Commandeer the Garbage Truck

“You’re so tight, you squeak when you walk. I want to get paid. Can you at least give me an allowance?” pouted Joey G.

Farlo, had the B & W in cruise control at 95 miles an hour through a series of hospital, residential, and high end shopping zones where the maximum speed was 30 miles an hour. He was talking on his cell phone, looking occasionally at Joey G, nodding his head, and then balanced the steering wheels between his knees and started texting. His traffic violations exponentially adding up.

Farlo continued texting. He turned toward Joey G. Joey G screamed, grabbed hold of the steering wheel and pulled it sharply to the right, avoiding getting broadsided by a city garbage truck. The B & W instead, went through the plate glass window of Rokowski’s finest jewelry. The B & W came a rest with its hood smashed into a case holding expensive diamond engagement rings.

“I suppose you’re going to scream at me and give me a gig for saving your life. I don’t care anymore. Gig me. Scream at me. Make me do pushups. It doesn’t matter.”

“I was talking to Filo. You came up in our conversation. That’s all you need to know. BTW, you passed the toughness test, Joey G. You don’t care anymore. Let’s go, we’ll commandeer the garbage truck. You commandeer it. Use Tina, I’ll be right behind you. This is your first solo test.”

“Filo was talking about me? I passed the toughness test?” Joey G, beaming with pride, was out of the B & W first, Tina followed Joey out the passenger door. He sprinted out of the jewelry shop and headed down 4th Ave toward the city garbage truck that was parked at the curb with the driver and her assistant pointing at the jewelry store.

It took one minute, thirty-three seconds according to Farlo for Joey G to reach the garbage truck.

Joey G came to stop in front of the garbage truck workers, he said, “Police, the name is Martinez, I’m commandeering the truck, we’re on an emergency call.”

The fully figured, radiantly beautiful, African American woman garbage truck driver said, “Not so fast Martinez, who’s going to pick the trash on 4th Ave? These people have an expectation of the garbage department. We have high standards even though we pick up refuse.”

Joey G looked around for Farlo. There was no Farlo. He looked around for Tina. Tina was two stops ahead sniffing at garbage bags from Bubba’s Barbeque Shoppe.

Joey G said the first thing that came into his mind, “Don’t worry about the garbage, we’ll take care of it as soon as we respond to the emergency.”

The garbage truck driver looked at Joey G. “You don’t look like a Martinez, you’re too white.”

“I’m full bloodied Mexican Senorita. If you have time, why don’t we meet at O’Rourke’s for a margarita after my shift, say 9 p.m.?”

“Only a cool Mexican dude would hand me that line. The truck is yours, cool Mexican dude, see you at O’Rourke’s.

Joey climbed into the cab of the garbage truck. He called for Tina. Tina came galloping down 4th Ave. In two bounds, she was in the truck, the remains of three mostly eaten beef ribs from Bubba’s Barbeque Shoppe in her mouth.

He put the garbage truck in gear when the passenger door opened. Farlo jumped in as Joey was pulling out. “Good work Kid. Who’s going to pick up the garbage? The city garbage department has high standards.”

“Martinez?” Joey asked.

“I’ve got her from 8 to 9. I have Margaret from 9:30 to 10:30 and Kelly from 11 to closing.”

“You’re nuts, they’ll kill you. You can’t treat them that way,” said Joey G.

“You think they’ll mind when I give them a ring from Rokowski’s?”

“You stole the rings? You’re a thief on top of everything else,” said Joey.

“Don’t call me a thief until you walk a mile in my shoes,” said Farlo.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Joey driving within the legal speed limit.

“Who the hell knows. It usually works and generates lots of sympathy,” said Farlo.

“Thanks for the tip. Do you mind it if I occasionally use it?” asked Joey.

“Not at all,” said Farlo.

“I think I’m getting the hang of working with you. The garbage truck driver is meeting me at O’Rourke’s at 9. Do you have an extra ring?”

Farlo looked at his cell phone. It’s 7:40. I’ll never make it in time for Martinez. I’m going to call and move her to midnight to closing. I’ll move Kelly back to 10 to 11:45, and I’ll put Margaret in from 8:30 to 9:45. Don’t bother me while I text. It’s getting complicated.”

“Alameda is five minutes away. How do you want to handle the crack house?”

“I’m dealing in human relations issues, don’t bother me,” said Farlo.

How will Farlo juggle three dates on the same night? Will the rescue Harry J? Do they even care about Harry J? Who will pick up the trash on 4th Ave.?


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