Big City

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  • peet

    that was SO good in SO many ways.

  • Derek

    This made me think of the worst job I ever had: Security guard at a high rise office building, where, for 3 bucks an hour on the midnight shift in coldest February, our duties included leaning over the edge of the building from the roof (no safety equipment) and knocking sheets of ice off the fascia, so they wouldn't kill pedestrians the next day. Oh, and in summer we would have to go up and try to keep the bats from getting in the air grates with a broom.

  • denver

    To this day, I will still probably respond to "Hey, white girl!" as though it were my name. When one day I came home from high school to find the block literally surrounded by cop cars, and asked my father what was going on, he said, "They're busting the crack house." To which I responded, "Which one is the crack house?" He said, "The one where there are people coming to and from it at all hours of the night!" I said, "Dad, that's every house on this block." To which he said, "Good point. It's that one."

    I think we grew up in similar neighborhoods. 😉

  • Wonderful. Sounds like the happy ending version of Little Red Riding Hood living in the Hood, getting trapped by an elevator trap door with Mr Fur Wearing Fox and then being invited to the most unbelievable Fox den she had ever seen.

  • Freda

    FANTASTIC story – hysterical! ;o) Happy Labor Day!

  • Tim

    Why can't I stop Billy Preston's clavinet classic "Outta Space" from playing in the background of your elevator scene? You were definitely an undercover brother from another mother.

  • Jennifer

    My dad grew up in an all black neighborhood in Oakland. Listening to his stories makes me wonder why he was such a hard ass when it came to what we were doing. My siblings and I grew up in Oklahoma- 15 miles from the nearest small town. The worst thing we were going to encounter was a rabid cow. But thats parenthood. And now I feel deprived of stories.

  • gooseberrybush

    This is awesome funny. Love it.

  • Don Whitt

    LOVE it. Thanks so much for the laugh, John. Heh heh. Curtis Mayfield in elevator shoes…

  • Jeannie

    he he he. It seems your late teens were a very interesting time for you John.

  • Susan

    Great story. Love your writing. Curious on the shoes…were the heels made out of lucite and did they contiain live, swimming gold fish? That would've been so "Soooouuul Train."

  • Robert Meek

    Oh, a rabid cow sounds so fun! Do tell! 😉

  • Ellie

    I think you owe it to yourself and all of us readers to find Leon and see what has happened to him. Look how much your life has changed since then. For all you know, HE could be an encyclopedia salesman now – though it would probably be an online version…………

  • now that’s funny…!

  • Connie

    Thank you for making me laugh and call to my husband to come and read this! LOL!

  • Rebecca

    PMSL. Thank you, John, and Happy Labor Day to you, too. 🙂

  • Trish

    LOL…oh John, so glad to have stumbled upon you and your often hilarious, ever thoughtful and always insightful prose. We’re of the same enlightened generation (what happened to everyone else???) and I “came of age” in the Bay Area in the 60’s and early 70’s (and too enjoyed a time or two of spontaneous camaraderie with various strangers and their ever-present, always shared “mood enhancers”—ah for the good old days!) This struck such a familiar, comical chord with me since I often ended up in situations where I didn’t belong…but I learned, in my times of need, most people are basically good and/or decent. Thankfully. Which I know is how you felt; too funny. Only by the grace of God are we both still around, I’m sure.

    Will continue to follow you and your inspired writings. I’m always grateful to find a similar soul amidst the chaos called Christianity. We are of like-minds and followers of the true spirit of the message of Jesus: to love everyone without condition. It has been comforting to find you and your follow travelers.

  • I SO related to your precarious situation and was laughing so hard that I had to post to your website–and totally missed your tie-in to Labor Day. Ah well, some jobs are more hazardous than others 🙂 In the long run, no matter what occupation we hold or aspire to, we are reminded to do so for the glory of God. Who knows who we’ll meet along the way!

  • Oh, God! This is such a funny line: “I, meanwhile, immediately got involved with trying not to have a heart attack.”

    Good way to start the day.