Let's see, 59halfstep is up to speed, so here's 50 Snazzy points as promised. There will be a little more later on, about the Lay Over Church and we'll see how that goes, as Life Goes On.
I put the pedal to the metal and made good time to Ontario. Dan had been right, about it and I was impressed. Yep, it was a huge facility that sat right off the I-10. There was a huge cyclone fence that circled all around it and a security gate that was manned. Well femaled, or manned by a woman ? You know, it was a her wearing a security uniform. She logged me in and read over my paperwork. I parked in the rear and sashayed in. Yep, the offices were inside a glassed in sky scrapper that stood a good 18 stories high. The receptionist sat behind a fancy desk and handed me a guest ID card. So, I pinned it on and rode the elevator up. Everything had that new smell odor. You know, fresh paint, new carpet, and such. I exited on the top floor, where a secretary greeted me. I sank butt deep into an overstuffed couch and waited, for the Big Man. Soft music played in the background and that made the wait seem longer. You know, what I mean. Anyway, the Big Man made his entrance and waddled over. Yep, he was big alright. No ! Not tall, but big around. He kind of looked, like a middle aged Jackie Gleason. He had jet black hair, a dark suntan, and was wearing an expensive suit.
He offered his hand, " You must be Mr Goose. I'm Big Man and glad to meet you. "
I shook his paw, " Nice to meet you too and this sure is a nice place you have here. "
Big Man escorted me back to his office, " Have a seat and do you care for anything ? I can have my secretary .... "
I waved my hand, " No, I'm fine ! "
Big Man got straight to business, " So, what have you heard, about our new headquarters ? "
I was honest, " Not much ! Well, Dan the mechanic said, that he heard, that TLX was moving out here. I still can't believe that. I mean..."
Big Man cut me short, " Well, he's right and you might as well get use to it. Now, we're still going to keep our Dallas terminal and the others in use, but this will be our corporate headquarters. We'll be moving our dispatch center here and our brokerage firm. "
I had to speak my mind, " I don't understand ! I mean, Ma Crook and Jr, both have sunk millions into .... "
Big Man dropped his bomb, " They don't have anything to do with this ! It was our decision, to relocate and ... "
I was confused, " Wait a minute ! If Junior is over TLX and Ma Crook... "
Big Man rolled his eyes, " You really don't know ! Now, no one likes these corporate take overs, but that's life in the big city ! Yeah, Ma Crook was down here last week and she tried to stop us. Well, the stockholders have spoken and that's the way the cookie crumbles. "
I didn't buy it, " You got to be kidding me ! Ma Crook is Chairman of the Board and Junior is Chief Executive Officer of TLX. They control ...."
Big Man shook his fat head, " Did ! Did ! Control TLX ! Not anymore ! We own over 60 % percent of the shares and our board of directors voted. It's just a matter of time and we'll force them to accept our buyout ! "
I flipped my Bic, " So, your saying ...."
Big Man was blunt, " There's no smoking allowed, anywhere on these premises and you can be fined up to a $1,000 ! Now, back to TLX. We made them a fair offer and tried to merge with them. Oh no ! Ma Crook and Jr too, weren't willing to give up control. So, our only option was this and now, it's just a matter of time. They'll either go along, or sale out ! "
It sank in, " So, your telling me, that Junior and Ma Crook, have lost control of their own company ! Man, I'm glad old Man Crook isn't alive to see this. You know, he built that business ... "
Big Man grinned, " That old thief ! If his dad hadn't struck oil and made him rich. Well, none of the Crooks would have a pot to piss in ! Our investors know how to turn a profit and believe me ! In a years time, we'll be the biggest transportation company out here. Those other outfits won't be able to keep up ! "
I got it, " Ok ! So, what does this all mean ! "
Big Man spelled it out, " We need experienced Managers that can keep things going. Now, your name is at the top of the list and we want you to consider, becoming our Dallas General Manager. Of course, that's only if, you can meet our high standards ! We like to promote from within and the sky is the limit. You can move up our corporate ladder and write your own future. It's all up to you ! Now, I don't expect an answer today. You can check in at our company motel and give me an answer, by the end of the week. If you have any questions, here's my private number and call me. "
So, I sashayed out and a company van whisked me over to the fancy motel. Yep, it was located right on the headquarters property and surrounded by that tall security fence. I felt like a prisoner inside one of them country club jails, for rich white collar criminals. Man, my mind voices were beside themselves and gave me a splitting migraine. Yep, I locked myself in the bathroom and removed the batteries from the smoke alarm. The commode hissed, as I flipped my ashes. What a deal, as Life Goes On.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
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Yep Pjw044, it's a real head spinner, as Life Goes On.
I decided to call Ed and get to the bottom of things. I mean, this whole mess, just didn't make any sense to me.
Ring, ring, ring, " This is Ed ! "
I started right in, " Ed, it's Barney ! I'm here in Ontario and ... "
Ed cut me short, " Well, what did you find out ? Have you talked with Big Man and did he say anything ? "
I rolled my eyes, " Yeah, he told me, about the corporate takeover and how stupid the Crooks are ! Now, what the hell is going on ? "
Ed educated me, " Barney, it all started awhile back, when Junior took the company public. Ma Crook tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen. Anyway, when he started wasting money, like on that company jet, that driving school, and buying that Freight Shaker dealership. Well, she had enough and decided to teach him a lesson. "
I had to ask, " What kind of lesson ? "
Ed continued, " She had always been the majority stock holder and decided to shake things up a bit. Ma just sold some of her TLX stock to get Junior's attention. Well, she didn't know that Jr had sold some of his shares. Yep, that's how Big Man and his bunch ended up being in control. "
I needed to know, " How is Junior taking all of this ? "
Ed sounded cold, " Screw him ! He doesn't care about Ma, or anybody else. He proved that, when he thought she had embezzled funds. Remember ? He had you make those bank deposits and thought he was pulling a fast one. Well, he sure screwed himself up good ! "
I had to say it, " Ed, if Junior didn't care about his mom, he could of turned her in ! No ! He did the right thing and had me get those funds back. You know, redeposited into the TLX account. This just isn't right ! "
Ed didn't agree, " Well maybe he'll listen to her, from now on ! All he did was give Big Man and his investors more funds to work with. You know, that deposit was a fair amount of change. Yeah, at least a good twelve million, counting the cashed in stock she sold ! "
My knees went weak, " It couldn't of been that much ! I read over those checks and .... "
Ed talked over me, " Those stocks were as good, as cash ! That's why the bank needed that form filled out ! Yep, Junior had you, help him, deposit millions, into ...."
I'd heard enough, " Gees ! This is all over my head ! So, what's going to happen ? I mean, if Big Man and his investors have control of TLX. Where does that leave Junior ? "
Ed laughed, " Barney, your taking this way to serious ! Junior gets half of the royalties of Crook Oil. Ma Crook, since Pa Crook died, gets the other half. Hell, when she dies, Junior stands to be the sole air. Hell, that oil business brings in twelve million a month ! They both could walk away from TLX and still be multi millionaires. "
I gave the phone the look, " Are you chitting me ? You mean, their both worth that much ? Then why the hell do they screw everyone ? You know, cheat the drivers, pinch every penny, and ... "
Ed was wise, " It's business Barney ! That's how of the rich and powerful do things ! Now, wise up and look at this, as a game if Life. You know, it's all just a game and the winner, who ends up with most the toys wins. Now, all you have to do, is to play along. We need an insider to keep us up to date, so we can formulate a plan. Are you in ? "
I felt used, " Yeah ! I'm in ! "
So, I sat there in that motel room and thought things over. Gees, all of that time and I never knew that the Crooks were.. Well, just playing games. You know, just playing with peoples lives, without a care in the world. The longer I thought, the madder I got. Yep, Big Man, Crooks, Mafia, Government, and all the rest. It''s just a game and us unwashed, working stiffs, honest Joes, who pay the bills, and toil getting the job done. Well, we're just pawns on a board, or numbers on a piece of paper. Man, how the hell did it get to this ? No ! I'm no communist, or antisocial nut, but give me a break. Why do the rich and powerful, have to treat the rest of us like slaves ? Oh yeah, I can hear it now ! You don't have to work for them and you've got the same opportunities they have. Bull feathers ! When the playing field is so lopsided and unfair that .... that.... oh gees, this maybe the big one ! Well, let's call it a night and I'll see you Snazzers later, as Life Goes On.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
You're right about it being a game for too many. Just saw where SW Airlines made $350mil this quarter despite higher fuel costs. They are expanding. AA lost over a billion. Huge layoffs, charges for checked bags, etc. Of course Herb Kellerer was one of the few that knows how to treat his folks decent and still make a profit. Need a lot more like him.
Alright -where's our next chapter?
Yep Big Duker, one of my x-bro-laws works for. Well did work for, AA, until last month. Yep, after 18 years of devoted service he was bum rushed out the door and given a imitation gold watch. What a deal, as Life Goes On.
The motel's front door faced the street, but you had to sashay down a long hallway and sign out. Yep, there were armed guards and a metal detector. You know, like the airports use. It was still dark, but I couldn't sleep, so I decided to stretch my legs. Yep, the Nazi rent a pig was sawing logs and dead to the world.
I cleared my throat, " Utthmm, excuse me ! "
Nazi Pig raised he head, " What do you want ? "
I pointed, " I just want to get some fresh air, from outside. This is my Guest ID and my name is Barney Goose. "
Nazi Pig yawned and stretched, " You see that sign there ! No one is allowed to sign out, between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am ! "
I gave the look, " Yeah, I see that sign, but that can't be right ! I'm here, as a guest and ... "
Nazi Pig got testy, " Come back in two hours and then you can sign out ! "
I protested, " No ! You need to sign me out and buzz that door ! I'm not a prisoner here and ..."
Nazi Pig stood up, " Listen ! You need to go back to your room, or I'll write you up, for ..."
I went postal, " Write me ? Your going, to WRITE ME UP ! Listen, you fat slob, piece of Pig Crap ! I'll stick that badge of yours down your throat! "
Nazi Pig twirled his baton, " Get against the wall ! Your under arrest ! "
I egged him on, " Make me ! "
The other voice spoke up, " What's going on here ? "
I pointed at the Pig, " He's getting ready to get a night stick enema ! "
Nazi Pig pointed back towards me, " He's in violation of rule 46, 107, and 222 ! Breaking curfew, in sin bored a nation, and his feet stink ! "
I taunted him, " Wait a minute ! Don't stop there ! I'm getting ready to rip your head off and piss down your throat ! "
The Other Voice spoke calmly, " Let's calm down and not let our tempers get the best of us. I see here, that your Mr Goose and oh my ! Sir, this is just a misunderstanding. Now Nazi Pig, you'll need to apologize to Mister Goose and we're terrible sorry. I'm Captain Kellog and the night watch commander, for TLX security. This is Officer Nazi Pig and we're..."
I spit, " Lucky to have jobs, after I speak with Mr Big ! This isn't anyway to treat a motel guest and believe you me ! I'm going to get this place in tip top shape ! If I have to kick names and take ### ! I mean, take names and kick ### ! Now, stand at attention and stick in those guts ! "
Both Guards snapped too, " Sorry Sir ! "
I wasn't finished, " Captain Crunch, or Kellog, or whatever your name is. This entire floor is a disgrace and all I want to see is elbows and azzholes. Now, both of ya'll get a broom and a mop ! I'll be back at 0700 and you both better have this place ready for inspection ! "
So, the door buzzed and I sashayed out. Yep, I peeked over my shoulder and both Idiots were charging around, like a couple of maids on meth. I lit up a 100 and puffed out a perfect smoke ring. Gees, this place was one for the books. Anyway, I cooled down and spotted a shuttle bus pull up. Yep, I knew right away, that they were all new bees. You know, after all, I'd pretty much ran a driving school. Yep, it was an assorted lot of poor souls, who looked shell shocked, beaten, and bone tired. They all had left feet and kept falling all over each other. An older fella wearing a TLX kakhi uniform, barked orders and marched the group inside. I stood at parade rest, as the drill instructor saluted me and commanded eyes right ! What a deal, as Life Goes On.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
First, a Big Snazzy welcome to Stretchy Puddin, our newest Snazzer. Yep, we're growing by leaps and bounds, as Life Goes On.
I sashayed back inside, as the two cleaning ladies, err.. security guards snapped to attention. Captain Crunch clicked his heels and handed me the urgent message. I dismissed them and made my way over to see Big Man. He was waiting for me in his office and was way too nice.
Big Man stood behind his desk, " Come on in Barn and have a seat. There's fresh coffee in that canister and the pastries are over here. "
I poured myself a cup, " I noticed that some new bees showed up. So, are ya'll going to have a school here ? "
Big Man sat, " Yes sir, we're going to have a school here, that one in Dallas and a few more. We're planning on a national recruitment drive and adding some more terminals. Yep, our aim is to triple our fleet, by the end of the year and that includes our owner operator division. Oh here, try one of these donuts. "
I dug through the box, " Thanks ! "
Big Man quizzed me, " Have you heard anything, from the Crooks, or that guy. What's his name ? "
I spoke with my mouth full, " Ed ! He just married Ma Crook, but she kept the Crook name. He use to be GM, there in Dallas and now he's ... Well, I guess, he's Mr Ma Crook ! "
Big Man chuckled, " Your a real Hoot Barney ! Now, here's my problem and I'm hoping, that you can help me out here. Now, I understand that your a fireman and a pretty good one ! "
I smacked my lips, " No ! I'm an ex-cop, but never was a fireman. "
Big Man explained, " No, not a firefighter ! I mean a cooler, you know, a man that can defuse things and nip stuff in the bud ! "
I thought about it, " Oh, you mean, like Patrick Sway Knees ? In the movie, the Cooler ? Yeah, that was a good flick, but I'm no Marshall Arts expert and that was a stunt guy anyway. You know, he started out as a tight wearing dancer and I've heard. Well, he's a little limp wrested and light in his step. You know, wink, wink ! "
Big Man was shocked, " Oh really ? Now I heard, about Tom Booze being that way ! Hell, I still can't get over Hock Rudson ! That man had it all and was as gay, as a Broadway Musical ! "
I agreed, " Yeah, I remember that ! Man, I guess you never know. You know, it takes one to know one ! "
Big Man got back to the subject, " Here's her picture and that address on back, should be good. Now Barney, I'm going to lay it out, just the way it is. Several years ago, I got involved with her mother. My wife and I were having problems and .. Well, you know how it is ! Anyway, up pops this kid and claims, that I'm her daddy ! There's noway ! I haven't seen her mother in 20 years and that's the truth ! I just need you to handle this for me. Now, I'm willing to pay her a little something, but ..."
I jumped in, " Hey, if she's blackmailing you ! You need to call the cops and let them handle it. Hell, that have DNA now and can prove who's, who, and what's, what ! Yep, once you start paying them, you'll never see the end of it ! "
Big Man confessed, " I can't let my wife find out about this ! It'll ruin my marriage and sure won't help my situation here. All I want you to do, is pay that poultry ten grand and talk some sense into her. You know, make sure that she understands ! I'll pay to keep that affair quiet, but I'm not going to spend a fortune on a kid, that isn't even mine ! "
So, I took the photo and the envelope. You know, the one with the money and car keys. Yep, I hopped in the two seater Mercedes and made tracks towards the Long Beach. Yep, a good looking gal like that shouldn't be hard to find, as Life Goes On.
Nightie night Snazzers, your Snazzy1.
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