The Lost Art Of “Greasing The Wheels”

…and by “Greasing The Wheels”, I’m referring to doling out a “gratuity”, to the three people who read the heading and didn’t know WHAT the reference WAS (and please—arrange for your immediate euthanasia; you KNOW who you ARE and you’ve put it off long enough!)

Now that we’ve gotten THAT nasty chore out of the way, allow me to proceed; but first, a little backline: I’m from New Jersey, which in all my travels, is one of THE top places in the world (the Tri-State area, more specifically) that “gets it”.

This lesson my dear old Dad taught me VERY early on, albeit in a roundabout way—I started getting a 25 cent allowance when I was 5 (right after I got that hat for my birthday—see below); 5 cents of which I immediately paid BACK to Dad (he called it a “KB”—short for kickback) for ALLOWING me to live under the same roof as him, and have my own bedroom.

Then, at six years old, I queued up with the other kids at the skreet crossing on my weekday walk to kindergarten; I quickly learned that a 10 cent/week “tip” to the crossing guard got me “front & center” at the head of that line, so I could get to school first and get the best seat in the classroom (Read: All the way in the very BACK, where I could catch up on my wayward Z’s)…

Next stop on the Dick Jones Wheel Greasing Tour—The Cub Scouts—specifically, the “shuttle service” to the weekly den meeting. By then, I was generating my own income by selling—let’s just call them “contraband items”—to my fellow schoolmates; this activity brought in enough weekly income to, among other things, buy me the coveted “shotgun seat” in Mrs. Allen’s ’62 Chevrolet Biscayne station wagon—for a mere dollar/week. I took particular enjoyment out of seeing the other poor schlubs crammed four-across in the back seat, and the two gape-mouth retarts that always landed up in that cramped, backfacing rear seat, which afforded everyone behind us a clear view of their drooling countenances…

(My tenure in The Cub Scouts didn’t last too long however; the den mother, a Mrs. Seals, assigned me the weekly task of holding up the American flag while the herd of little sheeples pledged their allegiance. My career in underachievement started right about here; after the fourth or fifth week of me being told to “hold the flag higher”, I suggested that perhaps Mrs. Seals might be better served with said flag/pole inserted in an orifice that was designed for “waste disposal”, if you know what I mean and I THINK you do. Remarkably, she found that advice neither practical nor droll; but I digress…)

Fast forward to the “Paper Route Years”—my regular readers will remember that I had to seriously “prime the pump” to free up the nepotism stranglehold that the Blintz boys had on same; then there was the bi-weekly KB to Al—the “middleman” that dropped the bundled individual sections of the Newark News to me, which I then had to assemble—a crisp fiver every week made sure that *I* was the first paperboy to GET those sections, so’s I could get er’ done and get home before “Batman” started every weekday…

Next up—the most coveted “County Road Crew” summer position—two boys each year were able to “win” slots on that exceptionally high-paying, almost-no-actual-work-involved (other than the fine art of “shovel-leaning”, doncha know) government job; those two positions elicited HUNDREDS & HUNDREDS of applications. In one of the few gestures of kindness that I experienced from Dad, the proper KB got “handled” ahead of time to Mrs. Whiteman—before going to my interview with her, I asked my Dad’s advice on what to say. His reply: “As long as SHIT doesn’t fall outta your mouth onto Mrs. Whiteman’s desk, you’ll get the job.” (Insert requisite “tip o’ the hat” to Pop here)…

As I have proceeded onward throughout my adult life, I have continued to grease those wheels of commerce—a $50 bill folded up in my hand when I give the mailman his annual “Christmas Handshake” buys me “lost” Jury Duty Summons cards, and packages that need to be “signed for” ARE, so I don’t have to drive down to the Post Office and wait in THAT goat-fuck of a queue; a $20 to the maitre d REMARKABLY frees up a front row table at the dinner club; a fiver “in advance” gets my car washed EXTRA good at the Car Wash—the list goes on and on.

“Go and do likewise”, Kids—it’s money well-spent!

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Ethics Question…

Let’s see if my readers can get the correct answer to this one, as related to me from one of my HS buddies who owns a dry cleaning business:

“As you know Dick, I own a small dry cleaning business in Long Island, along with my longtime business partner. Two days ago, on one of “my” days to work, I’m getting ready to close up shop, it being slightly after 7PM. As I’m checking out the register, I hear a rap on the glass door—one of my regular customers wants me to ignore the “Closed” sign, unlock the door, and let her in to pick up her cleaning. I quickly oblige, and she races in, handing me her ticket (“No tickie, no laundry”, right?). I turn the carousel on, snag her bag o’ cleaning on its way around, and hand it to her, noticing that she is clearly “in a hurry”. She hands me a crisp hundred dollar bill, I quickly make change (less than $10, for the record); she grabs her clothes and makes a beeline for the door, thanking me on her way out…

I lock the door after her, absent-mindedly adjusting the “Closed” sign, then head back to the register to finish checking out. I grab up that hundred (my only one of the day, for the record) and it’s then that I notice that it is not ONE hundred dollar bill, but TWO hundred dollar bills that are “stuck together”. “Which brings us to the ethical question”, my friend says. Discuss amongst yourselves, fair readers; then scroll down for my friend’s response…

“Should I tell my business partner about the extra hundred?”

The Trouble With Hospitals Is…

…the fuckin’ MORGUE is in the basement!  Here’s the thing – there would be a WHOLE LOT less people dyin’ if it WASN’T so God-Damned “convenient” – “Shit, Nurse Ratched – juice that guy with 50K volts AGAIN, stat – it’s rush hour, and I don’t wanna have to drive the body cross-town to the morgue in this fuckin’ traffic…”

J’es sayin’…

Sitting Will KILL You!

Now don’t THIS beat all:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/21/health/sitting-will-kill-you/index.html

I’m just sitting here reading this, scratchin’ me gulliver—luckily, all this “sitting” that I’ve been doing hasn’t kilt me YET, so I guess it’s time to adapt some changes ’round here; to wit:

1). Shit standing up—Haven’t worked out all the fine details of this one yet, but I’m thinking about just taking the lid offa the cats’ litterbox—if I then lean backwards a bit, it just might work…

2). Take the seats out of my old SUV—No WAY I’m a-gonna DRIVE sitting down; GeezFuckin’Chris! I’ll have to drop the floor quite a bit—I guess I’ll just cut out a 2′ square section of the floor on each side, and weld in a “drop box”; yep, I can pitcher it…

3). Turn the TV upside down on its stand, remove both recliners, and install a bar ~7′ off the floor across the entire living room, that Peggy and I can hang from with gravity boots…

Let’s you’s & I go down this little road a bit and see where it gets us, O.K.? Standing airline pilots, standing bus drivers, standing judges/juries (BTW—I have a summons to appear for Jury Duty next month—you can better be sure that I’m gonna take a copy of this article with me, advising the selection committee that I will ABSOLUTELY need to have provisions made so that I can STAND in the jury box; think I’ll be excused from Jury Duty?) Another thing that keeps popping into my addled brain—what about all the poor wheelchair-bound folks reading this, I wanna know? I guess they’re busy euthanizing themselves as I type…

In closing, I must INSIST that all my readers STAND when reading this Blog from now on—your health is my PRIMARY concern!

If I Ever Become Homeless…

…which, considering the “Slippery Slope” that I live on—hell, which MOST married men live on—could indeed become a reality, here’s the contingency plan that I’ve worked out; to wit:

1). Buy a reasonably decent-looking, generic “Work Van”; you know the one—white, no windows except for maybe two on the back doors—the epitome of “Plain Jane-dom”. Cheap to buy, cheap to own, cheap to repair, cheap to insure, and virtually “invisible”. I would equip it with a blow-up mattress (optional) and register it with a Post Office Box, that I would also rent.

2). Get a membership to the 24 Hour Fitness chain—$100/year is usually what it costs.

3). Get a Costco membership—$30/year.

4). Get some of those magnetic signs made up for the sides of my van—something like “24 Hour Plumbers”, with a non-op. phone #.

That’s it! Now granted, this requires a bit of pre-planning and an initial “Buy In”; but after that, your ANNUAL cost of living is gonna be less than $900.00!

“O.K. Dick—now we KNOW you’re more than a few bricks shy of a load…” I hear you saying.

Here’s how it breaks down—$100 for the gym membership, $30 for Costco, ~$150/year for registration/tags/annual taxes on the Hooptie-Van, and just a few hundred $/year for liability insurance on same; plus the P.O. Box, which is gonna be $120/year—I KNOW that I could panhandle $900/year in about a week! That gives me 51 weeks worth of vacation per annum—JUST about right for a career underachiever like myself.

And here’s where the 24 Hour Fitness and Costco memberships figure in. Of COURSE, I’m gonna live in THE most comfortable, beautiful, and temperate climate in the US of A—Southern California! I drive the van up to the parking lot of the 24 Hour Fitness—these places are ALWAYS in Strip Malls, and I park RIGHT UP FRONT, with my “24 Hour Plumbers” signs in place.

I go inside, show ’em my membership card at the door, and I’m IN—hell, I might even grab myself a workout! When I’m done, I take a L-O-N-G, languishing shower, lathering up extra-heavy with that free soap. Then I go shave with the free shave cream (I’ll fish out a disposable razor from the trash—they’re ALWAYS good for 1-2 more shaves), then I park it in one of the recliners, right by the indoor or outdoor pool, and grab me a couple hours’ sleep—after reading one of the FREE newspapers.

I watch me some TV too; I glance up at the clock—almost noon—time to eat! I head on over to the Costco (they’re usually walking distance from the 24, BTW), flash my membership card and I’m in—now I make my way around the food aisles, sweet-talkin’ the old broads at those little kiosks they have there that are offering up free samples of the gruel that they’re hawking.

Ten minutes of that routine—I’m STUFFED! Better make my way back to the 24 Hour Fitness to grab an afternoon nap; hope nobody took my spot!

Go back to the Costco about dinner time for some more free samples, then back to the van, which I move a few hundred feet away; I’m in for the night—’cause the 24 Hour Fitness parking lot is ALWAYS “open”!

Wake up in the AM, go for my morning beach walk, panhandle a little if I’m in the mood, and repeat the above routine—another day in Paradise!

Now I dunno about YOU mooks, but there’s a whole lotta people that would say “Now THAT’s livin’!” Always good to have a backup plan, Kids…

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“You Cannot Petition The Lord With Prayer!”

—Jim Morrison/The Doors—specifically from the album “The Soft Parade”.

As indicated in my previous Dick Jones entry, we didn’t have much $ when I was a kid growing up (Prolly ’cause most of it got spent on liquor; regrettably, the rest my Dad spent foolishly…), and I REALLY wanted a bicycle (this being after I got the REST of a suit of clothes, subsequent to getting a hat for my 5th birthday).

After praying EVERY night for ~6 months, still no bike. I told my Dad that I had been praying for a bicycle for six months with no “luck”, whereupon he advised me that “prayer doesn’t work that way”…

So I just went out and STOLE a bicycle and prayed for forgiveness instead—SUCCESS!

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I Was Born A Poor White Boy…

…So poor in fact, that my parents couldn’t afford to buy me any clothes; as a result, I couldn’t go outside to play with my friends.  Finally for my 5th birthday, my Dad bought me a hat – so at least I could sit by the window and WATCH my friends playing…

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