Sep 25, 2016

Panhandling Parking Meters

Hey Buddy, It's Not Our Fault        

They're calling us aggressive,          
 say we force them to pay more,
but the evil city overlords
and who we do it for.
It's not because we like it--
we don't even get our share,
so remember our poles
when you go to the polls
and vote in someone fair.

And to think, you thought I was making up these stories about talking parking meters communicating to me in verse but here you have it, documented, straight from the Fair City News, photos and all as Parking Meter Poetry-- the story of the struggles of parking meters worldwide-- continue right here at Wackemall Network News.

Sep 24, 2016

Buried In The Back Yard

The garden area of my yard always had water problems-- way too wet. So I came up with an idea as to how to fix it before time to plant come spring. Each night I came home from work with rocks loaded in the back of my truck and backed it in the driveway.

Then I went into the garden and dug a 3'x6' hole about 3' deep being careful to set the top soil to the side. As it was dark by the time I got off of work no one could really see what I was doing and I could only finish one hole each night. I put about 12 inches of rock in the hole then put the top soil back on top in a mound.

I continued this for weeks, one hole per night. The rocks were free, my back was still good then, and the ground was soft. I never thought anything about it but one of the neighbors started the rumor that I was killing the gang members throughout the neighborhood and burying them in my back yard. Suddenly, without my knowing why, every little gang banger in the neighborhood was running away from me.

At the same time, the Greensboro Police Department and the Feds were cracking down and whisking a lot of the local gang bangers away in the middle of the night so everyone was assuming I did it.

It wasn't until my next door neighbor told me about the rumor his kids had heard at school that I found out. We never did anything to make them think any different.

Hole In The Wall

I used to deliver to Marshall's Department Stores in malls and shopping centers all over the country. I was one of about 300 drivers working for a company called Keyway Transport, now known as Cowan Transportation. Almost none of the stores had actual loading docks so when I arrived I had to back to a walk in door, climb into the trailer and carry everything to the rear of the trailer.

At other Marshalls stores there were holes in the wall in which they pushed rollers through for me to roll the boxes into the store. I could always fill the line faster than they could get it off.

Of course, everybody wants everything done yesterday so some big wheel at Marshalls decided their stores needed loading docks. Seemed like a good idea.

I arrived at one of several Dallas, Texas area stores to find a brand new loading dock where there had never been one before thinking, Man this is great!

I gently backed my trailer to the dock just lightly bumping the rubber bumpers and... The entire wall caved in! The whole freaking cinder-block wall!

I couldn't believe it. I had been bumping docks for well over a decade and never had I ever heard of such a thing.. Someone pulled the fire alarm, the sprinklers came on, folks up front thought the building had exploded.

Police, fire and EMS all came rushing out and searched through the rubble, amazingly no one was hurt. I decided I should call my dispatcher and report the accident. When he picked up the phone he said, "Jones, don't tell me you knocked down the wall too."

Turns out they had cut holes in single layer 8" cinder-block walls, installed roll up doors, dock bumpers and nothing more. And I was one of several to find out the hard way.

Sep 22, 2016

Dead End Lovers Know Best

Dead End Poem

Lovers know to get a piece
you have to sing the song,
play the tunes like no one else
and try to swim along;
see the picture from afar,
hold tight for fear you'll bend
until the day it finally comes
your freedom has to end.

Ed And The Rooster

A friend of mine sends a photograph of her goat, Ed and a young rooster that has become Ed's best friend. Rather than spend his days with the other roosters and hens this young rooster spends his days perched high upon Ed's sturdy back. And Ed seems to be okay with the arrangement as the young rooster's claws scratch Ed's back.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

What I want to know is, will the other roosters dare pick a fight with a rooster whose best friend is a goat?

The Sandwich Shop

In the 1970s there used to be a sandwich shop on in downtown Greensboro near the police station. Most folks knew it was a popular hang out for our local gay male population so most of us stayed away. You see, like lots of other places, Greensboro, North Carolina was a very different town back then with very different attitudes.

At the time I was a member of a local motorcycle gang that only lasted a few years and never amounted to much but we managed to get ourselves into the media just a bit more than we would have liked. One of my fellow gang members, a recent transplant from up north whose name I won't mention to protect the guilty, and myself rented a run down old shack located in what is now part of Greensboro's Bryan Park.

One day I received a telephone call from someone identifying himself as an officer with the Greensboro Police Department. That was odd in that usually the cops didn't usually call before coming over. Usually they just kicked in our doors. As a matter of fact, he didn't want to come over at all. He wanted to know if I was Billy Jones, did I own a pick-up truck and would I please bring it to the gay sandwich shop downtown? "Sir, are you sure you're talking to the right dude? I've heard about that place but it's not the sort of place my gang hangs out at."

He explained that my roommate had been drinking and the police wanted me to haul his motorcycle home provided I was sober. That way there wouldn't be a wrecker bill to pay. I assured him I was sober and quickly made my way downtown where I was administered and passed a field sobriety test on the spot.

But what I saw when I got there I was completely unprepared for. My roommate was in the back of a police car just as I'd expected him to be but every window, door, mirror, table and chair in the entire sandwich shop was destroyed and several grown men covered in minor cuts and bruises were sitting on the curb just outside the sandwich shop. "Did he do all that?" I asked the officers pointing at my roommate locked in the back seat of the patrol car.

"He sure did," one of the officers replied.

"Something tells me I'm not going to have enough money to make his bail," I mused.

"There's no bail," one of the officers said. "Once we help you get his bike loaded on your truck he's leaving with you."

"He is? But what about all the damage?"

"No one is pressing charges," the officer explained. We can't hold him."

I told you Greensboro was a very different town back then. I'm not saying it was better, just different.

As we started to drive away I looked at my bad ass biker roommate and asked, "What in the hell were you doing in there? What were you doing in a gay bar?"

"I didn't know," he said, "I didn't know. I was riding around on my bike and I saw a sandwich shop so I pulled over to get a sandwich and a beer."

"So how did you get in a fight?" I was expecting the usual, someone trying him on for size because he wore our club colors.

"I set down in a booth, ordered a sandwich and a beer and was eating when this guy set down beside me. I thought it was weird why with only about 4 people in the whole place he had to set beside me but I was just going to eat and go. Then he put his hand on my leg."

"So you hit him."

"Not yet, I calmly moved his hand off my leg and went back to eating. Then he put his hand on my leg again."

"So you hit him then?"

"No, I calmly moved his hand off my leg and told him not to put his hand on my leg again."

"So did he?"

"He sure did so I threw him out the window. Then everybody in the place started jumping on me so I started slamming and throwing everything I could get my hands on until the cops came in. Then I got myself another beer from behind the bar, paid the bartender and walked out to the police car and sat down."

Yeah, Greensboro was a very different town back then and we were all different too.

Still Waiting On A Hero?

Hero's Tale

You can not count on heroes.
Heroes fly away to fight in distant lands
and are never around when you need them.
Heroes march to victory
leaving you to walk alone,
take their stands in foreign lands
while you suffer here at home.
Heroes, they grow tired,
and heroes, they grow old,
but most of all a hero's tale
is just a story told...
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