October 21, 2012
Sharon Takes out the Garbage
Because so many of us here are still injured after the dreadful and catastrophic Mountain Expedition that cost the life of Mr. Howitzer v.2.0 and Denby's leg and the Editor's right arm and Jose's face (well, his two front teeth at least) it fell out that Sharon, the normally distant Social Events coordinator who makes her real living working full time as a psychiatric nurse at Sausal Creek Crisis Center had to go out and do all the chores normally reserved for the lesser staff.
Besides the injuries noted, there were the copyboys with the frostbite and the cleaning lady, Esmerelda [who claimed that she was descended from the royal line of King Phillip of Spain and not of Mestiza heritage at all (although Juanita knew better)] had come down with the stomach flu amid all this.
Then, of course, there was the usual attrition rate in non-profits like the Island Life News and some of the staff planning on getting married, including Tammy, that fetching lass from either France or Idaho -- nobody other than her fiance could ever figure that one out, and many suspected he had given up trying, which is an excellent introduction to getting along in married life all must agree.
In any case, the end result is that Sharon wound up toting out the trash, sweeping up the floors, cleaning the shared kitchen area and doing a thousand other thankless tasks, one of which involved getting out back and raking up the leaves around the Community Garden and carting them out in large bags to the curb.
Some may have noted that the seasons are in revolve.
As a consequence vast quantities of leaf have collected about the bench, the flowerplot, the base of the palms, and the abandoned hot tub which now provides residence on its side to several species of rat, gopher, raccoon, squirrel, and at least one opossum of inordinate dimensions, having grown too fat to squeeze into a hole or climb a tree.
It is rather wild back there.
Unfortunately Sharon, a City girl through and through, has terrible allergies and this racking has produced a wealth of misery for someone who only wanted to chip in a few hours a week and see a play or two at the start of this.
Naturally Waste Management chose this week to skip the street for green bin pickup, which is something the agency does as a sort of whim from time to time, or perhaps as a gentle reminder how important their services are. Engaging WMI is sort of like a marriage around here, and some of you many appreciate this sort of tactic in that regard.
So Sharon was stuck with bags of allergens sitting there collecting dust and god knows what all and was in great despair about what to do when along hobbled Snuffles the Bum and she got an idea and she decided to haul this stuff down to the Bay and dump it there -- it was all certifiably organic anyway -- and so down to the cove she went with Snuffles the Bum, wheezing and hacking, after piling the pile of waste into the back of her Fit hatchback along with shovels and rakes and other implements of destruction and she drove to the cove where she commenced to dump it all there, all the piles of organic waste with the shovels and rakes and implements of destruction with the tide well in up to the high water mark.
And as it turned out, Snuffles had the allergies too, so he was hacking and wheezing all the while as well.
Officer O'Madhauen happened to be down there, right there where the road makes a wicked bend past the windsurfer shack there and he was there looking for speeders and red-light scofflaws a bit further up at the Otis intersection with Shoreline, but she was not speeding and had not run the light so he left her alone.
Officer Popinjay, however happened to be there also, this island having a luxury, despite the cutbacks, of officers to civilian ratio, and his recent training in Homeland Security kicked in there and he was very much alerted to possible submarine attacks at Crab Cove, which although not precisely a sharp target for Al Qaida, you never know about those whimsical terrorists for they can attack anywhere as surprise and destruction are their chief aims.
The marine display in the Center, with its mock tidepools and preserved crabs and seagrass was known to draw numbers of tourists -- it could be considered a likely target.
So Popinjay sees these two dark figures unloading something there at the waterline and pulls up with the cherrytop going and puts the spot on them.
Sharon, figuring she had been caught illegally dumping waste and a person with a known punk rock past stood up straight in the beam and shouted, "Okay you got me you !@#@!# effers! I am guilty! So what!"
Snuffles, drunk as always, simply moaned "Heyyy! Turn off the light." Before falling down.
Officer Popinjay called in for reinforcements. Squawk!
"Car 34 can you read me call again?" Squawk!
"Got a ... possible foreign invasion in progress." Squawk!
"I am sorry, did not copy. Did you say home invasion? What address?" Squawk!
"Negatory. Uh, that's Al Quaida. We got maybe two, uh terrorists unloading bags of unidentified ... substance. Shoreline and Otis." Squawk!
"I heard bags unloading at shoreline. Should I alert Coast Guard?" Squawk!
"Positive on that. This may be a possible 11-60." Squawk!
"Car 34 can you confirm 11-60? Who is being attacked? I am confused. What started all this?" Squawk!
"This is 11-54 ongoing. Send backup."
"Car 24 is Code 8 but I will send someone as soon as I can." Squawk!
"Code 8? In a time like this? " Squawk!
"Car 34, when duty calls you should go." Squawk! "When nature calls, you have to." Squawk!
Officer Popinjay left Dispatch trying to puzzle out all of this and exited his Crown Victoria with his nighstick and his flashlight.
"Car 28 are you there? Car 34 sounds like he is 11-96. Calling for backup. Maybe 374B or something else. I can't figure it out. . .". Squawk!
As Popinjay approached Sharon stood there defiantly with her arms crossed. "Get that effing light out of my face you @#$#%-wad!" She said. "You people refused to pick up the @$#!% garbage!"
"That's fine," Popinjay said. "What is wrong with that man?" He shone his light on Snuffles groveling in the sand making little cries.
"Please don't beat me!" Snuffles said. His experience with both sides of the law had been in the past equal in violence.
"He is drunk!" Sharon said. "Because nobody cares about him. What the !@#!@#$! is wrong with you people? You cut our health care and the children dying in Gaza from all the bombing, you chop off the library and the food stamps and you make retirement impossible and then you refuse to pick up the !@#@!# garbage! What is wrong with you ASSHOLES!"
Officer Popinjay was taken aback. The citizens at the annual pancake breakfast had not prepared him for someone like this one filled with outrage.
"Uh, ma'am, what are you doing down here?" he said, trying to regain a sense of Authority.
This only served to throw Sharon into a red hot rage worse than what already propelled her.
"I am tossing out the trash you !@$$-4o11z! refuse to pickup despite the fact we pay enormous sums of money to the city. I spend all day every day taking care of all the people you people just throw away like garbage in the Fruitvale District, I take care of the poor, the sick, the wounded, the dying, the mentally blasted and the PTSD from your evil wars, and the insane every effing day -- I WOULD EXPECT YOU !@#!F#-ERS WOULD DO YOUR EFFING JOB! THAT IS ALL I ASK! JUST DO YOUR JOB!"
With that Sharon broke down into a combination of hacking, wheezing and weeping, which is a really ugly sight if you have ever witnessed such a thing.
"Car 34 are you still requesting backup for that 11-54?" Squawk!
"Uh negatory dispatch. Situation uh resolved." Squawk!
"Car 34 we got a barfight at the Lost Weekend Lounge. It's a 245 -- could you respond and, like, deal with it?" Squawk!
So Officer Popinjay let Sharon and Snuffles off with a a ticket for illegal parking at the beach after stated hours and the two of them got a stern lecture not to be seen driving in the park after dark ever again and then responded to the new call with all his lights and sirens going, which -- as Officer Popinjay saw it -- was the really fun part of the job -- to drive fast with the lights and the siren going like Adam 12.
As Sharon collected Snuffles to drop him off at Marlene and Andre's place where he maintained his winter squat beneath the floorboards of the front deck, way out in the Bay a periscope above the waves observed all of this activity. All of this and more had been witnessed by the captain and crew of the Iranian spy submarine the AIS Chadoor.
The lights of a commercial jet passed overhead on its way to deliver its passengers to Oakland International. There, a rotund Mr. Howitzer III stumped down the debarkation tube and through the backside of Security to the baggage area where a patient Dodd collected his new master along with his luggage so as to bring him to the mansion on the Island. Mr. Howitzer v.3.0 had arrived.
"I do not understand how this infidel empire can have so much wealth and so many suffer," the First Mate said to the Captain. "There is much I do not understand."
"The first cost of any aspiration to power is empathy," said the Captain. "The final cost is humanity itself. One can only hope to find a place to live between the two before the last bill arrives."
As Mr. Howitzer v.3.0 stumped up the paved walk past the two stone lions on Grand Street prepatory to laying down the law as it would be under his regime, the periscope descended and the Iranian spy sub ran silent, ran deep out beneath the golden gate.
The long howl of the throughpassing train ululated from far across the water, over the waves of the estuary laving against the riprap shore and then over the Buena Vista flats as the locomotive glided past the dark and shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off on its journey beneath the shadow of mountains to parts unknown.
That's the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.
BACK TO STORY INDEX