July 08, 2004


Over the weekend, something happened to the transmission of my Cadillac that resulted in my transmission not transmitting that which it's supposed to transmit. In other words, the damn thing wouldn't shift into second gear, meaning that I had to drive home at 35 mph, thus pissing off a multitude of lead-footed motorists.

I like my Caddy. It's probably the smoothest riding vehicle I'll ever own in my life. But, the biggest drawback to owning a Caddy is that, should something break down, it will cost you a buttload of greenbacks to repair. And, of the litany of things that can go wrong with a Caddy, the transmission is probably #2 on the list of things you don't want to fail, with #1 being the engine.

Well, I dropped off my car for repairs on Tuesday, which meant that I had to rely on the repair shop's shuttle service to get me back home. One thing I've noticed about shuttle service drivers is that they tend to be a chatty bunch. You may not know anything about them upon meeting them, but you'll certainly know more than you ever wanted to know after ten minutes or so.

The shuttle service driver I ended up with was a portly gent with a pleasant demeanor, and a propensity for diarrhea of the mouth unmatched by any shuttle driver I've ever encountered. No topic was off limits for this guy.

We started off talking about the weather, which consisted of rain, and then we segued into current events, and then he talked for a time about his family. And, let me tell you, he was not against using a liberal number of expletives to spice up his narratives. It wasn't just raining, it was "a Goddamned fucking downpour." It wasn't just chilly for July, it was "nut-retreating cold outside." And so on. Suffice it to say, I generally liked the guy.

We eventually pulled up in front of my house, and the driver's face scrunched up in the international sign of recognition.

"Hey, I know that house!" he exclaimed.

"Oh yeah?" I said, somewhat surprised.

"Yeah, yeah! Nice couple lived there. They had a daughter. A beautiful thing. Beautiful. . . and easy."

Now, it was the way he said "easy" that threw me off a bit. I mean, he was a bit of an older guy, so he may have meant "easy" as in "easy to get along with," but there was enough hesitation and nostalgic earnest in his voice to indicate that the daughter in question was "easy" in a "buy me McDonald's and I'm yours" sort of way.

"Yup, she was just beautiful and easy," he reiterated. "She got involved with a guy for quite awhile, maybe a couple of years, I can't quite remember. Then it turned out he dicked dogs."

"Excuse me?"

I was taken aback just a little, because I was expecting him to say something along the lines of "he got her knocked up and left her" or something tragic like that, but I was in no way prepared for the story to take the jolting turn of "then it turned out he dicked dogs."

"I actually caught him doing it," he went on. "I drove up an alley one night, and there he was, pants around his ankles, just fucking the hell out of this poor dog. I called the cops straight away. They asked for his name, and when I told them they said 'he's at it again, eh.'"

Now, I have a fairly finely tuned bullshit detector. I can often tell when someone's lying to me or telling me a whopper of a tall tale but, for whatever reason, I couldn't shake the feeling that this guy was giving it to me straight and true. Maybe because it was just too crazy not to be true. I mean, really, who would make up a story about some guy who had a penchant for poodle pumping?

"He'd done it before?" I asked. "He was a repeat offender?"

"Oh, yeah. It was a big story. The daughter went into hiding after that because she was afraid people would think she was somehow involved. They put him away for four or five years if I remember right. Not long enough, if you ask me."

"And, if they'd asked the dog, I'm sure it would have asked for a life sentence," I joked.

We had a good laugh, and then I exited the vehicle and walked into my house.

A couple of hours later, as I sat there watching TV, I remembered that, in the early days of owning the house, I discovered some old dog tags, and a horrifying possibility entered my brain.

"What if. . . ? Nah. He couldn't have. But, what if? What if he screwed the family pooch, right there in front of what is now my entertainment center?"

Sometimes, I think, there is some information that better left unknown.

OH, AND BY THE WAY: James Lileks annihilated Michael Moore today.

Posted by Ryan at July 8, 2004 10:32 AM

That was somewhat like watching a Tarantino movie. I laughed but felt bad about it...

Posted by: debachle at July 8, 2004 11:11 AM

Not only are shuttle drivers like this. It seems like every person that has ever cut my hair, at every Great Clips or Cost Cutters has made it their personal mission to get to know me inside and out or to expound to me their life story. I absolutely hate it. Just cut my damn hair! However, if one of the people who cut my hair were as interesting as this fellow, I might not mind it so much.

Posted by: Rick at July 8, 2004 11:28 AM

It's like Argyle said: "People expect a little chit-chat."

Quite frankly I'm sure many cabbies, barbers, etc would rather just do their job and not have to talk to you, but many seem to feel that they *have to*, like its part of the job description.

Posted by: David Grenier at July 8, 2004 11:30 AM

Any story that ends in dog-fucking is a good story.

OH, AND BY THE WAY: James Lileks annihilated Michael Moore today.

Sigh. File that under casting stones at the broad side of a glass barn. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Michael Moore is a big fat idiot.

Posted by: Joshua at July 8, 2004 12:38 PM

Michael Moore is a big fat idiot.

I love it when we get to agree on something..

Posted by: Ryan at July 8, 2004 12:50 PM

That made me laugh out loud - so sick!

Posted by: Kimberly at July 8, 2004 02:20 PM

Holy shit, lileks has some great Moore commentary today. Never been a fan of Moore, but it seemed like every idiot political science major up at SJU had a hard-on for this guy. I never really knew why.

Posted by: Rick at July 8, 2004 02:37 PM

Rhodes, aside from reading your comments at Intellectual Poison I had yet to get a feel for your writing, but dang, you are quite good! How long have you been writing?

Although I am one of those brainwashed liberals who believes that Lileks column reaks a bit too much of non-consequential criticism with the red cherry of colorful allegory to wrap it up, I will conceed that (aside from following strict high school writing formats) it is well writen.

Politics aside I'm going to be skimming through your archives for a long while now. Thanks for the writing!


Posted by: E. at July 9, 2004 09:41 AM


Posted by: Ryan at July 9, 2004 10:03 AM

Hey Rhodes! No stealing my damned readers! Don't make me come over there so you can kick my ass.

And I'd actually written up a comment but had to reboot before posting it.

I'm guessing that the driver was yanking your chain. I've never heard of someone humping a dog in an alley. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen but I'd imagine pooch pumpers have to be a little more discreet or our prisons would be full of hound humping freaks.

And I'll third the dislike of Moore personally, I think he's a damned irritating guy but I still believe that his message is an important one, even muddled by his massive ego.

Besides, is Moore as bad as Rush Limbaugh or Dr. Laura?

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at July 9, 2004 10:16 AM

Well, Johnny, I harbored the idea that my chain may be getting yanked, but then I remembered that, in my hometown of Harmony, there was a guy who had been arrested for humping a cow at a county fair, so humping a dog didn't seem all that implausible. Also, it was the way the driver looked at my house, seemingly lost in thought. It was pretty obvious he knew my house, and he knew something about it that made him feel compelled to share. So, yeah, there could have been chain yanking but, in that instance, I think he was telling me the truth.

I've never listened to Dr. Laura, and I dismissed Limbaugh as a fat gasbag many a year ago, back when he still had a television show and I concluded that his ego may well, in fact, outweigh the man, which is an incredible feat. My problem with Moore is that, despite saying they dislike him and calling him a propagandist, people still float into theaters to inhale his bullshit, saying that it's an "important message."

I mean, seriously, people say they dislike W, and they don't believe a word coming out of his mouth because they think it's all lies. Why should Moore be given a pass for doing the exact same thing, and then label said lies as an "important message?"

Posted by: Ryan at July 9, 2004 10:28 AM

Ryan, I agree with you. Moore should be held to standards - but not the standards of a president. And if the facts that Lileks were refuting were particularly important to his argument I'd concede the point.
It doesn't really matter to me whether 7 people 2 people or 3 people from Moore's high school actually died in Vietnam, and if that makes me too liberal to be reviewing the subject matter so be it.
Judging the contents of an article that was intended as a boyhood recollection and growth of consciousness to Fahrenheit 9/11 would be like comparing a 400 word high school editorial on dress code restrictions to your academic thesis on the social effects of traditional wear.
Certainly Moore has a history of exaggerating to make a point; certainly his message is mixed in hot air rhetoric; unfortunately, the exaggerations of experiential memories and personal impressions generally cause folks to dismiss the message as a whole. If I could hone my freshman year English teacher for a moment, “You’re evidence is inconsistent and anecdotal”.
Personally, as I state before, I'm not a Mooron-ite. But, I love that he pushes people to think. And I want to toss the fundamentalist Moore zombies under the bus along with the fundamentalist Rush, Stern, O'Neil, ect. undead prattle torpidly remouthing verbatim the political viewpoints of their masters. But unlike the aforementioned necromongers, I like that Moore does some background work. Anyway, losing battle.
My basic argument is that Lilek tries to hold an article about childhood memories to the factual standards of a historical narrative.
Anyway, I’m focusing on the positive. I’m an optimist. I’m from Boston and I route for the Red Sox. Perhaps I’m too naïve. But I’m okay with that.

Posted by: e. at July 9, 2004 11:51 AM

Now, I have a fairly finely tuned bullshit detector...

So do I, and mine's telling me that your story is a fake. The dialog sounds too much like *dialog*, not a real conversation. Reminds me of this guy named Soli.... I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: moving_comfort at July 9, 2004 02:39 PM

Dear moving_comfort:

Here's the deal. I don't carry tape recorders wherever I go, although I do use them here at work pretty much all the time. So, no, the dialogue posted here, admittedly, is not verbatim, but it's about as close to verbatim as my memory allows. For example, the driver did say "then it turned out he dicked dogs." I remember that line quite vividly. It's the kind of statement that sticks with you, for obvious reasons. And, my joke about the dog probably advocating a life sentence is also pretty much verbatim. As for the rest, you're right, it's presented largely as best as I could remember it.

Posted by: Ryan at July 9, 2004 03:14 PM

Fair enough, I can buy that.

Strangely enough, aside from the dialog, the actual *incident is very believable to me, since the same thing happened in my hometown when I was growing up, and they guy seemed to like doing it right out in public, also. Makes me wonder if the exhibitionism isn't part of the "thrill".

Posted by: moving_comfort at July 9, 2004 03:34 PM

Also, re Michael Moore - I'd consider myself a fan
of his flicks. I guess I agree with his politics, and with the general message he's trying to get across.

But... I once had a lawyer friend who happened to find himself representing a group of mexican illegal immigrants - they were, if I remember right, sueing Holiday Inn for not providing certain employee benefits, and Holiday Inn responded by basically calling the INS - the message H.I. was trying to deliver was "we can treat you like slaves, mexicans, because if you complain, we'll call the INS - see?"

H.I. lost the case big time. The mexicans were deported, but the precedent was set that US employers, if they want to hire illegals, can't treat them like sub-humans. Pretty important case. I was proud of my buddy, and he felt like he had done something worthwhile.

Anyway, for some reason, Michael Moore swooped into town and kind took credit for the whole case, even though he had little to do with it, other than providing some publicity - publicity that ulitmately had nothing to do with the outcome of the case. As I recall, when Moore was called on the fact that this lawyer initiated, worked, and slam-dunked the case, not Moore, Moore became kinda snippy about it.

Ever since then I've taken the Michael Moore public persona with a grain of salt. He's got his faults, and he definately has an ego.

Posted by: moving_comfort at July 9, 2004 03:57 PM

damn, somebody had to mention that M word. i was just about done with this post. so it goes. i feel like the drunk uncle that comes by once in a while, spouts off a bunch of shit, the content varies and generally leaves people with a luke warm response. they wait for me to go to sleep again.

i am not a fan of moore, or his fatumentaries (it's late, cut me some slack). his approach is disingenuous and at time malicious. i can't believe that heston hasn't pursued legal alternatives to moore's fabrication of his speeches. anyway, the list of misdirections and exagerations is long and tiring. but with that said, moore has potential to create thought proking dialogue. the issue is that it is covered in BS. i have yet to hear a serious pundit dig through moore's excremetory effort to find legitimate thought.

which brings me to a deeper understanding of moore. if his flics were infact documentaries, they would be void of the misrepresentations and exagerations present. a viewer could consider them with the idea that they were an even-handed representation of fact. but that is not his intent. moore wants to sell tickets—plain and simple. as far as i can tell, he has no other motive. moore happens to foster a dislike for bushco, true. he wants to cause shock that the president conducts business on the golf course. see also: dwight eisenhower. or that W "vacations", not really an issue since the oval office is not crucial to the countrys' operations, etc. but, also the flic raises a question about the creation of gov't defense contracts and the proffiting off the potential war. my point is that the constructive discussions are caked in bullshit.

is moore as bad as rush? rush is presented as a right journalist that states his opinion. moore is credited with creating award winning documentaries that are as slanted as an italic face. moore has greater audience in the box office. few people will turn on rush on a sat. night. moore's falsifications have the potential to effect many more individuals than rush could.

as for the hound pooching—no way. the calf thing is within the realm of possibilities. but the geomoetry of the even a large dog is just impossible. ryan, i think you got a line moore-shit.

Posted by: seed at July 10, 2004 12:39 AM

I fully acknowledge that I may have been handed a line of shit. Wouldn't be the first time, fer sure.

However, screwing a dog is far from a remote possibility.

Posted by: Ryan at July 12, 2004 10:49 AM

Good Point. Anyways, this was where i met her. You can join for free as well www.redtricircle.com

Posted by: click here at March 12, 2005 03:40 AM
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