Stoooopid Drivers

Police say the incident happened around 5:30 a.m., when a vehicle driven by a white male was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed on the inner loop of the beltway. The left lane was closed for construction work. Message boards, signs and fluorescent barrels were positioned along the roadway.

A state trooper specifically assigned to the detail for the safety of the workers was in a patrol vehicle with emergency lights activated several hundred yards before the crash scene, police said.

The vehicle swerved from the right lane, hit a concrete barrier and continued in the closed lane. Ruffin was standing in the lane after assisting with pouring concrete when he was hit and carried more than 100 feet.

The vehicle crashed into a truck, but the driver was able to continue before stopping the vehicle on the right shoulder. Witnesses said he got out of the vehicle, appeared to check the damage and drove away.

I don’t quite understand why someone wouldn’t slow down when they saw that state trooper’s lights, but man do I hope the driver of that car gets what is coming to him – he was irresponsible behind the wheel (dare I say drunk?, I do!) and he fled the scene of his crime. What an ass.

Hunt Valley Gas Leak

So Gary, Mark and I stood outside the store in the bitter cold, watching the firefighters move from shop to shop as police cars shut down York Road and firetrucks from Towson and Lutherville lumbered into the parking lot. “Look at those windows,” Mark said. “If this place blows up, we’re going to get sliced and diced.”

It started like any other day, except that I was on time. I sanitized a dough tray, poured some mushrooms into it, and started chopping them. There came a sudden high pitched noise from the back of the shop – it sounded like someone was pressure washing a car. I also noticed a nasty scent, but I knew Mark had gone out drinking Thursday night and figured his body was just purging itself. Across the back lot is Brooks Huff and a body shop, so while it would be odd that they would be washing quite this close to our shop, it also wasn’t entirely out of the question.

Gary walked towards the back anyway, muttering things not-nice about employees power washing shit outside his door. He opened the backdoor, looked to the left, said “Holy shit!” and let the door shut. About this time, the rather strong odor of methane gas struck Mark and me full force. “Time to go,” Gary said, and we made a hasty evacuation into the parking lot.

I called Zapp on his cell phone, to warn him not to park out back, but he was already walking around the corner of the building. He’d seen what had happened. See, the parking lot between us and Brook Huff isn’t very big. There are two lanes heading down, and sandwiched between those are some angled parking spaces and a dumpster or two. They are small parking spaces, yet some woman for god only knows what reason decided to try to wedge her Dodge Ram into one of them. When she left, she didn’t pay too much attention to what she was backing into – namely, a gas meter – which she totally crushed.

So there we all were, standing out in the parking lot, Gary on the line to the police, “Yeah, uh, there’s a major gas leak here…” There is one bright side to our location: directly across York Road is the Cockeysville fire department.

A couple of firefighters showed up in a smaller SUV-ish truck and started making a survey of the scene. Gary and I were BSing with Doug, the UTZ truck driver, when a woman pulled up in front of the bagel shop in a silver SUV, got out, and lit a cigarete. So the three of us – and the two older women from the Christian book store – start screaming “GAS LEAK! GAS LEAK! PUT OUT THE CIGARETTE!” She got the message, drove away, and blocked a firetruck from pulling into the lot. Not her day, I guess.

Within a minute, firetrucks were pulling into the lot, with the police close behind. A helicopter briefly circled in the sky, but then was off to greener pastures. So we stood in the parking lot for about forty minutes freezing our asses off before the leak was corrected and we were allowed back to work.

Too bad – we almost had the day off!

Oh, so anyway, that’s why York Road was shut down in Cockeysville for about half an hour.

CRAZAH IN A JEEP!

It was one of those great nights at work where I kept getting doubles and triples, and Sketchy kept getting singles – including one to Kirk, who, honestly, could tip better.

As I was sweeping the floor, Gary and I started talking about Jeep Wranglers. Actually, I think we were talking about a pressing need to replace the thirty-year old double-stacked POS ovens with a nice one. “A new used one,” as he put it. Anyway, back to Jeeps, he’s got an Unlimited – one of those fugly stretched Wranglers. He was pissed because when he bought his a few months ago, they only came in automatic. Now, of course, you can get them in standard. I mentioned that I wanted another one.

Of course, he knows this – everyone I work with knows this. When Andy still worked here, he had to lock his Jeep’s doors to keep me from getting in and pretending to drive it. When Mike – who quit like a year ago – showed up in an ’03 (and left the keys running, FOOLISH MAN don’t you know the power of the JEEP?) I jumped in while he wasn’t looking and backed it up half a foot. I’m daring I say, daring! (Uh, so right off the bat, if you own a Wrangler, never ever ever ever let me within sight distance of your keys, because I’ll steal them. Also, probably best to hide the Jeep itself, because I’ll be all like “Yes, love between a human and a machine should be legal!”)

“Well, you could probably get a new one – stripped – for thirteen-five…, a four cylinder, no back seat …” he told me.

Of course, now I just have to keep on target with my credit card attack plan … shall I once again be CRAZY IN A JEEP next winter? Perhaps … perhaps …

I should probably also mention that I have a wide collection of Wrangler porn – Wranglers with oversized tires, no tops, doors off, extensive modifications, flipped on their backs, being towed …

$^%&$@ Weather!

I just checked the Ten-Day Forecast.

Well, at least it warms up over the weekend, before we get our next snow hit. This is good for a couple of reasons, the primary one being that I’d hate to miss out on another Saturday shift. Also, rent is due by the 5th and I don’t have a cent put aside towards it yet (and car insurance is due Tuesday! Eek!).

I did have both Monday and Tuesday nights off, and I’d planned on going down to my parents’ house in Columbia for a nice home cooked meal (as opposed to PB&J or Chef Boyardee), but if it snows, that’s sort of out the window.

Son of a …

BITE MY SHINY ROBOTIC ASS

Speaking of Futurama, lately I’ve been throwing the discs in the DVD player, selecting “play all” and listening to the audio commentaries. Very funny and informative – it’s usually a group of five or six actors, producers, writers and directors doing them. David X. Cohen is on all of them, Matt Groening on many, and John DiMaggio, Billy West, and others round out the group.

Apparently, according to Cohen, at one point, John DiMaggio (the voice of Bender, the greatest robot of all time) offered to dress up in a Bender suit and bicycle around L.A. as cheap promotion. DiMaggio said “No I didn’t! Bite my shiny metal ass!”

Anyway, point: DVD commentary tracks = ze good!

Where's a Suicide Booth when you need one?

SuicideBooth.jpg

From USA TODAY comes this tale of an incompotent suicidie:

Police said Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, lost his nerve to kill himself moments before the speeding trains approached. He stepped away safely and watched in darkness and drizzle as a southbound train slammed into his abandoned Jeep Cherokee. That train derailed and jack-knifed into a northbound train.

Alvarez “was intent at the time on taking his own life but changed his mind,” Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams said. “He exited the vehicle and stood by.”

Police found Alvarez wandering near the blazing wreck, where 400 firefighters struggled through heavy smoke and mangled iron to free screaming passengers. Alvarez, who had stabbed himself and cut his wrists shortly before the crash, was remorseful and cooperative, Adams said.

“He was very distraught and upset and realized that he caused a major disaster,” Adams said. Alvarez, who lives in Compton, Calif., was arrested. He was expected to be charged either Thursday or Friday with manslaughter or murder, Adams said.

Last night on the Don & Mike Show, Buzz Burbank (aka The Best Radio News Guy OF ALL TIME) mentioned that police now believed Alvarez had motives other than suicide for parking his Jeep on the track. I wasn’t able to find anything confirming that, but I thought I’d mention it.

Here’s what really sucks, though. How hard is it to commit suicide? I mean, christ, go to a fucking gun range, rent a gun, put it to your head, and pull the trigger. If you want to kill yourself, go right ahead and do it – but why – why – put other people’s lives in danger? I mean, it’s fucking selfish as hell.

But the bit Burbank mentioned got me a-thinkin’. I mean, why do people commit suicide? Because for some reason they feel pain, right? The world doesn’t understand them, everyone is out to get them, little green men keep sticking anal probes up their rear – or is that last only me? Oop! So doesn’t it make sense in a sort of twisted fucked up way that Alvarez might do something to inflict harm on other people so that they would feel his pain, and perhaps in some sort of crazy logic-funk empathise with him?

Red Headed Fox

Usually the relationship between pizza deliverer and pizza reciever is something like this: “Here’s a dollar, get your car out of my driveway now you worthless ass.”*

Every now and then, not so much.

Currently I work a part time job at DP in a delivery zone servicing a chunk of Baltimore & Hazzard Counties. Previously, I worked for PJ in roughly the same zone. Both stores are across the street from each other, and right down the road from the shopping center there lived a woman, who, when I worked at PJ, used to order almost every night – I only say “almost every” because I don’t know if she ordered or not the few nights I didn’t work.

She’s probably in her late thirties to early forties. Two young kids. A husband who was almost always overseas on vacation. Both she and her husband had British accents – frankly, the only British accent I can recognize is Scottish. They could’ve been English, Welsh, or Irish, and I don’t want to guess.

(Funny story about guessing accents – my last few semesters at Towson, I befriended a girl from eastern Europe. One day sitting on the 2nd floor corridor before class, I made the mistake of telling her I thought she was from Russia. After she slapped me and cursed at me in a foreign yet strangely exotic language I learned she was actually Chek.)

I’m getting distracted again. Anyway, the point is, I worked all the time, she ordered all the time. In addition to being a good tipper, let’s face it, she was hot. And a red head, which might lend weight to the Irish arguement. Anyway, her toddler apparently saw me so much, and his father so little, that he thought I was his father. One day she stopped into the store and to the owner’s bemusement related the tale. I was somewhat torn between “cool” and “ohmygodrunforthehillsanddontcomeback.”

Long story short, I quit working at the restaraunt for a variety of reasons. Mostly because the owner was a real fucker. Eight months later, I was working for DP after a stint managing a pizza shop in Hampden. If I ever mention even the possibility of ever managing again, hit me, or shoot me, or something.

So that was about five months ago. Thirteen months since the last time I delivered to her. And what address was on the dispatch screen tonight? You guessed it: hers. And not only her address, but her first ever order from our store.

She opened the door as I was about halfway up her porch steps. She frowned as she saw me, then recognized me. “You moved.”

“I did.”

“So did we.”

At first I failed to catch the reference because, let’s face it, I’m stupid. “No, no,” she said. “We …”

“Oh, right, yeah.”

“Not having such a good time with service from them.”

Because, of course, no one is because PJ is run by an incompotent moron and his slacker cronies.

Does anyone else think I need to work on my conclusions a bit more?

*Usually this person has to go buy a new mailbox the next day.

Oy, Hammerhead

This guy gives hella new meaning to the term “hammerhead.”

Despite his lack of medical insurance and hospital bills between $80,000 and $100,000, Katerina Lawler said her husband is in good spirits.

Really? Because I’d be looking for a gun to either rob a bank or kill myself at that point.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Good news: I got my car over the hill. There were a few tense moments, but I just kept the thing in 2nd gear and was able to crest the compacted snow and get to the top. Hoorah! I was going to do the “dance of joy”, but two things prevented me: one, my car is rather cramped, and two, it’s fucking cold out.

Bad news: the 20oz Diet Coke I had left in the cupholder froze and then exploded, so the console is splattered with frozen syrup. Dammit.

Since Gary was waiting for me to get over the hill before leaving, I didn’t defrost my car until I’d freed myself. On one hand, it was great being free. On the other hand, it sucked not being able to see where I was going.