from RAW SUCK


GAS JUNKIES

"I first met William Z. Foster," say Che Pancho, “on the wharf. I was just getting off the Rachel, an old broke down ex-whaler death ship converted to a freighter. William Z. had just got off the County of Cardigan swearing never again. Said he was gonna boho it look for work. I ask him could I join him. He said yeah teach me to ride the rails great ships of the land. That William Z. was crazy though. Ride in wheel carriage his ass nearly scraping the rail ties. All that noise down there but William Z. slept while I snoozed fitfully inside an empty boxcar. We were heading for Chicago where ill wind blows and stockyards full of blood and shit and death swirling in the wind off the lake.

"In Chicago," say Che Pancho, "great rail junction 20th century America William Z. and I split. I ask 'im where's he goin'. He said Russia find future of America there then ask me where am I goin'? I said I'm gonna look for America right here. He smiled and winked said good luck and he meant it.

"Later," say Che Pancho, "while stickin' my thumb in the air tryin' to hitch a ride up on the highway with this black kid named Pic this big ass Hudson Hornet screeches to a halt. Car full of kids talkin' a mile with every minute they passed another mile breaking open inhalers by the case and smokin' God's great grass. Only way to find America they say regardin' the great haulin' hulk of the Hudson. I remember William Z. smilin' and winkin'. The kids introduce themselves Jack Al that's Neal drivin'. 'Got any gas money?'."

They all laughed Che Pancho always enjoyed telling the story and they laugh again. Harry Bye Che Pancho and a few recruits for the plastic mines sit around on roller duty waiting either for the next call or for air and water when Kim Lee Chouy bring it whichever come first.

"The worst I ever saw it," say Che Pancho changing the subject, "is one day we got a call to clean up a family of eight slowed by a granny nice old woman really. Took us an hour of juicy pay. Happened at notorious 12th and Washington heading out of town at PM rush. Worst time of the day." But everybody knew that.

"That granny," Che Pancho say, "took a real chance but in the end she paid well."

Sometime ago some smart ass lawyer type figured that since driving a private car was a privilege no laws apply to driving the highways and bi-ways since only laws apply to protectin' rights and not privileges. Bought a judge to confirm it in court all legal and proper and made jobs for a whole lotta private dicks. Privileges are earned while rights are won or granted whole panels of judges say.

Sometimes Harry Bye Che Pancho and all the boys and girls like Kim Lee Chouy get called out on S.E.'s -- Summery Executions:

Anytime some dumb driver gets caught breaking rules of the road which're made by contract with licensee some cop a private dick'll pull 'em over and just sidle up to the window the driver'll roll it down and the cop a private dick'll pull out his service piece and blow the driver's brains out all over the front seat. That's an S.E.

"He'll never do that again," Che Pancho chortled. "Teach him a lesson."

"Yeah," Harry Bye say in his best right out of Marx and Lenin, "they didn't fight Oil Wars for nuthin'. Gotta keep making jobs like ours whenever there's not enough for some folks."

But Che Pancho change the subject again. Remind 'em of yesterday when he and Harry Bye clean up after a hydrocephalic caught rolling easy through a Stop sign at West Street and North Park Drive.

"Boy was that one messy," remised Che Pancho shaking his head.

"Just goes to show you," reply Harry Bye rolling his eyes into a snicker, "sometimes life ain't cheap.”

"Yeah," say Che Pancho, "but cheaper than petroleum."

"As Miller said," Harry Bye added, "'The more you drive the less intelligent you are'."

Both Harry Bye and Che Pancho survive because they know the index that determine surplus value and take home pay. Neither keep any plastic on 'em. They know that costs most.

They slip into telling old jokes that fill up the boredom full of their own knowledge of how things really work.

"Did ya hear the one about the grocer in business 100 years got gobbled up by a supermarket?"

They laugh slappin' each other on the back hearty har har.

"Grocer? What's that?!" bellowed Harry Bye red faced on the verge of a stroke.

"Somethin'