.
Out stepped a retirement-age woman who puzzled over Davey’s white-as-a-sheet appearance.

01/23 Direct Link

As sloshed as he was, Davey still had enough presence of mind to know he could be in deep shit at this point, so it was time to think fast – against all odds.
Yes, thinking was largely out of the question, Davey's brain being out to lunch, so it was prime time for primal reactions to take over.
And grab the reins they did.

“Let's pull over here,” Davey slurred, pointing to the Wawa® parking lot just past the light. Handily, it was on the right.
The woman agreed. She got back in her boat; Davey returned to his pimp-mobile.

01/24 Direct Link

Tension mounted in Davey's by now semi-conscious tepid flesh as the light turned green.

Quick! Take that sharp left, this being a 'scissors' style intersection – as opposed to a 'T'.
Sharp left, then an immediate right into the Fairglen neighborhood, a tromp on the gas, then off to the next succession of dog legs en route to a swift and hopefully clean getaway.

Next, park in the triple-wide entrance to Elm Lane Manor, shut off ignition, set parking brake, disembark the stalwart pimp-mobile, tottering, and walk through residential backyards to Mom & Dad's place in order to seek temporary refuge.

01/25 Direct Link

Davey had traipsed through these private residential properties many times before, as did many other wayfaring youth. Yes, he was old enough to know better, but, as the country song implies, 'still too young to care'.
So onward he did fare.

Short term memory was in complete dysfunction mode at this point, and with heavy bones, the only thing on Davey's non-mind was getting horizontal to catch some serious ethanol-fueled ZZZs.

He still doesn't remember at what point he landed face down on the living room couch.
But, lo and behold, that's where he ended up, flat-out until Monday morning.

01/26 Direct Link

Dad looked fuzzy as he rustled Davey’s shoulders with increasing force until finally Davey awoke from his drugged stupor.
Having been on that couch for at least 12 hours, it was time to shag ass down to the railcar repair facility where, miraculously, Davey still had a job.
But not so fast, Bucko; this recuperation would take at least one more day.

Davey shook off the initial pain, ate nothing, and then tumbled back across the many lawns and side streets to the spot where he left the pimp-mobile.
Luckily, no cops had spotted it.
No tickets or Denver boot®.

01/27 Direct Link

Back on Flack, that Davey hack
determinedly got his ass on track.
With no hope
of getting to work on time
he sped like a dope
past the scene of the crime.
Barreling like that
with gas pedal down,
to his sloppy-assed flat
lying south-side of town,
he knew, tit for tat,
at the drop of a hat
he needed just to lie down.

And lie down he did
another full day,
then took off the lid:
his head hit the hay.

Had he a bucket
he threatened to kick it,
then came bad luck-it
was a parking ticket!

01/28 Direct Link

What a friggin’ nightmare. Davey had no alarm clock to speak of – at least not one entirely reliable – and worse, had no phone.
So no options existed for an angry or concerned employer shaking Davey from his ethanol-saturated slumber.
The salt on the wound was the ticket.

Yes, on his windshield
was that ticket
in this whole field
where should they stick it?
Why, yes, of course
on the pimp-mobile!
This hit full force
how did it feel?

In a word, shitty.
Having already missed 2 full days of work, it certainly would be rough getting back in the game.

01/29 Direct Link

If memory served,
which it frequently doesn’t
Davey then swerved,
for it was or it wasn’t.
But meter readers
were very well-heeled
and placed their damn bleeders
upon his windshield.

Holy sh**, this was NOT going to be easy.

Michael Jackson was at the top of his game during this gully in Davey’s career, and from Jackson’s music, ‘twas hard to stand clear.

The pain of finally showing his face in Boss-man’s office that day was memorable. Campbell, however, was very understanding. After all, he had been a little lower on the totem pole once. His admonitions, therefore, were gentle.

01/30 Direct Link

“You need to get yourself a phone, boy!” Campbell said. Davey agreed, though knowing damn good and well it would never happen.
The flat just didn’t feel like home – at least not a permanent enough one – and was more of a place to escape from, utilizing it only to crash.

So no phone, alone, aligned with some trash;
‘twas Davey, sans solace in this flat to crash.
Yet no need to fear; to the shop he was near
and showed up when needing some cash.

Thus, the arduous, uphill work reentry began in earnest, with many, many brain cells obliterated.

01/31 Direct Link

Picking up where he left off many posts ago, and weakly attempting to redeem himself whilst picking up the pieces of his broken life, Davey now chronicles the accident that nearly landed his ass in a stretcher.

As an aside, this ‘picking up the pieces’ was not to be construed in the John Wayne Bobbitt sense; after all, Davey still had a working member, however flaccid. And perhaps that’s precisely the point: his LIFE had gone flaccid, largely due to borderline injurious ethanol consumption.

The task at hand: cut out and replace a 3” x 3” vertical ‘L’ angle iron.