Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Bike Incident: A Gina and Frank shennanigan. (circa 2006)

When I moved to Miami, I brought my bike with me.  It was a lovely Diamondback lightweight aluminum and graphite body fit perfectly for me.  I chose it because of all the features being easy on my neck injury and my ability to manipulate it with relative ease.
Anyhoo, for close to 2 years I rode the bike without incident.  When I would get home, I would always lock my bike to the rail on the entrance to my apartment building.  Because the bike was relatively easy to lift, I was able to fasten it to the rail, elevating it from the ground.
One day I came downstairs from my apartment to go for a bike ride and lo and behold, my bike had been stolen. I have my ideas about who stole it and why but that is another story and not really relevant here.
So a few days go by and I am upset about my bike.  It was pretty expensive and now I had no bike.
I was sad.
Frank Daddy was living with Yvette in the apartment across the street from mine at the time.
At around 2 in the morning Frank calls me to see if I want to go to Walgreen's with him for a snack run.  I wasn't really doing anything so I say okay and meet him in front of his building by his car.
We go to Walgreen's and buy our junk food.  Frank buys a large candy bar.  The kind you get at the movie theater.  It was ridiculously large and filled with caramel. And some sort of soda pop, most likely diet.  bleh.
Arriving back at Frank's he asks if I wanna come watch a movie.  I decline and head back across the street to my place.  As I do this I see our local crack head riding down the middle of the street on, you guessed it, MY BIKE!!  I couldn't believe it!!!
I shouted to Frank, who was just climbing the stoop to his building. "My bike!! My bike!!" I kept yelling.
"Frank, it's my bike!!!"
Well the crackhead stops immediately about 2 yards from me.  I realize he only did this because he saw Frank lumbering over and noted Frank's large stature - especially compared to his own.  He got off the bike and faced me.  I explained that my bike had been stolen earlier in the week and that this was MY bike.
He swore he just paid 20 bux for it and had no idea about it being stolen or not.  The whole time he keeps looking nervously at Frank who is just standing there eating his ridiculously large candy bar, not saying a word. 
I continue the exchange with the crackhead.  I tell him I have the registration papers upstairs and we can call the police if he'd like.  He assures me there is no need to bring the police into this.  I told him if I had 20 dollars I would give it to him for the bike but considering that it was now like 2:30 in the morning, I had no cash on me.  The crackhead decides this is all getting too weird for him and being quite skittish to begin with, he just takes off running down the street leaving the bike behind.
Okay, cool.  I got my bike back! =)
I start to wheel my bike back toward my building and Frank follows me, still eating that dang candy bar.
It was really a big candy bar.  I'm not kidding.
Reaching the steps of my place, Frank offers to carry the bike up for me.  I tell him not to bother I lift it all the time.  Frank goes up the stairs and holds the door open for me.
As I begin to lift the bike, one thing becomes quite apparent to me.
I say to Frank, "This isn't my bike. My bike wasn't this heavy."
Frank shrugs and I decide he needs to carry the bike upstairs for me.
Yes, we stole a bike from a crack head at 2:30 one lovely morning on Miami Beach.
I never rode the bike and it is now fastened to a fence in South Beach where it is rusting into oblivion because I can't find the key to the lock.
True story.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Supreme Painting Skillz (with a 'z')

While I was staying with my sister in Atlanta, she kind of volunteered me to paint some sneakers for some high school kid.  Evidently her friend's son had stained his white Vans brand canvas vulcanized oxfords and so they decided they would just get something painted on them..... and of course my sister volunteers me.
So I tell her I need to know what he's into or what he likes - to get a feel for what to paint on the sneakers since I have no idea who this kid is.  So she tells me he's in ROTC but she really doesn't really know much beyond that - she has to call the kid's mom and she says she'll talk to him and get back to us.
When she calls back she says they have some things written out for me and will give it to me when we come to get the sneakers. whatever.
We go to get the sneakers. We get there and the kid has two pages of visual aides for me to follow; one for each shoe.  I look them over and don't think much about it.  A few band logos, some weird band icon, a lightning storm and a large German flag.  okay.  I'll see what I can do.
In the car on the way back I'm looking over these sheets a little more closely while my sister fills me in on a few factoids about this kid because I was curious about why the German flag.
sister: "Oh, well he's really into German stuff.  He's fascinated with the Nazis and Hitler.  He's always watching the History channel."
me: "um, okay."
I notice one of the bands is Rammstein.  I think about the flag - the dirty white shoes - hmmm.
I think I've just painted some shoes for a white supremacist.
He'll be at the Rally wearing his white sheet and my fancy-ass shoes poking out from underneath! Oh my.
Next thing you know my shoes will be all the rage with the skinheads - yay.
And I only made 30 bux.

Construction Zone: a C-O-N spiracy

As I drove from Miami to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Louisville, I noticed there were quite a few "construction zones" on the various highways.  The strange thing about this, however, was that in NONE of these posted areas was there any sort of actual construction taking place.
Oh there were quite a few trucks of various construction types ie: bulldozers, dump trucks, steam rollers and the like looming like sleeping dinosaurs within the containment of the pylons or reflective oil barrels but no actual workers.
The main reason I bring this up is that this was the case in ALL of the construction zones in every state through which I travelled. So this is what I believe is going on here:
as one approaches each of these areas, there are numerous brightly colored signs warning of their existence and the fact that all traffic fines are doubled should you choose to break the law in any of said areas.
So are the fines still doubled if there are no workers present or no actual work being performed?
Are these areas just set up by the DOT in cahoots with the state in order to make more money from the lawbreakers? Could this possibly be worse than a speed trap?
and imagine if you end up going to jail for this- how would you ever be able to explain that to Big Al in the joint?
"what are you in for, bitch?"
"Oh, me? I was hauling ass through a construction zone! Don't fuck with me! It ain't nothing for me to threaten the safety of DOT workers who aren't even there! You best step off, yo!"
I smell a C-O-N spiracy for sure.