September 2007

One Night Across The Border

Right.

Changes happen. Changes go. Bills get paid, bank accounts slowly begin to fill themselves up again and hours of my life go missing with little to explanation, at least certainly not a substantial or sufficient one.

But that’s the accepted way of doing things these days. Assuming you lack the lack of moral fibre required for a foray into the dark world of underground black market telly tubbie sales you’re pretty much fucked.

And really, I’ve made a point of keeping my contacts from that life at slightly more than arms length for reasons of my own safety, so it would be just too much work to get back into that particular routine.

I do miss it at times, the wanton days in the back of farming trucks surrounded by thousands of the fluffy incoherent little dolls. Some people might find that creepy, but it only happened to me once.

It was a midnight run that should never have taken place in the first place, but the these things usually are. One of my buddies called me up with the promise of easy cash that was large enough that if I did the run, I would be able to pay off my debts and spend the next six months on a beach in the Cayman Islands. Hell, I’ll run anything, just as long as I didn’t have to know what it was. I had actually been running teletubbies for this buddy for years and I never once asked them what we were actually moving,

Course as soon as I got to the old mill to the meet my associate and the crew he had brought along to help, some whiny guy who I immediately knew I would hate jumped up and screamed at the top of his lungs “Shotgun! I call It!”

It was everything I could do not to pull the sawed off I had under my coat and let him have shotgun more than ever.

But I didn’t.

So there I was, in the back of an old farm truck, the enormous black wheels of the thing somehow managing to find potholes that even they could get caught in enough that I was launched a good 6 inches off the old wooden truck bed. Bouncing along, bouncing along.

It had been a rough couple of weeks. I had promised myself this was going to be the last run a few weeks earlier but I needed some cash to pay off a couple of debts that really needed to be paid. I owed over fouty grand, and the gentleman who I owed the money told me that I had three weeks to come up with the fourty grand. The end of the conversation went like this, with him quietly musing to himself as he walked out the door…

“Hey ****, Did you know that one good kidney can raise twenty thousand in cairo?” Did you know that almost every person is born with two kidnies and that they can live with only one. That’s a real shame for you **** I suppose. One kidney short you can still keep going on, but if you lose both kidneys, you die”, he looked at me sternly.

“That’s medical science”, He said.

And then he and his two rather large goons walked out of my apartment. One by one. The last goon knocked over my coat rack and I am quite sure was it was not simply an accident.

So given the circumstances and the habit of not having dialysis I had developed for the last 28 years of my life, I figured it was time for another tubbie run.

Which brings us back to me bouncing along on that old dirt road in the crappy old farm truck.

Well anyways, it took me bouncing up and down on that wood floor about two hours before the reality of my situation dawned on my. I was in a truck full of stacks of teletubbies which had been wrapped in garbage bags to ensure they didn’t get wet and then tied to the wood sides of the truck.

So I started to do what anyone else would do.

I ripped open a couple of the bags and made myself a nice little cushioned spot on the floor.

Which worked for about an hour. The ride was less bumpy.

However, during the course of the hour, those friendly little teletubbies started to look a little strange. Maybe it was the wind and the dark, but they creepingly began to look like something like, well do you ever have a really bad nightmare, and then you forget about it for years, but then some little piece of reality reminds you of that nightmare and you sorta go a little past crazy?

Well I don’t remember exactly what the nightmare was, but something about those teletubbies in that truck in lighting that was only coming from the front of the truck scared the crap out of me.

Matters were only compounded by the fact that every time the truck hit a bump, I still went a good six inches in the air. The impact was considerably lessened, but with every landing, scores of teletubbies would launch into their pre-programmed monologues.

OK, so let me set the scene for you again. I’m in the back of a truck filled with teletubbies wrapped in garbage bags and I’m reasonably convinced that they are staring right at me, plotting to attack and escape when their moment was right. I knew that I would not stand a chance as from what I am told teletubbies (at least on the show) sometimes communicate telepathically. So I did what anyone else would do.

I started banging maniacally on the back of the truck cab, desperate to get my partners in crime attention. After about 5 minutes of that and endlessly creative exchanges of profanity between myself and the two up front, the truck finally pulled over.

The lippy guy who had called shotgun came whipping around the side of the truck cursing like a sailor and demanding to know what all the fuss was about.

Now at the time I fancied myself a bit of a tough guy, I definitely didn’t like the idea of saying “I think the teletubbies are out to get me”.

So instead, I just told them that it was uncomfortable in the back and that the lippy guy should take his turn.

To which lippy guy responded with a torrent of high speed profanity that would have made even the most hardened of sailors blush. This went on four about 10 minutes, him bithing about calling shotgun. At roughly 10 seconds into minute eleven, I finally caved and pulled out the sawed off. For a guy who had just gone through a supersonic tirade, he sure didn’t have much to say when I did that. And then he reached for his pocket.

So I did what anyone else would do.

I pulled the trigger and just like that the argument came to a close.

I looked over at the other guy and asked him if we could still make the run with just the two of us.

He smiled and said “Shit dude, I was planning as pushing him under the wheels of the truck when we got a little closer to the drop the way he was going on and on, no worries.”

I had to admit I was a little impressed by this guy, he was a very good liar, and he certainly had the sense to know when he needed to lie.

We found a backpack of camping supplies and left it with our not quite dead companion. Then we dragged him into the middle of the road.

He would be a hitchhiker who was a tragic victim of come serial killer if he got found before he was run over, but if our plan worked and some 18 wheeler drove right over him , he would be a tragic death of a hitchhiker who walked to far to try and flag someone down.

So I moved up to the drivers seat for the rest of the trip.

And I waited.

And just before we got to the drop point across the border I pulled out the afore mention sawed off, held it up against the temple of the somewhat impressive liar and decided to play a game.

“Tell me, how much farther would it have been until the two of you did me in?”

The impressive liar feigned shock and insisted that he had never planned to do any such thing.

So I asked again.

And he gave the answer he did again.

So I asked again but I did two things differently. The first was that I explained that if he told the truth, I would let him live. If he lied to me again, I would spray the contents of his head across the side window like a Jackson Pollock.

He gave me a strange look when I said the last bit. I promised myself that I he lived through this I would make sure that he knew to look into Jackson Pollock.

The second addition to my line of questioning was simply to cock the old sawed off.

He looked me straight in the face and told the truth. Using the hydraulic system of the old truck they were going to basically slide me onto the pavement at around 160 kmph right before one of the sharper mountain turns.

They would have lost the tubbies I had opened, but the rest would have stayed right in the truck.

“Not a bad plan” I said.

“Sorry” He said.

I let him live. He knew when to lie and he knew when to tell the truth. We got to the coastal mansion, pulled up in the servants driveway and made our delivery. I gave my “partner” his cut, 30% (I told him if he took more than his share it might look like he was a part of the murder if it ever fell under investigation).

And, shockingly enough, he went right along with that train of thought. Walked away and that was that.

Messy times those were. I never heard anything about the lippy guy and I sure can’t remember his name now so I assume he either got nailed by a semi or dragged off by a bear,

Perhaps I’ll open up a fish and chip shop. Those are always fun I’m told.

Perhaps I’ll wait until I figure out what anyone else would do.

I mean, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

You know where to find me.

Nate@natepike.com