Monday, August 18, 2008

I’ll have the snippet, with a side of vignette, please…

Sometimes, in the carriage business, your entire evening could have enough fodder in it be the subject of a single blog. Most times, not so much. But there are usually bits and pieces that are eligible to end up in one...

Three weeks ago I spent about half an hour on the corner of Main Street and 400 South waiting for Ro to come and hold Charlie horse for me while I fixed the hames strap on my carriage. This was my first mechanical failure, and luckily for me, it actually went quite well, when one considers all the options.

Ro had scheduled me to do a wedding up in Memory Grove at 9:15 pm. Now, when I say “do a wedding” what I mean is go and pick up the Bride and Groom and take them to their hotel. This is a run of the mill assignment for a carriage driver, but Ro tends to assign them to seasoned drivers because the last thing a person wants is to screw up someone’s wedding day. And, yeah, it has happened.

So I picked up the bride and groom, headed south to the Little America Hotel, and at one point I had to stop for a light. The intersection of Main Street and 400 South is where the Trax train turns to go to the University of Utah. Sometimes the light can be quite long. We arrived just as the light turned red, and at that precise moment fireworks were set off at the City/County building, which is one block east.

Charlie was not amused. For more on the relationship between horses and fireworks, read “The Wedding Crashers” blog.

I held him in one spot, talking to him and keeping him from doing something stupid. Finally, at the same time that the fireworks ended, the light turned green and I allowed him to walk.

Except he surged. That’s means he gave it an extra little “umph” and his lower hames strap broke. This means his hames (the heavy meal thing with the “balls” on the tops you see on a heavy harness) flew open and landed on his back. This is not good. At all.

I jumped down and got a hold of his head before Charlie realized that something had just whacked him on the back and realized that I needed someone who did not have to hold a horse/carriage while I fixed the problem. I called Ro and she made the 20 minute drive in 12. Nat had to pick my people up and finish the ride. They were okay with the episode.

That was a lot of fun.

Friday I picked up a couple and the entire ride the man pimped me for info on being a carriage driver. He told me he was not without skills (Uh, yeah. You have no idea. Watching the “Chariot Race” scene in Ben Hur and having been to a Dude Ranch twice do not qualify as “Skills”) and when the ride was over he paid me.

And stiffed me for a tip.

Here is a note to him:

Dear Wanna-be carriage driver who thinks this job is easy and he could do it too;

Not only do I sincerely think that you would be a 95%er, (See “The Re-education of the One Trick Pony” blog) but you stiffed me, so I’ve asked Ro not to hire you.


Because when you stiff the average Joe Bellman or Sally Waitress, they have no recourse. But you want a job doing this, so guess what? I have that kind of power. We’re the only game in town, friendo. And besides, if Ro did hire you, just for fun, (and because she has a sadistic streak) she would give you to me to train, and believe me, after stiffing me you really don’t want that. I’ve been known to make people cry. You clearly need to learn that if you ask someone for information and they go out of their way to give it to you, you need to give them a little something for their time.

I seriously doubt you would live through the mocking. We are extremely brutal people. And furthermore, we enjoy it. Immensely.

Lastly, I had some women on a ride when the “Stampin’ UP!” convention was in town. Far from mocking them, we love love love the Stampin UP! ladies. Why? Because they take rides, and most of them are not from Utah, so they tip. In exchange we give them business cards with the horse and drivers name on it and take fifty-jillion photos of them because then they go home and scrapbook it.


One night I was going past the Gallivan Center where they had just hosted a concert. A young man, missing his front teeth, wearing a Jamaican type style hat with sort of but not quite dreadlock and a big dose of intoxication insisted on riding Cletus.


He begged me, saying that it had always been his dream but he’s never had a chance. I said “Well guess what? Your dream ain’t coming true tonight, either, sonny.”

And besides, he didn’t look like much of a tipper.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Message in a Bottle...

I have MSN messenger. I don’t use it much, as opposed to The Kid who uses it constantly, but it keeps me in touch with Stace in Hawaii and ~A~ although she only lives 9 miles from me.

So when I was “invited” to add a user with the name of Cherrywigasa I did. I visit ARGHINK a lot and am a member (although a lurking one) of the Cherry Forums, which are people who are fans of author Jennifer Crusie. Cherry Forum members have Cherry names (except for me, I just don’t have enough energy to think up a “Cherry” name, and when you add it to all the other aliases I have it’s just too confusing for such a simple mind. Ya know?) So I thought maybe this is a cherry forum member who has hunted me down and decided to add me to their MSN Messenger. Yeah, it’s a little weird and stalker-ish, but I was bored and had enough free time that day to be able to kill some of it talking to a stranger.

Little did I know…

This was our conversation:

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
Hi, hey what’s up babe, U got a webcam? Finally someone adds me, I am soo fuckin horny today for some reason lol.

Slave Driver says:
It must be something they’ve put in the water. Hey, you know I'm a chick right? So I don’t need to pay for pictures of chick ass, I can get that in the mirror, as long as it’s a doublewide.

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
I can show u how to watch if u promise not to tell anyone else how to do it???PLEASE

Slave Driver says:
That’s great, I'm not gay. And, I don’t know about you, but I usually use my eyes to watch, so I am familiar with how they work. How’s about you go get a real job? I understand Wal-mart is always looking for people who are upright and breathing.

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
Hey, A/S/L?

Slave Driver says:
American Sign Language? Yes I know some, but don’t you need a webcam to sign back and forth?

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
Listen hun, I\'m just about to start my webcam show with Jen, come chat me there in my chat room? We can cyber, I\'ll get naked if u!

Slave Driver says:
Yeah, thanks for the offer but once again, I'm a chick and I'm not gay, and I’m not your “Hun”. So have fun finding some loser guy to watch your webshow. Your folks must be so proud. I bet they drive around with your URL on a bumper sticker “Watch our daughters webshow! - Finest T&A in **** County!” Besides, no one want to see me naked unless they have been bad and need punishment, or are aficionados of cellulite.

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
well since its the law that u gotta be 18 (nudity involved), u have to sign up with a credit card for age verification! BUT... Once you are inside, just click on \"Webcams\" let me know what name you use to sign in with so I know it\'s you babe!***** fill out the bottom of the page then fill out the next page as well and u can see me live!

Slave Driver says:
Oh sure, how about you send me your address and I'll just forward you my credit cards, bank account number, SS# and anything else you want cuz I'm an idiot. Blank check, anyone?

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
Please don’t mention anything about that in the chat room once u get in ok?

Slave Driver says:
But... what if I have a super fun time big mouth and love to talk to everyone about everything and can't help myself? And what if...I feel that I will just EXPLODE if I can't tell everyone that your sell video of yourself to anyone who's dip shit enough to pay for it and your parents don't love you and you were probably purchased at a flea market when you were a baby because you were an UGLY child?

cherrywigasa@******.com says:OH SHIT.. k I\'m late to start my show, I gotta get off msn...I\'ll see ya inside my chatroom babe… remember not to mention that I am upgrading u... You can use your msn name to sign in so I know it\'s you…

Slave Driver says:
But...I thought we were having a deep and thought provoking dialogue here. I believed we were baring our SOULS to one another, and now I find that you only wanted me for my, gasp, credit card number? Have you no shame? Have you no decency? Have you no...Oh, wait, never mind. You don’t.

cherrywigasa@******.com says:
AUTO-RESPONSE: hey just in the middle of my webcam show if you want to watch click the link*****

Gosh, and just when I thought I’d made a new friend.