It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Jimmy Hoffa

I was a Teamster. It was one of the most satisfying jobs in the world. Being Unionised you could tell anyone to, "Go f___k themselves. The money was good. I could load or unload a trailer with the best of them. I learned how to pick up a ten cent piece with a forklift, off the ground. Someone taught me how to shunt, so I became a shuntman, ferrying trailers, full and empty into the 200 doors of our terminal.
We had two shop stewards; John and Eddie, and you best not try and cross them. The two of them also offered loans between paydays for 20%, and I took advantage of it from time to time. There is a funny story here.
There was a Teamster conference in New York back in the 70's. Eddie and John and another guy went to it. After the conference they decided to park at a park and have a couple of beers. They met a couple of girls and were invited back to their place. The party went on. At one point one of the fellas looked into the bedside table and came across a great large black dildo complete with straps and stole it. Eventually, they made their way towards the Canadian border, and as a lark they mounted the apparatus onto the face of a comatose compatriot in the back seat. The customs people were not impressed to see what looked to be a perverted Rhino in the back seat and breathalysed the lot. All guilty. They were passed over to the Canadian authorities and sent on their way.
Many years later, there was another conference... this time in Los Vegas. Unfortunately none of them could re-enter the United States without some serious lawyer work. It worked and they got there. Eddie started playing blackjack and kept winning. By the end of it not only did they pay their lawyer's fees, but had plenty in the back pocket to have some fun.
My fondest remembrances is of finishing work at 3 o'clock AM and going to the parking lot where Eddie had a Ford F250 Pickup with a hardback. When the back was lifted it presented a full bar. Eddie had some guy fit the back of the truck with a cooler, ice bucket, and slots for various spirits. To be able to drink at Eddie's truck was a privilege, reserved for some and not for others and I was happy to be one of the chosen. We used to play touch football in the parking lot until the sun came up and the suits showed up. Fun times.

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