- Government Payout Time
- Lucky Hat?
- A Heroin Junkie Tries To Scam Me
- A Sexual Pervert Visits Me At Lilly Pad
Yes, the month of June will be over in less than 4 hours.
I suppose that means that the people who get checks from the government will have the money available to them, through their plastic cards, at one* nanosecond after midnight tonight; whew!
*If one of them has the timing to swipe his card at one half of a nanosecond after midnight, he will actually get his money that much sooner.
If the government gave away absolutely nothing; well, the people would revolt.
When I was driving a cab in Jacksonville, I had to take a passenger to a hospital which was, I recall, like 90 miles away. So, the fare was lucrative.
It came by "voucher," which meant that the guy was riding for free.
His doctor's office was footing the bill.
His doctor, after all, was getting paid well for providing the specialized treatment to the guy, as was whomever made the cane that he came out of his house holding, as were the pharmaceutical companies, and the cab driver; can't forget him.
He was an older black man and had come out of the modest ranch style house in a modest area on the outskirts of Jacksonville.
It was the kind of land that was cheap because it wasn't really, on the surface, the best land.
If you dig, you hit sand. Nothing but pine trees and palmetto really grows there without having been planted. If you dig a little further you hit water. And, if it rains for a few days you will have a puddle in your yard, maybe 8 inches at its deepest, but it was a private house on a lot.
Like I said, the guy, who was a black man of about 60 years came walking out of his house, carrying his cane and got into my cab and proceeded to tell me the tale, as I drove, of the previous evening when he had been inside some club "dancing my ass off" as he put it; when in walked his "caseworker."
He had been able to grab his cane and, I guess fake, his disability.
He was also the type of fare who would sell his voucher to the highest bidder. The cabbie is getting paid perhaps 90 dollars for transporting the guy to the hospital and another $90 voucher for the return trip is waiting for some lucky driver.
But, not so fast.
The disabled dancer knows that the cabbie is making 90 bucks for taking him to the hospital, so he will ask the driver to give him, perhaps 10, dollars in cash out of his own pocket. Now the driver is making 80 bucks for bringing the guy with the cane to the hospital.
If he is happy with that, then maybe the disabled guy will give the driver his schedule of upcoming doctor's appointments, so that driver can just happen to be the only cab within 5 miles of his house on the outskirts when the call comes in to transport the guy.
I was thinking about trying to underbid the other drivers by offering him 15 dollars in cash in exchange for the 90 dollar voucher in the future, but then got my own "skeezing" idea of contacting the insurance companies involved and asking their investigators how much they would pay a poor cab driver for a video tape of their liability coming out of the house with his cane under his arm, etc,
I did neither, I recall. I think I was already (1995) hearing the call to be a busker in New Orleans 20 years later.
I was playing at the Lilly Pad, after having gotten a burst of about 10 bucks in tips during my first 20 minutes playing, when up walked a guy who asked me if I drank.
"No," I said as I noticed that he had an unopened bottle of some kind of semi-expensive liquor, that might have been Absolut vodka.
"I haven't drank since January 4th," I told him before relating the story of how I had not quite made it a New Year's resolution to quit, but had done so 4 days into the year, after having woken up with injuries that I had sustained when getting hit by a car the night before -something that I wouldn't otherwise have recalled.
He was just a bit taller and thinner than medium build and had tatoos in Chinese on his neck, and others that looked like Chinese type dragons and things on other parts of him.
Then, I added "I just smoke weed," which was kind of a way of fishing to see if he had any of that on him that he might readily sell me.
"My girlfriend has some. She's got this stuff called 'Girlscout cookie' an' it's from Colorado, an' it's so strong that, when she opens the bag; the whole house smells like bud!" Said the guy, who was holding the unopened bottle that he was trying to "salvage," while sipping off a Hand Grenade from his other hand.
I knew that that kind of weed was usually sold in increments larger than 5 bucks, but imagined that if his girlfriend and he had just arrived from Colorado and were running on fumes, they might break off such a tiny little raisin sized piece of the potent bud out of necessity of quick cash.
"She's works right down there at (names place) just a couple blocks down Bourbon..."
Ok, there went the "just got in to town from Colorado," theory; but didn't necessarily dispel the "really in need of just 5 bucks" one.
I should have reneged at that point, though, on the grounds that; since I knew the next "couple blocks down Bourbon," pretty well, right down to who does work at the places, and not many of them could I have envisioned as his "girlfriend," since they are mostly gay establishments staffed by men. Shirtless men in bikini bottoms.
"Would she just break me off like a 5 dollar bud?" I asked, pursuing the only angle that made sense to me.
He nudged his phone a few times and then spoke into it; seemingly asking his girlfriend if she would do so.
Soon, we were walking down Bourbon Street, away from the residential and toward the crazy end. I was having all kinds of thoughts as we walked, especially after we had traversed 4 blocks; which is a distance that can't really be confused with "a couple blocks" and would probably be referred to as "just a few blocks" by someone who isn't trying to misrepresent that distance.
Then, we stopped outside one of the strip type clubs where he made another phone call, and where we stood for a while.
There seemed to be at least one skeezer for each tourist skulking around the block.
Then, he eventually wanted me to give him the 5 dollars and he was going to go in exchange it with his girlfriend for the Girl Scout Cookie bud.
At that point I reneged.
"Come on! I'm just going to slip her the money and she's going to slip me the weed, I can't bring you in there; her bosses are all standing around; It can't look like a drug deal!"
"Well, why can't you just go in there and she can slip you the weed, and then you can come out and get the money."
And so, I reneged with the argument that; if his "girlfriend" didn't trust him enough to slip him the weed without getting the money; then what did that say about their relationship, or about Chinese tattooed neck boy's trustworthiness in general? And, because it was only 5 bucks that that was in contention that spoke even worse about someone not trusting him with it.
"I'm just trying to do her a favor, she needs the money!"
"That's alright," I said and turned to walk away. I had just turned to do so when I was hit in the back of the leg by the Hand Grenade bottle that he had been drinking from.
"That last thing -the throwing his empty drink at me- just about assures me that he was going to rip me off for my 5 bucks...I wonder if that is just water in the vodka bottle that he is trying to sell...a lot of heroin comes from China; all the Chinese tattoos on his neck..."