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The Joke: Part 1
Part 1: Full of Desperation
A Jew, a Redneck, a Puerto Rican, and a Yankee from Minnesota get into a PT Cruiser.............sounds like the beginning of bad joke doesn't it? The sad reality is, it is not a joke nor is it fiction, it is just another chapter in the book of my oddly humorous life. I happen to be the aforementioned Redneck who is expected to tolerate the "dumb hick" cracks without rebuttal. Redneck was the most fitting title for me considering I was in a PT Cruiser with a loud mouth, thinks he knows everything liberal Jew, straight off of Manhattan Island, a Yankee from Minnesota who is a genuinely nice guy, and a 6'3" Puerto Rican Chef who could barely speak English, and like me is in his 30's and believes he is still in high school. As I recall, that was the initial assessment of my new mates.
That's how the meeting began, we piled our belongings into a PT Cruiser then climbed in. The Yankee sat in the drivers position, the Jew was nestled in the front passenger compartment, things were kosher. The 6'3" Puerto Rican Chef was behind the Jew and I was behind the Yankee. We shut our respective doors in Fort Walton, Florida and were off to Salt Lake City, Utah. We had not made it to the Alabama state line before the story began to unfold. Like trained baboons, these seats became our unwritten assigned seating.
Back story : The Worsening
I was getting desperate for work, I live in Columbiana, Alabama. There was (is) no work in Columbiana other than battering chicken for Colonel Sander's. The wages for such jobs are a little less than desirable. I began to look outside the town for possible employment but to no avail. I could not stay any longer, I had to get out of the "Bubble" and find a job. The Bubble is what I consider to be exactly where Columbiana is located. That particular puke bowl will never be anything more than a puke bowl simply because it has been bypassed by interstates main highways and civilization in general. I can safely say that it is a purposeful bypassing. The people in Columbiana are stereotypical banjo playing inbreds who relish debauchery and adultery..
I happen to be fortunate enough to have parents who live in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I decided I should go to Florida to make an attempt to locate employment. As luck (Seemed like good luck at the time, but you decide when the story is concluded) would have it, my sister, who lives next door to my parents, was in a nearby town adjacent to Columbiana visiting my other sister. I caught a ride back to Florida with her.
My parents have a spare room where I set up my command center and began a quest for a job. I was without a vehicle for the time being because I left my wife the one vehicle we own to use for transporting kids to and from school and to get herself to and from work.
After the command center was fully operational I began to pound sand (literally) in search of the all elusive dollar. I put applications in at grocery stores and fast food dives. You know a man is desperate when he will bow to the gods of bagging groceries and / or burger flippery.
In my younger days I installed flooring for 15 years, I figured my skills could be used again until things were better financially. I went to every flooring store in the area on the first day. The last flooring store I went into in Destin is where I found the job which led to the PT Cruiser incident. The nice lady I talked with at that store gave me a phone number to call. The number was for a guy she said she always called when they needed extra flooring help, she thought he would be able to point me to someone looking for help. I went back to my command center planning on calling this guy, but when I got back to the command center 30 minutes later, it had slipped my mind. By the time I remembered it was too late to call.
I decided to give it a shot on day 2. The next morning, I awoke and took a shower, guzzled some coffee, got all cleaned up to job search specs. Pulled out my phone and made the call.
Pay dirt, he needed help. He told me I would need to go to the office and fill out paper work and be ready to go to Salt Lake City, Utah with Jim (The Yankee) in 2 days. I went to the office in Fort Walton and began the paperwork. I talked to the people at the office explaining the extent of my experience in the flooring installation trade. They liked, or desperately needed my knowledge and skill. I think it was desperation more than like.
When I met Yankee, we talked for about 30 minutes about flooring. He was basically feeling me out to see if I knew anything about installing floor coverings or just trying to talk a good game. After he was done with his inquisition, he said, "Do you have any hobbies you like to do?" I said, "I like to fiddle around with my computer." His next question was the one that decided for me, a trip to Utah may not be too terrible with this guy. "Do you play World of Warcraft?" We talked for what seemed like another hour about our characters. When we were done being nerds, I departed for the command center to await the day of departing. While I was waiting I checked North Utah's weather forecast, it was a simple one, 10 days in a row, SNOW!
[More to Come When I Feel Like Typing This Rubbish, It Gets Better]