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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One thought on “The Lost Art Of “Greasing The Wheels”

  1. In a society where virtually NOTHING is appreciated anymore, that is most definitely a two sided coin or quite possibly a double edged sword depending upon which flavor of retart with which you are “dealing”.

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