Pfffft… And HE’S the boss?
So here I sit at work, counting my woes, staring gloomily at my computer screen, rotting away in general, when in walks a police officer, complete with uniform, badge and unamused scowl. He scowled at me, grimaced at my buddy Drew, and disappeared into the boss’ office.
Drew looked over at me, shrugged, and went back to work. I continued with my morose tapping at the keyboard, running through the last few weeks in my head, just to make sure I hadn’t done anything to feel guilty about. Nah… I lead a pretty good life. No reason to run from the police. (Isn’t that a sign of aging?)
After ten minutes or so, Mr. Officer comes back out, growls at Drew, snarls at me, and heads up the stairs to the “real world.” The boss comes out of his office.
“I can’t believe I have to pay for that!” he said. Drew and I both blinked ignorantly at him. “Huh?” asked Drew. “What?” sez I.
“Oh, you haven’t heard?” The boss settles in to tell the tale. “Someone stole the truck.”
“You mean the beater that used to be parked beside the building?” I asked.
“Yeah, that one. My truck. I left it here in case anyone needed to use it. And my neighbors didn’t want it parked in front of my house any more. Anyway, someone stole it three weeks ago, and I just noticed this morning.”
“The truck’s been gone THREE WEEKS and you just now notice?” I ask. “How can you not notice?”
“Well, I thought one of the delivery guys had it or something,” he continued, “I just didn’t notice that it was gone. Anyway, so I call the cops, and they tell me someone ran it into a tree January 21st and just left the truck there, so the city towed it.” Drew and I nodded. The boss continued. “Damned truck is only worth a hundred bucks, but they gave ME a bill for two-hundred and seventy dollars. I gotta pay for the tow truck myself!”
At this point I quit stifling my giggles and started laughing outright.
“It’s not funny,” said the boss. “They want to charge me seven bucks a day storage, too!” He shook his head and wandered off. “I guess this is what we get for having the print shop in the ‘hood,” he mumbled on his way up the stairs.
I live just a few blocks away… I’ve sat in my car and watched a teenage gang-banger wannabe steal the doorknocker right off my door. Stole my doorknocker! My wife, bless her heart, ran the kid down and got it back. I would have chased the kid myself, but I was too busy trying to get the drunk out of our yard. I’ve watched drunk thugs in the street carefully aim a roman candle and shoot it into my garage, neatly banking it off the back window of my wife’s car. (I came unglued that time – my motorcycle was in the garage at the time.) I’ve had a police officer tell me with a straight face that they don’t come into my part of town after dark without a partner in the car.
Yes, Sioux City has a ‘hood. I think it’s kinda funny that my rich boss just now noticed… The rest of us have to live with that kind of stuff daily. The sad part is that it ain’t cheap to live in the ‘hood – if it’s not stolen or spray-painted, it’s egged or scratched.