Posts Tagged ‘social work’




3 September 2014

“Good morning, Dennis. I hardly slept at all last night.  I got up an hour late, took my heart pills, my water pills, didn’t have a chance to shave, washed my face, that was it. I’m not staying past 9:00. My lady friend is coming over for lunch, so I’ll pick up some flowers, and chicken on my way home. We’d arranged it a few days ago. I forgot that she wasn’t working Tuesday. I phoned her at 8:00 last night, to confirm, but she was in bed. I think I may have woken her. She wasn’t very pleased.

“I had a good weekend. I worked Saturday and Monday. The only problem was the buskers. They have a licence to play at designated corners, so when they came I had to move. I found one corner that was unoccupied. I’ve panned there before and never made anything, but Saturday I got thirty dollars. That was a nice surprise. I got forty on Monday. Sunday I could have come down, but I was just too tired.

“I got a joke for you. There were three Newfies (residents of Newfoundland) hitch hiking. A pickup truck stopped. One got in the front, the other two rode in the box. The driver lost control of the truck and it plunged into a river. The driver and the Newfie in the front swam to safety, but the two in the back were drowned. Do you know why? They didn’t know how to unfasten the tailgate. I used to know a lot of those jokes. The people who like them the most are Newfies.

“Here’s another. this Newfie told his wife that he was going to apply for work on the police force. He got an appointment and talked for a while to the senior officer. He said to his wife, ‘The guy asked me a bunch of questions. He wasn’t  too pleased with my answers, but I told him the truth, right from my heart.’ He said, ‘I’ll give you one more chance. If you can answer the following question, I’ll let you have a job. The question is who killed Jesus?’ I replied, ‘I don’t know.’ His wife asked, ‘Did you get the job?’  The man said, ‘Of course I did.  He put me on a murder case. He want’s me to find out who killed Jesus, so he’s already made me a detective.’

“I nearly got in trouble with this big guy. I told a joke and he asked me to repeat it. I did and explained why I had said it. He said, ‘That makes sense.’ We became friends after that. I didn’t like to be around him too much, he was always looking for a fight.  That’s what we used to do back then. We’d get drunk and fight. The next day we’d be best of friends again. If it was me who started the fight, then I’d buy the first beer.

“I was thrown in jail for fighting, served eleven days. I’d been to my doctor earlier. He gave me a prescription for Valium. The cops put me in the patrol car and I took twenty pills. When we got to the jail I was out cold. I think I slept nearly two days. They asked me why I took the pills, I said, ‘If I have to spend time here, I might as well catch up on my sleep.’

“I think I told you about my relatives who owned the houseboat… Now, what was I going to say about them. I’ve completely lost my train of thought. It’ll come to me. There’s a disease where people lose their memory. It’s called Al…, Alz..”

I asked, “”Do you mean Alzheimer’s?”

“Yes, that’s it. I pulled that one on my friends at the mall. My lady friend said, ‘So, you were making a little joke.’ “Yes,’ I said, ‘a very little joke.’ They got a kick out of that.”





19 June 2014

“Dennis,” said Shakes, “see if you can pull me up.” He reached out his hand and I pulled.

I said, “You’re not moving. Let me brace my foot against yours. Now, hang on and I’ll pull.”

Shakes said, “Do you know why you can’t pull me up? It’s because I don’t want to get up, hahaha.”

Joy said, “Shakes, don’t do that.  Act your age.”

“Dennis,” shouted Wolf, “come over here. I got something to show you. This is from the lady that gives me all the books. I hope it’s not as weird as the last one. Have a look. Tell me what you think.” Wolf handed me a hardcover book entitled The Third Rail by Michael Harvey. I read inside the jacket cover:

A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work. An hour later, a second woman is gunned down as she rides an elevated train through the Loop. Two hours after that, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack. The city of Chicago is under siege, and Michael Kelly, cynical cop turned private investigator, just happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.

I said, “I haven’t read any of this guy’s stuff, but they say here that he writes about Chicago the way Raymond Chandler wrote about Los Angeles and the way Dashiell Hammett wrote about San Francisco. Those are two of my favorite authors. I’m sure that you’re going to enjoy this. It’s just the shoot-em-up type you like.”

“That’s good. That’s my reading taken care of for the weekend. So, how are you? Isn’t this weather great, not too hot, not too cool, a nice breeze blowing.”

Joy said, “I’m getting too hot in the sun here. I think I’ll move to the shade.”

Big Jake pulled up in his wheel chair, “Joy, do you have any smokes?”

“No, I’ll give Shark a call. Hi, it’s me. Are you coming to the park today?  He says he’s not coming.”

Jake said, “That’s okay I’ll go to his place.”

Joy said, “Jacques is pissed off with me because I bought native cigarettes from Shark instead of from him. The thing is, Shark charged me four bucks for a pack of twenty-five. Jacques charges four bucks for a pack of twenty. He hangs around the Mission selling cigarettes there. He doesn’t smoke himself, so he makes a good profit.

“Irene is still afraid to come out of the house. They have two big bodyguards, because there are a lot of  thugs hanging around.

Shakes said, “Hey, Wolf, guess how long Joy and I have known each other.”

“I know it’s a long time, but I don’t know how many years.”

Joy said, “I met Shakes when I was thirteen. How many years is that, Shakes? How old are you?”

“I was born in the early sixties.”

“So, what year — 1960, 61, 62, 63, 64?” Shakes didn’t answer.

Joy said, “Thirty-six years, make that thirty-five. I use to buy stuff from Shakes.”

Wolf said, “I knew you two were tight, but I didn’t know it went that far back. What’s the deal between you and Shark?”

“Shark said he’d back me until his nose bled, but he doesn’t respect me. I said, ‘I don’t give a shit about that as long as I know you’ve got my back.’ Irene and I used to do some deals together. We’re still close.”

A man in a suit was bending down in the flower garden. He seemed to be examining the soil. Joy said, “That dude looks cool. I wonder what he’s doing.”  Shortly after he walked past.

Wolf said, “Dennis, did you notice something wrong? Joy thinks that guy is a sharp dresser. He’s wearing a white shirt, a gray tie, gray jacket and pants, but look at the color of shoes he’s wearing — brown. That’s just not right. He should be wearing black shoes. Do you agree, or disagree?”

“I agree, Wolf. I was always taught to wear black shoes with grey or navy; brown shoes with brown or green.”

Wolf started singing, “Blue and green, should never be seen, except when they’re in, the washing machine. That’s what my mother taught me. Do you agree?”

“Yes, Wolf, I agree.”

Shakes was lying on the sidewalk next to Shaggy. “Wolf, Shaggy picked up her bowl. She’s thirsty.”

Wolf emptied her bowl, pulled out a water bottle from her caboose, splashed some water in the bowl  and said, “Okay, Princess, there you go.”

Joy said, “Princess, you bet! That dog gets treated better than people do. No doggy backwash for her, just pure bottled water.”

Wolf said, You know, Shaggy has bitten lots of people, but she’s only drawn blood three times. Twice, it was from Joy.”

“Yeah,” said Joy, “and I was being nice to her. Here we were, me, Wolf and Shaggy, under the bridge.  I had a paper cup full of chili. I was feeding Shaggy with my fingers. She couldn’t get to the bottom of the cup, so I picked it up and was going to tear the sides down. That’s when she bit me, right in the Achilles tendon. I nearly had to crawl home it was so painful.”