Borderline Retarded

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oh, The Memories!

I read two posts today that have brought back a couple of memories I had forgotten about.
So thanks Shamus and Jerk!

My last job was working for a general engineering contractor in St. Helena. They were a company filled with good ol' boys, and had been around since 1917. I grew up in Napa, but even that didn't prepare me for the small town experience that is St. Helena. Everybody knows everybody. My co-worker Mary Lee once told me she could never have an affair because the entire town would know before her panties hit the floor. St. Helena is an interesting mix of town folk and mountain folk. One thing I did notice was that the further north you head, past Calistoga and into Clearlake, the people get less normal, and more, I guess you could call it, militia.

I was working in the front office dispatching gravel trucks one day, minding my own business, when one of the teamsters came into the office. I can't even remember exactly how the conversation started, but before I knew it I was embroiled in this diatribe about the 7 richest people running the whole world, and how the eye above the pyramid on US currency is their symbol; the "all seeing eye". I'm going to guess that I gave him a good 20 minutes of my time, because I am a very sweet person and I have trouble telling people to go to hell. I think I ended the conversation by turning my back to him and walking out of the building! I remember walking into our adjoining office and saying "I just had the dumbest conversation of my entire life!". I'm pretty sure I kept swearing under my breath for the rest of the day. What's even scarier is this guy has 5 kids, 2 are his and 3 are his wife's. They were thinking of having her tubes un-tied so they could have more! I think he's trying to start his own cult.

The other story takes place when I was about 16 years old. I went to the wedding of one of my 2nd cousins. My family is rather large, and we are all very close. I went with my grandmother and two of my aunts, my parents did not go. After the ceremony, we were waiting outside the church while all the photos were being taken. I was sitting under a tree, trying to keep cool. This older man came over and started a conversation. He asked where I lived, and I told him Napa. He mentioned that he used to live in Napa. This is where the conversation took a nasty turn. He said that he lived out in the country, and sometimes people would come out and start asking questions. He knew several people who worked for the mob, and there were always people coming around looking for information. Well, after these people would leave, he would make a phone call and sometimes these people would end up driving off a cliff. They weren't murdered, mind you, it was just an accident. I decided at that point that the best course of action was to keep my trap shut - I sure as hell wasn't going to ask this guy any questions! I actually started shaking a bit, I think I had a nervous sweat going on. I sat on my hands to keep them still. After another couple of minutes, I started to look around because I thought for sure I would find a hidden camera somewhere, and any second now people were going to jump out of the bushes and tell me I was on Candid Camera. I don't know if my Aunt Julie could smell the fear-sweat emanating from me, but she finally came to my rescue and grabbed me away. She asked me if I was OK, and gave me a hug. I think I started laughing hysterically for about a minute, then started crying. I couldn't sleep for weeks after that, worried that the mob was after me.

All this because my parents raised me to be a "good kid" and always respect my elders!


  • You didn't tell me that you've met Uncle Guido!I'll be damned....small world.

    Hey wuz Fat Tony or Jimmy "no thumbs" with him?

    Seriously though, years ago when I was bartending the owner introduced a guy to everybody. Old gray-haired, velvet track suit, lotsa jewelry, tinted sunglasses guy. He had two VERY large men with him.
    I shook his hand with BOTH of mine, and told him it was a great pleasure to meet. "Anything you need, just ask."
    Like you, I've never been so friggin nervous in my life.
    No joke. You could tell this old guy was the real deal.
    Very nice man actually, but damn I was freakin out.

    By Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0, at 9:49 AM  

  • I went to a wedding where some real "wise-guys" were attending, it was enough like Good Fellas to kinda freak me out.

    By Blogger Shamus O'Drunkahan, at 7:24 PM  

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