Dead Chickens, Blind Boys and a Light in the Darkness

I think it was 1995, I can’t really remember.

I was in college and traveling from Waco to Chicago to see my parents for Christmas.

Along the way I had to stop and pick up a kid in Denton, Texas. He was a the son of my parents’ friends, going to North Texas, studying music and totally blind.

Things got strange before I even left.

While I loaded up my truck my dog suddenly bolted across the street after a chicken. Yeah, this is Waco. The hippy across the street from me had pet chickens roaming around his yard. He loved those birds. My dog had been eying them for 6 months and, well, she finally snapped.

The flock scattered. She zeroed in on a plump leghorn and chased it under the hippy’s porch. I yelled at her to come back. I heard a loud squawk and then nothing but silence for the next 5 minutes. She finally emerged with her face plastered with white feathers and stomach extremely extended.

I quickly threw her in the cab of the truck and got the fuck out of there before the hippy awoke and engage me in some peace, love, harmony and passive aggressive anger.

When I picked up Blind Boy he was sitting in his dorm room with his guitar and an over stuffed duffel bag. He dressed like, well, he was blind so shit didn’t look right at all. He had a long greasy pony tail hanging down his back and pasty skin. I knew my dog wouldn’t like him.

The three of us were chugging along in the single cab of my truck. The dog rode between me and Blind Boy. She was pissed she didn’t get to sit by the window and every once in awhile she would look at him and growl. I’m sure it scared the shit out of him.

We were almost out of Oklahoma when I stopped for gasoline. The air, while chilly in Waco when I started, had turned icy and windy. The cold sliced right through me while I refueled.

I walked the dog around while Blind Boy stayed in the truck.

“You need anything to drink or want to take a leak?”

“I’m fine,” Blind Boy said.

“Are you sure? After this there’s nothing until Missouri.”

“I’m good.”

Yeah, sure enough he had to pee 15 minutes later. I pulled over at a historical marker and had to guide him over to a bush and guide him back. As he got in the truck I could hear the passenger side rear tire hissing.

Fuck me. Changing a flat as the sun started to set was not part of my plan.

I told Blind Boy to get out of the truck and sit on the picnic table while I changed the tire.

I crawled under to unlock the padlock on the spare tire. The lock was frozen shut.

I struggled to get the key to turn but it wouldn’t budge. I rummaged through my tool box looking for a solution. The only thing I could find was 5 inches of a broken hacksaw blade.

I was back on my back in the cold under the truck. Night was starting to settle in. I had to hold the blade in my hand with out a handle. My hands were bleeding as I slowly cut through the lock with short 1 inch strokes.

It’s dark. I’m stranded with a murderous dog and person that, while nice, is no help at all. I’m bleeding. I’m tired. I’m freezing and cutting through this lock is an exercise in futility that seemed like it would never end.

I felt so alone and frustrated, but I had to keep pushing through. People were counting on me.

And there are times that I feel the same way. And there is this part of me that gnaws away from the inside that tells to just give up.

I have this impossible set of problems and they are something that I will slowly work through alone, as I always have.

But then I tried the lock again. The key turned and the spare came off and everything was fixed and better.

That’s how life goes.

Be patient.

Do not give up.

Work at it.

And everything will be fine.

New Office, New Rules, Same Me

Byrd Services moved offices and Mr. Byrd has named me Communications Director. This is my maiden memo on keeping the new place clean and nice.


Gentle Office Mates:

Please note your new surroundings. We hope that you like them. There are some rules and guidelines we would like you to follow in order to preserve the sanctity of our work space.

1)      Please do not hang any Grave Digger monster truck photos from the walls. This is strictly a Big Foot monster truck office.

2)      We ask that you do not display photos of unattractive spouses, children or significant others unless you are doing so to be ironic. You may display unattractive photos of parents and other ancestors since you had no choice regarding their unfortunate looks.

3)      No religious material or inspirational posters may be displayed unless they center around Mike Ditka.

4)      Do not eat or drink at your desk. Instead, please eat and drink while standing at the kitchen sink or in the bathroom.

5)      The “wellness/resting room” may only be used for solitary or for partner enhanced sexual gratification if you leave the door slightly ajar.

6)      Bolo ties and cheap Indian trinkets are still prohibited from the office along with copper bands enhanced with voodoo magic to improve your psyche.

7)      Do not throw flame engulfed objects at your co-workers.

8)      Mumbily Peg is to be played in conference rooms only.

9)      No folk songs or other caca may be played at any time. Van Halen is encouraged (not Van Hagar).

10)   If it’s brown, flush it down. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.

11)   Please do not greet each other with a perky “Hello” or “Good Morning”. When you leave, you should slouch until you are inside the elevator.

Thank You!


Lazlo Gusto, Director of Communications