Phicklephilly – 1967 Pontiac GTO – Today

“Paint job’s ok, but there’s rust, and the chrome is nowhere near what it once was. No way. Pieces fall away every year, now more than ever. But the car still runs, and when I drop the clutch and go, the car sings a symphony better than any new hybrid I’ve ever met in the last 10 years.”

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“Write drunk and edit sober.”Ernest Hemingway

I feel like I’m midnight blue ’67 Pontiac GTO All original parts, some missing.

The car looks decent despite it’s age.

The engine and spirit of the car are great and it can still get up and roar against any new car off the lot, but its an old machine.

It’s falling apart but “the Goat” is still very valuable and has a lot of great history and memories in it. The upholstery is fraying. There’s a bit of rust. The struts are going’ the transmissions fucked.

The oil sometimes leaks.

The car is old.

The car is slowly falling apart.

I feel it.

But as a machine it’s still a badass ’67 GTO.

People love it. Girls love it, but if they looked under the hood they’d see that the beast is starting to fail.

It looks like a worn car form 40 years ago but it still runs great on the track based on its current performance, but inside it’s going.

It’s just time and gravity.

The power plant can somehow burn it up like when it was born but in the day-to-day, if you spend any time with the car you’ll learn that it’s seen a lot of miles and is now missing some parts. There has been no restoration. It still runs but with fewer parts than when it arrived off the assembly line.

The car was driven hard and saw some glory days and won a lot of races, but it lost a lot too, and suffers the scars of going through the guard rail and flipping over.

There’s been a little restoration on the mind of the car and that’s what held it together all these years but its had some really shitty owners and drivers that took this lovely car and ran it into the ground.

But it still runs.

The engine still has a lot of get up and go because that’s what it was built for. But it will probably get harder (or softer) every year because the car isn’t getting any younger.

Paint job’s ok, but there’s rust, and the chrome is nowhere near what it once was. No way. Pieces fall away every year, now more than ever. But the car still runs, and when I drop the clutch and go, the car sings a symphony better than any new hybrid I’ve ever met in the last 10 years.

So the old horse still has it. Because that was a well-built car in the 60’s, by people who knew how to make a good product, not by their design, just the vehicle that came through them from their ancestors. I like them better. The assembly line technicians that raised me sort of hated working with each other but they put out some good cars. I have three sisters to prove it. We have a solid line.

But this old classic is losing some of its shine, and I can fix that, if I can just get the things going now that I want to now. If new business takes off, the GTO will sing like it did in the sixties, but in today’s world. Better than ever. An old muscle car that can outrun the fastest production car you have coming off the line straight out of college.

Maybe like every guy my age I’m clinging to my youth, but I know I’m not. I like being the age I am. I don’t want to be the fool I once was. There is a whole world ahead of me and for us all, gentlemen. It doesn’t have to be us drowning in our past and drinking the poison hoping all of the people who broke our hearts die. That’s bullshit. you can’t evolve through that. You have to forgive and evolve beyond that. My father once said, “every man dies, not every man lives.” I live by that shit, man.

Forgive everyone. Don’t drink the poison, let go of the bars of your prison and walk the fuck out, gentleman. Doesn’t matter what direction… just take a step.

We’re a bunch of old cars trying to navigate the traffic of today’s world and love again. There are a lot of crazy old cars out there and even more wacky new models, but I believe there are some classics out there still on the road, that would love to pull up along side you and maybe meet up at the drive through for a movie and a milkshake.

Keep driving. She’s out there looking for your too.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Keila – 2013 to 2017 – Fleas, Ticks and a Series of Bad Decisions

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm.

I’ve decided to stop writing about Alice and Keila. Alice is a dear friend, but we don’t do anything interesting enough to write about. Hopefully, this will be the last time I write about Keila.

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm. She lasted about two years there. Alice felt that she would be a good match, because she was a fearless networker and had no problem meeting new people.

But Keila has severe ADD. It’s really annoying to the rest of us who can calmly focus.

I’ve decided to cut her off, because of what she’s done to Alice. My loyalty is to Alice, and I don’t even really see Keila anymore.

Then I realized something. Some of the worst women I have ever met in this city all came through Keila. Birds of a feather flock together. Keila is like this big poodle that’s crawling with fleas and ticks. Because that’s what some these people are. Here’s the list:

Carol (See: Carol – 2014 to 2016 – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction) Crazy wacko who lives with her crazy mother and can’t keep a man or a job. Mess!

Harper (See: Harper – 2014 to 2015 – Plane Crash) Just a straight up lying, fraud and a whore who uses people. Awful!

Bibi (See: Bibi – 2015 – Matinee Madness) Rude, alcoholic loser who can’t keep a job or stay out of rehab.

Brooke (See: Brooke – 2015 to Present – Legs for Days) Okay this one came through Keila but I like her. She doesn’t see Keila anymore.

And many more whack job people along the way.

I’ve cut off all of these people (Except Brooke) and what I’ve needed to do all along was to cut off the head of this two legged dragon. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m done with Keila. She has these networking events and all of these desperate women and nutjobs go to thesee events. She always introduces them as “her new frends” but they’re not her friends. They’re normally desperate souls that attach themselves to her temporarily but after she gets what she wants from them she’s on to the next shiny object that’s her current distraction.

So after what Keila pulled on my friend Alice, I’m done with this one.

There’s some other people I need to slowly faze out as well. There not as godawful as Harper and Carol, but it’s time to start thinning the heard.

Live and learn baby. Step over the detritus in your life and move on.

Stay tuned!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Thanksgiving Tradition

The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bold-faced lie)

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving, but Christmas was always our big holiday. I’m always welcome at my older sister Janice’s house every year. She has a big house and we refer to her place as Holiday Headquarters. There was one year many years ago when I was invited to go to my other sister Gabrielle’s house all the way down in North Wildwood, New Jersey. Back then I was newly divorced, and I just didn’t feel like making the drive all the way down there. My daughter was little then and with her Mom and that side of the family for Thanksgiving. I was just happy that my ex-wife was out of the house and out of my life for that matter. I was looking forward to a day of listening to music, watching movies and eating and drinking. I like to be alone. I’m a very social animal, and I get my energy from those around me, but I just wanted a day of sweet nothing and solitude.

I lived in Woodbury, NJ back then. I drove over to the local convenient store and picked up a box of frozen Ellio’s Pizza. It’s a cheap and tasty treat I have loved since I was a lad. The lady at the counter says, “I hope you’re not eating that for Thanksgiving!” I coolly replied, “Oh, no. My daughter loves these things. I always keep them in for her.” (a bold-faced lie)

That night I happily sat on my sofa watching some cool movies, drinking Ketel One vodka and tonics, and eating my delicious Ellio’s Pizza. I had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. I was grateful to have a family that cared about me and most of all that little Lorelei was in the world.

So I joked around with my sisters about that day, and of course they felt bad for me. They didn’t want me eating frozen pizza and drinking liquor by myself on Thanksgiving, but that’s what I really wanted to do that day. So it’s sort of become a family joke every year for Thanksgiving. It came up again this year, when I declined my sister’s invitation. It’s not that I didn’t want to see her, but I’ve seen her a lot lately, and my parents have passed, so what’s the point? Once the main anchors of a family die, usually the children retreat to their own little families. She understood and we’ll all get together at her annual holiday party in December at Holiday Headquarters.

I went to the Midtown Diner and had a huge breakfast at the counter. Scrambled eggs, bacon and french toast. It’s too much food, but I crushed it all and it was delicious. I went back to my house and did some writing. Lorelei escaped the clutches of having to spend Thanksgiving with her mother. She went to her boyfriend’s mother’s house. She’s a hard-core vegan and made some really creative dishes. I’m glad she’s happy and I’m sure they were glad to have her there for the holiday.

I finished a chapter, and wanted to get something to eat around 4:30. I left the house and walked down to South street. Everything was closed, but I didn’t feel like going into Walgreens where I’d have to get something to heat up or bake in the oven. Then I looked to the left and remembered there was a new 7-Eleven a block away.

I stopped in and was surprised at all of the people in there buying stuff. Maybe I could start a little Thanksgiving club with them. They could come over with a load of 7-Eleven food and I’d supply the booze. I picked up some things and headed back to the house.

The city was deserted. Dark and eerily quiet because everybody was off doing their family things. I got home, went to my desk and fired up an old episode of Columbo on Netflix. I poured myself a vodka and club soda. I don’t drink Ketel One anymore at home. Too expensive. I only have it out now in a martini, straight up with a twist. My current brand is Platinum X7 by Sazerac. A 1.75 bottle is $20. My favorite thing to mix it with is Polar club soda with lemon that I buy by the liter at Walgreens. I tore open the small bag of Lay’s potato chips. Then opened the box that contained the quarter pound 7-Eleven hot dog, and spread mustard along its length.

Changed it up this year! Wanted to send a pic to all of my sisters but decided against it.

A man who can sit in a room alone and be satisfied is a man that has found inner peace.” – My Dad

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Trish – 2012 to Present – The She Wolf Meets Her Childhood Hero

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

Trish is my hot neighbor. (See: Trish – 2011 to Present – The She Wolf) She’s an artist, graphic designer and even pulls a few shifts at the tanning salon. I’m a big fan. She has a heart of gold. Trish is always rooting for the underdog.  She cares for the weak, the small or the forgotten. I love that about her.

She’s even thinking of starting her own blog as a spin-off series from phicklephilly.(Which would be awesome!)

She’s also a very articulate writer that has a really natural flow with her thoughts and ideas. If you’ve ever seen her artwork, she has a wonderful ability to transfer what’s in her mind elegantly to the canvas.

She stops by my apartment the other day and hands me a 1.75 bottle of vodka for covering her 7 hour shift last Saturday. That’s a grateful neighbor and co-worker. I’ll work every Saturday for her if that’s what she wants to give me as thanks!

We chat about a few things and then get into what’s been going on in our lives.

On the Saturday I worked for her she went to Chinatown and took a Mega Bus to Manhattan. It was only $11 bucks! How do they stay afloat charging $11?

 

Trish rolled into the city and disembarked from the bus at 4:50pm. She gets her metro card refilled. She checked into the Chelsea Inn Hotel which cost her $80 bucks. Still cheap for a hotel room in New York City. She loved the room. Big TV. King sized bed. The works. Trish travels on a budget, but arrives in style.

 

She heads over to the Alchemist Kitchen to get some supplements. The Gramercy is 15 blocks away from her hotel. She’s been really looking forward to seeing this act and this is why she made the trek to Manhattan.

She walked there alone and sober. They’re all waiting like cattle to see him. She’s sad she has no weed. She’s tired of talking to people, and  cant wait to see her childhood hero and to hopefully meet her childhood hero.

“I know I’m going to meet my hero Mulder from the X Files TV show.”

Trish loves the X Files. This great hero of her life and she’s going to meet him. Trish is determined.

And when Trish is on a mission, stay out of her way.

She enters the Gramercy to see David Duchovney  perform with his band.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Duchovny

I thought David was only an actor and author, but apparently he’s a man of many talents. I’m a big fan of his work in the cable TV series, Californication.

The Gramercy where he’s only 10 blocks away from where David grew up!

Doors opened at 7pm that night. Some violin quartet from Ireland were the warm up act before Duchovny’s band.

People are moving to get drinks. Tectonic plates are shifting. She will make it to the front. You wiggle your way to the front. Like the slow shift of the world. Like a river. Before he comes out she’s in an euphoric state. Normally she’s super annoyed, but she’s dealing with all of the idiots because Mulder is coming.

She’s waited here two hours for this moment.

When the quartet is done their set. The lights come up and David comes onstage.

“It feels like it’s not my life.” She told me when she saw the man live for the very first time.

“I was 2nd row so I could see my guy!”

She lost her shit when Mulder hits the stage. She’s 12 years old again. She’s blown away. Trish is giggling like it’s Beatlemania.  She is screaming her love her for her TV idol. She is excited beyond words.

On scale of 1 to 10 it is beyond the scale. Trish is so filled with joy.

“It was more about this magical creature and to meet him and be in the same room with the man I love.”

Trish was such a super nerd fan of the show. “I was obsessed with the series itself. The novels based on the show and the action figures. I feel the decency of who Fox Mulder was helped me build my own character.”

“He was who we should all be.” she says.

“He’s always a funny approachable guy. I want to be like him. A funny approachable woman. Not to take yourself too seriously. I’m gonna meet him. That’s on a Do Before you Die Bucket List. I have had an opportunity to see his work and I must do it because he has changed my life.”

After the show she waits another two hours and he finally comes outside the venue. She approaches him. Her childhood idol. She digs her hand into her pocket and produces a small Fox Mulder action figure she played with as a child. She places the toy and a silver sharpie marker in his hands.

He autographs her little guy.

It was so fast she had almost no time with him. But she looked into his eyes. “He’s real!”

 

Trish has an uncanny sense at picking up on all of the emotions of those around her. It gives her great empathy for the human race. She has such a good heart. She could feel through the crush of the fans that David just wanted to go home.

“He is genuinely a great guy. I felt so calm to be near him. Life is short, and it was great to meet him.  I also loved being by herself. Just me on my own self adventure.”

Trish doesn’t care to be attached to anything. She’s fine with being on her own and would like to be on her own.

“I just wanted him to go home safe.”

“They treated him like an animal.” she said regarding the pushing fans.

“All they wanted was their shit signed by him. But I really felt something.”

“It was so nice. It was like a dream but I was wide awake.”

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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The Briddler – 2012 to Present

“What do you call a black man flying a plane?

“I don’t know.”

“A pilot! What are you, racist?”

If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know I spend a lot of time outside in the nightlife scene of Philadelphia. If you’ve been here for any period of time you realize the homeless situation here.

You’ll see it in Philadelphia, just as you’ll see it in Detroit and Los Angeles and D.C. That omnipresence can make it easy to perceive homelessness as a thing that just exists — a problem cities have that they all treat the same way.

But the way the city of Philadelphia approaches homelessness is different than the way it’s approached in Detroit and Los Angeles and D.C. The root commonality in fighting homelessness across U.S. cities is that they all get funding from HUD. It’s the way those funds are deployed that differs from city to city.

Here’s a glimpse at homelessness in Philadelphia, and how it’s being approached.

First, let’s put things into perspective. Of 1.6 million people living in the city of Philadelphia, 400,000 were found to be living below the poverty line in 2015. Compare that to the city of Los Angeles where, out of 3.9 million people living in that city,  approximately 873,600 are living in poverty.

Yet in Los Angeles, 21,338 homeless individuals were counted as not having shelter earlier this month. Philadelphia’s 2016 Point in Time count registered 705 unsheltered homeless individuals inside the city, according to Office of Supportive Housing Director Liz Hersh.

As of 2014, OSH tallied 3,644 beds across emergency, transitional and permanent housing facilities. Still, there are concerns that that number just isn’t enough.

“We don’t have enough,” said Misty Sparks, director of entry-level programs at nonprofit Bethesda Project. “I don’t think anyone should ever have to sleep outside, but if every homeless individual wanted to come into shelter on a given night, we would not have enough beds.

“I’m a firm believer that we always have 700 to probably 1,500 homeless in and outside of the city. In the winter the homeless count is much lower. In the summer it’s much higher.”

The homeless do get turned away when facilities are full — even youth.

It’s pretty sad and I am looking into some things I can do around the city to help solve this situation. The best one can do is to volunteer to help at one of the local shelters or for the publication One Step Away published by Resources for Human Development.

One Step Away is a newspaper that is written by homeless people and former homeless and contributing journalists. I may even write a piece for them.

But out of all of the homeless people I encounter on a daily basis, there is this one guy who always seems to pop up whenever I step out of a bar for a smoke. He’s sweet and articulate, and always has a joke for me. He normally does two or three and always has new material. As I said before, I don’t give money to the homeless people on the street. It doesn’t solve the problem. I’ll give food however, because food can solve an immediate need.

But this slight black man is different. He’s not panhandling like the rest of them. He’s making me think and making me laugh. So it’s not begging, I see it more as “street performance.”

There’s a difference. He does his bits, makes me laugh, I hand him a couple of bucks and he always tells me about the special at MacDonald’s that he’s going to spend his loot on.

I don’t even know his name. I really should ask him. Right now I refer to him as the Briddler. (the Black Riddler)

I saw The Briddler last weekend around Square 1682. He rolls up and opens with:  “What do you call a black man flying a plane?

“I don’t know.”

“A pilot! What are you, racist?”

Oh, and then he always smiles and sings a little tune: “doo doo do doo doo.” After each punchline.

“How do you know if Will Smith has been walking through the snow?”

“I don’t know. How?”

“Fresh prints!”  “doo doo do doo doo.”

“What did one testicle say to the other testicle?”

“What?””

Ya know, just between you and me, that guy’s a dick.”

So that’s a couple of his bits. They’re cute and funny. But the other day he approached my buddy Church and I and did a different kind of riddle.

“What goes through water but doesn’t get wet?”

We both thought for a minute but couldn’t come up with an answer between the two of us.

“Light.” doo doo do doo doo.

“Good one, dude.”

“What lies on water but doesn’t get wet?”

This time I had an answer. “Oil. Because that creates and emulsion.”

“Or a shadow… doo doo do doo doo.”

“You’re killing me today with the science riddles, dude.”

“What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball?”

“No clue.”

(He just starts gagging)

*That’s a fellatio joke for those of you that are a bit behind.

The Briddler is not a panhandler. He’s a street performer.

Apparently the owners of the popular nightclub, Rumor paid a years rent for him in an apartment. That’s incredibly generous, and will keep a roof over his head for a while.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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Madeline – 2011 – Fire and Desire

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Here’s one that happened a few years ago…

I met Madeline at a party thrown by friends. It was a big party. We had a great time talking and dancing for a couple of hours, and, we ended up exchanging phone numbers.

I spoke to my friends after the party, trying to find out a little more about her. They didn’t know who I was talking about, but there had been about fifty people or so there, so, it wasn’t surprising that they might not remember everyone. Shiela, my friend’s wife, said she “sort of remembers a redheaded girl arriving with some others from their office.”

A couple of days later, I called Madeline. She seemed pleased to hear from me. We chatted, and ended up making plans to meet for dinner and a show later in the week. I offered to pick her up at her apartment, but she said she didn’t live too far from the restaurant where we were going to meet, so she’d just meet me there after work.

As usual, I arrived at the restaurant first and was able to be seated right away. Madeline called my cell and said she was running about five minutes late, but would try to hurry. I thought it was very considerate of her to call especially since she was only running a few minutes late. Half an hour later, I didn’t think she was that considerate. God I hate lateness, but at least I was somewhere I could have a cocktail.

Madeline arrived at the restaurant with another couple whom she introduced as “friends from work who wanted to meet you.” She apologized for taking so long, saying that traffic had really slowed her down. I mentioned how that was weird  since the day before she’d told me she only lived five minutes away from the restaurant on foot. She laughed and said, “Oh, silly, I live close to this place but I work pretty far away.”

The couple laughed with her, and didn’t make a move to leave. As the waiter brought two more chairs to the table, Madeline said, “I hope it’s okay if they join us for dinner.” What was I supposed to say at that point? Uh…no, I really just wanted to get to know you better and having these people around just makes it harder?

 

Surprisingly, the dinner went fairly well, Madeline’s friends were pretty funny, and we laughed a lot. Once the dinner was over, I said, “Well, it was nice meeting you all, but we should get going if we’re going to make it to the theater in time for the show.”

Madeline and her friends got quiet, and started fidgeting a bit. Finally, the woman said, “Oh, I’ll ask him, you two cowards.”

I was thinking, “Great, now they want to come with us to the theater.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. The woman looked at me and continued, “We all really like you, and think you’re a great guy. Madeline, myself, and my husband would like to invite you over to our place for some games.”

“I blinked, then said, “Thanks, but, we’ve got theater tickets, and I’d hate for them to go to waste. Maybe another time.”Madeline took my hand and said, “Oh, you’ll like our games better than the theater.” Then she winked at me.

 

I was really confused, until they explained that their relationship was more than friendship. Madeline was their partner and they wanted me to join them in swinging.

I was shocked. I mean, I barely knew Madeline and here she wanted me not only to sleep with her, but…with her two friends during our FIRST date!!

I refused, saying I didn’t know them well enough to play like that. I asked Madeline if she still wanted to go with me to the theater, but she said “No, I’m in the mood to play, so we’ll just call one of our regulars.”

I ended up paying for dinner for three, then, going to the theater on my own. I still had a pretty enjoyable evening, after I gave my extra ticket to a lady standing in line. She was grateful, and assured me she wasn’t a swinger.

Nah… I’m just kidding. I gave the tickets away to a couple at a nearby table. We all split the check, and I went back to their place for an insane, sex drenched, kinky night.

Phicklephilly is a dating and relationship blog, not a sex blog. Use your imagination!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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Sun Stories: Haley – 2016 to Present – Lightning in a Bottle

“Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.”

I got a text from Achilles (See: Sun Stories: Achilles, 2016 to Present – The Bronze God) He asked if I could work open to close today. That’s 10am to 8pm, on your feet, running around the salon for 10 hours. I agreed, because I have a flexible schedule at my other job, and I think he may have come down with a cold. On top of that it’s been thunder storming all day, and he probably doesn’t want to come out in this mess.

So I’m at the salon, and it’s a pretty quiet day. You’d think more people would come out to tan on a rainy day, but it’s the other way around. They come when it’s warm and sunny out.

I’m just standing behind the counter writing my blog on the computer. When in walks this cute 19-year-old girl. Raven hair, blue eyes and fair skin. She says my name, and I do a double take.

“Don’t you recognize me because I’m not tan?”

“Oh my god! Haley!”

I come from around the counter and she goes in for a big hug.

“I missed you!”

From mid April until the end of August is our busy season at the salon. We can’t provide the level of service that our customers deserve with only one person on shift at night. So Achilles usually will bring on a second person at night to ease the flow of clients. Haley had been working every summer at the salon since she was 16 years old.

Haley has a sister Elisa that’s a year younger that she is. She comes into tan but never worked here. Elisa’s cute, but Haley’s beautiful. There’s a difference.

Haley was also a straight A student last year in her senior year. Beauty and brains. A deadly combination. She wants to eventually go to medical school to become a doctor!

So Achilles brought her back again last summer to help out at night. I wondered how that was going to go. Me, a middle-aged man working with a senior in high school.

Well I’ll tell you how it went. It went fantastic! Working with Haley from day one was glorious. She’d been doing the job for two years prior, so she knew everything about the salon. We ran the place like a well oiled machine. I’m driving in the sales. Haley picks up on how I ask every customer if they need lotion or protective eyewear. She starts pitching it to every client thereafter. She’s like lightning when she works. Super fast and really efficient. She knows exactly when to put the laundry in the washer and stays on top of the time when to get it into the dryer. (I love her South Philly accent. Instead of saying “towels”, she pronounces it “tales”. It is to adorable!

“I’m so sick of these tales! I hate the color and they’re too hard to fold and they don’t fit under the counter right!” she would say.

Working with Haley was a total riot. We would take care of the clients but had a lot of fun working together.

On time this weirdo douchebag guy comes in to tan. Haley asks him what kind of bed he wants to tan in. (Stand up unit, or lay down)

He says: “How about a four-poster.”

Haley is silent but I look at him with a hard eye and say: “Dick. She’s in High School.”

Shut that fucker right down.

I see Haley like a daughter or a niece. Gotta protect the young ladies around us.

I told Achilles about the incident and he also gave them his own personal warning to the guy. I don’t know what he said or did, but we never had a problem with this asshole again.

One day told her that out of everyone I knew, she and my daughter Lorelei, are the only people I know who don’t use profanity, which I find very refreshing. Haley responded by saying that she doesn’t curse around parents. (Apparently this is the same story with my kid.) I like that!

Speaking of her parents, she said her dad is a bit of a curmudgeon, but her mom is a total sweetheart. Her mother would always drive up to the salon at closing in her truck with their dog and pick up little Haley. Her mom is kind of hot. But I love that she would always come and get Haley and make sure her daughter got home safe!

Haley went down the shore after graduating from high school with honors and went to work as a server at Mack’s Pizza in Wildwood, NJ for the summer. She told me they originally want her to work a bunch of hours but she told them she was down the shore to have fun, relax and enjoy her summer. She was still making around $800 a week slinging slices to the hungry tourists.

“It’s the most money I ever made at a job in my life!” she squealed to me today.

Currently she is in college and working part time at an Italian restaurant in South Philly.

Now with what I’m describing you’d think that this young lady is a perfect little angel.

Quite the contrary.

Sure, she’s a great student and is a really well-behaved kid. But technology is much better than when I was a teenager. She has a fake ID that looks exactly like a DMV issued drivers license that says she’s 21. She showed it to me and it looks better than anything I’ve ever seen. That’s so she can get served and go into bars and nightclubs.

She’s a good girl and has a nice guy she is seeing, and she behaves herself. They play it cool and are careful when she and her friends go out. They mostly just like to hang out somewhere and drink beer like teenagers have done for decades.

I love the paradox of the brilliant, beautiful student that has a touch of. I can trust that in a woman.

I remember she would bring her laptop into work and do her homework sometimes. The customers didn’t know what she was doing, and could care less. They just want to hop into an available bed and get their tanning session, and get on with their day. But I know Achilles doesn’t like any of his employees focusing on anything but the clients and what’s going on in the salon. I get it. It’s his business and the salon is his livelihood. But Haley is such a good student with high aspirations, and I never said anything because she’d been working there off and on for three years. So I didn’t care what she was doing because at the time I didn’t know what his arrangement was with Haley after all of that time.

Besides she was always all business when it came to being on point in the salon every night. She made my life easier and I absolutely loved working with this lovely, lively girl. She’s so full of life and apparently I’m good at making her laugh.

When she worked the Saturday shift, (Which is from 11am to 6pm) sometimes her  classmate, Lia would come in and hang on the couch and keep her company. I get it. It’s a 7 hour shift and teenagers get bored easily. She’s a pretty black girl and she’d sit on the sofa and hang with Haley, bring her coffee and snacks to pass the time because weekends are slower than nights during the week. I mean, I’ve had friends come and hang at the salon and chat with me while I’m working. On any given night, Church will swing in and hang for an hour until we go to the bar after I close up shop. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

But Achilles found out this black girl was hanging out on Saturdays and wasn’t happy with it. Again… it’s a business and his livelihood and didn’t want a bunch of kids hanging around in his salon not doing anything. I get it. He’s right, but I went in once on a Saturday to make sure everything was cool, and to tan. (I like to tan on days I don’t work. It just feels better) I had the pleasure of meeting Lia. She’s a lovely young woman who has been accepted to Yale!

Yes. I said Yale. You don’t get into Yale being a crazy reckless youth. This girl is going to go on to do great things in her life. She’s sweet, charming, and obviously very intelligent and focused on her future.

So my girl Haley surrounds herself with great people and I’m really proud of her. She gives me hope for the future youth of America!

Oh, and she has the exact same birthday as my daughter, Lorelei! Haley is 11/17/97 and Lor is 11/17/96. Two  Scorpios. Don’t mess with my girls or you’ll get stung!

I was so happy to see my former co-worker today. It made my 10 hour shift on my feet running around on a very rainy day just a bit sunnier. Haley is a ray of light that I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with and have in my life.

Oh… one more thing. Haley isn’t on ANY social media. Just doesn’t see the point of it. Hope!

Seeing her today inspired me to write about her, and I am now going to publish another piece about our adventures at the tanning salon. I’ll give you a little hint: While we were working together we came up with official rules for the salon, based on some of the stuff Achilles would lay on me about how to run the salon. We also created lists of clients we loved and hated. But the funniest list we made was the “Things that Annoy Us.” You may not get all of them, and I will explain what they mean in this future post. But if you’ve worked in retail or the service industry, you should be able to relate.

I love Haley, and didn’t realize how much I missed her smile and laughter until today!

 

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