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From the full version of Sunnyside's Lousy Book

The Health Inspector

One day I had Todd Christoph, an Environmental Heath Technician II from the Tacoma – Pierce County Health Department Compliance Program stop by. He said that I couldn't live in my trailer in the residential neighborhood. He said that I couldn't have my trailer hooked up there and if it was hooked up the next time he came by that he would write me a citation.
       I got into my spiel about why I was living in the trailer in the first place. I explained the fire and the efforts to protect affirmative action. He seemed to be a fairly bright guy and understood what I was saying. He also felt ashamed of what had happened to me. The thing that took the cake or backed my story I should say was when I showed him my answer machine.
       I told him that some friends of mine have a working weekend band. The bass player in the band had a son who plays football and had a game to play on Halloween. The bassist asked if I would play bass for the first two sets that night so he could go to his son's game.
       The band wouldn't have paid me much more than twenty dollars to help him out that night, but I was obliged to do it for him. However, the band leader felt that I should at least have a band practice with them on the Tuesday night before the gig to make sure I was well prepared for it. The leader called and gave me directions to the drummer’s house; which wasn't very far away from my place. I had written down the drummer’s phone number and the leader’s cell phone number too. The thing is; when Tuesday night came along, I couldn't find my notes. I waited by the phone because I expected the leader to call when I hadn’t shown up on time, but I got no call throughout the night.
       The next day I found the note in my shop on top of my tool box. It seemed strange because I had thought I'd taken the notes down when I was inside my trailer. The strangest part of it was that after I'd gone out to the shop and pulled my truck outside, I went to lock-up everything before leaving -- while I was about to lock the door on my trailer -- I noticed the blinking light on my answering machine. It was the band leader’s message from the night before.

I picked up the answering machine and said to the health inspector, "See this, it's a digital answering machine. There is no tape to record onto. Check this message out for the phone number.” I played it back for him while holding a piece of paper up to him with the true phone number on it. During the time the band leader was leaving me the drummer’s phone number the back ground noise stopped and one or two digits of the phone number had been erased.
       He looked at me with convinced eyes and said "Wow." I said, "And that's over a twenty dollar gig!" I said, "Shit, I had to call some of my friends up and say, "Hay, you know how difficult it would be for me to do something like this? Do you think I'd do it over a lousy twenty dollars?"

The inspector left and I never heard back from him. But I did get a warning in my mail about trailers not being able to be hooked up for more than 90 days. The landlord called and said he got the same notice. I told him not to worry because I was going to pull out my trailer and take a vacation. Well after 90 days, I disconnected my trailer and pulled it out to the end of the drive-way and slept in the shop over night. Two nights in fact.

The next chapter of Sunnyside's Lousy Book is:


Did I Count Fifteen Butts or Was it Sixteen?


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