Radar O’Riley

September 12, 2016 at 10:10 am (Cosmic Encounters, Cussed Dumbers)

radarThat’s O’Riley as in Baba O’Riley, not O’Reilly as in Bill ‘I want to scrub your back in the shower with a falafel‘ O’Reilly.

I have standards.

For those too young to get the reference, Radar was the string-pulling corporal on the TV show/movie M*A*S*H*. He could sweet-talk the colonel while hornswoggling Major Burns, all the while keeping his diva doctors happy. He could horse-trade three cans of k-rations for a drivable Jeep. Dude was a straight-up hustler.

Well folks, Radar ain’t the only one who can pull a miracle out of his ass…

After eleven years (this time) working nights in the downtown core, I have met a few people and uncovered random resources. I’ve watched Rain do her thing, which is create financial miracles on a daily basis. I’ve watched the street-dealers go from straight-up pimpin’ to living in a tent by the freeway. As I go, I take notes and pay attention. You never know when something might come in handy.

Stuttering Jay and Kayo are partners in crime, albeit the low-level crime of the drug world. While not pulling robberies or doing the booster thing, they are willing to make a fast buck when possible. It’s how the game is played. Kayo is the more cerebral of the two; he could sweet-talk you out of your underpants when his game is on. Stuttering Jay is the physical worker. He hits his meth pipe, and goes on a garbage hunt. He finds and stashes the goddamnedest things, and has a system, but it can take him three hours to find a pink oxy in all those pockets. It’s amusing to watch when you’re not in a hurry for your dope.

The other day I was BSing with Stuttering Jay, and he was digging through his pockets when a yellow citation fell out. “Oh, this motherf-f-f-fuckin’ thing!” He wadded it and tossed it to me. “I got a ticket on the fuckin’ M-M-MAX.”

I looked at it. I’d gone to court with Angel a while back, and knew the drill. I explained how that went, and how she got the fine down to $75. I scanned the ticket, looking for the “politeness code.” (Spare infectors will make a small note if you are polite, and they knock an extra $25 off. Unsurprisingly, no politeness code for Stuttering Jay.) “Is that a one or a seven?” I couldn’t quite tell on the ticket.

“It’s a seven. So if you have an old bus ticket for that day and time, I will sell my soul for it, Charles.”

“Well bud,” I told him, “This is the kind of mission I would be coming to you for, so you must be in a bind. But hey, anything’s possible. If I come up with one, I will let you know.”

About ten minutes later, a bell went off in my head. A day later, I am in possession of an all-day pass dated for Stuttering Jay’s ticket. “Good through end-of-day.” Hoosier daddy!

I texted Kayo and told him the news. “Now if we can just keep Jay from losing the ticket before court. Why don’t you have him give me the ticket and I’ll hold all of it until it’s time for his court date?”

“That sounds like the smartest thing I’ve heard all day,” texted back Kayo. “Hey, I need a clean sample for Amigo. You up for it? He’ll cover ya when he gets his pills.”

“Sure, I’ll meet you before work.”

This is where the irony of life gives me a bucket full of the giggles. Now that weed is legal, people are coming to me to pass their piss tests. “Oh, the doctor don’t care if I have weed in my system, I just can’t test positive for meth.” Since they are seeking oxycodone, and that’s the most that would register on me, I am the poster-child for middle-aged hurting-guy urine purity.

I met Kayo, slipped him a brown paper bag that looked like a 12-oz beer. “What’s this? Oh,” he realized. “Okay, he will cover you in a couple days. He’s a lot more grateful than the last guy, if you know what I mean.” I do. The last guy gave me a pill I’d never heard of. (Upside: It cost me three ounces of pee.) I gave it to Kayo, who turned it into three oxy 5s. Work it…

“If he doesn’t follow up, and they issue a warrant, god knows what they’d find on him when they pick him up.” Time to flex my man-feathers. “I have decided that for this bus ticket, I want twenty milligrams. He can take until the end of time to cover it, and I don’t care if he ever does, but I know he will. Besides, I’m pretty fuckin’ proud of myself about this bus ticket thing. I have to tax something for it.”

We shot the breeze on the corner for a minute, and then went our separate ways. It’s a Sunday, which makes it my Friday. While Kayo and Stuttering J-J-Jay work their angles, I hustle Twinkies and energy drinks. I’m not sweating the pills, I’m not in a place where I’m needing them right now. But there will be other days.

Anything to keep the head above water and the boat afloat. Just like Radar would do.


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