Welcome back L.A.B. Rats, and 1000 pardons for my extended absence.
How long has it been since my last post...like 4 days?
To be honest, I wanted to post something on Christmas.
Deep down I wanted to write something inspirational, something that you would send to the people that you loved, and they'd be so moved by it....they'd feel compelled to send it to somebody else, and before you knew it....Klecko would go viral.
The bottom line though, is I kinda struggle getting through the holidays, and I just figured every man for themselves...LOL!
But I'm back, and earlier this morning, I was on the dreadmill @ the gym trying to figure out what my return Blog Post should about.
While "In Prayer" I noticed all the young woman were wearing new work out clothes that they had received as Christmas presents.
It appears pink is going to be the new black this year.
Tydus has been sneaking into the gym with me on Sue McGleno's pass, but today he opted to abandon me so he could head over to the Mall of America to "invest" in limited edition Nike's.
A bunch of the NBA stars have limited edition "Christmas Shoes" that are spin offs of their normal styles, but in red & green motifs.
I try not to worry too much about my kids, but if you've watched the news during the last week, a bunch a peeps have been pepper sprayed at these early shoe releases, and one guy was even beat to death on the east coast.
Can you imagine that? Thugs killed a guy over a pair of Nike's.
With all that going through my mind I looked down at the dreadmill dash board. 6 minutes down.....22 more to go....sigh.
So Klecko downshifted his brain, and went back into time, a time in fact when the world was no less crazy, a time when gangsta's and hoods were beating people to death to get their "Starter" jackets.
Remember those? I had a Raiders version, and baby Tydus had a matching one as well.
During this period of time I was working at a bakery with some unusual cats.
If my memory serves me correct, I think I was simply a bench hand, but higher up than most of the others. I was in line to get the next "Mixer" or "Oven" position that opened up.
Many tasks I worked on, I was paired up with "Frankie - Big Daddy Diamond."
Frankie was a level 10 lush and had the physique of Skipper from Gilligan's Isle.
When he stood in one place for more than 10 minutes, you would see a pool of sweat forming around his Red Wing work boots.
Frankie had seen his better days.
The guy actually had some skills, but he was such a drunk, you never knew what you were going to get from him, so basically...he'd remain a bench worker for the rest of his career.
Then one day some newbie slides into the shop. For the life of me, I can't remember who hired him, or why they chose this kid.
His name was B-Smith.
B-Smith was almost 17, had hair of straw, and a face that was blanketed with acne.
Usually young high school drop outs, such as him would come into our shop a little overwhelmed, but not this kid.
B-Smith had a big mouth, liked drugs and all things mystical.
He was "that guy" that owned multiple T-shirts with wizards on them, and I'll bet his bong had a dragon etched into the glass chamber.
When B-Smith was hired, that Queensryche song Silent Lucidity was on the charts, and every time it came on......he would jump up on the work bench, raise his arms to the sky, palms facing upward, and then he'd scream......
"MAGIC-THIS SONG IS MAGIC!!!!!"
People can imitate nature can't they?
Small predators, or aging large ones often times have to look for the weak to sustain on.
That's where Big Daddy Diamond would come in.
Every pay day, he'd escort the almost 17 year old B-Smith to a sauna of ill repute located on Payne Avenue.
Biggy Daddy was a hustler and he'd get the kid in illegally if the kid would pay for his session as well.
In a production bakery, you better have thick skin, your colleagues often share mutual characteristics with vultures.
Basically you're all cooped up in a small enclosed space, hour after hour, day after day.
If you reveal a weakness, trust me......that button will be pushed for the remainder of your employment.
One night Big Daddy and B-Smith went out and smoked a "J". Their shift was almost over but there was a batch of kaiser buns that needed to get knocked out first.
I don't remember how the topic started, but I remember that B-Smith said something about some Black Arts dude that he hung with (and called Dr. Wizard)and had smoked some weed with, and when he did.....the Magic Man must of placed a spell on B-Smith, because according to our almost 17 year old friend......
Magically his pants kept falling down, as if it was preordained that he was required to "give of himself" to Dr. Wizard.
Can you imagine?
Big Daddy laughed and never let the kid off the hook after that.
We'd be working and hear screaming from the break room......
So of course we'd all run in to see what was so urgent, and there would be Big Daddy Diamond with his pants and boxers around his ankles and his fat a** cheeks swinging in the wind.
O-M-G we would laugh until tears fell.
B-Smith on the other hand would cry as well. He'd shriek, make threats and his pimply face somehow found a way to find a deeper shade of red.
Now comes along a guy named A-Grant.
A-Grant was an African American guy in his mid 20's. He was attending community college for nothing specific, and over all was a pretty good guy to work with.
I enjoyed him a lot.
But B-smith, kinda got tired of being the crews whipping boy, so he figured that since he had worked in the shop longer than A-Grant, that he's do his best to keep this new hire as a rung underneath him.
People can imitate nature, can't they?
A-Grant realized that this straw haired kid was lacking self esteem so when the puppy snapped, the big dog often rolled his eyes and simply put up with it.
Puppy's need to be careful though, because perception is a funny word, and their puppy status isn't determined by themselves, but by the pack members that they run with.
One day A-Grant was telling us how he went out to New York City to visit his grandma.
He was familiar with the neighborhood, so he decided to go to the park and get in a few pick up games of basket ball.
As he was preparing to walk out the door, his grandmother noticed that he was wearing some new shoes.......
"Yeah, they're Air Jordon's granny!" A-Grant bragged.
But then his grandma issued a stern warning that kids around this neighborhood were thumping each other over footwear.
A-Grant...being a guy, realized things like that happened to "other people", but then he's burst out laughing and confessed to our crew.......
"Then those gangster mother f****** popped out of nowhere. I was on the basketball court with a f****** Tech 9 in my face. I had to lay down on my back while some b**** pulled my Jordon's right off my feet."
Then in a weird way, his smile got even bigger.........
"I don't know what I was thinking. Those shoes were brand new, they cost me a buck and a quarter, but the worse part of the deal was that I had to walk 9 block in my socks, back to my grandma's house, and when I walked in the door....she began to cry."
Sure A-Grant was the new guy, and we probably witnessed a confession that normally wouldn't have been issued, but when you're stuck in a tin box with a group of other self professed losers...why not?
It simply makes the time pass faster.
But good ol' B-Smith couldn't leave well enough alone.
He went over and started working a dough with A-Grant, and within minutes our youngest employee would dig himself into a hole that no amount of magic could save him from.
He made some references that indicated A-Grant was an idiot, and that he shouldn't have trusted these bandits even if they were "his people".
A-Grant softly laid down the bench scraper that he was using to scale the bread with and before you knew it........
A-Grant open handed - bit** slapped B-Smith so fast and so hard, it took 3 strikes before they kid even realized he was under attack.
When B-Smith realized war had been declared, he cowered into the fetal position, and covered up.
Eventually he went to management.
His gripe seemed legit, after all he did have big paw prints across his left cheek,
But the claim was never taken seriously. When management conducted independent interviews......not one person could recall A-Grant striking anyone or anything.
That was a long time ago, and in hind sight, it's only responsible to reevaluate protocol, to make sure things were handled properly.
Ding......the timer on the dreadmill hit 28 minutes, so I cleaned off my machine with some antiseptic gel and just chuckled to myself how everything changes, but stays the same.