Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A pizza delivery story

I saw this at Tastefully Offensive.

During my career as a pizza delivery guy, most of the time it was all quite boring and routine.  Every now and then, something weird or funny happened.

There was this one woman--I'm not going to say her name even though I still remember it--who lived on East Weinert St. for a long time.  She was a regular delivery customer and she always ordered a sampler with no jalapeƱos.  The sampler is what Mr. Gatti's called the pizza with a little bit of everything on it.  I think Pizza Hut calls theirs the supreme.  Anyway, she ordered so much that I got to recognize her voice and had her address memorized.  So usually as soon as I heard her voice on the phone I would start writing everything down even before I started asking her for her info.  However, every now and then, a man would place the order for her address.  It was never the same man.

She was not what I would normally consider especially attractive, or even not especially attractive.  At the time I was in my mid-to-late 20s, and I guess she was about 40 then, although she looked older.  Or, like someone I know sometimes says, like she was "rode hard and put up wet."  Sometimes she would answer her door just barely concealed--or perhaps I should say just barely unconcealed--with a bath robe.  She had a lot of different male "friends."

So one night some guy ordered a large sampler for her address.  I took the phone order, made the pizza, and then delivered it.  I pulled up in front of the house and was about halfway across her front yard when this scraggly-looking dude came charging out of the house, shirtless, and in the act of buttoning up his pants.  "How much?" he  I told him it was $15.60.  He started counting out money but after about ten seconds he just thrust a $20 into my hand and said, "Keep the change, man!" and ran back into the house with his pizza.  The woman always tipped, but it was usually only a dollar or so.  This was the best tip I ever got from someone at her address.

Eventually she got respectable, I guess.  She married a widower who had two boys and who lived in a much nicer part of town, and she moved into his house.  After that, she always answered the door well-dressed and seemed almost like a different person.  But she remained a regular customer and regular tipper right up until I quit that job.

Monday, January 27, 2014


This Dinosaur Comics really cracked me up.  The all caps words coming down from above is God speaking.  If you ever see all caps in red coming up from below, that's the devil speaking.

I think panel 2 is what really got me.

Friday, January 24, 2014


So this morning I awakened at the usual time of 5:00 AM.  Actually, I was awake before that, but that's when I got up.  They had told us yesterday to call the special weather number that $4W$ has to see if we were supposed to come to work or not, so I called it just for laughs.  I was stunned to hear that I was not to report to work until 10:00 AM.

This is because, a few years ago, when we had ice much, much worse than today, everyone in my department had to report at the usual time of 6:30 AM.  And they had to work all day.  I say "they" because, that time, I was honestly sick (probably flu) and missed work for 3 days--had a doctor's note and everything.  I have heard the story about how once, before I was hired there, and there was an even yet worse ice storm, everyone had to show up at 6:30, but everyone was late of course, and then they made everyone sit around until noon before they let anyone leave, but it was still icy and within an hour or so, someone had had a wreck.  So they called everyone back in and sent them all home.  That was back when I was working as a contractor for CPS, and I just told them I wasn't coming in.  "But you have to," they said, "you're an essential worker."  "Then fire me," I said, "I'm not coming in."  The next day I showed up for work and no one ever mentioned anything about it.

So they let us go out today at 11:00, with only one route each, and told everyone to work until 3:30 (our official ending time) and then come back in, and "do the best you can."  I had layered up with clothes so I was quite comfortable, except that I had to cross a foot bridge over some ditch or possibly one of the many creeks that wend through town and it was frikkin' treacherous.  Then I had to go back over that same bridge.  Going back, I was walking downhill and it was really treacherous.  I had to hold onto the railing and take tiny careful steps all the way across to keep from falling down.

About 1:00 or so, I heard a crash and looked around to see what was going on, but saw nothing.  Then suddenly, it happened again.  Ice spears were falling from electric lines and smacking into cars that were parked under them.  So for the rest of the day I kept a sharp eye out for falling ice to make sure I didn't get whacked in the head by it.  I could have taken some nice photos of yuccas bent over with ice on them but I would've had to take off my gloves to use my phone and didn't want to stop.

Everyone else had horror stories of how bad their experiences were driving in.  I didn't bother using any of the interstates; I just took Rigsby all the way to Hackberry, then down to Steves and over to the office.  Took longer because of more stops and lower speed limit, but I avoided anything bad and didn't have any trouble at all driving in.

Of course, the ice today was nothing compared to some of the ice storms I've seen.  There was a time in the late 80s when I was still working at the pizza place when they decided to close early because of the conditions, but by the time I was able to leave, the roads were sheets of ice.  My usual 20-minute drive home took me an hour and a half, and I was in second gear all the way.  I didn't leave home again for three days.*  Once when I was truck driving I had just been into Canada during a relatively warm window in the weather and was headed south to Denver when I got caught in another storm and had to stop at some little hole-in-the-wall truck stop somewhere in Wyoming.  I wasn't authorized to buy fuel there, but I needed it to keep the truck idling while I was stuck there--the only way to stay warm, and to keep the diesel from freezing (I had fuel anti-freeze but I didn't want to rely solely on it; the tanks have heaters to keep the fuel from freezing but they only work when the truck is running)--so I called headquarters and told them what was going on.  I just barely got out "I'm in Wyoming--" when the guy interrupted me with "Wyoming!  I'm going to authorize your fuel card to work anywhere."  I don't remember the man's name now, but at the time he said, "Just remember when you say your prayers tonight to ask the good Lord to bless (his name) and his family."  I got out of there after another day or so, but didn't make it much farther before I got stuck again, and this time sat for two days in a Wal-Mart parking lot, still in Wyoming.  I finally got to Denver, where I dropped my load in the terminal and got assigned another one for the Keebler plant in New Braunfels (my going-home trip).  They wouldn't let anyone leave the terminal at Denver unless they were headed south or east; everyone else had to stay put.  So I got out of there, and when I showed the guard my papers for New Braunfels, he advised me not to stop until I had run out of time.  That storm was right behind me for hundreds of miles.  Getting through the Raton pass was a little hairy, but I made it and finally stopped late at night at a little Love's truck stop somewhere in north Texas.  I remember that place had room for only about a dozen trucks, and there were only three of us parked there that night.  But the storm didn't make it that far down; the next day I was on the road again for New Braunfels.

A few days later my dispatcher called me to tell me that I had too much idling time.  I reminded him that I had been stuck in various places in Wyoming for most of a week.  "Oh," he said, "that was you."

*This was when I learned not to use Fix-a-Flat when it's below freezing.  I had a tire going flat, so I thought I'd just use a can of that stuff to get myself to a shop where I could get it patched.  The tire came apart.  It just fell apart in shreds.  Back then I had so many tire problems that I had taken to carrying a can of it in my truck all the time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


30 Most Baffling Design Flaws of Popular Products at Cracked.

A few days ago I noticed that someone had packed toilet paper into this crack in the men's restroom of the building where I report for work.  One too many peeping Toms? I guess.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Polydextrous maybe?

The left brain/right brain trope is a myth.

I've always wondered where this trope left people such as myself.  I do some things with my left hand, some with my right.  I write left-handed, but I can't do anything better than chicken scratch with my right.  My wife and daughter can write with either hand equally well, and neatly.  My son is strictly right-handed.

I use a fork or spoon with my left hand, and when cutting meat, switch the fork to my right hand to hold the meat still while cutting with my left.  But I throw right-handed, and can't throw worth a darn for anything with my left hand.  I mainly use tools such as a hammer or saw left-handed, but sometimes when my left arm gets tired I can switch without too much trouble.

I'm left-eye dominant, so I shoot left-handed.  But I can easily switch sides and shoot right-handed if I close my left eye and force my right eye to be the temporary "dominant."  When I'm pistol shooting I usually switch hands with each reload just for the practice, and my accuracy seems to be about the same either way.

I handle the ukulele like a right-handed person would, and can't hardly imagine trying to play it the other way.  If I pick out a melody on a piano, I use my right hand.  My left just won't work well enough to do that.  Which is nice, because I can write the music with my left hand while playing with my right.

So I'm not ambidextrous...not really.  Is there a word for it?  I don't know.

Also for the record I hold my pipe in my left hand and carry it in the left side of my mouth.  Right-handed pipe smoking just feels weird.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

They forgot at least two

5 Jokes That Make People in Service Jobs Want to Kill You

They forgot, "I thought my water was free this month!"

Ha ha ha ha ha HA!  That's only the 14,000th time I've heard that this year, and IT'S STILL FUNNY!!!

I heard a variation on this once that actually did make me laugh a little, and I've never heard it more than once, when one guy said, "Oh, you can just add mine on to my neighbor's.  He said he'd take care of it this month."

The other one.  Oh man, I got so sick of hearing this, and I wasn't the only one.  Way back when I worked for a pizza place as a delivery guy, other delivery guys also complained to me that they heard frikkin' everywhere they went.  And it was:  "Where's my free pizza?"  Back in the days of yore when nobody had pay-at-the-pump gas yet, and I had to go inside to pay for my gas, the cashier at this place would ALWAYS ask me this.  One day when I was in just a little more of a bad mood than normal and he said that, I replied with, "Where's my free gas?"

For some reason he didn't think that was funny.  He actually scowled at me.  Also he never asked me that again.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The shaving

Today I did what I guess is kind of a rite of passage for most fathers:  I showed my son how to shave.  He's been getting a pretty serious moustache shadow.  As I told him, he didn't get it from me; I didn't have to shave until I was 18 or so, and he's only 12.  And even then, I was hard-pressed to need it more than once every two weeks or so.

I didn't go through any such a thing with my own dad.  As with most things I've done in my life, I never asked for advice or talked about anything.  When I decided that something should be done, I just did it.  Which, now that I look back on it, must have made me an endless source of surprise for my parents.  Heh.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

One more good website I forgot the other day

The Order of the Good Death is sort of a combination of a regular written blog and a video blog from a mortician who uses a video series to answer questions most often asked her by people (such as most of us) who aren't familiar with the death industry.  I think it's very interesting, but if you are someone who avoids any contemplation of death, you may not think it's quite so interesting.