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Category: You’re not gonna believe this but….

A Walk Down Halloween Memory Lane

Bear with me here. This piece is likely to have more spelling and grammatical errors than a Democrat public school teacher. But, I digress. Let’s get on to the story.

I spent two years of my teenage life in a rural little town in Georgia. My Grandaddy on my Mama’s side decided to buy a “farm”; thus Mama and I were thrust into the midst of his dream. Daddy was a “Professional Entertainer”, served our country as a Master Sergeant in the US Army; and at the time was touring the world with his gigs.

We were summarily removed from the home in which I spent my formative years to … dum-de-dum-dum.. “Tend The Farm”. I was 14, going on 15 and was to “Be a lady at all times” ingrained from the time I could talk.
I was suddenly in a new school. A Country high school. I despised it. Every bit of it.
And knew no one.

Until…… I met Eva. Think about it.. that name.. Eva. I was enthralled with her very presence. She was liquid motion. When she went to the front of every class to sharpen her pencil the boys threw change and dollar bills at her. Her walk should have been patented. She was a full blooded Cherokee Indian and sex on a plate.

For some reason, it was decided we should become fast friends. We were inseparable.
Thus, she decided we should egg cars on Halloween after we had ridden atop the town fire engine, which we got into plenty heap shit over, by the way. And I’d lost a shoe.

I find we’re in a corn field next to a busy road that we’d walked nearly a mile to reach; and we each have two dozen eggs we’d purchased at the local grocery store for fifty cents. She whispers, “Lie down in the grass and wait ’til you see headlights comin’ down the road.” I didn’t have long to wait… here comes something!! I jumped up, lobbed a huge cackle berry at the passing pickup truck and threw myself to the ground to keep from being spotted. It was at that moment she jumped up from her hiding spot and began yanking her pants down; yelling at the top of her lungs, “Oh lordyJesusgawdamighty, I’ve got a cricket in my damned britches!!”

I learned three things that night:
How not to act like a lady, cuss words I never dreamed were possible, and I really could run faster than I ever thought after staring into old man Henderson’s double barrel shotgun.

My Dinner at Virgilio’s

I’ve had some interesting dates in my life, but none was as scary and weirdly funny as my dinner at a place called Virgilio’s in Philadelphia. It was owned by a mobster named Phil “The Chicken Man” Testa, who was immortalized in a Bruce Springsteen song.

Virgilio’s was a small Italian restaurant tucked away on a small side street in the city. The guy I was dating was not Italian, and he was totally fascinated with the Mafia. Yep, lucky me. It was the kind of place where you were asked to check your guns at the door by the two behemoths who let you in.

So we get seated in the middle of the room. Now, if you don’t know anything about the Mob, sitting in the middle of the room is the LAST place you want to sit. You want a table by the wall, and every man in the place was facing the door. You see where I’m going with this?
Our lovely waitress, Nancy, comes by to take our order. Date was so thrilled, he ordered a bottle of champagne. As the cork is being removed, it popped with such force, it made a loud noise – I mean LOUD.
Men dove under tables, behemoths came charging in, guns drawn, and out of the back room comes Chicken Man himself, with what looked like a Thompson submachine gun. I froze, Nancy burst into tears, and Date looked like he was enjoying this a little too much.
“What the fuck is going on?” Chicken Man bellows. Nancy tearfully holds up the bottle of champagne. “I’m sorry, Mr. Testa. It just exploded.” He looked, nodded, and returned to his meeting in the back.

Have I mentioned at this point I’ve lost my appetite and couldn’t wait to get out of there? But nooooo….Date was grinning from ear to ear, like the kid who got the Golden Ticket in Willy Wonka.
Men climb out from under tables, tuck their napkins back in, and go back to their meals, while the wives looked on nonplussed. Was I the only person in this place who just about wet her pants?

Needless to say, it was the last time I went out with him….and two weeks later, Chicken Man was blown up by a bomb placed in his front door.

Please Don’t Sit On The Body Bags

Looking back on it, I’ve had an interesting job history. Ad agencies, clothing manufacturers, hospital, hair salons, marketing firms…and that’s not counting the jobs when I was in high school and college. Today, I’ll revisit The Hospital. (disclosure: it’s no longer in existence)

The Hospital was an inner-city hospital that after two weeks of working there, I made all those near and dear to me promise not to take me there unless I was already dead. It wasn’t the greatest job, but it was a paycheck. I worked in Corporate Purchasing, which meant I was responsible for procuring everything from radioactive isotopes for the Nuclear Medicine Department to rental cars for executives. Every purchase order had to be signed by the head of the department requesting the purchase, so this entailed a lot of running around. Including the Morgue.

Now I’m not a squeamish kind of person (except for eyes, but that’s another story) so I had no problem going to the lower level of the hospital to find Dr. Jones and have him sign off; and occasionally I had to hunt him down. I mean, the man needed his bone blades, right?

One day being in a hurry, I banged on the door where the autopsies took place and upon hearing a bellowed, “Come in!” I went in….to a man on the table, flayed open like a butterflied shrimp. Three medical students were there, and by the looks of things, one was either going to pass out or puke, whichever came first.

Me: “Dr. Jones, I need you to sign these PO’s if you want your supplies by Monday.”
Him: “Come here. Do you have a pen?”
Now I know this breaks about 87 laws, but it was in the days before HIPA, and I couldn’t see the guy’s face anyway, because his scalp had been cut and pulled down over it. Lucky, right?
At this point, one of the medical students starts doing the pass-out weave, and I shoved a chair under his ass so he wouldn’t hit the floor.
Bloody gloves were snapped off, papers signed, and I went on my merry way.
The following week the head of HR asked to see me. I didn’t think I was in trouble, but with me, who knows? Turns out that Dr. Jones was impressed by my lack of squeamishness; to the point that he put in a request to see if I wanted to work in the Morgue.

It’s nice to be wanted, but I declined.
Work with those stiffs?
Hell no.