IMAGINE! IMAGINE the possibilities if you and I dared to dream peace was possible. What if we dared to dream cancer was curable? What if we dared to dream everyone on planet Earth had access to good health care, clean water, and a good education? It’s ALL Possible. It’s possible if we take our imagination and transform it into constructive action. Sure there are mountain to climb, problems we haven’t foreseen; but those won’t stop us. We DARE to IMAGINE the POSSIBILITIES.
Farlo tooled the BMW down West River Road at an easy 70 miles per hour in a 35 zone. He hit the brakes, turned the wheels quickly to the right, went up over the curb, knocked a headlight off against a hydrant and came to a stop behind a car in a MacDonald’s drive through lane. He lowered his window.
“Welcome, can I take your order,” said a voice coming out of a black square with holes in it.
“Three Big Mac’s, hold the lettuce, hold the mayo, hold the tomato, hold the bun.”
“That’s highly unusual, sir. You’re missing most of the calories and don’t forget the best part, the saturated fat.”
“I like my Big Macs just the way they’re made,” said Joey.
“They’re not for you. They’re for Tina.”
“You treat me worse than a dog,” whined Joey.
“Tina’s more faithful. Tina’s always got my back. Tina’s smarter than you.” He turned back to the black box, “I’m not moving unless I get it my way.”
“Would you like to supersize your order, sir?”
“What the hell does that mean, I don’t have all day,” snapped Farlo.
“You can get a large fry, and a fried apple pie with your order, along with an added sugar 48-ounce drink, Sir.”
“Yes, hollered,” Joey.
“No,” hollered Farlo, louder than Joey.
“Please pull up to our pickup window, sir.”
“Give me those credit cards you pulled out of the glove compartment.”
“You’re committing a felony,” said Joey.
“I already committed a felony, I’m compounding it. Think of it this way, we’re doing a job that’s got to be done and on the side, we’re teaching Dr Big Bucks a big lesson. He’s done messing with the little guy.”
“I consider myself a little guy,” said Joey.
“You don’t count. Suck it up. We’re on a mission,” said Farlo.
“Is this a remake of the Blues Brothers?” asked Joey.
Farlo ignored Joey, slipped an American Express credit card to cashier, and said, “Add a five-hundred-dollar tip for yourself.”
“Thank you, sir. You are a saint. This will help me with my tuition,” said the cashier.
“Oh hell, make it a thousand. Stop crying. Give me my order, we’re on a mission,” said Farlo.
“Thank you, Mr. Belushi.”
Farlo left rubber as he peeled out of the fast food parking lot. He took a left on Sanger.
“Why are you going down Sanger, it’s out of the way?” asked Joey, who every other ten seconds turned his head toward the back seat and tried to steal a whiff of Tina’s meal, which was already consumed, digested and moving its’ way through the intestinal tract.
“You got to learn to think strategically if you’re going to work with me long term,” said Farlo. His words sounded like freight car a truck rolling over a gravel road.
“I don’t want to work with you, short or long term,” said Joey.
“Too bad, it was your one shot at advancement in life. When we rescue Harry J I’m going to drop you off, clean out my gear and leave you to rot. You’ll be jobless, kicked out of your home, living on a cardboard box under a bridge, and within two weeks standing on a corner with a sign reading, I don’t work, but I need food.
Joey sat silently staring straight ahead. “You ran a red light.”
“Purposely, fool. It was a red-light photo radar light. Sanger has ten red light photo radar lights and I plan to run red on every one of them.”
“Don’t you think you’re carrying this karma thing a little too far?”
“No. My only moral dilemma is that Harry’s life is in danger. If he was a safe hostage, I could really do some karma payback.”
“Did Karma ever pay you back?” asked Joey.
“I got stuck with you,” growled Farlo.
Nine more traffic lights, nine more red light photo radar lights. Farlo hung a left onto Maple. “You’re going the wrong way down a one-way street.”
“I know. I’m making up time we lost going down Sanger.”
“There’s a FedEx truck, watch it,” screamed Joey.
Farlo swerved onto the sidewalk, knocking over a trash can, clipping a no parking sign, and plowing through eight large black plastic bags of trash, one of which stuck to the BMW’s muffler.
Joey turned and looked out the back window, “There’s a cop car with lights flashing about one-hundred yards behind. We’re going to the slammer. I don’t want to go to prison.”
Farlo glanced in the rearview mirror. Quickly glanced over to Joey, “Hang on tight kid, don’t scream, when we come to a stop, hit the street running and follow Tina and me, it’s your only chance.”
Before Joey could say a word, Farlo, accelerated to 80 mph, ran two stop signs, then cut the wheels to the right, hit the brakes forcing the BMW to go into a controlled skid. The BMW turned sideways, teetered on two wheels, before settling down on four wheels blocking all traffic on Maple. Farlo unbuckled his seatbelt, opened the door, and jumped out. Tina followed. Joey, a bit more than a tad slower, followed fifteen yards behind, “Wait for me, or I’ll tell Filo,” he hollered.
Will they rescue Harry J? Will Joey quit working with Farlo? Who’s Filo?
I wish everything turned out the way I wanted it turn out. It’s not the way life works. Sometimes life throws a fastball right past us. What are our choices? We can complain. We can RSVP to a personal pity party. Or, we can assess our situation, adopt a different attitude, determine to make something good happen from our circumstances. The following short YouTube video provides a great example and motivation for us to look at all situations through an optimistic lens.
The dark green, new BMW, with vanity plates reading DrBigBucks turned onto the freeway. Farlo slid the BMW into the driving lane between a 16-wheeler loaded with frozen chicken and oversized unmarked van carry ten undocumented workers.
“Watch it. You’re going to get us killed,” screamed Joey involuntarily tensing his body, closing his eyes and placing both of his palms on the dashboard. The blast from the horn of the 16-wheeler caused Joey to reach for the door handle. It wouldn’t budge.
“You’re going nowhere, kid. I got it all under control,” said Farlo as he pulled into the next lane cutting off an oversized pickup truck. The pickup truck driver pulled into the third lane and pulled even with the BMW. Farlo lowered his window.
“What do you think you’re doing? I don’t want to get involved in road rage,” pleaded Joey.
“Too late, kid. You’re in the middle of it and you’re not going anywhere. Never back down. Don’t take prisoners. Those have been my live by mottos for years,” Growled Farlo, with one eye on the road and the other eye on the oversized red pickup truck.
“You’re nuts,” said Joey.
“Get in line, kid. You’re not the first person to say that. You got to be a little nuts to work for Filo,” said Farlo.
“Who’s Filo,” asked Joey.
“Later, Kid. I think it’s go time,” Farlo watched the passenger side window of the oversized red pickup roll down.
Joey undid his seatbelt and slide to the floor, hoping any bullets would miss him.
The driver of the oversized red pickup looked over at the BMW with the vanity plate DrBigBucks, raised his automatic and pointed it toward the BMW.
The driver and Farlo went eyeball to eyeball. The driver hollered, “Farlo? What are you doing driving that piece of crap?”
Farlo said, “Mad Dog, where you fighting tonight?”
Joey hollered from the floor, “You know each other?”
Mad Dog said, “I can’t, I thought you were DrBigBucks. I tore my ACL and he wouldn’t operate on me because I didn’t have the right insurance.”
“Don’t worry, Mad Dog. I’ll text Filo and he’ll set you up with the best ortho in the business, no charge. As for DrBigBucks. His karma lesson is only beginning. You hear anything about Harry J?”
The line of traffic backing up behind Mad Dog and DrBigBucks was growing impatient. Horns began blaring. Sirens were heard in the distance. Mad Dog nodded and said something, but the noise from the other traffic was deafening. Farlo waved at Mad Dog and floored the accelerator.
“What did he say?” said Joey.
“I don’t know. I read his lips, but I’m not sure I got it all. Get off the floor and buckle up you pantywaist.”
“I am not a pantywaist. I used to shoot darts at the bar, before you entered my life.”
Farlo looked at Joey, shook his head, and veered to an off ramp, causing a dark blue Lexus to clip his left rear fender. The Lexus careened into the back of another Lexus that slammed into the back of a Mercedes.
Who’s Filo? Where’s Harry J? Who doesn’t Farlo know?
If we don’t quit, we’ll reach the finish line. If we don’t quit, no matter the struggle, we’ll succeed. If we don’t quit, we’ll know when it’s over we left everything on the table. If we don’t quit we may surprise a lot of people, but not our self. Don’t quit. Don’t quit. Fight on. The following short YouTube video will inspire you to press on no matter how great the challenge you face today.
Joey walked up and down the aisles of the 9th Ave Goodwill store. So many choices, he was a kid in a candy shop. The twelve patrons and eight workers in Goodwill considered him armed and dangerous and hid behind a counter. The manager went online and was checking Crime Stoppers. Joey stopped at a bin containing men’s boxers. He held a pair of boxers with palm tree designs against his waist, too big. He grabbed a pair of boxers with little poodles and held it against his waist, too small. And, just like Goldilocks, he held a pair of boxers with guppies and angelfish against his waist, and it was just right.
Farlo came up behind him, “You’re taking too much time, here’s your pants and shirt. Go into the restroom and change.”
“I don’t want to wear pink sweatpants and a hoodie with a toy poodle on front with a pink ribbon tied around its neck.
“Suck it up, kid. You’re showing your support to fight breast cancer. Think of other people besides yourself.”
“Who, for instance,” said Joey.
“Me, for instance. I don’t want to babysit you when I could be out with Nicole or my other girlfriend. Now move it. Harry J’s life is in danger and you’re worried about getting a call to appear on the cover of Men’s Magazine. You got another ten pounds to lose and muscle to build. Until then, leave the fantasy alone.”
“You won’t let up, will you?”
“No. Now hop to it before my size 12 finds a resting place,” snarled Farlo.
An hour later, Farlo, Tina, and Joey were outside the physician’s parking garage at University Hospital.
“People are staring at me. They think I’m a cross dresser,” complained Joey.
“Kid, you got to learn not to worry about what other people think,” Farlo snapped. Then he said, “You got any more complaints, take it to the complaint department. Right now, we’re going in and going to requisition a quality ride.”
“Just like that?” said Joey.
“Just like that,” answered Farlo as he ducked under the gate and was inside the parking garage. Tina followed, but did not have to duck under the gate. Joey hollered, I’ll wait outside and make sure the coast is clear.”
From inside the parking garage, “One more word, and Tina’s going to have a piece of rump steak, raw.”
“Okay, I’m coming.”
Farlo, Tina, and Joey walked up two flights of stairs. Farlo took them two at a time. Tina took them three at a time. Joey held onto the railing and took them one at a time.
“We almost there?” panted Joey as he neared the second-floor landing.
Farlo and Tina waited for him. “You’re an anchor, kid. You’re still out of shape.”
“True, but I’m getting better,” said Joey.
Farlo opened the door to the second level, he turned to his right and began walking down the rows of BMWs, Lexus, Mercedes, and an occasional Porsche,
“What are you looking for? They all look nice,” said Joey.
Farlo kept walking, Tina kept walking next to Farlo, and Joey trailed. Farlo stopped behind a new BMW, “This is the one I want.”
“Why did you choose this one?” asked Joey.
Farlo pointed to the vanity plate on the rear bumper of the BMW, DrBigBucks.
“Something wrong with that?” asked Joey.
“You ever deal with medical profession? They’re all about money, money, money. I’ll bet this jackass doesn’t do Medicare and only takes cash or gold standard insurance. Karma’s going teach Dr. Big Bucks a lesson.” Farlo reached into his pocket, pulled out a small black case, set it against the BMW’s door, tapped three times on the case’s screen, and the door unlocked. No alarm. Tina jumped in and went the backseat. Farlo slid in. Joey opened the passenger door and slid in.
“It still smells new,” said Joey.
Farlo didn’t answer.
Farlo placed the small black case against the starter button and tapped five different keys. The BMW came to life.”
“Where’d you buy that?” asked Joey.
Farlo turned to him, “At Amazon. I got it last year for $39.95 on Black Friday.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Right. Buckle up, kid.”
Where’s Harry J? Will they rescue him? Who’s Filo?
Let’s make the world better today.
- Plant a tree seedling.
- See a piece of trash on your walk? Pick it up and put it in a trash can.
- Smile at everyone you meet.
- Pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks.
- Toss stale bread out to the birds.
- Surprise an old friend with a “thank you for (fill in the blank) email.
- Invite a neighbor, colleague, friend out for coffee or lunch.
- Post an inspirational photo or quote on your favorite social media.
- Hold the door open for the person behind you.
- Send an video message to a parent, child, friend and tell them to have a great day.
The following short YouTube video will inspire you to do even more. Making the world better doesn’t cost much, a bit of time, a coffee, and a loving heart. Let’s do it!
Farlo, Tina, and Joey are walking down 3rd Avenue. It’s 3:30 a.m. Joey’s still dressed in his hospital gown. Joey glances at Farlo, “Where’s your cane? Where’s your limp? This whole thing is fake, isn’t it?”
Farlo kept walking. Tina kept walking next to Farlo. Joey stood still. “Hey, I’m talking to you, Farlo or whatever your name is. I’m not going anywhere until you answer my questions.” Joey folded his arms and stood in the middle of the sidewalk. His mind set. His eyes staring at the back of the receding Farlo.
Farlo kept walking. Tina kept walking next to Farlo. Joey kept staring. A gust of wind rising from the river caught Joey’s hospital gown and billowed out. At that moment, the El Huevos drove by and pulled alongside Joey. The passenger side window rolled down, “Hey man, you belong over on 8th ave.”
“The rear, passenger side window rolled down, “Nah, you don’t belong on 8th ave. You escape from the nut house? I bet there’s a reward for you.”
The passenger in the front seat said, “No reward, let’s turn him over to Sanchez, he’ll turn him into a mule and we get a cut of the drugs he brings across the border.” Laughter from inside the car.
Joey’s heart rate now at 120 and rising. Joey looked at the two gang members on the passenger side, and said, “I don’t speak Spanish.”
A voice from inside the car, “We’re not serious, man. We don’t speak Spanish either. We just use Spanish names because of the innate bias fools like you have against people of color.”
“You’re, you’re not the El Huevos? Stammered Joey.
“El Huevos? What fool gang would use a name means the eggs? What would make you think that? Another bias. No wonder Farlo abandoned you. We told him he’s wasting his time with you,” the voice from inside the car.
“You, you have a sign on the side of your car, it says, El Huevo’s Rule. You, you know Farlo?”
Another voice from inside the car, “Farlo’s the man.”
A bellowing command, sounding like the voice of thunder filled 3rd Ave. Get your sorry butt down here, double time or I’m going to hit you so hard on the top of your head you’ll be licking your toenails.” A loud bark followed the command.
From the passenger side window. “You are in big trouble, man. We got to split. We have midterms at the university today. By the way, what you’re wearing is not a good look.”
Joey took off down 3rd Ave at a full sprint. His hospital gown flowing making him look like a giant stingray on land. When he reached the corner of 3rd and Fagen, he saw Farlo halfway down Fagen, standing in front of a coffee and bagel food truck near the subway entrance, Tina sitting beside him. Farlo was eating a bagel he held in his right hand, in his left hand, he held a steaming cup of coffee. Tina was drinking from a bowl of milk. She already scoffed five pieces of bacon.
Joey reached Farlo. Joey was out of breath, panting, sweat rolling down his face, “I’ll give you a pass this time on my questions. Where’s my bagel and coffee?”
“You missed breakfast, kid.” He turned to the cute twenty-five-year-old, red headed woman in the bagel and coffee food truck, “Can’t make it tonight, Nicole. I’m babysitting if you know what I mean?” Farlo nodding toward Joey.
“Know what you mean, Farlo. Maybe Saturday?” Nicole winked. Tina barked.
“You know her?” asked Joey incredulously.
“We’re off and on. Filo introduced us. I got somebody else now.”
“Huh? Who’s Filo? Who is the somebody else?”
Where’s Harry J? Who’s Filo?
Pablo backs the stolen ambulance to the rear entrance of the Patiently Insane Home. El Hombre steps out of the ambulance, reaches around his back with his left hand, feels his gun tucked between his pants and back. The heft of the gun give El Hombre a secure feeling, the same way a baby feels when you give it its pacifier.
Farlo’s watching El Hombre and thinks, too bad he wasn’t breast fed or given a pacifier when he was a baby, it’s why he’s all screwed up. Breast feed all babies and give them a pacifier when they cry and they won’t want to play with guns when they grow up.
Joey’s sitting up on the stretcher. He looks at Farlo deep in thought, “What are you thinking?”
Farlo looks over, “I bet you were breast fed.”
“How’d you know?”
“I know. And, every time you cried, your mom gave you a pacifier.”
“How’d you know?”
“You’re afraid of guns.”
“Change of plans, kid. I told Pablo to bring a wheelchair. You’re going to sit in it and pretend your loco. It won’t be hard. Act natural,” said Farlo just as the back doors to ambulance swung open.
Pablo stood behind a wheel chair. El Hombre had his gun in his hand and was practicing a fast draw, western style.
Farlo looked at El Hombre, jumped off the back edge of the ambulance and walked over to El Hombre, “Try that fast draw one more time, I can outdraw you any day of the week and twice on Lunes, Martes, Miercoles, Viernes, and Sabado. I rest on Domingo.”
“You think you’re hot shit, Farlo. Where’s your gun?”
“It’s hidden. I can still reach it, and drop you before you can get a shot off. If you’re not man enough, put the gun away and get busy,” demanded Farlo.
“Nobody says I’m chicken. On the count of three draw. I’m going to be the bad dude that put Farlo down. One … Owe, oooh, aaah, stop, stop,” begged El Hombre. “You cheated man, you didn’t wait until I said three.”
“Tough. I’m keeping your gun. You mess this up tonight, I’m going to fix you so you can never be a father,” growled Farlo.
“Please man. I’m sorry. Keep the gun. I don’t want it.”
“Get your sorry butt off the ground and help Pablo bring Joey to the entrance door.”
Farlo, Pablo, and El Hombre stood by the door. Tina stood next to Farlo. Farlo looked down the side of the building and saw scattered boxes. Rats were scurry in and out of the boxes carrying food refuse back to their rat’s nest. He motioned El Hombre and Pablo out of the way, pulled the gun out of his scrub’s waist band and fired five shots, one after the other. Five rats flipped up, over and landed still.
“That’s some shooting, man,” said El Hombre.
“That’s what I do to four legged and two legged rats, comprehende,” snarled Farlo.
“Press the button. I don’t have all night,” said Farlo. Tina barked.
Joey got out of his wheelchair and pressed the button. Two minutes went by, nobody came. Farlo took out the gun and fired two shots into the lock. He turned to Pablo, “Wait 15 minutes then take off.” He got behind Joey, pushed him in, and entered a long, dismal corridor, barely lit with fifty watt bulbs. Cobwebs hung from anything that could anchor a cobweb.
Joey whispered, “A security guard is coming our way.”
“So?” said Farlo.
“What do I do?”
“Multiple choice: sing a song, go to sleep, let me whack you aside the head, or all the above.”
“I choose option B.”
The guard, about Farlo’s height, but paunchy, and wearing a ball cap that said security held up his hand, “Where are you going? You can’t have a dog in here.”
“This idiot tried to escape. I caught him just in time. I’m taking him back to his room. Tina is a therapy dog,” said Farlo in a low, gruff, no nonsense voice.
“I’ve never seen you around here. I never seen a dog around here either,” said the guard.
“I’ve never seen you around here, you new?” asked Farlo.
“Me neither. Now get out of my way before I run your ass over. Or, sic Tina on you,” growled Farlo. T
“Hey, take it easy. I’m only doing my job,” said the guard holding his hands up in surrender.
Farlo said, “I got to take care of Harry J next. What room is he in?”
“He was in room ten. They moved him today to room fifteen. Then twenty minutes ago they carried him out in a body bag.”
“He died?” said Farlo.
“No. They put him a body bag so he wouldn’t scream or try to escape. He’s a crazy one. He keeps talking about some nut job rescuing him,” said the guard.
“Where’d they take him? He has my watch,” said Joey.
“You the nut job?” asked the guard.
“Un huh,” said Joey.
The security guard looked at Farlo, “They took Harry J to the Last Stop Assisted Care Facility. It’s over by the Heavenly Haven Cemetery.”
“See you later” said Farlo.
“Where you going?” said the guard.
“I promised this nut job, he could see Harry J tonight. I never go back on a promise. You got a problem with that?” said Farlo. Tina showed her fangs.
“Not me. I never seen yah. Bye.”
Just as Farlo, Tina, and Joey cleared the door where the ambulance was supposed to be waiting, they saw it heading down the driveway.
“What about my clothes?” asked Joey.
“Turn your hospital gown into a fashion statement. We got to heist a car.”
“Huh?” said Joey.
Will they ever rescue Harry J? Why was Harry J carried out in a body bag? Who’s Farlo?
When we chase our dreams, the entire journey is important. But, the critical moment often comes when we are closest to our goal. In the famous Boston Marathon, there is a hill, known as Heartbreak Hill not far from the finish line. It is on this hill that the race is often won and lost. When discouragement hits us in the pursuit of our dream, we may be closer than we imagined. Hold on. Don’t give up. Press forward.