Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Magic Carpet Ride

I wasn't the best driver at 17 - there I said it.  My friends and family may argue that I am STILL not the best or even a good driver, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respectfully disagree with them.  I did however manage to total my first, hand-me-down car, the Cutlass (1979 Cutlass Supreme that my mother had purchased for herself - it was her first brand new car).  After totaling my first car my mom did what every other mother would do - bought me a brand new car.  And I did what every other 17 year old would do who just got handed a brand new car - bitch and complain that it's not the car I wanted.  So I drove this white Oldsmobile ('old' being key in the name of the car - it clearly implies you should be old if you're driving one), gave it a few dings and dents and righteously declared that I did NOT want this car.  And just like that, demanding like the brat that I was, a few days later I rolled into town sporting my brand new, kick-ass, white Chevy Camaro z28, pimped out with T-Tops, tinted windows and flashy ass rims (did they have 20's back then?). 

I loved this car and it took me to several jobs that I managed to jump to and from but the most memorable was down at the end of Wilson Ave in Newark, a trucking company that shipped carpet to local stores and distributors.  It was a dirty warehouse on one level with a dispatch room - a real trucker depot kind of atmosphere - while upstairs was bright and basically quarantined from the dregs below.  Literally they kept the door at the top of the stairs locked.  I was the unfortunate sap that had to go downstairs to fill the slots with the route schedules and bills of lading for the truckers each day so I was exposed to disgusting, creepy, dirty, old, men - lots of them (I was 18).  This has nothing to do with the story but just to put things into context for you, I was never shocked to find the owner of the company with his pants around his ankles, shirt tucked into his droopy boxers and the upstairs help down around his knees.  And when I say the help, I mean this nasty, cigarette smoking, wig wearing (if we were lucky), same clothes everyday, dirty fingernails, bean sprout of a woman who, forgive the cliche expression, looked 'ridden hard and put away wet'.  Did I mention disgusting, dirty, old, men AND women!  Man if sexual harassment had been a thing back then I'd own a carpet business right now!  <shutter>

Any who, this God awful job had security cameras every where because the other owner (they were brother-in-laws) was a neurotic, compulsive bean counter who watched his money. And his money was in the warehouse - expensive imported, hand woven works of art, that could have been easily stolen and found for sale on a corner some where in Newark along side of a velvet painting of Elvis. The cameras watched the platform where the trucks were loaded and unloaded, the gates where the trucks entered and exited and the cameras watched the cars, our cars that were parked in the lot.  Owners 1 and 2 both drove Mercedes, the southern girl who was forced to move here because of her husband's job drove an old Toyota, and the smelly, cigarette wench drove . . .wait for it. . .a wood paneling down the side station wagon (what else!).  Then there was me and my Camaro, until one day there was just me.  No Camaro.

Let's go to the video tape - nothing.  Apparently there was a brief moment when the camera panned and my car was just out of lens shot and it was within that very moment, that my car was stolen.  Police reports filed, rides were obtained, condolences passed around, it killed me.  The irony was I probably knew the person that had stolen it and it wasn't gone for long.  In fact, it was recovered the next day and the police officer who took the report was so kind, he called me personally to tell me it had been 'recovered'.  Then asked me out to dinner (he was 28) - did I mention creepy, disgusting, old(er) men!

I never went back to that job because of course I blamed them for not having the proper surveillance to protect my vehicle whilst on their premises.  And let's face it, after all the other bullshit that I had to put up with at this rat hole, quitting was within my best interest.  Another job bites the dust.

Side Note - before the car was actually stolen it had been broken into several times, windows busted, T-Tops stolen, tires stolen, column steering ripped apart, radio gone etc. etc. etc. - the actual theft in the end was some what anti climatic because all the thief did was drive it around for awhile.  They could have spared us both the time and effort and just asked for a damn ride.  I did sell the car after that, to my cousin and I watched her drive it until it died.  Karma, I should have kept the damn Cutlass.  As for Lou Boles Carpet Carriers, out of business.

1 comment:

  1. Driving then, driving now...who knows, I didn't see you drive then.
    But to say "demanding like the brat that I was", that is just silly. :)
    Great story though!!!