Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Washington, George Washington

During the good old days or the Clinton Era as some have called it I worked at a car dealership in my late teens. I believe I was eighteen at the time I started at what became my first long term job and my last one for about ten years. (The job lasted less than two years.) The dealership itself was an enormous place that took up about 150 acres of land. This fact is the only reason I was able to get a job at a car dealership when I was eighteen. Due to the size of the dealership the family that owned the business had to create positions they called "runners." Runners were individuals who would show customers around the property in "Demo Cars" and the runner would drive the customer to the specified lot according to classification of automobiles. We also had a specially designated area for trucks we called the "Truck Center." Very original, so original I thought to put that one in quotes too. The TC is another story not really important here but one that must be told some other time. The TC had its own culture and cast of salesmen that were drastically different than the car salesmen and it wasn't just their goatees that separated them from the rest.
So in 1997 after graduating high school my post-graduate work began in September of the same year working as a runner for the R_____n family. This was a high paying job, my highest yet at a rate of 9.00/hr. I had many experiences there that were lessons I would use later in life but one still sticks out in my mind today. To enter this great property you had to go through what the family called, get this, the "Entrance Building." And to leave the wonderful facility, you had to go through what they called the ??????? "Exit Building!" Who worked at the Entrance Building could've have been anyone on a given night. It could be one of the fifty girls under twenty they hired to work in the leasing department or some salesman who was on the outs with the family and will do anything or anyone to save his job. The exit building was another situation all together. Only certain individuals were able to work the exit building. One of these special people was named Lee. All that his name tag said was "Lee."
Lee was working in that building for about twenty years from what I had heard. At least twenty years up until I was hired. I don't know what he's up to now. Lee was a friendly old man, one of those respectable types of the WWII generation. Our greatest generation of course, and most people thought Lee to be the greatest of them. He smiled at everyone exiting the building and never forgot to tell them, "Good Night!" That phrase always had a nice cheery rise to it as he finished saying it. He always kept a smile on his face when "seeing people out." He was never over the top either, he wasn't one of those jerks that felt compelled to hold the door for everyone who was leaving the dealership. Lee even took complaints from time to time and helped customers with salesmen. What was amazing about his demeanor is that it held up against the smell from the used car lot. The exit building doors faced the lot. When those doors opened and the wind was blowing the smell of the lot blew into the exit building. If you ever smelled vomit in a diaper then you know how bad this smell was that came from the old tires and hot asphalt on a summer night in that lot. The smell was almost as bad as two wet homeless people fucking in a puddle of vodka on an alley street in New York.
This all said, Lee caught my ear one night. He was jabbering to a customer about something and Bill Clinton. I saw the news that morning and was wondering what all the fuss was so I went over and asked Lee. He turns to me after saying good night to the customers and asks me if I heard of Monica Lewinsky ( At the time I said, "No." I hadn't heard of it yet at least and he tells me the situation. I wasn't shocked, at the time actually I didn't really care I just wanted to kill some time during my shift. Lee tells me he's appalled that a President of the United States would ever have his dick sucked in the Oval office. Lee goes on to tell me that he knows how a president should act. After he says this I'm a bit dumbfounded because I'm pretty sure this man was never president. I soon found out he wasn't, at least in the non-fiction world. (Non-fiction and fiction, used to get them confused as a kid all the time. Especially when we used to go to the library to learn the Dewey decimal system. Hated those days.) So now there is this period of silence as I look at this man and he looks at me. Him, with his tidy little blue suit, striped tie, and white side walls and me, with my aqua net hair gel, ruffled button down, and dad's tie. I finally say to him, "How do you know what the president would do?" And he responds, "Because I play one, I play George Washington over there across the river. I know George Washington would never do what he did in the Oval office. That Clinton should be ashamed of himself," blah blah blah and the rest is old man talk. By "across the river" Lee meant that he played GW in a historical reenactment of Washington crossing the Delaware River ( So by playing a president every year, our first president, Lee has gained insight . . . nevermind.



this is great. i can imagine you telling this story. these are my favorite posts of yours. these little pasts.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Sheik Mansour said...

please give us your bank numbers so that we can help you to honor your great leader george washington. 100 billion US dollars.
-Sheik Mansour

5:45 PM  

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