its a jungle out there
both true stories, i swear it (though i may have expanded on the details a bit)...
***tale #1 - dont bug me
it was a nice, warm summer day. i stopped at the gas station to fill up my tank and wash down my windows. it was the late nineties, so gas prices were at a fantastic price... probably about a dollar a gallon...*drifts off into nostalgia over gas prices...*
there was a warm breeze, and a few clouds in the sky, but nary a chance of rain. i dunked the squeegee into the solution, and began a-scrubbin at my rear window as the fuel pump racked up the dollars (though not many dollars, considering gas prices now)...*drifts off again...*
a large vehicle pulled up to the pump behind me, on the opposite side of the pump from me. why, its none other than the orkin man
! well, i suppose exterminators need fuel for their extermination trucks, right? well, why not?
i continued my squeegeeing, idly content with the beautiful weather, without a care in the world. in the distance, a hawk screeched, and i became aware of the fact that there were no animals nearby: no birds sung, no squirrels chittered in the trees... why, even the insects had silenced. the fauna of the gas station could sense the foreboding... knew of the tension that no doubt would soon spark riots across the globe, the potential for paradox, for a rip in the space-time continuum... but i remained ignorant, as i lack the sixth sense that only animals and haley joel osment have.
i was returning to the squeegee fluid container for a fresh dunk when the wind died to absolute stillness and the clouds froze in the sky... only then did i notice the tension in the air, but alas, it was too late. i heard the squeal of creaky brakes, glanced back to see it... another large vehicle pulling up to the pump behind me, opposite the orkin man.
it was the terminix guy
the truck pulled to a stop, its driver slowly climbed out of the truck and stepped to the pump. the two rival exterminators were careful not to look at each other. the orkin man stood silently next to his truck with his hands in his pockets, staring straight ahead (in my general direction), looking at nothing at all. the terminix guy set the pump and let the fuel flow, then turned, careful to turn away
from the orkin man, but in a place where he could see him out the corner of his eye. he put his hands in his pockets and stared in the same direction, staring at nothing.
both of them.
i tried to continue cleaning my windows, vainly trying to will my pump to go quicker, so i could leave before armegeddon began.
and they stood. silently. with hands in pockets, staring at nothing.
without any warning at all, the terminix guy turned his eyes towards the orkin man, without turning his head, and spoke...
"you use (some insecticide)
without pause, but also without moving (not even his eyes), the orkin man responded.
the terminix guy nodded. they continued standing silently, not moving. each refusing to look at the other.
with a sudden clungg
that nearly made me jump out of my skin, my pump finished. as quickly as i could go, i put the pump away, and ran inside to pay. the transaction was quick, and i returned to my car as fast as my feet could carry me, but without drawing attention to myself.
still, they stood silently, like statues. with hands in their pockets and discordant uniforms.
when i pulled away, they still had not moved.
***tale #2 - hot persuit, cold blood
cruisin down the highway, middle of the afternoon, a gray, overcast day. it was cool outside, and my windows were rolled up. i drove along contentedly in the center of the three lanes that traveled in my direction, driving at a fairly quick 75 mph, radio blaring through my speakers.
i hardly had time to notice in my rear view as a vehicle violently tore out from my lane, a couple cars back, into the left lane, followed extremely
closely by another vehicle. they both sped by me at an incredible rate - they were easily doing 90, maybe 95-100 mph. fast!
they sped by me in a blur, the first pulling back across the center lane over to the right lane so violently that it nearly edged up onto two tires, and yet was followed by the second at no further a distance than perhaps 2 to 2 1/2 feet.
they passed another car in the center lane only to rip back into the left, as forcefully as they had done the opposite.
all i could think was that they must have been pissed
! high speed chases dont happen accidentally, that is for sure. i was sure that whenever they stopped, there would at least be a fist fight, if not a knife fight or
the thought entered my head - somebody must have been impeding on somebody elses territory
i never would have expected their types to be so violent, but then, i suppose business is business.
i lightheartedly mused as to whether or not either had his song playing.
what? why are you confused?
oh, did i fail to mention they were ice cream trucks
pop goes the weasel.