Making friends.

February 7th, 2011 by

So I got a new job. A job flying airplanes, but with passengers instead of students. So far I feel like a nine year old girl on a unicorn farm.

Anyway, if you’re keeping track I am apparently Jamaican because I now have four jobs. And I had four jobs when Bush was in office. So jam your recession up your butt and break it off.

Oh, and ignore the fact that none of my jobs pay worth a shit. If they did, I’d quit three of them.

So everybody was asking me if I had flown the new fancy plane yet. I said “No. We’re still doing paperwork. Reams of paperwork, followed by Op Specs, regulations, and finally some actual learning about the aircraft. During all of this, I thought “Microsoft Flight Simulator did not prepare me for this.” Worst video game idea ever – “Microsoft Professional Pilot XI Pro” You know it’s a quality Microsoft product because they used the word “Pro”. Twice. In this video game you just read. And then you print out forms and fill them out for nine days, get told that four of them are wrong and need to be done over (including being notarized), and finally make copies of them for your personal records. Then you win the game.

Part of this process was getting my fingerprints taken. I did it twice because the lady that did them the first time didn’t fill out the form completely. Then when I went back to get it redone, the office was closed. Not closed like they open at 11 am, but closed because they were moving and wouldn’t open for another week. I was starting to wonder if it might be easier and cheaper to just get arrested.

I ended up going to the Dekalb County Government Annex Building Campus Complex Facility East. As with most government institutions, the last thing they are worried about is convenience and usability for those of us who give them the money to keep the lights on. I’m driving around looking for a place to park. Most of the roads around the annex complex place are closed or partially closed because another thing the Atlanta government is really awesome at is maintaining things. There is a cop two cars behind me and I’m trying to make sure I don’t turn in the wrong place or forget to use my signal because one thing the the government actually does do with stunning efficiency is take money at every opportunity.

I’m basically doing something that drives me insane when other people do it – driving like an idiot. I don’t know where I am supposed to be or really where I am, so my speed is about 9 miles per hour until I decide that I can’t park or turn here, at which time I floor it; partially out of frustration and partially because I think it will make up for my previous 9 mph and average out to a normal speed.

The cop finally tuned off to go harass another taxpayer, and the girl in the car behind me was going fucking insane on me. As I would have been had our roles been reversed. She was gesticulating exasperatedly and I could read her lips as she screamed unkind things at her windshield. She was driving a shitty Oldsmobile with the sideview mirror hanging off by the wiring harness. I see that all too often and I have never understood it. Either fix it, or cut it off. It seems like it would drive me nuts to have that thing banging back and forth in the wind while I was driving down the road.

She also had a Dreamcatcher hanging from her rearview mirror. Here is a picture of a dreamcatcher if you are not familiar.

Some kind of web thing with a bunch of indian feather bullshit and presumably a dream ensnared in the middle. It is supposed to catch your dreams as they attempt to blow by you because you are too stoned to see an opportunity. If you have one of these, throw it away. You might as well be hanging your extra chromosome from your mirror, you retard.

When I finally found a parking lot that didn’t have a bunch of “Don’t park here” signs plastered all over it, I whipped it in and was relieved to be away from the yellow Oldsmobile. She honked at me as people do when they are finally free from your shitty driving and I figured she was off to her anger management class. I parked my car, got out with my fistful of paperwork and was surprised to hear a female voice say “You need to learn how to fucking drive.”

Okay, ladies. Let me explain something. This is not a good move. She was parked two cars away from me, I am roughly twice her size, and she is basically betting her life that I am not one bitchy remark away from homicide. I’m not condoning violence. Just common sense.

Luckily I was in a pretty good mood and honestly I knew my driving would have sent me into orbit had I been behind me, so I just said “Yeah. Sorry. I’mma din’t know where I was mumunuh. Muh.”

“WHAT?!?” she said, with way more hostility than needed in response to a halfhearted apology.

Here’s a fun fact. I have what I affectionately refer to as a “dickswitch”. It is the switch that makes me go from a mild mannered happy funguy who will hold doors open for children and the elderly and compliment your shoes even if you don’t have feet, to a fountain of sarcasm that can border on cruelty. My dickswitch has three positions – Off, Armed, and On. It is off when I am at work or otherwise in a situation where being a dick is inappropriate. It goes to armed when I am in certain public places, when I sense laziness or stupidity, and it goes to on after I have apologized for something that may not even need an apology and this isn’t good enough for the apology-ee.

I turned and looked at her. Off duty stripper, to be sure. I could tell because she had that weary look about her, way too much makeup and hair product, and clothes that make you think “where the hell do they sell those clothes?” Not slutty revealing clothes, but things like tight corduroy pants with a leather lace up the left leg and a shirt with alligator skin on the pocket flaps and a dragon embroidered up the sleeve. It must be really nice/weird to be a stripper and be self-myopic enough to be $20 away from being a prostitute on any given night, drive a piece of shit car, wear weird clothes everywhere, and STILL be completely assured that you are in fact, king shit from fuck mountain and every guy wants you.

“I said I’m sorry…that you’re such a bitch.”

She looked at me like one might look at a pile of intestines if they found it on their bedspread. “fuck YOU!”

Pointing at her windsheild, I said “You might want to return that dreamcatcher. It doesn’t seem to be working.”

She rolled her eyes so hard I thought they were going to come out of her head, said something about fucking dick or whatever and hustled off in the same general direction I was going. I was sort of proud of the dreamcatcher comment, and she did have a pretty decent pooper, so I followed her to the building and headed for the fingerprint office.

The fingerprint place is also where you go for permitting. There was a menu on the wall of all of the different kinds of permits you can get and what they cost. There were permits for Liquor Sales – $300, Precious metals dealer – $500, Pawn shop – $400, Nightclub Bouncer – $100, Bartender – $50, Escort – $500, Cab Driver – $150 Escort Service – $1000, Exotic dancer – $200, Firearms dealer, and on and on. I’m not kidding. every one of those was listed there. I tried to take a picture of it, but a very large black man with a badge and two guns made it clear that I was not going to do that, and who am I to argue with superior firepower?

Needless to say, the waiting room could have been central casting for the next Lord of the Rings movie. There were elves and ogres and gnobbits and everything in between. I suddenly realized that almost every one of the permits sold here was for a job where others can tell your profession when you aren’t actually at work. Okay, maybe not bartender, but most of the other professions come with an unspoken off-duty uniform. I played the profiling game where I guessed what people were there for and waited until they went to the counter to see if I was right. I was reminded why profiling exists. Because it works. There was a guy with big rings on every finger and a ridiculous medallion around his neck, Several Latin american and beturbined gentlemen, a 300 pound black dude with lots of visible tattoos, and LO! the next person through the door was my friend from the parking lot, and guess who was not here for her taxicab permit? I’m sure you are about to pass out from the shock, so I’ll give you a minute.

No seriously. Have a glass of water. It’s a lot to take in at once.

She locked eyes with me and I had to smile. She probably assumed I was flirting with her because men pay to see her naked. They actually pay to see her naked and quiet. And then to go away.

The guy next to me was checking her out, but not in a “she’s hot” way. More of a “what is the story here?” way. When she went to the counter and very shockingly told them she was there for her stripper license, they had a minor roadblock when they told her they do not accept cash for transactions over $50. I elbowed the guy next to me and said “They don’t want to count a bunch of $1 bills.”

He laughed, but way harder than I would have liked. Naturally, she thought it was me and shot a fiery look at me. The guy next to me is completely melting down and I am sitting there wide-eyed and guilty as shit.

Of course I had to sit there forever while they flew the fingerprint ink in from india and had the Maharishi roll it lovingly onto the platen. During this time, they called the stripper – er. Sorry. “exotic dancer” to the back to get her taken care of. What the hell are they doing back there? My first thought was paperwork, and then I thought infectious disease testing, but I settled on a kind of physical gauntlet stripstacle course that she had to complete in a predetermined amount of time to be considered worthy.

First she has to line up like an olympic sprinter, and at the sound of the stripclub DJ calling “Secretia to stage 4”, she would have to run to a locker, put on something made of strings and chain, do a line of coke and chug a jagerbomb, and sachet (no running) as fast as possible to a bank of containers, each containing a different variety of glitter. Choosing and applying the glitter appropriate to the song that was currently playing, which in this case would have to be “Danger Zone”. Anything by Kenny Loggins requires a pearlescent non-diecut glitter from a Northeastern manufacturer, as they seem to produce the deepest blues.

Next, the chicane. This is only here because every obstacle course requires a chicane, and watching someone run it in 9″ wedge heels is like watching a baby giraffe learn to walk. Just adorable. Once that is completed, the standard five pole tricks (assuming she found the correct stage), and a lap dance in the VIP room. This is where the dancer’s keen sense of judgment that got her here in the first place is put to the test. A guy offers her a US bill of a given denomination and asks for a hand shandy, while several others vie for her with similar offers. Very complex series of calculations to figure out which demeaning act best fits your needs.

Let’s say you’re going to get a crisp $100 for a quick Tuna Melt, but this other guy will give you $70 for a Western Grip Jelly doughnut. You need to pay your rent, but you really like being punched in the face.

Thank god the rest of us aren’t faced with such decisions.

I finally got my stupid fingers printed. Cost me $5, and I was out the door. As I got to my car, I noticed an envelope on the windshield. “Well, it’s probably not a fucking valentines day card from stripzilla” I thought. And it wasn’t. It was a ticket for parking in a restricted lot. $50. Those were some expensive fingerprints.

Strangely I wasn’t mad, though. I was genuinely confused that I had looked very carefully for signs saying “no parking”, and did not see any. so I walked around looking for one. Turns out there are two entrances to the parking lot. the one I went into, and the one about 100 yards up the street. That one had the “employee parking only” signs.


It pisses me off, but i know I’m going to pay it. $50 is worth just under an hour of my time, and fighting it would take several days. Not to mention the years off of my life that would be taken by dealing with the DOT and courts and everything.

As I was walking back, I noticed that there were over a dozen cars with tickets on them, including the stripper’s Olsdmobile Cuntess Supreme. I thought, “You know, two hours ago I was flying a jet. She was probably waking up in her abusive boyfriend’s crappy apartment, dreading an appointment with the stripper drill sergeant. I’m sure meeting me didn’t help things. Maybe I should just take this ticket off of her car and tear it up so she doesn’t have that to add to her woes.”

Then I remembered the main difference between me and her (or she and I, or she and me, or the two of us) was judgment. Judgment and boobs. And maybe a coke habit, but I’m trying to quit. Anyway, it was nice to imagine her getting pulled over for driving while bitchy and getting arrested for an unpaid ticket, but deep down inside, there’s really nothing in it for me. Plus I’m pretty sure doing something like that is a felony, and felons don’t get access to the front seat of the airplane. So having much to lose and nothing to gain, I decided against it as far as you know.

Tune into on Tuesday at 4:30 Easten to find out the answer. It will astonish you.

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