Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I like to think of myself as open minded and not a bigot, although there have been moments...

I have a Lady friend that is Jewish; for the sake of this blog I'll call her Gretchen.  Very intelligent woman, educated, accomplished, and I think, cute! 

I also had an Egyptian friend who is Muslim; for the sake of this blog I'll call him Hansel. 
One day Gretchen came to Greeley and we decided to go out to dinner at a soup place I like called Pho Duy on 23rd Avenue in Greeley.  Earlier in the day I had talked to Hansel about the possibility of us having dinner together.  He really likes Pho Duy and stated that he might be able to meet us there. 

Well, Gretchen and I got to the restaurant, ordered, had our meal, and Hansel showed up with his wife and her daughter.  Since the table we were sitting at was small, we decided to get a bigger round corner table to accommodate all of us.  I made introductions and we moved to the bigger table. 

We sat there making small talk, with the little darling being a pain in the arse, but that's another story.  This was shortly after the Egyptian elections with the Muslim Brotherhood taking control. 

Gretchen asked Hansel about the turmoil in his homeland.  His answer was almost mechanical, "I don't know what's going on over there.  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."  As soon as I heard that, warning bells started going off in my head.  Gretchen continued to try to engage Hansel in friendly discussion, and whenever she asked a politically weighted question, he would answer, almost word-for-word, "I don't know what's going on over there.  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."

Gretchen also tried to ask Hansel a question in Arabic (?).  When she did, he looked at her like she had sprouted a couple of heads with horns on them!  Gretchen was married at one time to a man from the Middle East, who was Muslim, and had learned a fair share of the language.  At his lack of response, Gretchen got up from the table to use the restroom.  I could tell she was getting agitated with Hansel. 

While she was gone, Hansel turned to me and asked me, "What the F*** are you doing dating a Jew?"  I didn't think I heard him right, since he was somewhat whispering, and my brain didn't want to accept the question, so I asked him, "What?"  He repeated himself, and I "got it". 

When Gretchen got back to the table, I had had enough.  I turned to Hansel and told him in so many words, that I couldn't believe that he didn't have an opinion about what was going on in his home country, since we had talked about such things, even the previous week.  I didn't appreciate him lying to Gretchen and I, and acting like such a dumbass!  With that I turned to Gretchen and suggested we "partake of our abscence", meaning, leave. 

I waited until we were out in the car and had left the parking lot when I told her what Hansel had said when she was in the bathroom.  She was livid, and rightfully so.  I was too, but controlled myself. 

Now a few points to make. 

When we were talking and Hansel answered with his stock answer, I "heard warning bells going off in my head" because of some of the E-mails I had gotten about the "Muslim Threat" and Sharia Law.  I TRY to take all the E-mails I get with a very big grain of salt, meaning that I don't necessarily buy in to whatever they are promoting.  Some of them had been about the "Muslim Threat" and Sharia Law being forced into our laws, with one stating that radical Muslims, if threatened or "cornered", will say, "I don't know...  All I want to do is work, make a living and take care of my family."  It is a stock line that they are told to use to disarm their opponents.  Word for word, this is the answer Hansel had given us.  So now I wonder if he's a radical Muslim. 

The next point is: No matter what you think of a man's girlfriend, you don't say anything about her!  I could be dating a hairy circus midget covered in tattoos, but you don't diss on my woman!  Hansel broke that rule big time. 

Finally, I wonder: What was Hansel thinking?  He knew I was dating a Jewish woman.  If he was so bigoted, then why did he agree to meet us for dinner, albeit late?  If he has so much hatred towards Jews, why did he show up? 

I haven't talked to Hansel since that day.  I told my boss about what happened, and he said that he never did trust Hansel.  He also stated that if he sees Hansel again, he'll give him a piece of his mind, and he's not welcomed down at our shop; he'll call the police! 

I know a couple of Muslim Fuel Haulers, and they're very nice, hard working men.  I also know a few Muslim store owners who wouldn't give me the time of day. 

Fortunately, this one incident hasn't made me Muslim-phobic. 

It has, however, made me very aware. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Killed Bullwinkles Wife

I really didn't mean to.
She just, kinda, came out of nowhere. 

I was heading west on I-70 in the mountain town of Vail, going to our store in Avon to make a delivery.

My truck was fully loaded with 8,000 gallons of highly flammable liquid, specifically, if memory serves, 6,500 gallons of Unleaded gasoline, and 1,500 gallons of #2 Diesel.  Gross weight of truck: 80,000#

It was a bit drizzly, but visibility was good.  Just then, in front of me, appeared a large animal going from my right to the left.  It had just about cleared the path in front of me, to the left, so I wiggled the steering wheel a bit to the right to avoid the animal.  At that same instant another animal was there, in front of me, to my right.  I again teased the steering wheel back to the left to avoid this animal, and was almost successful.

In a fuel tanker you can't jerk the steering wheel to avoid a collision as you might in an automobile.  The liquid basically stays in one place when the vehicle is moved suddenly, and sloshes back to the other side of the tank when you correct, thereby possibly causing a roll-over.  So any movement has to be quick and limiting, or just smooth and graceful.  The front of the tractor can be wiggled from side-to-side without affecting the trailer, and that is what I was trying to accomplish.

Just about as I was passing it, through the windshield, I saw the animal rear up on its hind legs, looking like it was trying to avoid hitting my truck.  I didn't hit it, it hit me.  Just behind the passenger door, missing the hood, fender, air cleaner, windshield, mirror assembly, and passsenger door.  Instead it hit the exhaust stack, denting the stack cover, which is stainless steel, the aluminum step handle, and the bottom of the exhaust stack.  It then hit the fuel tank, denting it.  It also took the cap off of the marker light, sparing the bulb!  The animal spun around and hit the trailer fender over the drive axles, mangling it. 

I saw the animal, after it had hit the drive axles, spin away off to the shoulder.  I immediately hit the brakes and brought the truck to a not-too-casual stop.  Looking in my rear-view mirror, I could see the animal laying along the side of the highway, not moving. 

I immediately called the police, reported that I had hit an elk, then went out to inspect the truck for damage. 

The last elk that I had hit came out of the woods and ran in front of me in full daylight.  I was empty, just having made a delivery in Fairplay.  I tried to miss it, but didn't have enough room on the shoulder without going over the edge.  That accident caused $15,000 worth of damage to the truck.  The elk paid dearly with its life. 

The Vail Police showed up almost immediately, back behind me where the animal lay.  And there they sat.  I was getting impatient waiting for them, when they finally came up to my truck. 

The Officers I dealt with were very polite, courteous, almost to the point of being friendly.  Yes, I know, "Police" and "friendly" in the same sentence is almost an oxy-moron.  But I've dealt with many of the Law Emforcement Personnel in that area over the years, and have to admit that they are some of the nicest people around! 

As I found out, it was a small female moose that I had hit.  Somebody guessed it to be about 800#.  I got lucky; not so much the moose.  The impact had broken all four of her legs, and the delay of the Police to get up to my truck was because they had to euthanize her.  Bummer. 

So, that's how I Killed Bullwinkles Wife.