Dateline / Hubert Humphrey - Airport Terminal #1
Typically our bakery delivers baked goods to the airport before most of you have sat down in your work cubicles, but today is Black Friday and the entire country has gone vampire.
The You-Tube videos on my Droid alert me to the fact that people in my city are pepper spraying one another in lines that have formed in retail parking lots.
People scare me.
I chose to make the airport run so the usual guys who rotate it could spend extended weekends with their loved ones.
The only problem is, I haven't made a run in awhile, and airport protocol gives you absolutely no window of error.
Even that wouldn't be a deal breaker, I was pretty sure I had a handle on the system.
Things change fast at the airport though. Memo's, directives and e-mails are constantly sent out divulging new tweeks to the system.
Klecko wasn't privy though.........
To get to the loading docks is a feat in itself.
Delivery trucks have to navigate a maze of service roads that in many ways are more complex than completing a Rubik's Cube.
Eventually...as the sun creeped over the horizon (like Klecko on a New Years day floor) I found the entry security kiosk.
I was so proud that I remembered my special admittance security badge. Oh yeah...they are really cool cuz they have your photo, an official crest and a photo of a plane on it.
Back when I worked in Russia, I would always pull this badge from my wallet and place it on a table while giving the impression I was looking for something else.
Truth be told....I just wanted hot Russian chicks to see it and think I was a pilot.
If my interpreter was with, and they asked if I worked in the aviation field, Klecko's pat response was........
"I can neither confirm or deny." and then I would change the topic.
But I digress, I'm at the security kiosk now, badge is pulled out. First thing you have to do is swipe it over a magnetic pad......
Ding-Ding, Klecko has accomplished the first level.
Step #2 is a little trickier though, press your special security code into the keypad.........
Oh yeah, you need to know that huh?
And now trucks the size of Humpback Whales are pulling up behind me....time is money.
"@%&*$%^!@" is the thought that is now circulating through the Last American Bakers mind.
"HONKKKKKKKK - HONKKKKKKKKK" reverberates through the industrial complex.
Little Danny peers through some cracks in the concrete and sees a pile of Delta jets and wishes that one would take him away from this experience.
I hate not knowing systems, and I'm sure if I forgot my code, I could have worked something out....but maybe not. They have to be hard a** at the airport, just think of the security involved.
Polish Christ was good to me though, maybe an angel was sent, or who knows? Maybe a sip of espresso shook the rust from my brain.
Either way, I eventually remembered my digits and proceeded onward.
When I got to the loading docks, the place was buzzing.
Blue collars unloaded trucks while swearing, complaining and making comments about women that most ladies wouldn't perceive as amorous.
While I waited to get checked in, I took a moment to think how unique I am.
Danny Klecko was raised as a thug.
Danny Klecko in many ways more than a thug, he's actually at a higher level of thuggery, if that makes sense.
He is a card holding member of the Blue Collar Club, The Food Service Worker Club, and he currently sits on the board on "The Big Man's Club."
Unless you are over 6 feet and weigh over 250#'s you haven't heard of it, why?
You can't buy your way into it.
In the Big Man's Club you have to be Tall-Big and have a demeanor that speaks volumes (even if your mouth is shut).
Shaved heads, tattooed bodies and Red Wing boots are also badges of honors amongst this society.
Being a "Big Man" is universal, requirements transcend borders.
For instance.....if I were to go to Peru today, and I walked into a cafe and sat down by myself, and across the restaurant some big Peruvian dude saw me......
He'd walk over and make small talk like "You from around here?" or "Where did you find those boots? I have to order mine online."
You see.....Big Men don't actually listen to the dialogue that they share, it's inconsequential, what does matter is that everybody in the room sees that the Twin Towers are united.
Big Men rarely sell one another out.
I'm not even 1/2 kidding you guys on this. I swear it to John Paul Deuce.
It is one of the most elite clubs on the planet.
People always watch the big man when they enter the room, some for self preservation, and others out of awe.
I swear I'm not trying to toot my own horn, I'm just enlightening you guys into a special "Fraction World" that I know real well.
If 26 raccoons were eating out of a KFC dumpster, and a Gorilla and an Elephant marched up....what would their reaction be?
Exactly.....Welcome to Klecko's world.
So now I am standing amongst these blue collar souls, and it occurs to me, how much my life has changed in the last 5 years, and how much of my thug mentality has vanished.
Klecko has had to upgrade to a minor level of clever LOL, but as I stood there, I wondered if any of these other "Johnny Lunch Bucket's" could quote Carl Sandburg, recite the winners of Project Runway series 1-9, or tell you how to transplant a David Austin rose.....
The whole world is buying plasma TV's for Christmas....and Klecko is befuddled by his demeanor.
That's what happens when you let poetry enter your life....it takes the DNA that used to smash beer bottles on pavement and turns it into expressions of love.
Klecko.....where's this post going?
Well.......every year different school systems come to Klecko and ask him to preach the gospel of Vocational Training. Teenagers seem to enjoy me because I have experienced moderate success in this world, at yet I tend to maintain a low level of maturity......we have a lot in common.
I have been blessed-blessed-blessed by working with high school kids.
I've had opportunities to work with foreign students, gang bangers, alternative schools, bully's and victims.
School has changed 100% since I attended. In fact, the systems don't seem related.
Budgets, staff and opportunity have vanished.
Bottom Line......if you want the future to be bright, you will have to pitch in.
Each of us has a separate gift that we can contribute to this pending generation if we want.
Two days ago I got a phone call from a women who I will call Katie Garden, she works at an unorthodox school in Saint Paul. A school that places so much time just trying to keep these kids afloat.
She mentioned that her facility has a fully operational kitchen, and wondered if I could teach the kids how to cook, but as we continued talking....she mentioned that her "guys" might be too rowdy, or maybe even think the course was wussy, but then she mentioned that the girls might like it.
Sigh.....people just don't get it.
You know, last Fall I volunteered at a school in the Western suburbs of Mpls and the only way you could take Home Ec there was if you worked in a fast food restaurant.
Anyways I told Katie Garden that I would consider it, but for starters, I will only accept men students, and the course title m-u-s-t be COOKING WITH THUGS.
I figure that if I can get the guys to lock in...the girls will follow, it kinda seems to be the natural course.
Klecko is putting heavy thought into this program.
I haven't signed off on it yet....but if you are a person of faith....keep this in your prayers.
I hope all you L.A.B. Rat's had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
But that was yesterday....so.....IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS.