Wednesday, September 13, 2006

PD and Crash painting houses…. Actually we weren’t doing most of the painting. Another side business of the Gangster is low rent real estate. Yea, he basically buys crack houses or just really, really run down properties and then puts minimal work into them and turns them around or turns them into rental properties. The beauty of this little gig is that all the fixing up he does is actually done by an army of what we will call

“The unemployables.”

They’re basically guys that the gangster has met along the way and they generally have no desire to be in society. They haven’t had a social security number in years. They often times will have no place to live and only the shirts on their backs. The Gangster will put them up in one of his REALLY bad rental rooms, often two or three guys to a house. He calls them when he buys a house or needs some manual labor. They come in and bust ass for the guy. He pays them cash money, as little as possible. (They drink it or smoke it the same day he pays them so what’s the point of paying them a lot.) A lot of these guys have great nick names. For instance

2 carb, Know for his ability to build a two carburetor bong for smoking pot out of any piece of trash you give him.

Smiley, The guy got electrocuted by like 10 million watts a few years back and smiles from ear to ear constantly.

Pin Head, Has an abnormal liking for piercing on his face. Last count was like 9 but I try not to notice. He really is not a good guy to have around but the guy knows more about plumbing than anyone and is often called on to repair the properties.

Chico, is a 5 foot Mexican happy go lucky guy that never says anything but “Cervesa” I really don’t think Chico is his real name but I sure as hell haven’t ever seen a drivers license.

Norm, Looks like norm McDonald. He’s about 60 years old and rumor has it he used to be in the insurance business with a wife and two kids but decided one day to drop out of society and hasn’t returned. He works VERY slow but is actually pleasant to talk to if he’s sober. Which is only if we’ve had him under a watchful eye all day. He sometimes works valet jobs for us if we can’t find anyone else. He parks one car for every 6 that the younger college kids do.

In any event, The gangster called his guy at the paint store and lined up all the gallons of the paint the neighbor wanted, He also has a the guy putting together all the things we might need. Drop cloths, brushes, rollers, etc. Then he starts calling the army of unemployables. PD and I are sort of in charge of this band of mis-fits. We also jumped in and did most of the easy work. So 4 hours after The Gangster threatened the painter he has 8 guys on this particular job. The Pumpkin paint is being covered and the whole front of the house looks like a construction site with scaffolding and everything. The Gangster is making sure he’s out in front of his place looking very foreman like at 5pm when most of the other neighbors are coming home so they know he saved the garden party.
Which truly he did. We finished the house at about 3pm. The party started at 5. I don’t mind telling you the house looked pretty dam good. The gangster never let the lady pay for any of it. I know the paint wasn’t cheap but he looked at it like an insurance policy. Let’s face it will be prom season sooner or later and at 3am some weekend soon we’ll be waking up all the neighbors bring home the limo’s.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Gangster is a pillar of the community.

A little background, The gangster runs a good portion of his limousine business out of his home. This is good for him but frequently irritates the neighbors. 10 limo drivers showing up at 3am parking cars in the lawn, cleaning them out, of the beer bottles, coolers, party hats, bras, etc. Of course there’s always a little beer and booze left over in most of the car’s so there is almost always a little late night impromptu party.

So the Gangster is always looking to be extra nice to his neighbors. He’ll get them tickets to a local game or concert, have deli tray’s delivered if he knows there having a party, flowers for all the women’s birthdays, etc, etc, etc.

Now yesterday was a little bit different.

I was over at Gangster central (His house) around 9:30 in the morning and we were having a coffee going over some paperwork and as we walk out front we see his neighbor across the street having what looks like an argument with a house painter.

This particular neighbor is actually pretty nice to the Gangster and she might even be a little sweet on him. The painter looks like, well a painter. Wearing cut off shorts and a white t-shirt all covered with paint and doesn’t look like he’s had a shower in a couple of days, of course no shave. He’s standing next to his beat up Toyota pick up with ladders all over the top of it. The neighbor is visibly shaken and about to be in tears.

The Gangster for all of his faults is a human being and is not going to allow anyone to get over on this woman.
As it turns out this painter was combing the neighbor hood knocking on doors a few days ago offering to paint houses for cash. His rap is that he is an out of town construction worker and the job he was on allegedly got put on hold for a week so he’s trying to making a little cash while he is waiting for it to start back up. The neighbor lady paid him $600 bucks up front and showed him the paint color she wanted. The guy was supposed to buy a particular tan color. Instead the scammer bought a bunch of batch paint (Batch paint is the left overs from all the paint that people haven’t picked up and it gets mixed together and sold for about four bucks a gallon.) This particular batch of batch paint is orange. It looks like someone took pumpkin orange and added a little white to it. It was ridicules!!!! And it is currently on about 25 percent of her house!!!!!!

The Gangster is not an especially big man. Maybe about 5’7” and he doesn’t have a muscular build but he carries himself with an air of authority. It just works for him.

I have to admit I don’t always see eye to eye with the Gangsters tactics but in this particular situation I couldn’t have been more happy/proud to be on his side. I have to admit he played the situation pretty well. He walks up and puts his hand softly on the shoulder of the sweet old lady and hunches his shoulders and head down so he’s just about eye level with her and truly was poring over her with a feeling that everything was going to be alright.

Here’s the sly part. He put his body just inside the painters comfort zone. The painter took a half step back and started sizing up the Gangster. The Gangster was saying something soothing to the sweet old lady and he was also eyeing up the painter. Then he looks over his shoulder just a little bit and gives me a quick look. That look meant for me to get my ass over there, I’ve seen the look before.

After maybe 45 seconds of listening to the painter pop off about how that was the paint she told him to get and “he wasn’t getting fucked on this job” and then out of nowhere the Gangster was done with this guy.

He moved fast enough so that the painter wasn’t getting away but not so fast as to startle his victim into a reaction. He grabbed the painters left arm with his left arm and took three big steps away from the sweet old lady. His right fist was full of the neck line of the painters shirt. He was clamping down on the painters arm hard enough so that the painter was squirming a bit. Then he looks at me and says “Get the plate”.

That meant I was to write down the guys license plate number. The gangster has friends!!!!! He’s never done it for anything I’ve personally been involved in but I know he knows some people that can run license plate numbers.

Then thru gritted teeth and squinting eyes, maybe 2 inches from the guys face the Gangster speaks….
“I know what you’re trying to pull. I know what you already spent and I want you to give her the money you have left, then I want you to leave.”

When the Gangster gets into this particular mode he just can’t be beaten. He carries himself with an attitude that you have no other option but to do what he wants. Sure as hell, the guy starts back pedaling. The guy digs into his pocket and pulls out what turns out to be $462 dollars and hands it to the Gangster.

The Gangster doesn’t exactly let the guy go but more or less puts him into the front seat of his little white Toyota and closes the door on him. Dam near on his foot.

EXIT BAD HOUSE PAINTER no further incident.

Then the Gangster does what really makes me proud. He gives the neighbor lady the $462 bucks and asks her when she needs the house painted by.
(Turns out she’s having some garden party and it needs to be done in 48 hours.)

So what are P.D. and I doing today.

You got it. Were painting a house…….

Crash Out!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Today’s work was a bit shady. I was asked to go to a bar. See a guy, pick up two envelopes. I bring one envelope back to the Gangster and deliver the second envelope to a different bar. Neither of theses establishments are places I would go EVER on my own. My guess is that there was a little base ball or hockey wagering and my guy hit big. I gotta remember to ask him about next weeks games.

Crash Out!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Most of these entries I write the next day just because I get most mornings free.
So Saturday was a cake walk. I took enough psychology classes in college that I could have easily double majored. I really found the stuff interesting. So when days like today happen I guess I have an edge over a lot of people in the same situation.

However, I still don’t understand people that are afraid to fly. I love to fly. But this woman I drove on Saturday (as sweet as she is) has an extreme phobia of planes. Hell, She freaks out if she gets too close to the airport. I mean freaks out!!!!! She physically will break down if she were to be in a busy airport.
But any way.
I got the info Thursday that I would be driving Mrs. Smith (Not the real name).

She is a little old widow who lives here in town. We drive her from time to time when she has friends in town or a special occasion. Here’s the kicker. When the girl in the office gave me her info it said to drive her to a city 5 hours away!!!!!!!!! (Deathly afraid to fly!!!!)

I give the woman a lot of credit, her fear doesn’t stop her from seeing her friends and doing whatever the hell makes her happy. She’ll hire a driver and away she goes. God I just hope she doesn’t need to go to the other side of the country. Anyway. I picked her up at the prescribed time and put her stuff in the trunk of the limo. She jumped in the back and away we went.

I do kind of like the lady she’s a very genuine person, she lives alone and my guess is she likes having people to talk to. She is very grandmotherly. She got in the car and slid all the way to the front so she could talk to me thru the privacy window while we were driving.

And talk we did. We went through the normal stuff,
How did I get into this business?
How did I meet the Gangster?
How she thinks he's the sweetest man on the planet!!!!!
Girl friends?
We even talked about some sports.

My favorite topic with her was by far history. This has woman lived thru her husbands WWII service, the depression, the beginning of color TV, JFK being killed, Her only son was killed in Vietnam, Nixon, etc, etc, etc.

The 5 hours blew by.

She’s such a sweet old lady she had even packed us a cooler of food.

Anyway, It was a long week but came to a perfect end.

Crash Out!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Intro PD.

Today I worked with my favorite partner in crime. His name is Pete, Peaty, but mostly we call him P.D. We call him that because he used to be a cop.

He wasn’t a cop that long as it turns out he just couldn’t take it seriously. I give him a lot of credit for quitting the force. He once told me he loved the job but knew that his attitude would have gotten someone hurt sooner or later.

Anyway P.D. and I do all the “Security” work that we get calls for. Basically we drive around a couple of low profile heavy money people that live here part time and want to create an illusion that they need security. But truly we just have to wear suites and hold a lot of doors. I love working with P.D. He’s really the only one that works for the Gangster with a brain in his head. Besides me of course. The guy as a great attitude all the time.

P.D. isn’t a muscular guy but he’s big and he’s well trained. He also seems to be able attract hot women. I get more dates from hanging around him than you could imagine.

When P.D. and I do security work. We really do take it seriously but only because we know we’re not there for a specific threat. The worst thing we’ve seen is a few nosy people that want to see who’s in the car or try and get a little too close. One time there was a bar fight one of our people was in but that didn’t go very long. We know virtually every door man and bouncer in town and they landed on the other guys right as we were grabbing our guy up.

The way we normally work security is both of us ridding in the front of the car. One guy obviously driving and one guy working the street and the doors. Sometimes we lay it on pretty thick. We’ll pull up and the street guy will get out scan the street for a few seconds, check with the door man of the club or the store security or restaurant manager, then we walk back to the car and pull out the rider. After we do that we generally give each other a little sign that says we’re laughing.

We’re usually doing that because there’s a hot chic working the door of the club or restaurant.

Anyway today was nice because we were in a Lincoln Navigator. There’s plenty of room for both of us. The rough days are when we have to take a limo. All the limo’s we have only have one seat up front. The passenger seat is taken up by a built in storage area that has a compartment with electronics or something to run the Air conditioning in the back etc. P.D. is bigger than me so whenever we do the limo runs I get to sit on the storage container and he gets to drive.

I don’t look nearly as cool sitting on top of the storage container.

Crash Out!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We’ll as I mentioned before my boss deals in Favors. You owe him, he owes someone else, someone else owes you and maybe he can weezle in on getting something out of that....

I get handed a lot of the stuff that the Gangster doesn’t ever want to go public. Yesterday is a prime example. The gangster calls me at 9am. “Get down here right away I need some help.” Everything with him is always priority one. Nothing can wait until later. Anyway, he has a friend we’ll call Stan. Stan is a pretty high profile man in town. You wouldn’t know him if you didn’t live here but if you did live here chances are you for sure recognize the name.

Well the poor SOB is getting a divorce after 13 or 15 years of marriage. His wife is looking to clean him out which would be huge because this guy is LOADED. He is always at all the charity events and is always donating some cash to some worthy cause. His family owned a ton of land here years ago and he has been able to parley it into millions.

Anyway the Gangster has me basically arranging a clandestine meeting between Stan and his very young and very hot girl friend. (She may be a big part of the reason for the up coming divorce. Anyway below is what I remember of the conversation between the Gangster and me.

“Crash, I want you to go over to the BLANK hotel in downtown. (A very nice place) and don’t go to the front desk. Don’t even look at those idiots. Go right over to Tom’s office” (Tom is the General Manager of the hotel and a friend of ours.)

“Tom’s going to give you a key to a suite and show you where to park the car. Don’t use the front door, don’t talk to anybody at the hotel, You know how bad it would be for Stan if he got caught sneaking into a hotel with the Bimbo. Once you know where to go come back here and get a couple of bottles of that Cakebread wine he likes. Take two bottles, have one in the car open and give him one to take up to the room. Pick the Bimbo up first. (I’ve had to drive the Bimbo home before) and for Christ’s sakes don’t let her out of the car at Stan’s place.”

There were several other directions that the Gangster repeated over and over and over again. But they weren’t all that important. So I pick up the Bimbo, I pick up our friend Stan, and I drive them out to the beach. We tool down this one highway and they watch the sunset while they pour a $165 dollar bottle of wine down there throats. Very romantice yada, yada, yada. I get the high sign from stan that it's time to head to the hotel. So off we go I drive the car around the back of this hotel and into the loading dock. Funny thing about loading docks, you just act like you know what your doing and your supposed to be there and people will barley notice you.

I get out of the car get the door for the Bimbo, I ignore Stan, sort of, I actually am walking with the Bimbo and let him follow behind at a small distance. This way if anyone Stan knew was to show up it would look like the Bimbo was with me. I walk them down a hallway to a service elevator that Tom has shown me. We go to the 22nd floor I get to the door of the room and let the Bimbo in, 5 seconds later I hand my boy Stan the key, and the small bag with the wine. He hands me 3 one hundred dollar bills and two tickets to a baseball game.

Stan kicks ass in my book.

Stan really is a good guy, Yes he’s cheating on his wife but man if you’ve ever met her she deserves it. She’s a bitch on wheels.

PS. The Gangster and I had a great time using Stan’s skybox seats to the game.

Crash Out!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Yesterday was a celebrity day.
We have a pretty regular stream of Celebes that we drive. A lot of pro sports people and a couple of music and movie people. For the most part they’re pretty relaxed. Especially the ones that live here in town and we know by first name. Yesterday was one of my favorites. It’s a female music person that if I told you her name you wouldn’t believe me.

This particular female music star lives in town and we do all her airport runs as well as her late night party stuff. She calls me “Crash” it’s my nick name she was there when I got it and yes, it’s bad to be a professional driver and have your nick name be Crash.

I’m not ashamed of how I got it. Yep, I had a super star in the car, came around a corner, when a guy pulls out in front of us and I "T-boned" him.
We were barley going 20 miles an hour but I still did $5800 damage to the car. It wasn’t my fault but who gets the nick name. ME!!!!!
The great part of the story was that the gangster was my first call. Anytime there’s going to be a cop involved you call the Gangster right away. That’s the rule!!!
He knows all the cops in town and he can talk anyone into or out of anything. BUT, you have to call him if you want that to work. He was there in less than 3 minutes in a 4 door Cadillac. It was like the scene in Pulp Fiction when they called the Wolfe. He rolled up and was all pro. Oh Ms. Superstar I can’t tell you how glad I am your ok, Were going to get you out of here right now. He takes her by the hand and puts her in the Caddy. Then walks over to me, Puts his arm around me as he’s walking me to the drivers side of the car and says “Try not to fucking hit any body else today.” The guy I hit was about to protest me leaving the scene of an accident before the cops got there but the gangster just walked right in front of him and started the full court schmooze. Game over. I’m sure we comped the guy a ride some time the next week but I sure as hell wasn’t the one that drove him.

From that day forward my new name was "Crash"