From the full version of Sunnyside's Lousy Book
That spring of 1998 work in Tacoma didn't exist but during the last week of May, my phone ran because of a referral from Pee Brain.
Pee Brain was a surfer and general contractor who lived on the coast and I’d done work for him on several occasions over the years. The guy who he referred me to was a cranberry farmer we'll call Dick Forest. He was one who seemed quite mechanically inclined because he had his own portable saw mill set-up behind a pole-building that had a pretty good fabrication shop set up inside. He had a lath, milling machine, and all the necessities one would need to fabricate just about anything needed on a farm.
At first I really liked and admired the guy because he seemed a lot like me in a way. I admired his desire to have a private machine shop and that he built his own house to his likings with lumber he produced himself. He had found logs which had drifted ashore on the local coastline. It supplied him with an abundance of exotic quality kinds of woods. He used an extensive amount of mahogany on the trim in and outside of his house. It was something you just didn’t see very often on the west coast.
The paint job would have been a good one to have if it wasn’t for the fact that he had bought his painting materials through a local hardware store. The materials were of a good brand but the problem was that they had used a deep tint base, (which is basically a clear,) for a light shade of yellow. As you might imagine, it didn't cover very well because it was translucent.
Another problem was that he had bought some primer that had been sitting around long enough on the coast that the lids were quite rusty. Even though the paint department at the hardware store added some tinting pigments to the primer, they didn't mix it up on the mixer because of the fear that the rusty lids would give out. I didn’t know about the added pigments so I never took the lids off to stir up the primer and that is where my problem started.
Since the house had metal roofing, and the pitch of the roofs were steep, I opted to brush and roll the upper elevation of the front of the house because it had walls above the lower lean-too style roof above the large front porch.
After a coat of primer and a coat of finish, I wasn't too thrilled about the result because the yellow finish coat was translucent and a third coat was something I didn’t plan on. It was a matter of making less money per day if I was to make it look right. That’s something I call, “doing the customer a favour.”
If Dick would have kept his mouth shut, I probably would've done what ever it would take to make him a satisfied customer, but as the first week progress, I realising the money wasn’t going to be as good as it should have been.
Since I had received only a $500.00 down payment; I realised if I pulled out, the amount of profit per day wasn’t going to amount to much, and if I stayed on the job any longer, I wouldn’t make as much as I usually made for my time on other jobs.
In the evening of May 30th, while hanging out with Dick his shop; he dropped some shit on me that I would have rather not heard. While discussing my truck, he said, “Your truck is nice but there are hook-lifts out there,” and “You didn’t reinvent America.”
It was either the same night or the next he came up with a story about fir-trapper. He said, “A fur trapper came along a few guys working in the woods and asked them if there were any other trappers working the area.
The workers said, ‘Yeah, just over the next hill is a couple trappers working already.’
The trapper said, ‘That’s ok because I’m working on my second million.’”
Well as you can imagine, that didn’t go over so well with me and I began to have second thoughts about doing Dick any favors. He was one guy I sure didn’t owe any to and at the time, I was having trouble with my hands going numb from carpel tunnel syndrome. Since I was experiencing serious pain in my wrist, I'm sure you can imagine didn’t feel like painting Dick’s house anymore.
While a guy is struggling to get by even though he has invented the work truck of the future and has to listen to a customer who has a new Cadillac and Suburban parked out in front of his new 4,000 squire foot home tell him that money doesn't mean anything, it doesn’t go over very well.
The next day I had the top half of the front of his house squared up and the rest of his house masked off – but I had enough of it so I folded up my tarps and loaded up my ladders. Dick must have noticed something peculiar and appeared outside of his house. I told him that it was as far as I was going to go with it. I wish I would have just waited until he was gone and then just left unspoken for, but I was leaving the project open for renegotiation if he understood the need for a third coat.
The reaction I got from his wasn’t exactly the way I would have imagined. I let him know how I felt about his remarks the night before and said it was easy for him to say that money wasn’t important when he was the one with the new Cadillac and 4,000 square foot house.
He reacted as if I had just insulted him as bad as anyone could have ever done. He said that he had worked hard for everything he had and in return I said that he deserved everything he had because of it, but that I didn’t like the idea that he had that I should be happy with having very little for all that I’ve done. He responded by saying that he could go broke just as I from any number of plant diseases that could infect in his fields at any time.
Then the 250 pound man came charging right at me. I knew that there was a fat chance in hell I would ever beat him in the fight he was about to initiate. Though I should have taken off running, I just put up my hands as an effort to block him and influence a push and shove match. The problem was that I had nowhere to go with my back towards my truck and loaded bed behind me. I let him push me to the ground and he appeared to be mounting on top of me. All I did was block-cover my face with my hands as an effort to protect my face from his assumed blows.
Dick’s wife came out of the house as a result of the yelling that had taken place. She seemed to be surprised of the commotion in her front yard, but I would have to admit, she was probably quite concerned for her husband’s well being.
Soon Dick stood up and stepped back from me. Then I noticed something had just sliced my finger. I couldn’t figure out how a watch, piece of jewelry, or even a finger nail could cut such a stinging gash. It appeared to be a jab type cut and not a slice type though it resembled a slice. I examined the cut which was bleeding quite profusely and then looked over at Dick wondering if he had planned to cut me with something to begin with. It was only a moment or two before he headed back into the house along with his freaked out wife behind him. Shortly thereafter he appeared outside again and mentioned that Pee Brain had said that I was a nut case and that I would never get to sell my truck and that I would end up killing myself.
I myself had other to think about. I had to wonder if he was bound to get into a fight with me sooner or later and whether he had been outfitted with something to cut me with in the first place. If so – he must have known the opportunity was diminishing as I began to load up my gear. I had to wonder if he was either getting a blood sample for someone or trying to infect me with AIDS or something of that sort.
I could only assume that it was a blood test to find out if the phony AIDS rumors were true or not and his wife was in fear of him getting infected himself, or if the plan was to infect me with such a disease and he the feared of infecting himself with my blood he had brought to the surface.
But then I had to wonder if it was possible that some hook-lift manufacture had put him up to it by threatening to kill off his fields with some plant disease. Reason being for the suspicion was the fact that out on the coast, hook-lifts just didn't exist, so how did he even know about them.
I had to realise that even if it was an attempt to infect me with the AIDS virus; that the virus doesn't survive on exposed surfaces very well and the odds of him successfully infecting me with such a disease with such a method wouldn't be very practical. But one would have to except that anything is possible, even the possibility of him being forced into trying to pull some-thing off as we can assume he might have done. Being more practical would be an AIDS test.
You may wonder what I have thought about the experience. Well I'll have to admit that anything is possible. The possibility of success of such an attempt on my life is just as possible as a failure. Just as the possibility of me only having another year to live as the possibility of me living until I’m over a hundred years of age. I've heard both and I happen to think that the psychics who say that I’m going to live over a hundred years are the ones who are right because probably I would've been dead years ago if the “dying of AIDS,” rumors were true. No matter what happens, I think that God is the only one who really knows. God is the only one who has any control over it. When my time comes, my time will come and I'm sure I'll be going to a better place. But just as I've always said, “God has a job for me to do and I'm one who knows of the job I must do.” I figure that my job is to save the smart people, which in turn will save the human race from its own corporate greed and corruption; or in other words: save it from its own stupidity. The angels of God have protected me so far and I'm sure God is with me every step of the way. Regardless; I’m not running out to have sex with anyone soon and I try to take care of myself. I live from day to day and try to make the most of everything just as I've always have. Living day to day is all that anyone in my position can do. As all of the attempts on my life, God has spared me from them all and that alone is something that I can’t deny.
I've shown no signs of AIDS and assume that I’m free of the diseases the phony rumors have stated. I feel that the government has been behind the spreading of the rumors, just as much or even more than Affirmative Action. My guess is that the government is betting on the speculation that I would be safer if people thought I was dying already. Therefore, who would want to take the chance of serving time for murder when the guy is going to die anyway?
The next chapter of Sunnyside's Lousy Book is:
Have you seen the otherBook Excerpts?
Featured chapter prior to
My Synchro-link truck
is a whole fleet of trucks in one
Check it out at MiniRollOffTrucks.com