In honor of all the rain in the Northeast this week, here is a story from my days as a dispatcher at that black-car service in Brooklyn where wanna-be ghetto biatches reigned and all drinking was done ON-SHIFT while pressing the foot-pedal of our two-way radio.
Back in 1999 I was working the coveted day-shift as dispatcher. Once in a while, the overnight
drunk dispatcher would ask me to switch shifts with him. This time, it resulted in my suffering through a fifteen-hour marathon.
I had an entire liter of genuine, Polish potato-vodka to thank for the extra 5 hours. It’s victim was left to sleep it off in the back office; departing in the wee hours before the A.M. telephone operator arrived.
After an aggravating yet hilarious evening (there were several incoherent broadcasts, foot-pedal slips and singing on the 2nd channel as culprits for each) it seemed like a relaxing option to walk home instead of taking the train one stop.
It started raining cats & dogs; or buckets or whatever-the-fuck you say to describe a FUCKton of water dropping from the sky. Being completely screwed without an umbrella, it seemed wise to RUN-LIKE-FORREST.
Stopping for a breath at the corner fruit-stand, I stood under the blue tarp they had strung up over their outdoor bins.
Out of nowhere comes a huge gust of wind. This sent that blue tarp flapping, after first dumping ALL the water it had collected right on my head. It soaked my already-damp hair and spilled down my neck and back. The only saving grace was the semi-warm temperature being that it was already NORMAL Spring on the verge of NORMAL Summer. Global warming had not yet almost entirely erased the change of seasons…
“This could NOT get any fucking worse…” I muttered out loud and started running even faster than before to get my waterlogged ass to my apartment to peel off my soaking wet clothing.
As I’m running down the empty, wet street I notice a guy in the same predicament – running as fast as he can towards me. This continues for almost a full avenue-block.
I better move out of the friggin’ way or this situation will get even uglier and wetter than it already is.
Unfortunately, Tall-Dark-and-Handsome is thinking the same thing. We BOTH step to MY LEFT at the same exact moment. It was the lamest attempt two people ever made to be polite little pedestrians. It had to be the most calamitous attempt EVER.
We slammed right into each other. At full running speed.
I tried to duck but was sent flying as Tall-Dude crashes into my left shoulder and torso. I hit the pavement with my right hip and both hands.
“OMG!! AREYOUALRIGHT!!??? Are you HURT!?”
I am laughing so hard I can hardly breathe. It becomes obvious that tall-dude thinks he’s killed me. The silent, hysterical laughter doesn’t help.
I manage to calm my chortling enough to verbalize the absence of anything fatal or in need of a 911-call. I wave him off since it manages to start raining harder than before.
Being a rare, decent young guy from Bensonhurst he helps me to my feet. I thank him and continue to wave him off.
My only regret – not getting his number!
PS – I’ve reached the 50-Milestone (I was gonna say “smilestone” but it sounded way too corny…) Anyway, THANKS SO MUCH for reading!